Still in Love After 21 Years! Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Say Date Nights, Prayer and Alone Time Keep Their Marriage Strong
"It's such a rare thing to be able to experience what we do for a living, and to do it together, really feels like all the moments are special," McGraw tells PEOPLE
The pair, who celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary last November, just before releasing their first album of duets, The Rest of Our Life, currently put their love on display night after night for their hit Soul2Soul World Tour.
“Watching Tim and Faith onstage is like two hours of total foreplay,” says Holly Gleason, a music writer and McGraw’s former publicist. “It’s sexy. It’s adult.”
But just how have they kept such a fire burning? In this week’s cover story, McGraw, 51, and Hill, 50, open up to PEOPLE about their marriage, sharing what it’s taken to make their love stand the test of time and fame.
“It’s such a rare thing to be able to experience what we do for a living, and to do it together, really feels like all the moments are special,” says McGraw. Adds Hill, “I watch him perform and still to this day I’m awed by it.”
McGraw and Hill were both thriving on their own in the music industry before falling in love in 1996, when Hill was an opening act on McGraw’s Spontaneous Combustion tour. However, tying the knot that October was the event that “poured gasoline” on their careers, as he has put it.
From starting a family to making major life-changing health decisions, Hill says “a lot has changed” in their relationship since the early days. But what hasn’t changed is their dedication to one another. Amidst touring the stars still make date nights a priority.
For more on How Tim McGraw and Faith Hill keep their love alive, pick up this week’s 100 Reasons to Love America issue, on newsstands Friday.
“We just saw Springsteen on Broadway the other night in New York and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen,” says McGraw. “Watching him and Patti together was magical.”
And though they can’t get enough of each other in theory — “I could listen to her sing all night,” says McGraw— in practice, they make sure to carve out some alone time.
Says Hill, “We both have our daily routines and we have our own dressing rooms. We each have our own space to retreat to so we do get time to ourselves.”
RELATED VIDEO: Faith Hill & Tim McGraw Preparing To Be Empty-Nesters: ‘Our Daughters Have Their Own Lives Now’
Still, the pair’s known for sharing social media PDA when they’re apart. And they can’t help but gush about one another’s talents.
“Tim is the absolute best entertainer, hands down,” Hill tells PEOPLE. “He can bring a crowd to their feet with the motion of his hand. He knows how to deliver songs to the fans and make them feel like he’s singing to them.” McGraw counters, “She’s such a powerhouse that it forces me to raise my game every night.”
These days it’s really the little things that the couple treasures most.
“Funny, as we get older it’s less about the big gestures and more about just spending the time together at home,” says McGraw, who has extravagantly surprised the “Breathe” singer on numerous occasions. Now they both opt to keep things more “low-key” and include their three daughters: Gracie, 21, Maggie, 19, and Audrey, 16.
“For our 20th wedding anniversary, we stayed home, in our pajamas and watched TV,” he says, “we loved it.”
Though they’ve pretty much done it all, their sold-out Soul2Soul World Tour marks their first tour together in a decade. “In all of our years together, we’ve never been in the studio at the same time for any of our duets,” says Hill. For the new album, “it was nice to be together for the creative process.”
But they’ve got one tradition that will never change. “Tim and I share a quick quiet moment together before hitting the stage,” says Hill. “Always praying.”