Leann Rimes Shares the Secret to Her Happy Marriage with Eddie Cibrian — and Why 'It Just Works'

"He's a wonderful father and a really good man," the Remnants singer says of her husband

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to LeAnn Rimes!

In the new issue of PEOPLE, the singer — who just released Remnants, her 16th studio album — opens up about her five-year marriage to Eddie Cibrian.

“It just works,” Rimes, 34, says of her actor husband, 43, whom she wed in 2011.

As for the secret to their marital bliss? It’s simple.

“We respect each other; respect is a big deal, and once you lose that, you’ve kind of lost everything,” she says. “He’s a wonderful father and a really good man. He’s kind to me, and I reciprocate.”

RELATED VIDEO: LeAnn Rimes On Having A Baby With Husband Eddie Cibrian: ‘There’s Definitely Talk Of That In The Future’

Those themes — family, motherhood and, especially, love — informed Rimes’ latest album, out now.

“The message of love strongly comes through this record,” she says. “We were writing about love from many different angles, from giving it, receiving it, to making it to standing up for it. I think my heart is placed very prominently on this record.”

For more from LeAnn Rimes, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.


Indeed, tracks like the country-meets-cabaret standout “Outrageous Love” are inspired by Rimes’ personal life … and a funeral!

“We wrote that song with [producer-songwriter] Toby Gad, who had just gone to a funeral the day before … this is such a weird place to pull a title from a song, but he’d gone to a funeral the day before, and the lady’s husband was up speaking about her, and he said, ‘We had an outrageous love,’ so we used that title, which I can totally relate to,” says the crossover Grammy winner, who met Cibrian in 2008 on the set of a movie before ending their respective first marriages and wedding.

“We definitely brought some of my husband into that one,” Rimes adds of the song with a laugh. “There’s a lot of that on this album. It’s really dramatic, but it’s so fun to sing.”

Another dramatic track is “Mother,” an emotional apology ode to her own mother, inspired by how her perspective has shifted since becoming a stepmom to Cibrian’s boys, Mason, 13, and Jake, 9.

“It’s definitely opened my eyes,” Rimes says of motherhood. “You realize how hard it is to both work and make sure that you’re really present for them. I just adore them; they’re just fantastic.”

So would Rimes and Cibrian like to add more children to their family?

“Yeah,” Rimes says. “I’ve said it a million times, so it’s the same answer! But I’m so busy right now with this [album and tour], and I would want to 100-percent give my focus to that. I’m in such a good place, and I’m growing and learning every day.”

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