After tying the knot with Amber Cochran over the summer, Brantley Gilbert is a happily married newlywed. Gilbert and Cochran's relationship, engagement and wedding came on the heels of the singer's painful, and public, breakup with fellow country artist Jana Kramer, but Gilbert says that he wouldn't trade a minute of his struggles, because they led him to finally find true love.

"For a long time in my life, I was dead set on not getting married and not going through all that. I was just single for life," Gilbert told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "After [dating Kramer] -- not that there was anything wrong with her; she’s an awesome person -- but when something like that doesn’t work out, that was something I swore I was only going to do once, and that was close enough, and I was done."

Fortunately, Gilbert says, a force bigger than him was already at work, and it didn't take long for him to realize that he wasn't ready to give up on true love.

"When Amber came back in the picture, when she walked around the corner, it wasn’t a choice. There wasn't anything I could do," he recalls. "It was like, ‘Well, all that 'single for life' s--t just went out the window.’

"She’s always had a very, very, very big piece of my heart, and I think that had a lot to do with why I never could give a lot of myself away," Gilbert adds (the two have known each other for years). "With her, she’s my best friend, too, so finally having somebody to actually share all of this with and somebody that knows me very well, that I can vent to and that can vent to me ... There’s nothing like having somebody that loves every single bit of you, and that you love the same way, to actually really share it with."

The Georgia native acknowledges that Cochran is a special person, who has endured plenty to make their relationship work.

"She respects the fact that it is a broken road, not to quote Rascal Flatts," Gilbert boasts. "All of that stuff that I went through, and all these other relationships, did get me back to her. And I learned a lot. Every time something went wrong and didn’t go right, I learned, and it made me better for her.

"I still got a lot of work to do. I got a lot of learning to do. I think both of us do together," he continues, "but I think that’s part of growing, and probably what I’m having the most fun with ... It’s been really cool."

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