Keith Urban has successfully recovered from his vocal cord surgery, and is back singing and talking with ease, after being forced to stay completely silent for three weeks. But while the silence may have been challenging for the singer-songwriter, his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, says it was also a blessing in disguise.

"All of those things make you closer," she tells W magazine. "It was sort of profound: to go without his voice, and then to finally hear his voice. What if he sounded different? I was there for his first words, and then we cried. How many people experience their husband's first words? If that doesn't bring you closer, you're not breathing."

The Oscar winner admits there were also some lighthearted moments during Keith's recovery as well. "Three weeks of no sound -- no laughing, no coughing, no sneezing, nothing," she shares. "He could write things down, and he would scribble away. You can still fight when someone can't talk. When he disagreed with me, he would write, 'This is unacceptable.'"

Whether he's speaking it or writing it, Nicole says she always feels Keith's unwavering support. "My husband says I'm raw," she reveals. "He thinks the world is not a great place for me because he fears that I'll be hurt. He says, 'That's my job: I'll protect you.'"

Nicole will have plenty to celebrate this weekend, when her husband becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, April 21. The invitation, which was a surprise to Keith, was kept secret by his adoring wife, who had surreptitiously marked a friend's birthday party on their calendar for that date, so he wouldn't make other plans. Tickets for the Opry show are still available and can be purchased here.

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