What's the secret to a happy marriage?

"Stay away from each other a lot!" jokes Reba McEntire, who's been married to music mogul Narvel Blackstock for more than 20 years.

"No, I'm just kidding," Reba continues, in her exclusive interview with The Boot. "Narvel and I got married in '89 ... I was not a good a communicator when we first got married. I would sull up and wouldn't talk to him. And he [would say], 'Alright, what's the problem?' I said, [fake crying] 'You didn't remember three years ago ...' And he said, 'That's the problem? That was really silly; that wasn't that big a deal.' So what I've learned is when you're having a problem and you're mad, get it off your chest. Say it then, because once you say it and it gets into the light, it's not that big a deal."

Reba and Narvel have a 19-year-old son named Shelby. Borrowing a line from a new tune of hers, '8 Crazy Hours (in the Story of Love),' we asked Reba how she answers the question, "Should I be more friend than Mom?"

"That's hard," Reba answered. "You go over the line every once and a while and become a friend ... But I've had to tell Shelby several times, 'I'm not your buddy. That's not my job; my job is to protect you, teach you so that when you go out into the world, I can sleep at night.' Being buddy up to a line is OK, but mainly that's not our job."

Reba, Narvel and Shelby are celebrating the impressive debut of her new album, 'Keep On Loving You.' It debuted at No. 1 on both the Top Country Albums chart and the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, selling more than 96,000 in its first week.

The Boot will have our entire interview with Reba this Friday (Sept. 4), along with her live performance of four new songs from 'Keep On Loving You.'