In this sentimental cut from his fifth studio album, Garth Brooks is happy with his life but can't help but reminisce over a former flame every now and then.
When Brooks came to Nashville in the late '80s, he started working for Bob Doyle's publishing company. Doyle, who became Brooks' manager, paired him with Buddy Mondlock, a songwriter/musician from Chicago. At the time, Brooks was also working at a boot store called Cowtown Boots to pay the bills. During a slow shift, he got to thinking about an old girlfriend and jotted down some verses. He read them to Mondlock over the phone, who then came up with the melody and a bridge.
Mondlock recalled in Brooks' 2017 book, The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years: "I really liked it, because the guy in the song acknowledged the real connection they'd had but without wishing he had her back again. He was happy with his life now."
The original chorus was slightly different:
I love my wife, and I'd never trade
between what you and me had for the life I've made
When Brooks' producer, Allen Reynolds, heard the demo, he suggested changing "I love my wife" to "I love my life" to make the song more universal.
Mondlock also wrote the folk tune "The Kid," which appeared on his debut album, On The Line, in 1987. It was also recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, and Art Garfunkel, among others.