Country Couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton Dish on Their Romance

10/08/2008 at 06:20 PM EDT

Country Couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton Dish on Their Romance
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
Frederick M. Brown/Getty
The secret to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s successful three-year romance? The country stars don’t always get along.

"We just pick on each other all the time. But I think we have one of the strongest relationships that I've ever seen," Lambert tells CMT Insider.

"We can make it, being away for weeks at a time," she adds. "We have arguments on the phone, but five minutes later, we're saying, 'I love you,' 'See you in a week,' whatever it is. We really just are best friends."

When the couple aren't on the road – they kicked off their first tour together Oct. 3 – both live in Oklahoma, six miles apart.

"There's nothing easy about having a relationship doing what we do," Shelton, 32, tells the TV show. "But we just decided that as miserable as we are together, it's way more miserable when we're apart."

Explains Lambert, 24: "We have … an antagonistic kind of fun, competitive relationship. It's all fun, though. We really respect each other so much."

They also trade favors: Shelton babysits Lambert's dog Delilah, and she does his laundry – although admits she recently turned a few of his trademark plaid shirts pink "on accident."

So is marriage in their future? Although they've been together for three years, it "feels like 20," says Shelton. "I don't see me without her. Ever. I'll tell you that."

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