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The Real Reason Garth Brooks Divorced His First Wife


Many fans associate country music legend Garth Brooks with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, as they have been country music's golden couple since 2005. However, before Yearwood, Brooks was married to Sandy Mahl, who played a large role in his early career — here's why the two divorced.

Brooks and Mahl started dating while they were both attending Oklahoma State University–Stillwater, and were married in 1986. Mahl is credited as a songwriter on two of ex-husband's songs and was there for him throughout his early career, but the couple was divorced in 1999.

The divorce was a long time coming, but only Mahl knew that. She spoke of her marriage in the documentary "Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On," and Brooks admitted that he'd learned something from her comments: "[I was] gone so much on the road [during our marriage], there were things I guess she was [trying to tell] me that I didn't hear".

Also, Brooks met Trisha Yearwood just a year after marrying Mahl, and felt like she was his soulmate. However, he stayed with Mahl out of a commitment to his vows, saying, "If we'd gotten married then, either the career wouldn't have been what it was in the '90s or our marriage wouldn't have lasted."