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Fergie, Josh Duhamel

Rachel Murray/WireImage

By Hollywood standards, Fergie and Josh Duhamel have been together practically forever. By which we mean nine years.

But cast your mind back to just nine months into their then-fledgling marriage, when the Black Eyed Pea and the actor were racked with tabloid tales of alleged indiscretions on Duhamel's part. And while today he's the very picture of a doting hubby, Fergie sat down with Oprah Winfrey and discussed just how troubled those early relationship waters were.

"It was difficult," she said during her sitdown on Oprah's Next Chapter, airing this Sunday on OWN.

"When you go through difficult times, it really makes you stronger as a unit, as a partnership. It does for us, anyways. Our love today is a deeper love, definitely."

And trying as those early times were, Fergie nonetheless credits them for helping bolster the subsequent strength of  her marriage.

"We're stronger today definitely because of anything difficult that's happened with us," she said. "We deal with it, we communicate; communicating's the most important thing."

That, and keeping the spark alive, which, even nearly a decade on, doesn't seem to be a problem for this twosome.

"Obviously I love to watch her perform and I love all the music, and I was attracted to her initially because of...how sexy she was and the hotness," Duhamel, who joined Winfrey and his wife in the sitdown, said.

"But we haven't been together for nine years because of that. It's because she's, you know...we grew up in very similar ways, you know?

"We've both had to work for what we got. We're both Catholic. There were a lot of things that were really compatible between us. But at the end of the day, she's just an amazing girl."