When Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman fell in love with her husband Stephen Schlapman, she was heartbroken. She’d lost her first husband, Steven Roads, to a heart attack and Stephen was one of many friends who reached out to her in the days that followed. She wasn’t planning to fall in love, nor did she want to, and so it came as a surprise when she did.
“We had both been through similar losses, he hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that,” Kimberly said. “I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief, I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time.
“I was shocked when I first realized that I was having feelings,” she continued. “I just thought, ‘OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird.’ But, eventually I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”
Fellow Little Big Town members Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild were also surprised when they fell for one another. They had been together as a band long before any feelings surfaced between the two who are now married with a young son.
“I think there was always something underlying there that we were trying to ignore,” Jimi said. “Then when the opportunity came, when all of us ended up single at the same time — a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways — those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, ‘We’re single. Let’s get together.’ She has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”
Phillip Sweet is also happily married to his wife Rebecca. He’s grateful he experienced so much of life, both ups and downs, before the two crossed paths.
“Everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca,” he said. “It was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her. Now it’s been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”