We’ve long thought that country star Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins, author of the New York Times best-seller, Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes, had a beautiful marriage. Now, thanks to a new episode of Akins’ Live in Love podcast in which she invites her husband on-air for an open-ended discussion about their union, we’re even more in awe of the couple.
In the podcast, facilitated by podcast host Annie F. Downs, the two speak honestly about their marriage, from their struggles with making time for each other and pet peeves, to being parents and the role faith plays in their love story, showing us many facets of their life together. At the end of the hour-long discussion between the couple, we were particularly struck by both of their responses to the query Lauren Akins poised of “what does it look like to you in our life today…to live in love in marriage?”
Rhett’s answer just about melted our hearts. “I think living in love in marriage, and at least for you and I – and I pray this over everyone listening who is married, or dating, or would like to be married one day – I think vulnerability is so key,” begins Rhett, adding that he doesn’t believe the cliché that it’s easier for women to be vulnerable than men.
“To allow yourself to be vulnerable with your wife is about the most manly thing you can do….I think being extremely confessional with your wife, I think you’ll be surprised about how she will take that because I think I lived in fear for so long about being 100% vulnerable or saying exactly what I meant knowing that it probably was going to tick her off a little bit,” he continues. “I think that living in love in marriage is like being on the same page of vulnerability with each other and being as honest as you possibly can be because there’s no way that they can understand you if you’re beating around the bush,” he adds.
Akins affirms what Rhett said and shares some thoughtful musings of her own. Speaking about how she once had the tendency to answer Rhett’s questions – whether it was over what to order for dinner or a trip he wanted to take with his friends – inauthentically to her true desires, she said, “my words back to him wouldn’t be 100% truthful. They would be maybe what I wished I felt, but they wouldn’t be exactly what I felt. And so I would release him to go out somewhere with his friends or go on this hunting trip or say ‘no you didn’t hurt my feelings, I’m fine’ [when my feelings were hurt].”
Fast forward to some years later, and she believes she’s in a much better place with that. “Letting your yes be yes and your no be no, we’ve really worked hard…I do feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I’m able to say ‘you know what, I’m going to be sad if you go on this hunting trip but I know that you need this for your heart and I trust that you’re going to let me go do something with my girlfriends when I need that,” she explains. “I’m allowed to feel what I feel but in that same moment allowing yourself to serve your spouse and let your spouse do things that you know are good for them but might not be something that you would choose to do or that you want in that moment. It’s a selfless decision letting them go do something that maybe I wish he wouldn’t, but in the same way he does that for me now too. And I think putting yourself behind your spouse in those moments.”
Listen to the full podcast on Spotify below. To go to the part of the conversation discussed here, go to the 50:30 mark.
What an honest and heartfelt conversation. With baby girl #4 on the way for Rhett and Akins, we can’t wait to see this family’s life in love continue to grow.
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