Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman has been happily married to her husband, Stephen, for more than 12 years, but theirs isn't a typical love story. Schlapman fell in love with Stephen while mourning the loss of her first husband, Steven Roads, who suddenly passed away in 2005 from a heart attack. While her romance with Stephen might have seemed like a whirlwind, no one was more surprised than Schlapman.
"I wasn't planning on falling in love, at all," Schlapman admitted. "I didn't want to. I wasn't sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friends. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did. But, he started calling me more than everybody else did [laughs]. 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. 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," she continued. "We still talk about him a lot, and he's totally fine with it. He says that, that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up which is just really sweet."
Schlapman was dealing with so many emotions with the loss of Roads that she struggled to come to terms with what those feelings for Stephen really were, at least at first.
"I was shocked," she recalled. "I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. 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."
Little Big Town, which also includes Phillip Sweet and married couple Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild, will have to celebrate Valentine's Day on the road this year. The group kicks off the Canadian run of their Breakers Tour on Feb. 14 in London, Canada. Find dates at their website.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond