Lauren Akins on How Therapy Helped Her Marriage With Thomas Rhett (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Lauren Akins is getting candid about her and Thomas Rhett's marriage. The famous couple have been married for almost eight years and share three adorable daughters: 4-year-old Willa, 3-year-old Ada and 6-month-old Lennon. While they seem like the perfect Instagram family, Akins details in her new book, Live in Love (out now), that making her marriage work was hard at first.
"I had a mental breakdown. I don't know what you want to call it, but I had a moment where I was like, 'I'll tell you what, I'm not OK and I think I'm about to take it all out on you. I'm not sure if a lot of it's your fault, but it's coming at you, buddy,'" Akins divulged to ET's Rachel Smith. "It was one of the worst fights we've ever had. And I said things that I wish I hadn't said, but I think it was coming from a place of me not feeling safe anymore and me feeling alone, which I feel like it's just the theme of what so many people can relate to."
Akins added she basically told her husband that she needed him to be more supportive in their marriage. "We chose to do life together. I want you to do this with me, but I feel like we're having to try to do your life with you because his world is so demanding," she recalled telling the country crooner.
Live in Love covers everything from her and the singer meeting in grade school and growing up in Georgia, to marriage and struggling with fame. As for what helped them get through their difficult times, Akins said it was God and therapy that helped their relationship.
"I'm such an advocate of going to counseling and going to therapy. We actually, at first, went to premarital counseling before we got married, and the things we learned about each other and about relationships, all of it was amazing," she shared. "We realized how much we didn't know, and I feel like the same theme throughout our relationship has been like, the more clear we can be in communication and the more open we are in communication, the better our relationship gets."
"It has shaped our marriage and taken it to a place that I believe it wouldn't be at without counseling," she noted.
Rhett's 2015 hit "Die a Happy Man" changed both of their lives. The song stayed at No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart for eight weeks, making him one of country music's fastest-growing superstars, while also bringing Akins to the spotlight after she starred in the music video.
"It was wild. I was extremely uncomfortable with it at first," Akins admitted. "It was just like, this is not my vibe, this is not where I'm trying to go with all this. I was like, 'I'll support you doing this life, but don't bring me into it' was kind of my attitude at first."
"What came after was definitely not something that I was trying to get out of it," she said, before adding, "I laugh now because obviously I've got a book coming out, and now I'm doing a lot of the things in my world that were in his world that I was saying were driving me crazy. And now here I am doing it too."
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and with many tours canceled, Rhett and Akins have been spending more time together with their daughters at home. It was a complete change of pace for Rhett, Akins said, adding that "he's gotten used to it now."
While they have been enjoying their time together, Akins also touched on the possibility of expanding their family, telling ET, "Not super soon, but I think I would be sad if someone said you won't have any more kids, because I love all of my babies."
"I love being a mom and I think we wanna adopt again, and I think we will try to have another biologically. I don't know," she added. "I hope in like five or so years we will have added to the family, but we'll see. We'll see what happens."
Meanwhile, Akins and Rhett continue to be involved in One Love International, their friend Suzanne Mayernick's organization, which provides access to life-saving medical care for children in Uganda. They adopted their daughter Willa from the country.
"It is one of the most fulfilling projects and organizations and life experiences that I've ever been a part of, and the people I've met through it [are] incredible," Akins reflected. "It is one of my favorite things I've ever done in my life."
As fans start getting their hands on Live in Love, what would the mother of three want people to get out of her new book?
"What I hope to do is kind of tear down these walls of seemingly perfection," she noted. "I want people to see that Thomas Rhett and I fight just like every other couple. Our kids are hard, just like everybody's kids. And decisions we made to get to where we are, some of them were really hard."