The Best Advice Thomas Rhett Ever Had from His Father-in-Law

The "If You Don't, I Will" Moment That Changed Everything

Most Thomas Rhett fans already know everything about his happily ever after. But what about before the after?

For years, I’d heard the story about how Thomas Rhett and his wife of almost seven years Lauren Akins had been in each other’s lives since first grade, but then a new story in Good Housekeeping went a little deeper.

They’d been close childhood pals, yes. But then they grew apart and both moved on. Except that Thomas Rhett wasn’t actually doing any moving on. He still had feelings for Akins as a young adult, and he admitted as much to her dad. “Her dad called me and said, ’If you don’t come over here tonight and tell Lauren how you feel about her, then I’m going to tell her how you feel about her.’

“I was like, ’Well, that would be so weird,'” he recalled.

Hearing that story makes me wonder if Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me” — a song he penned with Shane McAnally, Ashley Gorley and Jesse Frasure — was inspired by that exact phone call. It had to be, right? That song tells the quintessential one-that-got-away story, in the most brutal way. As in, he finally comes to terms with how much he loves her, as he’s sitting in the back pew at her wedding. I remember the night when I almost kissed her/Yeah, I kinda freaked out, we’ve been friends for forever/And I’d always wonder if she felt the same way/When I got the invite, I knew it was too late/And I know her daddy’s been dreading this day/Oh, but he don’t know he ain’t the only one giving her away.

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