The old saying, “Love will find you when you least expect it,” is one that individuals hear time and time again. As many believe romantic feelings don’t spark accidentally, Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman thinks otherwise.
The hitmaker has experienced the ancient motto first-hand when she unexpectedly fell in love with her friend turned husband, Stephen Schlapman. It was 2005 when the powerful vocalist was mourning the loss of her first husband, Steven Roads, who suddenly suffered a heart attack.
While navigating the dark time, the songstress started to lean on friends and family for support. Naturally, the “Girl Crush” singer began to depend on the ones who made her feel safe, seen, and heard….her go-to person? Stephen Schlapman.
In a Valentine’s Day-centric interview with Universal Music Group, Kimberly revealed that she “wasn’t planning on falling in love” and “didn’t want to.”
“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,” she recalled. “He was just an old friend. We had known each other for about six years, and he started calling me just like everybody else did.”
Kimberly continued to mention that it was easy to open up to Stephen, as he had experience with tragedy and loss. Stephen knew Roads quite well, and while putting the pieces of their broken hearts back together – they bonded.
“We had both been through similar losses,” Kimberly shared. “He hasn’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.”
Following numerous phone calls and long venting sessions, the chemistry between the two started to blossom. At first, Kimberly declared that the swirling feelings inside made her nervous and triggered her to overthink.
“I was shocked,” the Grammy Award winner acknowledged. “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.’”
After time spent struggling with her internal battle – the passionate feelings trumped her doubt, and they ended up being too strong to brush off.
“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,” she said.
Once the two made it official, they tied the knot in 2006 and got pregnant with their first daughter Daisy Pearl, shortly after. Kimberly told PEOPLE that she couldn’t have kids with her first husband. Therefore, she believes Daisy was a gift from him.
“When we got pregnant on our honeymoon, it was just the most incredible gift,” the singer said to the publication. “I believe that my first husband, who was in heaven, I believe he begged God, ‘Let’s give her what she’s always wanted for a wedding gift.’”
In 2016, the happy couple adopted their second daughter Dolly Grace. The family still struggles with the loss of Roads but tends to speak freely about their feelings.
“We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it,” says Kimberly to UMG. “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.”