It’s easy to look at a relationship online when all the best parts are shown as a highlight reel and think everything is “rainbows and butterflies.” According to Thomas Rhett, that’s not always the case with him and his wife Lauren.
During an interview with The Associated Press, Rhett got candid about the pressure to always be idolized as “goals.”
“Along the way, people would say her and I were ‘relationship goals’ or ‘your love is like rainbows and butterflies,’ and I’m sitting there going, ‘It is sometimes, but it’s also not a lot,’” he explained.
Many of the songs he’s released, including a few on his latest album, Where We Started, were written about the joyous side of his life at home, but others are attempting to reveal the truth.
“On this record, when you listen to songs like ‘The Hill’ and ‘Angels,’ like those are types of songs that I’m trying to find a different way to say, ‘This is not perfect,'” he continued.
Just like every other couple, it takes a lot of work for Thomas and Lauren to maintain a healthy relationship. Rhett has been “waiting on her since the second grade,” according to his song “Life Changes,” so their families spent a lot of time together in their early years. They stayed friends through high school and then college and along the way, they started dating, but even back then they had their struggles.
“Please don’t look at our relationship like it is something that is like unattainable because it completely is,” Rhett explained. “It just takes work. Those songs portray the work we put in. As challenging as it may be to like uphold that like ‘we’re perfect couple,’ I think over the last couple years just embraced that we’re just not.”
Their relationship was never easy, with Akins working on her career as a nurse and Rhett getting started with his music career. They broke up a few times, but eventually solidified their love when they tied the knot in 2012. Now, they have four daughters who get to experience the ups and downs of life with them.
Akins told their love story from start to present in her book, Live in Love. She talked about all the magical moments, but also made sure to include the parts of their journey that were pretty rocky, like when they went to therapy to work through the issues they were having at the time.
“Being able to speak openly about the issues we’ve had in our marriage, how hard parenting is and trying to relate to other parents and married couples out there. That’s been very life-giving for us for sure,” Akins explained.
She revealed that the pressure to the seen as “couple goals” can often get to her too as a result of the fame they have achieved from Rhett’s career.
“I do feel the pressure when people pin us as that couple because it’s just not true,” she shared. “We don’t have a perfect marriage. I love our marriage and I love being married to him.”
With this book, she made it her goal to show both sides of a relationship, giving people more realistic expectations when it comes to having a partner in life.
“We have a really, really sweet life together, but we fight just like every other couple does. We have struggles just like every other couple does… It’s almost freeing for me to be able to share that side of things so people can see that having a healthy relationship is extremely attainable, it’s just not going to look just like everybody else’s.”