When Margaret Price’s marriage broke down suddenly after 25 years, she was left battling shock and grief at the loss of not only her partner, but also the future she’d always imagined for herself.
But in an incredible turn of events over a year later, she fell in love again – this time with a man 24 years younger than her. Now, in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60, the 69-year-old gran has revealed how she’s never felt happier with her loving second husband, 45, while sending a powerful message to anyone who chooses to judge an age gap like theirs.
Margaret was with her previous husband for over 30 years and married to him for 25 of those, so their sudden split turned her life upside down. Suddenly faced with a future as a single mother of two, she never imagined moving on in the immediate aftermath of the split.
However, over a year later on a night out with her brother, Margaret met Warren who was 27 at the time. While she immediately knew he was younger than her, he lied and told her he was in his 30s.
She never had reason to question it at the time, seeing it simply as a friendly exchange and believing she’d likely never see him again.
“He just started chatting to me in this bar and I said, ‘Do you know me, you keep staring at me?’ He said, ‘No, but I’d like to’,” she recalled.
“We left it at that. I had a hairdressing salon in the town and on the Monday night I was coming out and he came in to the salon to get a haircut. I thought, ‘Oh My Goodness that’s the young guy I met the other night’.”
The grandmother-of-five added: “He just chased me and chased me until he actually got me to go out with him. I actually thought it was ridiculously pathetic at first! I couldn’t believe it.”
Margaret only found out Warren’s true age once they were in an official relationship and by then, they’d already fallen for each other.
While many children would struggle to accept their parent falling for someone so much younger, especially as Margaret’s oldest daughter is a year older than Warren, her two adult kids accepted the relationship instantly – seeing how happy their mum was.
“They knew I’d met somebody younger, but when they met Warren they just liked him straight away. He’s got a really great bond with them,” she said. “My granddaughters now call him GG, ‘Grandpa Grump’, after the eldest named him that. He growled at her one day for running around on a boat and he was frightened she would fall in the water!”
Luckily Warren never wanted children himself, but he has managed to enjoy a father role with Margaret’s grandchildren – who are a similar age to what his own kids were likely to have been, if he had had any.
“He’s really bonded with my grandchildren. He’s more a father age really, the little one – she’s five – loves Warren, she follows him everywhere!” Margaret said fondly of her husband.
While Margaret’s children were right behind her marriage, Warren’s mother had more trouble accepting her son’s choice of life partner – believing their older relatives would be “disgusted” by the union. However, she has luckily since come round.
“I thought, I’m happy, Warren’s happy, so I’ll go with this,” Margaret insisted. “If for any reason he thought we were too old or wouldn’t last, he’d be free to say so and do whatever. But he’s the one that always says, ‘No, I’ll never leave you, I love you too much’.”
Margaret said it’s Warren’s honestly that she loves so much, adding: “I have no qualms about how genuine he is because I just trust him with my heart really – I know he’s not going to hurt me.”
Living in a small town together, the couple have experienced little judgement over their 24-year age gap. In fact, the most awkward situation they’ve encountered was Margaret being mistaken for her husband’s mother once.
“It was funny because one of the masters of one of the ferries near our town said to Warren one day, ‘I saw you out with your mother the other day’. Warren said, ‘She’s not my mother she’s my wife’,” she recalled.
“He was more embarrassed than Warren was! But that’s the only time we’ve had any comment. I know I look that much older than Warren, but he doesn’t see it like that – he doesn’t see me as old at all. He sees past the wrinkles and things that don’t bounce anymore! He looks straight past that.”
On the rare occasion she sees someone judging an age gap like her own, Margaret has a powerful message, insisting: “Don’t be so judgemental. How do you know it won’t happen to you or one of your family one day? I would never have dreamed of it happening to me!”
Margaret – who has now been married to Warren for 14 years – now takes each day as it comes and doesn’t focus too much on the future. She said: “It stands to reason that it will probably be me that goes before Warren, but you never know.”