While significant age gaps in relationships are often met with criticism, confusion and even disgust by many in society, a British couple is breaking stereotypes and winning fans by talking candidly about their 40-year age difference.
Simon Martin is 44 years old and is married to Edna, 83. The pair appeared on This Morning in the United Kingdom in celebration of their 14th wedding anniversary. The couple originally met in 2003 at an organ concert, with Edna describing it as “love at first sight”.
“It’s better than it was then,” she told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
The couple admitted that they took the significant age difference into consideration and saw each other on and off for some time before getting serious. Edna explained the couple talked for 10 days about whether they had a future together and if she was being fair to Simon.
Her husband’s main concern was whether marriage would be too much for Edna, given she had been married in the past.
“Neither of us was looking for any kind of relationship, so it just happened,” Simon said.
Eventually, the couple knew they had something real and wed during a lavish ‘30s-themed ceremony. Still, that hasn’t stopped others from judging the couple.
Read more: How does an age gap affect your marriage?
The pair explained that Edna’s family were fine with the relationship from the start but that Simon’s parents weren’t initially impressed. Edna also recalled being judged when she and her husband were out and about by a group of older women, but they shrugged it off because they’re happy.
They also said they don’t shy away from public affection and encouraged people to show their emotions more. The pair joked that they pinch each other’s bums in public and that locals in their town have welcomed them with open arms.
“We go to sleep holding hands and we wake holding hands,” Edna said.
The couple also discussed the future of their relationship and Edna confirmed she’s put plans in place if the worst happens. She said it was her love for Simon that pushed her to start planning for when she dies.
“I wouldn’t want Simon to be in danger or hurt or distressed or alone more than he had to be,” she explained. “I wanted to legally take as much care for him as I could.”
Edna also explained that Simon has a serious of health issues and it’s more than likely that she will outlive him.
Elsewhere in the interview, the couple said they thought their relationship survived the test of time because they “can’t really be without each other”. They also keep a spark in the marriage with art and plan on doing naked drawings in the future.
“We can’t believe how lucky we are,” Edna gushed. “I cannot function without Simon. He’s in my head, he’s in my heart and I adore him.”
Viewers at home were delighted by the couple and flooded This Morning’s Facebook page with well-wishes for Edna and Simon.
One fan said: “They were the sweetest couple and both so happy together. Good luck to them.”
Another comment read: “They look really happy and in love. You can tell they absolutely adore each other. Good luck to them. Their relationship has nothing to do with anyone.”
A third added: “A couple that love each other, what’s the problem? At least it’s not a story of sadness. As long as they are happy I wish them all the best.”