Edna and Simon at their home in Weston-Super-Mare (Picture: SWNS)
While successful relationships come in all shapes and sizes, studies show that a large age gap can increase chances of divorce and marital problems.
This couple, however, have defied the odds, celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary despite a 40-year difference in age.
Edna Martin, 87, and Simon Martin, 47, met when she was 69 and he was 31, at a concert. They say it was ‘love at first sight’.
The besotted duo from Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, still don’t care what strangers think, celebrating the milestone by dining at a local fish and chips restaurant, where they exchanged romantic gifts.
Despite initially getting strange looks and comments in their local community, the pair say their secret to a lasting marriage is going out on adventures every day.
Simon said: ‘We still go out together and walk hand-in-hand on our wheelers because we both struggle with our mobility.
The couple on their wedding day in 2005 (Picture: SWNS)
‘We have actually inspired other people in age-gap relationships to take the next step and get married.
‘Our friends and acquaintances have always been happy for us but of course we just ignore any weird looks and comments.
‘Love is love and everyone should ignore what anyone else says. Age is a state of mind, if you feel old, you are old.’
Edna, a retired engineer, said: ‘We are still very much in love and keep our relationship alive through our little adventures.’
It was at a concert 18 years ago that the couple’s first adventure began, and they say they haven’t been able to keep their hands off each other since.
Edna’s son is 57 and her grandchildren are older than Simon, but their loved ones support them and passers-by no longer pass judgement.
They say their secret is going on adventures together every day (Picture: SWNS)
Simon is a retired organist but continues to woo Edna with his musical prowess.
Before moving in together, however, he had never had a girlfriend before, and lived in Birmingham.
They initially had to be long-distance lovers, but couldn’t bare to be apart so moved in together after a few weeks later.
Simon’s family took a while to come round to the age gap, but supported it after seeing how happy Edna made him (Picture: SWNS)
Although Simon’s family took some time to adjust to the age gap, as soon as they saw how happy their son was, he says they no longer cared.
Edna’s family have always been supportive of their relationship and watched the couple wed on July 8, 2005.
Edna said: ‘My daughter made our wedding cake and my son gave me away.
After 17 years, Simon till woos Edna with his musical talents (Picture: SWNS)
‘He said at the wedding reception: “I’ve been wanting to give my mother away all my life and this is the day for it.”
‘My son is 57. My grandchildren are more the age that Simon is, but nobody takes any notice.
‘The people where we live are very warm and friendly – they’re not very judgmental, not that it’s anyone’s business.’
Edna and Simon are going strong, despite detractors (Picture: SWNS)
The pair never shy away from public displays of affection and find it hard to keep their hands off each other.
Edna said: ‘When you love each other as much as Simon and I, it’s reasonably impossible to keep your hands off each other – let alone other bits of your anatomy.
‘We often have a little kiss in the supermarket queue or pinch each other’s bums.’
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Simon added: ‘We’re very lucky we still enjoy a marvellous physical relationship.
‘It’s really wonderful that we can express our love publicly – not for other people, but for ourselves.
‘It’s very rare to see a couple of any age giving each other a loving peck or showing their affection.’
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