A husband and wife with a 45-year age gap have defended their relationship, asking the world why they should have to hide their love.
Stefani Walper, 25, and her 70-year-old husband Don have been together for five years, and even have a two-year-old son called Lachlan together.
The couple met at the bar Stefani works at, when Don came in to drink with friends.
Speaking to The Mirror, Stefani – from Armstrong in British Columbia, Canada – recalled: “I loved him like the second I saw his face. It was super weird because everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s like, at least 30 years older’.
“I just thought he was so handsome and he was charming and super flirty. And, I don’t know, it just made me happy every time he came in.”
Don eventually asked her out for drinks, and the rest is history – although that’s not to say it’s been plain-sailing ever since.
Stefani, who was just 20 when she first met Don, who is the same age as her late father, said most of her family have been unhappy about the unusual match.
She explained: “My mom was not a fan at all, my dad was not a fan, my brother was absolutely not a fan as well. So nobody was really on Don’s team.
“I had just turned 20, like just. So I think for my side of the family, they were a little bit like, ‘Whoa, what are you doing?’ They thought I was making a mistake, I got myself into a situation.”
By the time the two married a year and a half ago, Stefani’s family had thankfully warmed to Don, but the couple admitted they still get odd looks when in public.
Don said: “People on the street, they do that second take or third take or whatever it is or make a comment if I have Lachlan out for a walk or something and someone says, ‘oh, grandpa’s got the little boy today’, I don’t even correct them.”
But they refuse to let strangers’ judgement hold them back, with Stefani adding: “We choose, I guess, not to hide our relationship because why would you hide yours? Would anybody hide their relationship?”
She continued: “People always told me: ‘I’ll pray for you, like you’re in a really scary situation, he’s gaslighting you, he’s grooming you, you need to talk to somebody and get help and get out; like you’re in a really toxic relationship’.
“And I was like, all right, so here’s a guy who puts gas in my car when he’s got it, puts gas in our car, he brings me home flowers, he puts cute little sticky notes on my mirror, he rubs my feet or my back every night after work.”
It’s a sentiment Don shares, saying he doesn’t think they should worry about anything other than each other and their son.
He added: “I don’t think we have to prove it, we just show them by living your life the best you can and raise our son the best we can.”
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