A 72-year-old woman finally agreed to marry her boyfriend of 43 years — after turning down his annual proposal for more than four decades.
Colin Jones, 74, and Pauline Young first met in 1976. From that year onwards, Jones asked Young to marry him each year, only to be refused again and again.
But his fortune took a turn for the better late last year, when Young proposed to him. He of course agreed.
“When Pauline asked me, I almost fell off the bed,” Jones said. “I’d been asking her all this time so now she was asking me, I said, ‘Of course I will.'”
The pair have five children between them from their previous marriages and met through a playgroup their kids both attended.
The British couple, who are now husband and wife, lived and worked together throughout their relationship.
For 30 years, they ran a cabinet-making business called Young Jones, which was based in Powys, Wales, and moved to Gozo, Malta, 14 years ago to run a bed and breakfast together.
Jones revealed he has been “floating on air” ever since he first met Young.
“People say they’ve been together years but really they have maybe an hour before work and then they see each other in the evenings — we were always together,” he said. “When we saw each other it was instant, we fell in love — hook, line and sinker. The magic of life allows you to meet people like Pauline. Our marriage was a combination of our 43 years together.”
While their story is a touching one, it is not without difficulties.
The pair have lived apart for the past three years, after Young — who has a rare neurological condition called corticobasal degeneration, which causes slower movements and tremors — moved to a care home in Telford, England, after her health declined.
Jones, meanwhile, has remained in Malta to run the pair’s business, and returns to the U.K. to visit Young every two weeks.
It was during one of these visits last December when she finally proposed to him, while the pair were relaxing together at the home.
They married in a blessing ceremony, which is not legally recognized, at the St. George’s Methodist Church in Telford on Valentine’s Day this year.
They dressed in their best clothes and the bride’s wheelchair was decorated with flowers.
The pair then celebrated with a wedding cake and drinks at her care home.
“I had given up all hope of us getting married,” Jones said. “I thought it would never ever happen.”
He added, “It was a real mix of emotions, I was surprised, I was worried. But we gradually worked through it and now here we are. The service was a blessing ceremony, but as far as we’re concerned it’s a marriage, it’s a show of love.”
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