A woman who gets mistaken as her husband’s granddaughter, or even his nurse, says they’re “happier than ever” and are looking forward to having children – despite the 55-year age gap.
Alexis Tadlock, 24, from Arkansas in the US, said that husband Charles, 79, is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
The young woman who is a funeral director, first met Charles and his wife Kathy at church in 2015 in their hometown of Sheridan in Arkansas.
When Kathy passed away, aged 77, in September 2017, Charles apparently became very sad and lonely, and Alexis began hanging out with him, the pair becoming very good friends.
Alexis said: “We first met back at church when he used to attend with his wife, Kathy. She and I were good friends, and I was very sad when she passed away.
“I never had much to do with Charles, but one day I saw him sitting alone at church and he was crying.
“I went to comfort him, and we talked for ages. We became good friends after that, and we would go do things together and just hang out.
Eventually, I think we became dependent on each other and my feelings really started to grow the more time we spent together.
“But I never thought anything could happen between us. I tried to set him up with an older lady, but he flat out refused to even go on a date.
“Then he asked whether I wanted to go meet a younger guy. But I just couldn’t imagine ever leaving him and finding a younger man.”
After a year of friendship, Alexis said she began developing feelings for the retired school principal Charles – despite the age difference of more than half a century.
She said she was over the moon to find out Charles felt the same way and he proposed in October 2018.
The young funeral director said: “One day, he told me how much he missed me. I asked him if he ever felt that way towards anyone else, and he said, ‘only my wife’.
“We admitted our feelings towards each other, and our relationship just blossomed from there. I was over the moon when he popped the question and we got married just two months later.
“He is the best husband I ever could have asked for and we love each other deeply. We’re very happy.”
The couple wasted no time and were married just two months later.
The newlyweds said they have faced backlash because of the age gap, with Alexis admitting that at first her friends and family had “mixed reactions” to the news of their engagement.
She reported that while most were happy for them, she said others were ‘totally against it’.
The 24-year-old added that the couple does attract stares from strangers, but that she and Charles do not let the age gap deter them from public displays of affection.
Alexis said: “When I told people about Charles and I getting married, a lot of my friends said if he made me happy then I should go for it.
“Most were very supportive, but I did have some people who did not agree with it at all. They became very hateful towards me.
“Usually people think I’m his granddaughter. Or they’ll think I’m his nurse or carer.
“I am generally the one that tells people that we’re married, and often they don’t really know what to say. They looked very shocked.
We don’t make a big deal about it. A lot of people in age gap relationships feel that they can’t hold hands or stay close to each other because of what others will think.
“But we don’t act any differently in public. I’ll kiss his cheek and we’ll hold hands.
“I’ll lay my head on him and just act like no one is there. I really don’t care what others think.”
She added that she does feel saddened by the fact that she does feel sad at times as she knows her husband is likely to die before she will.
But she said that having a baby would “keep a part” of husband Charles with her forever.
Alexis added that she has always wanted to be a mother and will not let negative responses stop her from trying with her soon-to-be 80-year-old husband.
She said: “A lot of people get angry because they assume that Charles can not give me children due to his age.
“But that is not true at all. We’ve gone for tests, and it’s actually me that has some fertility issues that we’re working on.
“We want to have a baby. I’ve been told I’m selfish if I have a child with him because they might grow up without a dad.
“But when he dies, I’ll have nothing of him. I need something from him to carry with me throughout the rest of my life.
“There is no other place I’d rather be right now and there is no one in this world I’d rather be married to.”
The 24-year-old added that Charles treats her better than men she dated in their twenties.
She said: “Charles treats me better than any guys I’ve dated in their 20s. He has old-fashioned values and is a true gentleman.
“He is the best partner and is perfect for me. There is not one thing about him that I would change.
“We love each other deeply and make each other happy every day. That’s all the matters.”
Charles, whose two grown up children are aged 48 and 54, said: “There are some old people that have young souls, and some young people that have old souls.
“I feel much younger on the inside. The age difference doesn’t affect our marriage.
“No matter how old you are, everyone still needs love.”