Age gap love: "I left my husband for a man 23 years my senior"
Pete and I met in 2001. He was 61 and I was 38.
This December we'll be celebrating 14 years of marriage.
When we met, we were both married with children and tried to stay with our partners, but we quickly found that our love was too strong for us to be apart.
At the time, my parents found the whole situation very hard to deal with – not because of his age, but because I was going to get a divorce. They were both raised with a strong faith and were opposed to the idea.
Adding to the fact that we were both married at the time, Pete was my boss, which meant this relationship was frowned on by many people around us.
Through all of this, we quickly found out who our true friends were and in time, my parents and family grew to love him. His children welcomed me into their family, as my son welcomed Pete into ours.
Over the years, life has been great to us. There have been minor problems but in all, there was nothing we couldn't work through together.
I never once thought that I would marry an older man, but it's true what they say, you can't help who you fall in love with.
My husband still keeps very good health and now, at almost 77 years of age, has only recently retired. I am often told that Pete doesn't look his age and he often points out how lucky he is to have such good genes.
Overall, the age gap hasn't been an issue in our relationship. A few years ago he got hearing aids, but that ended up being a relief for both of us.
Pete and I enjoy cycling while he also enjoys socialising and doing crosswords, which he says will prevent dementia. He is on no medication and hardly visits a GP. In fact, he refuses to even get the flu shot.
Recently, we have moved to a small town where we live mortgage free and are retired. Thankfully, I am lucky enough to piggy back on Pete's pension due to his age so we now spend all of our time together doing things without work getting in the way of our day.
While we have similar interests, we also do things on our own to keep our independence. We both volunteer at different places, he attends Tai Chi every week, while I enjoy walking regularly.
For our future, our plans are to make the most of each day with each other, enjoy some travel and keep well.
Having previously worked in aged care for many years I am aware of what is coming. I'm certain that is still a long way off yet but when it comes, I'll be by his side to see him through those tough times.
Life is good with Pete, and we laugh, love and live each day together.
Written by Mary-Anne Evans. Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz.