Colin Jones, 74, and Pauline Young, 72, first met in 1976. From that year onwards, Colin asked Pauline to marry him annually, only to be refused again and again.
But Colin’s fortune’s took a turn for the better late last year, when Pauline proposed to Colin – and he of course agreed.
“When Pauline asked me, I almost fell off the bed. I’d been asking her all this time so now she was asking me, I said ‘of course I will’.”
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Both married before, the pair have five children between them from their previous marriages, and met through a playgroup their children both attended.
For 30 years, they ran a cabinet-making business called Young Jones, which was based in Powys, Wales, and later moved to Gozo, Malta, 14 years ago to run a bed and breakfast together.
Colin revealed he has been “floating on air” ever since he first met Pauline.
“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.
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“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 Pauline – who suffers from rare neurological condition Corticobasal Degeneration, which causes slower movements and tremors – moved to a care home in Telford, UK, after her health worsened.
Colin, meanwhile, has remained in Malta to run the pair’s business, and returns to the UK to visit Pauline every fortnight.
It was during one of these visits last December when Pauline finally proposed to him, while the pair were relaxing together at the home.
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They married in a blessing ceremony, which is not legally recognised, at the St Georges Methodist Church in Telford on Valentine’s Day this year.
They dressed in their best clothes, and Pauline’s wheelchair was decorated with flowers.
The pair then celebrated with aa wedding cake and celebratory drinks at Pauline’s care home.
Colin said: “I had given up all hope of us getting married, I thought it would never ever happen.
“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.