Marriages are difficult to sustain. We are constantly seeing couples breaking up, and this is not surprising, given the stresses and tensions which are often deep-seated.
There is a strong feeling of disapproval that it will be difficult for people with special needs to marry. For instance, it is generally believed that people with a condition like Down’s Syndrome cannot even take care of themselves, so how will they take care of other people.
Maryanne and Tommy Pilling are the first couple with Down’s Syndrome to marry in the U.K. They were harshly criticized when they got married in an Essex church 20 years ago. Most people believed that their relationship wouldn’t last and that they shouldn’t marry. However, they proved that their love is stronger than anything, celebrating their 22nd anniversary in 2017.
Back in 1991, Maryanne and Tommy met and dated for more than a year before Tommy proposed. Celebrating 22 years of marriage is a great achievement and they received admiration from millions of people worldwide.
To celebrate their anniversary, they re-enacted their wedding dance. While many people attended the ceremony, the couple danced as if it was only them in the room.
“My wedding was the best day of my life. I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes,” Maryanne said.
“Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend,” she added.
The couple lives independently in their home, but Maryanne’s sister Lindi Newman and her family live next door to help out. Their relationship is getting stronger and stronger, proving that their marriage was a wise decision. They are more than grateful to all people believing in them, especially Maryanne’s mother who always supported their decision.
“Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl and that’s exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day,” Maryanne’s sister explained why her mom agreed to her sister’s marriage.
According to Ms. Newman, couple’s marriage and true love offers a positive statement.
“When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement but in a good way. Some people stare, they assume people with Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties can’t get married. But we also get so many lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story,” she said.
“People worried about their own children or grandchildren with Down’s Syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy’s story, hope that their children can also fall in love and live happily ever after,” she added.
Lindi manages a Facebook page dedicated to the couple which chronicles their life full of photos showing how they spend their time. Millions of people are sending them messages to wish them well.