A US woman has revealed how romance blossomed with her wedding DJ, despite their 23-year age gap, after she divorced her husband.
Megan Willis, 26, from the US, first met her current partner, Mark Stone, 49, in November 2015 at a local restaurant where he was working after as a DJ after being introduced by her sister.
“Basically, our story starts with my sister and a restaurant called The Crazy Tuna Bar & Grill back home in Maryland,” Megan said.
“My sister went to this bar a lot and when I came home to visit from Saratoga Springs, New York, she took me to the Crazy Tuna.
“She introduced me to DJ Mark Stone and his brother who was part owner of the Crazy Tuna.
“Every time I came home to visit we would go to the Crazy Tuna and most of the time Mark was there.
“He was such a people person, so much fun and we loved to goof off with him. Little down the road I got married and my sister hired Mark to DJ my wedding.”
A year into her marriage, Megan was unhappy and felt neglected in her relationship, so she went back home to visit her sister and they went back to the same restaurant where Mark was worked and she found herself opening up to him about her marriage.
“After that night that conversation continued because Mark was having some similar issues in his marriage of 27 years. So we started chatting daily,” she said.
“My marriage ended because I was not fully happy and not getting what I needed out of it. My ex was addicted to a video game that basically became his life and I was basically non-existent.
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“He didn’t want to spend time with me, didn’t want to go out and explore. He counted hanging out as me watching TV and him playing his game with headphones on in the same room.
“I realised that I shouldn’t have to feel non-existent or beg for someone’s attention, so I filed for divorce.”
Megan said that talking with Mark made her realise that she “shouldn’t have to beg my husband for attention”.
“Mark was just a friend yet everyday he took time to check in on me. We both really enjoyed our chats no matter how silly or serious they were,” she said.
“When me and my ex would get into an argument Mark was there to calm me down and just remind me it all would be okay. His support through it all really meant a lot to me.
“Going through something like a divorce you really need to have someone there to support you and to vent to and that’s exactly what Mark was for me and I’m forever thankful for that.”
Mark supported her every step of the way and when it was finalised in January 2018, she moved to North Carolina, where her feelings quickly became apparent.
“I think I realised I’d fallen for him first,” she said.
“Though it was while Mark was still married but separated from his wife it wasn’t something I felt I could act on. I kept it to myself. At this time he needed the support like he gave me and I made sure I was there for him in that way.”
Eight months later, when Mark’s divorce was finalised, he moved to be with her as they had fallen in love.
At first Megan had her doubts as to whether their relationship could work due to their 23-year age gap, but the more time the pair spent together, her doubts disappeared.
“At first I had the ‘oh god are you falling for him?’ thought, and after that it was, ‘can this even work?’ and then, ‘will people think I’m some gold digger?’” she said.
“Being together all negative thoughts went away. I’m an older soul and he’s a young soul so it’s almost like we meet in the middle and it’s perfect.”
Mark struggled to come to terms with the end of his marriage but once he accepted it, he was able to open his heart to Megan who had been his support throughout the divorce.
“I was in a bad place when my ex left me because I didn’t want it and it took me a while to realise it was over,” he said.
“Megan’s support through it all quickly turned into feelings that have grown stronger every day. Once I realised my marriage was over, I opened my eyes to the love I felt for Megan.”
“Me getting over my ex was the biggest issue. It took a lot out of me mentally to accept the end of a 30-year relationship. Otherwise we rarely have any issues we struggle with.”
Mark said he began to fall for Megan after discovering she wasn’t just a friend but a “person who filled your heart and soul with everything that defines love”.
“For me, my siblings, and even my kids, son, 21 at the time, and my daughter, 19 at the time, had reservations about me even getting into a new relationship, much less the age gap, but when they saw me finding happiness again, they all concurred that as long as I was happy, nothing else mattered,” he said.
“Many folks congratulated me on being happy again but I loved the feelings we shared when we started seeing each other as more than just friends.”
Both Mark’s and Megan’s families were accepting of their relationship and were pleased that they had found happiness together.
The pair hope to be able to have children one day once Mark has had his vasectomy reversed and have even picked out their baby names.
“We hope to have children,” Megan said.
“Mark needs a vasectomy reversal to do so.
“He got his vasectomy done 21 years ago so we hope that having a kid will still be an option for us. We already have names picked out, Rhett Michael for a boy and Taylie Mae for a girl.”
Megan and Mark have overheard strangers whispering about their relationship when they’re out in public but they vow to never hide their love and want to encourage other age gap couples that they don’t need to hide away.
“We really don’t care what other people think. We’re happy and our relationship works and that’s all that matters to us,” Megan said.
“Most people whisper something like, ‘do you think she’s with him?’ When we hear stuff like that we just kiss or do something that makes sure it’s obvious to let them know and then we laugh about it. We don’t care what anyone thinks anymore.
“Love is love. Never feel ashamed for who you love. Never hide your love. Embrace it, shout it from the roof tops because it’s the most amazing feeling to love and be loved.
“I hope people see our age gap and the love that we have for each other and for an age gap relationship to be less ‘odd’ and to remove the stigma that if a female is with an older male that she’s with him for money.”
This story first appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission