Maria Divina and Robert Warmington's love story may not be the typical one you often hear about. Despite their age gap - Maria being 41 and Robert being 82 - their relationship nevertheless endures.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, this heartwarming story of a Filipina woman and an American man sent social media buzzing.
It was love at first sight, according to Maria. They met in 2007 through a common friend.
Maria is a fine arts graduate from the University of Santo Tomas and a successful entrepreneur in the Philippines. Robert Warmington is a retired oral surgeon and philanthropist.
She recalled that “It was love at first sight,” and that “He is debonair, with a whiff of fresh air. Most of all he is a devout Christian.”
Because of their unusual setup, Maria's parents disapproved of their relationship at the beginning. They even wanted her to call off the engagement. Even Robert's children with his previous wife did not like their relationship. However, the two proved that they are deeply in love with each other and eventually both parties conceded.
“Robert is the love of my life. He makes me lively and safe. I was 33 then and I knew what I wanted,” Maria says.
Maria became Mrs. Warmington on October 30, 2008, in a lavish ceremony in Houston, Texas attended by family members and friends.
Like all other marriages, Maria and Robert have had their fair share of adjustments. There were more factors than age that affected their relationship. They shared that they had problems regarding decision-making and struggled to prevent many arguments from escalating.
“We never really argue over things. Being emotional is a woman’s prerogative, and he would always try to understand and give comfort. The same way that I would give in when I know I’m wrong,” Maria said.
Maria also said that her independence was affected too.
“I was quite independent before I met him so decisions were only made by me with a few consultations with my parents. Being on time was one fault on my end and is hard to change. Filipinos are known for being late most of the time,” she shared.
The Warmingtons are blessed with twins, Ollie and Lexie, who were born on April 28, 2010. Maria shared that she is a hands-on mom with their children. She prepares their food and even drives them to school.
Their family stayed in Thailand for some time while they also traveled to various countries together. The couple wanted to expose the kids to different cultures in order for them to grow up appreciative of diversity.
Meanwhile, Maria admits that she cannot dismiss the fact that they are not getting any younger. She said that she is readying herself for what will happen in the near future.
“Given his age, it is always the norm that he might be the first in line. Whatever it might be, life has to go on. I have to prepare myself to be a one-parent to my twins, giving them the proper upbringing they deserve. No spoiling but full of love with an iron hand to keep their path straight. The same upbringing that my parents gave to me,” she said.
Maria foresees the time that the twins are already in their college days and Robert might not be around for them anymore. She is teaching them to be independent this early so that when the time comes they will be prepared.
She also gave advice for those couples who share the same story they have.
“Go for someone who understands you, encourages your strength and accepts your weaknesses. No judgment. Maturity comes with understanding and acceptance. Just be yourself, know what you want and be satisfied. Life has full of surprises, and you never know until you take it and do the plunge. Then love blossoms.” Maria said.
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