A woman who is 26 years younger than her 71-year-old husband has opened up about the abuse they receive, saying some people often mistake him for being her father.
Allison, 45, and her husband Ben Hornsby have been together since 1998, and despite society’s acceptance of progressive views on love, they still face judgment from others.
In an attempt to challenge the societal taboos surrounding significant age differences in relationships and showcase the strength of their own marriage, the happy couple set up their own Instagram page to “show the beauty of a strong marriage”.
However, their online endeavors to combat prejudice were met with a barrage of abusive comments when they offered glimpses into their private lives.
Allison said that even teachers at their children’s school have mistakenly assumed that Ben is her father and the grandfather of their five children.
Allison said: “I feel like people assume age gap relationships are shallow and that we couldn’t be truly happy.”
The mother-of-five went on: “We have received some abusive comments on our Instagram posts. We get inappropriate messages, mostly from men, with older men offering to my sugar daddy.
“Younger men offer me to be a side piece. Obviously, this is offensive – we have a very healthy marriage. We share small parts of our life on our Instagram account to show the beauty of a strong marriage.”
She explained that even some of her friends and colleagues didn’t agree with their relationship, with some even going as far as making fun of Ben for getting a younger woman.
However, the couple don’t let other people’s opinions get in their way, saying the criticism is far outweighed by the love and support they get from those closest to them.
They have said they work hard to ignore the negative attention they get, focussing on raising their five children instead.
Allison said: “Ben retired in 2010 which has allowed him to be present and available to help raise our family.
“During the time he worked as a mailman, he would take his lunch at our house and change diapers, or help me with the kids.
Ben added: “Our biggest challenge has been raising our five children. Having triplets and twins is a lot of work.
“Raising five children together has been somewhat overwhelming, but we do it together.”