Deana says that it was her husband's ginger beard and hair that made her fall in love with him. For Gareth, it was love at first sight.
When you mix equal parts of honesty, respect, trust, and understanding with gallons of love, you get the perfect recipe for a successful marriage. Sometimes couples find it difficult to keep their love alive for years but Gareth and Deana Tobias have been enjoying each other's company for 28 years!
You might think what's so special about the duo. Well, both Gareth and Deana have Down's Syndrome. They are also the longest-married couple in the world with this syndrome. They have been inseparable ever since they met as teenagers in a local community, reported The Sun.
11 years after falling in love, the two married in 1992, at a church in Penrith, Cumbria with just 50 guests. It was quite an intimate event but extremely special for the two. Just like all married couples, they did experience some hiccups but their love for each other made everything else seem too small.
Recalling the early days of meeting Gareth at the community center, Deana said, "He was 17 and I was 19. I thought he was nice and he liked me because he thought I was good looking. We got engaged when we were on holiday in Blackpool, it was on my birthday and it was me that proposed to him, but I knew he wanted to get married."
"We are together all the time except when he is at work and we have lots of laughs and we look after each other. He teases me about having tennis elbow because he says I've never played tennis," she added.
While talking to Metro, 58-year-old Deana said it was Gareth's ginger hair that attracted her to him. "I thought 'he’s ginger.' I like gingers. He had a beard at the time as well. A red one. I’m ginger as well."
Gareth, on the other hand, revealed that he was a ladies' man before he met his love. "Before I met Deana I had three girlfriends." However, when he met Deana, it was "love at first sight" for him. "I chose the right one, and that’s Deana," said the 56-year-old. When the couple was asked how they kept their love intact over the years, Gareth replied, "I put up with Deana and she puts up with me."
Gareth, who works at Morrisons, said that he's a working man who enjoys his job but "when I'm not working we go to the club together and play dominoes. I like a pint of bitter and Deana has a Wkd Blue. We're very happy together," as per The Sun. The adorable couple has lived in Penrith all their married life with a community that loves them thoroughly.
Lorraine Heyworth, 60, who is a stewardess at Penrith Conservative Club, says that Gareth and Deana are a "really inspiring, lovely and loving couple and we've become very close to them." During the lockdown that happened due to the pandemic, Lorraine brought cooked meals to their home to let them know "we were there for them."
She added that they are a couple who "love a drink - in moderation - a game of dominoes and if we have a singer on they'll get up and dance. They're so nice together, but like any other couple they have their arguments, we've seen a few tiffs and rows over the years but they always make up. I suppose that's what a long marriage is all about."
Gareth's sister Julie Titterington, 50, revealed that the two are quite independent, and "Gareth likes to be able to look after them by working, that's very important to him." Even though they used to travel a lot in their youth, "as the years have gone on they do a little bit less than they did... but they still lead a very full enjoyable life and are very happy together after 28 years of marriage.”
Congratulating the couple on their 28th marriage anniversary in September 2020, a spokesperson for the Down’s Syndrome Association said that in the 1990s it was hard for couples who have Down's Syndrome to get married. Now, with a little bit of guidance and support, “couples who have Down’s syndrome can live the same independent, full and rewarding lives as anybody else, and we as an organization are always here to provide help along that journey.”
Gareth's mother Anne Tobias told Metro back in 2019 that the couple was overjoyed on the day of their wedding. She divulged, "They were absolutely wonderful, they thought it was magical. They did the song from Dirty Dancing, where the woman runs up to him and he lifts her up. So Deana ran towards him and he lifted her up. Then everybody got up and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone."
Anne added that even though her son is a good man, he does have some bad habits like smoking cigars but Deana doesn't mind. "I still love him. Look at him now, he’s like an old man." How adorable is that?
We wish them all the happiness in the world.