An Arizona woman has spoken of how she met her husband – who is twice her age – through her best friend: his daughter.
Taylor Lehman, 27, from Phoenix, met her now-husband Kern, aged 54, five years ago, through his daughter Amanda, 30.
Mrs Lehman, who claims the couple are often compared to Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas as a result of their age gap, says the relationship threatened to ruin her friendship with Amanda.
Happy families: Taylor’s husband Kern, 54 left, is also the father of her best friend Amanda, 30, pictured right with 27-year-old Taylor, pictured center
Mr and Mrs Lehman hit it off five years ago, and despite both being in relationships, their attraction was immediate.
Mrs Lehman said: ‘When we first met, I worked with Kern’s daughter, she was my best friend and he was married at the time. I was also in a relationship.
‘At first I thought he was very handsome. I have always been attracted to older guys. He thought I was cute, and we started flirting at a bar.
‘Amanda and I had been friends for a year before I got with her dad, so I did have a lot of guilt and felt bad at first.
‘But over time I have gotten over that. She knows I will always be there for her in her life and problems.
Out of the woods: Mrs Lehman, pictured with her now-husband at their joint bachelor and bachelorette party, says she did not expect their fling to turn into marriage
Perfect match: The couple from Phoenix, Arizona, met through Mr Lehman’s daughter Amanda, and properly hit it off when Mrs Lehman was just 22 years old
Perfect day: Mr and Mrs Lehman, aged 27 and 54, are pictured at their wedding in 2017
Speaking of the first stages of the couple’s relationship, Mrs Lehman said: ‘We found out we had a lot in common, but I don’t think either of us expected we would get married. We thought it would be a rebound thing for us both.
‘But, we hit it off, we like the same music and are both old souls. I fell in love with him for his personality, it made him so attractive to me.
‘He is fun, outgoing, we both like to party, and he was charming. I appreciate his age, wisdom and also, the security we have as a couple.’
Mrs Lehman said they are more commonly compared to Zeta Jones and Douglas than they are confused for a parent and child.
‘We’ve only had one experience of people confusing our relationship, it was when we closed on our California home, the notary said, “Your daughter can fill this out or sign here”‘ and we started laughing and Kern told her, “she’s my wife”, and the notary felt stupid.
‘At the beginning my parents were kind of concerned, my mom was upset that this was my friend’s dad, but they know I’ve always dated older men.
‘But time heals everything though and my mom, dad and step mom have visited us and are all fine with it.’
Modern make-up: Mrs Lehman, left, had been close to her now-husband’s adult daughter Amanda, pictured right, for a year when she fell for him
Strong friendship: Both Mrs Lehman says their friendship initially suffered when she started dating her husband, but that they now all holiday together
Lookalikes: Mrs Lehman says people compare them to celebrity couple Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas who also have a significant age gap
Mrs Lehman, who married Kern in a romantic ceremony in Cancun, Mexico last year, says it took a while for her to get used to strangers staring at them.
‘When we first got together I was very insecure, I felt everyone was staring or questioning us, but that was only because it was new.
‘People stare at us, but I think it’s because when we are both dressed up we are a good-looking couple.’
With an age gap of 27-years between them, the couple have had to speak about the possibility that Kern could pass away before her, which Mrs Lehman admits she struggles with.
Taylor said: ‘We met with a will attorney, it’s something not a lot of mid-20s women have to deal with and it’s pretty hard.
‘But who knows what will happen. Tomorrow is never promised. I could go first tomorrow by a freak accident or anything.’
Feeling content with the lives ahead of them, the pair are due to celebrate their second wedding anniversary in May.
Adventures: Mrs Lehman says the couple bonded over their love of travelling and music
Out and about: The couple are pictured on one of their beloved trips to enjoy nature
Mr Lehman said: ‘Taylor has a great sense of humor, is vivacious and an old soul. She also has a huge heart and is fiercely loyal. Also she is my best friend and is very easy to talk to about anything.
‘I didn’t really have any reservations, and whether Amanda realizes it or not she was largely responsible for our meeting.
‘Neither Taylor or I really expected it to develop into what it did at the time.
‘When it did, my attitude was that I’ve done a lot for my children, but choosing my mate is not within their purview.’
Mr Lehman advises others in age gap relationships to ignore people who look down or judge their love.
He said: ‘If it makes you happy and you click, it’s nobody’s business but yours and if people want to be judgmental the hell with them. Leave them in their glass house.’