For Clive Bunden and his wife Brenda, from Warrington, Cheshire, the story has been a twist from the regular.

The couple who have now been married for more than three decades and happen to be living happily, despite the fact that Clive was married to Brenda’s daughter Irene in 1977.

Bibian Anekwe news learnt that they have been married 13 years and are still blissfully happy, despite the unconventional way they started their relationship.

Brenda, Clive Blunden’s wife used to be his mother-in-law.

At the start of their relationship, he was arrested when he asked her to marry him, but they made history in 2007, when the law was changed.

He was told there was a “lawful impediment” to marrying his mother-in-law and warned he could be jailed for up to seven years if they went ahead with it.

However, the law was changed some years after and they got married.

According to them, many at first were not comfortable with their unusual coupling, but its been more than 10 years and they have no regrets.

“People thought we wouldn’t last but we are stronger than ever,” Clive said

“We’re together 24/7 and there’s a magic to it.” Brenda, 77, added:

“Clive is a gentleman and he looks after me. I can get a bit argumentative but he quietens me down.”

According to Brenda, she wasn’t even a fan of Clive when he got together with her daughter Irene, adding that she disliked him the moment she saw him.

Clive and Irene married in 1977 and had daughters Sarah and Tanya before divorcing in 1985.

Four years later, Clive and Brenda began dating in secret.

“We fell in love,” said Brenda.

“One night, he took me for a drink and we ended up kissing.”

Because Brenda’s first husband, Richard, had passed away and Irene remarried, they wrongly assumed they would be free to wed.

Instead, they had to settle for Brenda changing her surname to Clive’s by deed poll.

But this wasn’t good enough for the smitten groom-to-be, who began campaigning for the 500-year-old law to be altered.

“I thought we should be married because we had been through everything together,” he explained.

“We were being stopped unfairly. I didn’t think it was right, so I wanted to change it.”

It was 10 years before a European court ruled a ban on in-laws marrying was a violation of human rights.

“I remember when we heard the news on the TV, in September 2005,” said Clive.

“I went down on one knee straight away and proposed to Brenda. I had tears in my eyes.”

On March 17, 2007, they got married at the same place where Clive had married Irene 30 years earlier.

The majority of their families, including Irene, did not wish to attend. Only one distant relative sent them a congratulations card.

Brenda said: “Our families didn’t come because they didn’t agree with it. But all we cared about was being with each other.”


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