When they met, she was just 16 years old and he was a 54-year-old divorced dad of three.
Nicola, now 29, and Joe Philpot, 67, often get mistaken by locals for grandfather and granddaughter.
According the Daily Mail, when they fell in love, the 38-year age gap caused a huge backlash from their families and led to Joe, who is a grandfather, being branded as a pedophile.
Despite major obstacles, Nicola and Joe are still together after 13 years of marriage and proud parents to Felicity, 12, Cody, 8, Thomas, 10, and Lilly-Rose – who was born 11 months ago.
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Both of them insist they still have an active sex life, even though Joe suffers from angina and arthritis.
“Even though Joe’s more than double my age, he’s so full of energy,” Nicola said. “He might have 10 teeth missing and a bit of a pot belly, but he’s absolutely gorgeous to me.”
Nicola, of Chigwell in Essex, England, met Joe when her bicycle broke down on her paper round one day, the Mirror reported.
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“My friend Robert helped me finish then took me round to his Uncle Joe's so he could fix my bike. I'm so glad I went,” she said.
“He seemed fun and would play my favourite 60s music like the Bee Gees. I knew I wanted to be with Joe – it didn’t feel weird, it felt right.”
Nicola moved in with Joe just two weeks after admitting their feelings for each other.
She gave birth to Felicity one year later and a year after that the couple tied the knot.
“A lot of people didn’t agree with our relationship. When we first went out, people would call Joe names – like paedophile,” Nicola said.
“My family stopped talking to me and all but one of Joe’s children cut all ties with him. It caused a huge rift but I’d never been so happy in my life.
“It was upsetting that I didn’t have the support of my family but Joe and I were just a normal couple in love and we wanted to be together no matter what.”
She added: “Mum still doesn’t approve and I hardly speak with any of my family now. I don’t see what their problem is.”
The full-time mother said she and Joe have a perfect family.
“Joe’s a great dad and still has plenty of energy to play with them,” Nicola added. “He’s young for his age and I tend not to think about what will happen in the future.”
“I’m just as in love with Joe as the first day I met him-we now hope to save up money to renew our wedding vows very soon.”
“If people disapprove of us, it’s their problem, not mine,” Joe said.