When Tom Crutchfield met his now-wife Stacey, he tried to stay away from her despite their attraction. Mostly because he was 66 years old at the time and Stacey was 33.
Stacey, a former medical professional, wanted a new career and came to work on Tom’s reptile farm in Florida, U.S, where the pair met.
She had initially contacted Tom through Facebook in 2010 when her iguana needed help, but it wasn’t until several years later when she came to visit.
Despite Tom thinking Stacey was too young for him, the relationship grew from a close friendship to a romantic one.
Four years later, Tom, now 70, and Stacey, now 37, decided to get married.
Their 32-year age gap, despite being an issue when they first met, doesn’t bother them anymore, even when they’re mistaken for having a granddad-grandaughter relationship.
Tom, a retired professional herpetologist, said Stacey moving into the farm from her medical career in Connecticut is the best thing to happen to him.
(Picture: Adam Gray / Barcroft Media)‘We know we won’t have as much time as some others would have together, but we will make the best out of whatever time we have,’ said Tom.
‘There is only one way to live and that’s a day at a time. I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not living enough while I’m alive.’
But the pair revealed they didn’t feel an instant attraction but grew to be closer over time.
‘We kind of fell for each other over a long period of time,’ said Tom.
Stacy continued: ‘First we were kind of against it because of the age difference, we kind of tried to shy away from it.
‘But we really, really liked being with each other and we started to have feelings and after a point, we just said “why fight it?”‘
Tom works on a reptile farm where he met Stacey (Picture: Adam Gray / Barcroft Media)They now spend almost all day together, working with the thousands of reptiles on the farm, some of whom boast a famous profile, having been used in Indiana Jones films.
Working together and living together can be a bit much for some couples, so Tom and Stacey have separate bedrooms and share one when they want to.
Their families are getting used to the idea of their relationship, including Tom’s eldest daughter who is 11 years older than Stacey.
Stacey’s parents, both of whom are younger than Tom, also had some reservations at first but eventually warmed to the idea.
Though their families are now on board, they still get judgmental comments and assumptions from strangers.
(Picture: Adam Gray / Barcroft Media)‘We had a lady come up to us once and start hitting on Tom,’ said Stacey. ‘She said: “you have such a beautiful grandaughter”.
‘People mistake Tom for my dad quite a bit but I have just learned not to care what other people think. I’m not going to let them ruin the love of my life and being happy.’
Tom and Stacey are enjoying their time together on the farm and say they have never been happier.
‘What really makes the difference is with whom you have the relationship, not how old they are,’ added Tom.
‘Stacey is beautiful inside as she is outside. She has a wonderful heart, she loves animals, she loves people, she loves helping other people, she means no harm to anyone and I love her a lot for that and she loves me.’
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