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“I fled the UK after splitting from my mate’s brother – then married him 24 years later”

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A Brit who moved to the US to get over her childhood sweetheart revealed her plan didn’t work out after the couple got back together and married 24 years later.

Amanda Piper split from her childhood sweetheart Jonathan at the age of 18 after a two-year relationship.

The couple had grown up alongside Jonathan, now 52, ​​and his family, who lived alongside Amanda’s grandparents in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire.

In fact, as a child, Amanda had been best friends with Jonathan’s four sisters.

But after the young couple split, Amanda, now 49, moved to Arizona, USA, in 1991 to put the relationship behind and “try something different.”

Amanda got married and had three sons, although she stayed in touch with Jonathan’s mother and sisters, she ended all contact with her ex.







In fact, Amanda had been best friends with Jonathan’s four sisters
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After the young couple separated, Amanda moved to Arizona, USA
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As Amanda’s marriage fell apart, she thought about Jonathan and how she “needed a man like him who could make her laugh.”

Jonathan – who was divorced and had a daughter from a previous relationship – added Amanda as a friend on Facebook out of the blue in October 2015.

The couple started talking and instantly rekindled their love before tying the knot in Las Vegas when he flew in for a visit the following August.

After eight years of marriage, the couple couldn’t be happier and believe they were “always meant to be.”

Amanda, a supervisor from Peoria, Arizona, USA, said: “I don’t think you ever forget your first love – at least I didn’t.

“Sometimes I look at him and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it’s you.’ We were always meant to be.”







After eight years of marriage, the couple couldn’t be happier
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Jonathan, a butcher, said: “We’d wasted enough time apart – when I flew to the States I knew I wanted to marry her.

“Now or never”

Amanda used to spend every weekend with her grandparents, Dorothy and Edward Coulthard, at their home in Middlesbrough.

She was best friends with Jayne Piper, now 48, who lived next door and knew her family well — including her brother Jonathan.

The couple only considered him “Jayne’s older brother” and never spoke to each other until Amanda was about 15 and she “first really noticed him.”

“We started dating when I was about 16 — he was my first love,” Amanda said.







“We started dating when I was about 16 — he was my first love,” Amanda said
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After two years together, the young couple separated when Amanda was 18
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“I used to see him every weekend when I was with my grandma and grandpa and I would go to his stepdad’s butcher shop after school to see him. He made me laugh so much.”

After two years together, the young couple separated when Amanda was 18, and Jonathan met someone else and “moved on.”

Deciding she wanted a change, Amanda decided to make the big move to America and flew to Arizona in 1991 at the age of 19.

“I wanted to get over him and do something new,” Amanda said.

“I just needed a change.”







Amanda separated from her then-husband in the early 2000s
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Amanda stayed with her aunt and uncle, Marilyn and Steven Tullock, now 70, and two cousins, Clare, now 42, and Stacey, now 44, who were already living in the United States before meeting a man and getting married just a year later .

The couple had three sons – Marcos, 29, Alex, 28, and Adam, 26 – and Amanda was very proud to have taken charge of her life and followed her American dream.

Unfortunately, their relationship began to fall apart, and she separated from her then-husband in the early 2000s when their sons were young but continued to live together to co-parent their children.

“It was tough, but we did it for the boys,” Amanda said.

“I was waiting for a sign that it was time to move out – and that’s when Jonathan texted me.”







Amanda received a friend request from Jonathan Piper in October 2015
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Amanda received a friend request from Jonathan Piper in October 2015 — 24 years after the couple last spoke.

“I thought I needed a man like him in my life, someone who would make me laugh – and then he showed up. It was like destiny,” Amanda said.

“It was surreal, but it was like nothing had changed.”

Amanda flew back to the UK to see Jonathan in January 2016 before returning the favor and flying to Arizona in May.

He stayed as long as his tourist visa allowed – three months – before the couple decided they had wasted “enough time apart” and wed on August 13, 2016.

“I just knew I couldn’t let him go this time,” Amanda said.

“Our families flew over to celebrate and we went to Vegas to get married. It felt surreal but like the stars had finally aligned.”







Amanda flew back to the UK in January 2016 to see Jonathan
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With the help of lawyers, Jonathan was granted a green card to reside in the United States, where the two still live happily eight years later.

“Sometimes he sits there and watches TV and I’m just like, ‘I can’t believe it’s you,'” Amanda said.

“He’s laughing, but it still feels special after all this time. You have to trust your heart.”

“I never imagined living in America, but you do it for love,” added Jonathan.

“I took a risk texting her after all this time – but luckily it paid off and we still felt the same way. I have never forgotten her.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/i-fled-uk-after-splitting-27085958 "I fled the UK after splitting from my mate's brother - then married him 24 years later"

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