A married couple who have lived in separate houses for their entire 20-year relationship have finally decided to move in together.
Claire Burke, 54, and her husband, David, 48, from Bradford, have now taken the plunge but believe having their own space has only strengthened their bond.
“I liked the feeling of not having anyone to answer to and felt like I had achieved so much by having my own house, I was nervous about losing that,” admitted Claire.
“Neither David or I had lived an independent life before and we felt like we both needed that.
“I didn’t ever want to become the nagging wife, and living separately meant we avoided arguments that most couples have.
“It just worked perfectly for us.”
The couple, who have been married for eight years, have now bought their first home together in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, after firefighter David was offered a crew manager job there.
Do you have a similar living arrangement to Claire and David? Let us know at email@example.com
But it wasn’t an easy decision to move in together – it took months of weighing up the pros and cons, before they decided to go for it.
The new job meant a bigger salary for David and the couple preferred the idea of sending their son, Jay, 12, who has Down syndrome, to school in Wetherby.
However, house prices were more expensive than Bradford, and they even considered one buying a property and one renting.
Then David put his house on the market.
After it sold, Claire, an NHS administrator, was sent into a panic but put her’s on the market too to see if there was any interest and it sold within six hours.
“It just seemed like everything was pointing us in the direction of moving in together in Wetherby, so we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. It just felt right,” said Claire.
Earlier this year, they finally moved in together and admits it’s been “brilliant so far”.
“We don’t regret it all and we think it really was the right next step for us after all these years.
“I have been surprised at how unbothered I am by David’s little quirks that I thought would annoy me.
“Such as him leaving his underpants on the floor or not rinsing the bath after he has used it.”
She said the slower pace of life in their new town has suited the family.
“It has brought us closer than we have ever been and it has changed me for the better,” added Claire.
However, the couple do still enjoy their own space and have separate beds.