Reunions
Young married couple parts ways only to tie the knot again 40 years later
Laura and Paul's marriage didn't work out the first time around. However, four decades later, they finally got their fairytale ending.
Irene Markianou
05.09.22

When Laura Lee Estes was a student at Centre College in Kentucky in the late 1970s, she met freshman Paul Mattingly, and they started hanging out together.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

Although both Laura and Paul were excited about each other and wanted to spend the rest of their life together, it took them some time before they decided to get married.

Over the college years, they spent all their time together because they were just crazy about each other, but Laura wouldn’t date him before they had just finished college.

Soon enough, they then got married and they both thought this would be their “happily ever after” – but it wasn’t.

In an interview with WFAA, Laura shared:

“I thought it was gong to be Cinderella and you kissed and everything worked out magically. And that didn’t quite work out.”

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

“We were just very young, and we didn’t really know how to be married, I don’t think, at that time,” Paul, 64, told People.

Indeed, it seems that at the time they were both too young and they couldn’t fix their problems, so they ended up with a divorce four years later.

However, although they got divorced, they stayed in touch because they simply loved each other, and they could not imagine their lives far apart.

Unsplash - Angelina Jollivet
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Unsplash - Angelina Jollivet

“We were so close,” Laura Lee says. “Paul would always remember our anniversary. He would send flowers. He’s very sweet, very thoughtful.”

Sadly, as the years went by, the two of them started getting in touch less and less often, until they just stopped reaching out to each other.

“As time went on, you just start having that distance,” Lee admitted.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

Only a few years later, Paul got remarried and he had a son, but his second marriage didn’t last either, and he got divorced four years later.

From then on, they both stayed single and the years passed by until something special happened three years ago.

In 2019, Laura Lee, a private therapist, started having second thoughts about her first marriage.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

She knew she had always loved her first husband, and she thought at that point that she just had to give it a second try, no matter how many years had passed by.

So, in December 2019, while driving from her home in Plano, Texas, to her parents’ home in Georgia, she asked Paul to spend some time together.

The two met for dinner, and at that point, they realized that they still loved each other and they just couldn’t spend more time far from each other.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

“It was love at second sight,” Paul told People. “I looked at her and knew it was. I looked her in the eye and I thought, ‘This is it.'”

Only sometime later, Paul asked Laura to marry him again and she said yes.

The couple remarried in February of 2021, and they have been trying to make up the lost time ever since.

YouTube - WFAA
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YouTube - WFAA

“Paul is such a good man. He is kind and sensitive. He’s honest. He loves me. He wants the best for me,” Laura says.

And, while they are both sad that they spent decades far from each other, they kind of know that this was part of a bigger plan.

“Sometimes I’m sad that 40 years had to pass, and yet, I think that’s part of what makes it so extra special right now,” Laura explains.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

What an amazing story! Watch the details in the video below.

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By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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