Bob (60) and Sue (64) Lechner met in January, 1982 when Sue was a single mother raising her young daughter. Bob says, “We were friends. I used to come over and read books to [her daughter], clean out the gutters in her house. I’d just try to be a good guy.”

Sue adds, “At some point you wanted to be more than just some nice guy.”

Sue and Bob Lechner in their home in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2015

A few years later, Bob’s wrote Sue a letter, in which he expressed his desire to be romantically involved with her. When asked about the current whereabouts of the letter, Sue says it’s probably in a box – they’ve moved three times and raised three children since that time.

The letter is a symbol of a turning point in their connection: their decision to make it a partnership rather than a friendship. Sue tells us that the letter told her that Bob, “wanted to take the relationship over and above and beyond … besides moving us on, it moved us into a physical relationship.”

When asked why he wrote the letter, Bob says,

We were both pretty busy people but I recognized we worked well together … 3 quarters of the boxes were already ticked when I talked to her about getting hitched. I knew we’d be compatible, we had just decided not to be intimate – we weren’t sure if we were physically compatible until I wrote the letter.

They were married in September of 1985.

They both state separately that their relationship was and is easy – and that they wanted to have children together. Bob tells us, “I wanted a family, and I was lucky enough to have a very nice family with Sue.” When asked what Bob likes about her, Sue says, “Oh my! Probably my joie de vivre? And I think he appreciates that I’m a good mom.”

Conversely, Sue likes Bob in part because, “He’s so laid back and so calm and so cool – not that I’m not – but I can be a little more excitable – of course – I’m an actress with a flair for the dramatic!”

Did you meet your partner later in life? What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome to merge your lives?

Tell us about it a comment below!

Daniel is a founding author of How Love Lasts.


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