Thirty years ago, a young couple fell in love and after 25 years of marriage, they are still as together as ever, despite being told their union could never work.
Kris Scharoun (58) and Paul DeForge (54) met at a dance three decades ago, and as Kris said, “I looked into Paul’s eyes and saw my future,” reports Today.
“When they were approaching the five-year engagement mark, they really wanted to get married, so we started to plan their wedding,” said Kris’s sister, Susan Scharoun.
Scharoun has always been an admirer of the couple, explaining how they really define the meaning of true love.
However, many did not support the couple’s decision to get married, believing that people with Down syndrome should not really get married.
“They had a lot of fighting,” said Scharoun. “I saw them as individuals who should have the right to make that decision.”
Finally, the wedding with the presence of 150 guests took place at the Le Moyne Manor hotel in New York.
“Their wedding was a wonderful thing,” Scharoun said. “Kris’s main desire has always been to be a ‘me of awe.'”
Over the last few years, the adorable couple has really enjoyed a life of togetherness. Kris would love cooking for Paul.
They would also often bowl and attend dances together.
Most of all, the couple have stood by each other through thick and thin.
“They have been a role model for unconditional positive regard in a relationship,” Scharoun said.
The Syracuse couple, New York, renewed their vows on August 18, 2018, and Scharoun summed up the couple’s happy marriage at the vow-renewal ceremony.
“They have unconditional love,” she said. “They totally complement each other.”
“He opened up my world,” Kris told The Buffalo News.
Kris has been in the hospital with pneumonia, so they held their ceremony in the hospital chapel.
Paul also suffers from health problems and the couple has been separated because Paul needs special care as he suffers from dementia. Kris, who has type 1 diabetes, can visit him, but the couple is struggling with their situation.
“She is more emotionally vulnerable and he has always been her rock,” Scharoun said. “She would plan what they would do and really be responsible for the social events.”
“We had to tell her he wasn’t going to come back and it became really difficult for her.”
Though Paul suffers from his condition, Scharoun explained: “He recognizes Kris more than anyone else, But, he is slipping away from us.”
The couple is proof that folk with intellectual disabilities can lead very happy and stable lives together.
“Marriage is a universal part of the human experience, and people have a universal desire to spend it with someone they love,” said Erin Sobkowski, a lawyer and officer with 21 Connect.
“They should define their own lives. We should ask them more questions about what they want,” Scharoun said. “They know what is good for them.”