A man has hit back at trolls who have accused his 25-year-old wife of using him for money and says his family and friends do not accept their relationship.
Joop Evers, 69, and his wife, Rona have lost family and friends in their fight for love.
But the couple insist that money has had nothing to do with their relationship and that they are just like any other couple.
Joop, originally from the Netherlands, now lives in his wife’s hometown, Bacolod, Philippines, where their relationship is widely accepted.
But Joop, who is divorced and with two children from his previous marriage, says his family do not accept Rona because of her age.
Joop Evers, 69, and his wife, Rona, 25, have lost family and friends because of their relationship
He said: ‘In the Philippines age gaps are highly accepted, but I don’t have contact with my family and a lot of friends anymore because they don’t accept my relationship.
‘When I told them about my relationship, they just refused to accept my wife because of how young she was.
‘I’m a divorced man with two children already so it was a big change, but this is my life and they chose not to accept it.’
People have accused Rona of using Joop for a ‘green card’ and for money, but he insists that is not the case.
‘Age is just a number and I know that people think this is for a Green Card or for money, but Rona has never asked for money unless it is to help other people who are in desperate need,’ Joop said.
‘This is a real love story, not an attempt to get money or a Green Card. It’s true love, I know people won’t believe it, but there’s so much love and understanding between us.
‘She doesn’t want a Green Card, you read a lot of people want them to go to the US but I’m from the Netherlands, we don’t have them there.
‘We don’t care what people think or say, it’s our life and we are really happy together. It’s no problem for me or Rona, she is happy to have an experienced partner that is in balance and loves her the way she is.’
People have accused Rona of using Joop for a ‘green card’ and for money, but he insists that is not the case
Joop, who is divorced and with two children from his previous marriage, says his family do not accept Rona because of her age
The pair met when Joop sent Rona a message on Facebook after he noticed her whilst on a trip to the Philippines to visit his brother and his wife.
The lovebirds then chatted over text before she eventually flew over to meet him in person.
He said: ‘I used to travel a lot to the Philippines because I worked for a worldwide call centre organisation, I also visit my brother and his wife there, so I know the country well. So, we connected through Facebook, we had mutual friends.
‘We started to chat four years ago, when we finally met, she flew over and it was a huge culture shock for Rona because the Netherlands is so different to the Philippines, I know the people and culture of the Philippines, but she had never been to Europe, so it was a nice meeting but a lot to adjust to.
Joop also claims that people are ‘jealous’ of their relationship and says that they often get stared at when out in public together.
Joop, originally from the Netherlands, said that his family refuses to accept his new relationship because of how young Rona is
The pair met when Joop sent Rona a message on Facebook after he noticed her whilst on a trip to the Philippines to visit his brother and his wife
Rona says that her family support their relationship and says the large age gap is ‘a lot more normal’ in the Philippines
‘If we go to shopping malls, we get a lot of stares because she is so young, but she dresses differently to other Filipinos too, I think it all just comes from jealousy,’ Joop said.
‘I’m on an age gap relationship group on Facebook and there are always people that are jealous who comment things about us being together.
‘Everything that has been said to us comes from jealousy, but we’re happy. It’s a better life for her but it’s also a better life for me.’
Rona said: ‘My family have been so supportive of our relationship. Obviously, an age gap is a lot more normal in the Philippines, so they have always supported us no matter what.
‘I don’t care what people say about us, I love him very much. We are good people; we love and care for people and just want that love back.’