Woman marries her teacher with 25-year age gap: 'We don't care what people say'

Monica Foster met the love of her life when she was just 13. The catch? Michelle Foster, now Monica’s wife, was her 38-year-old science teacher.

Michelle taught Monica at school back in 2004 and Monica, a self-confessed ‘teacher’s pet’, couldn’t get her ‘favourite teacher’ out of her head, despite the 25-year age gap.

Sixteen years later, Monica searched on Facebook in April 2020 to see how her former favourite teacher was doing, only to discover that Michelle had been in a relationship with a woman in the past.

Monica had just come out as gay too and the pair decided to meet up in August 2021, becoming close friends before developing a romantic connection.

Michelle even divorced her wife to become a couple with her ‘goody goody student’.

But their relationship has faced its fair share of adversity, with the pair being mistaken for mother and daughter ‘several times every day’.

This didn’t stop them from finding happiness though and, ignoring daily online abuse from trolls, the couple got engaged in autumn 2022.

They tied the knot earlier this year and say they’re happier than ever after a ‘perfect day’ with a private beachfront wedding.

Michelle, a now-retired teacher, from Big Rapids, Michigan, US, said: ‘When Monica first reached out, I was always willing to be supportive of former students, so I was very happy reconnect.

‘As we grew close, I was worried about the age gap and I was worried about how we first met, but I had to let it all go.

‘It’s amazing how fast the year has flown by since our engagement – it’s kind of bewildering. It’s amazing and very surreal – after everything, we know we’ve got this.’

Monica, a school bus driver, said: ‘Our wedding day was so significant to me – I don’t care what people think because they’re not living my life, I am. It just felt so special.’

During her time at school, Monica had gone through a tough situation and recalled Michelle’s supportive classroom being a ‘safe place’ for her when she was younger, which was part of the reason she got in touch.

Over lunch they chatted about their lives and over time they grew to be close friends.

Monica said: ‘We were both in really dark places at that time, and finding someone you can relate to and be vulnerable with felt safe.’

Both Michelle and Monica have children from previous marriages, but have been living together ever since they left their respective partners.

Monica said despite the 25-year age gap, they have a lot in common, having bonded over music, camping, outdoor activities and hunting down locally brewed beer.

While Monica ‘didn’t really have concerns’ about the age gap, Michelle initially struggled with it because of people’s assumptions.

She said: ‘People ask “is that your mum” or even “is that your grandma” all the time.

‘We learned to laugh or brush it off, but if you see me kissing her, why would you ask if she’s my mum?

‘Another question I get asked is whether I loved her when I was 13 – obviously not.

‘At the time, we didn’t have any relationship besides her being a good teacher.’

When they got engaged, they both organised separate proposals for each other so they both had a chance to propose.

Their big day rolled around, and the pair had a tiny beach wedding on June 17 at Suttons Bay, on the shore of Lake Michigan, and they said their vows in a tiny nearby cottage with just a handful of their nearest and dearest.

Afterwards they had a singalong to ‘Good As Hell’ by Lizzo on the waterfront before they ‘cracked a beer in the forest’.

Two nights earlier they had had a separate ‘mini wedding’ with Monica’s children Zeke, seven, and Charlie, five, so they could enjoy the experience too.

Monica said: ‘They still talk about it – Charlie asks to wear her wedding dress and Zeke was wearing a rainbow bowtie.’

After enjoying a relaxing honeymoon in Traverse City, the newlyweds are now back home and ready to relax as wife and wife.

Michelle said: ‘This year has flown fast – we travelled so much this past year. We’re just ready to be home together – I’m ready for some boring.’

Monica added: ‘It’s time to settle down.’

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