Love can happen at the most unlikeliest of times between two of the most unlikeliest people. Because the heart wants what it wants when it wants it, the heart usually wins. And when the love is great? Then it surely can’t be ignored. In some cases, the love between these two “opposites” is worth fighting for—despite a family’s, or even country’s, opposition.
As we (and Pat Benatar) can attest: Love is sometimes a battlefield, so it’s always reassuring to hear how love conquers all in the most adverse circumstances. At the end of the day, we all want to feel respected and valued by our partners, and if we can be with someone who accomplishes this while curling our toes and pushing us to explore ourselves outside of our comfort zone? Then it truly is a relationship worth having, and perhaps, fighting for.
Here are four examples of real life unlikely couples who, despite the odds, made their relationship work.
Richard and Mildred Loving
Richard and Mildred Loving’s relationship epitomized their surname. Their was a simple yet monumental relationship that, ultimately, wiped away the last of America’s segregation laws. Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman, were arrested in 1958 for marrying each other. According to Virginia Law, where they resided, they had violated the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which forbid interracial marriage. Fortunately, a local judge allowed the Lovings to flee the state to avoid prison time. They lived in exile with their family in D.C. for five years until Mildred took their case to the Supreme Court, which unanimously determined the prohibition was unconstitutional, allowing the Lovings, and other interracial daters, to finally love without fear.
James Carville and Mary Matlin
James Carville and Mary Matlin are probably one of the greatest examples that a Democrat and Republication can marry and make it work. Sparks literally flew between them throughout the 1992 Presidential campaign. In Bill Clinton’s corner: Carville, aiming for George H.W. Bush. On Bush’s team? Matlin, who was trying to bring down Clinton. Though they had met a year earlier, they put their romance on hold during the campaign. When Clinton won, they admit it made their relationship “complicated” for a brief period, but love ultimately won out. As Matlin once said, “I was struck, stayed struck, am struck,” So what do they fight most about at home? Air conditioning.
Mary and Stephen Lindoff
Stephen and Mary Lindoff first met at a school for the deaf in Montreal when they were eight and nine years old, respectively. Both were born deaf, and after a bout of tuberculosis at age six, Stephen was left mostly blind. They eventually parted ways, and wouldn’t meet again for another 20 years when they fell in love and married. Eventually, Mary would also lose some of her sight. Though they have never heard each other’s voices and Stephen hasn’t seen Mary’s face clearly, they know everything about each other. Due to their disabilities, the couple relies on touch to communicate, including tactile spelling, and because they have missing senses, their sense of touch is extremely heightened. Meaning? “The sex is good,” Stephen told the Toronto Star.
James Costello and Krista D’Agostino
An example of tragedy spurring a true love story is that of Boston Marathon bombing survivor James Costello and nurse Krista D’Agostino. A photograph of Costello staggering away from the explosion became an iconic image of the tragic day of April 15, 2013. He underwent several surgeries for his injuries and recuperated at the Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital where he met Krista. They were engaged by that December when Costello wrote on his Facebook: “April 15 was one of the worst days of my life. I soon wondered why and for what reason this has happened. I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy. It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.” The two married the year after.