Couple Divorced for 50 Years Decides to Remarry

Leah Hickman | Contributor to | Thursday, April 5, 2018

Couple Divorced for 50 Years Decides to Remarry

Even though the world is filled with stories of separation, we serve a God of second chances. And, sometimes, he gives us a picture of this aspect of his character even in stories of everyday people. One such story comes from a Kentucky couple who has chosen to remarry fifty years after their divorce.

According to this article at Today, Lillian Barnes and Harold Holland of Lexington Kentucky were first married in 1955 at the respective ages of 16 and 20. After five kids and thirteen years of marriage, “the marriage crumbled” and they divorced in 1968. Harold puts the blame on himself and his busy work schedule. “It was 100 percent my fault,” he told Today. “I just left her with too much to take care of.”

Both Lillian and Harold remarried different spouses after their divorce but “remained friendly for the sake of their children.” Their daughter remembers their diligence in being present for family events and major milestones in their children’s lives. “If there was any tension,” she said, “we didn’t know it.”

Lillian’s second husband and Harold’s second wife both died in 2015. In 2017, the couple reconnected at a family reunion. That led to a Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family followed by phone chats. Then they started dating. Three months later, they were engaged.

Harold recalls, “After a couple … months, I just asked her if she’d like to do it over. She said, yes she would…. We tolerated each other and talked all those years, but I guess deep down there was always that first love. It was always there.”

Their children have taken charge of planning the details of Lillian and Harold’s wedding. One of their 17 grandchildren will be officiating the ceremony.


Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She freelances for and has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/jacoblund

Publication date: April 5, 2018