Vicar left homeless after buying Romanian husband a flat in Bucharest then getting dumped days later
A vicar who married a Romanian model has been left homeless after he was dumped just days after he bought him a flat.
Retired reverend Philip Clements, 79, married Florin Marin, 24, after they met on a dating site.
He then sold his home in Sandwich, Kent, to buy a flat in Bucharest, which he put in his husband’s name.
But just days later they had an argument and have now broken up, leaving Mr Clements relying on friends for a roof over his head.
They married in April and things started off well, but he felt isolated in Romania where he had few friends and couldn’t speak the language.
Mr Clements said: ‘We went off in April and we had a great time. We used to go out to the cinema and shopping. He makes me laugh. We’d laugh a lot.
‘I came over to England for some medical appointments for a fortnight in late August. When I returned, we had a disagreement.
‘I thought he was unreasonable. I take some responsibility for it too but I decided there wasn’t a future. I was very lonely, not knowing the language or having any friends.
‘Florin would spend a lot of time going out. He used to go to bed very late, sometimes 5am in the morning having been out nightclubbing or watching films.
‘He said I wasn’t allowed to go clubbing. It wasn’t for old people. In my heart I didn’t accept it but I trusted him.’
Mr Clements returned to the UK in September after his friends begged him to come home.
He said: ‘When things were going well, I wanted him to have security when I die. I’m 80 next year.
‘I didn’t want there to be any doubt about occupancy when I die. He appreciated me doing it but I didn’t know we were going to break up so soon.
‘I left very sadly and very unhappy. My friends in England were telling me I should leave him but I left with a very heavy heart.
‘He came with me to the airport. I’ve lost everything really. I’ve lost my house and was in a poor state.
‘I stayed with friends on alternate weeks until I was given a granny flat attached to one of my friend’s houses. I regret selling my house. I bought the flat.
‘It was my suggestion to go to Romania and Florin liked the idea but I think we would have been better off if we’d stayed at my house in Eastry.
‘I wouldn’t have been so isolated and he would have had things to do.’
The Church of England’s rules state that clergy cannot enter same-sex marriages. Civil partnerships are allowed but must remain celibate.
The former parish priest said he had repressed his sexuality throughout his career because of the church’s stance on homosexuality but is now able to be his ‘true-self’.
He met Mr Marin, a model, on an online dating site almost three years ago and was attracted to his ‘looks and flamboyancy’.
Since leaving Romania the couple no longer take each other’s surnames, but things have improved between them and Mr Marin has even visited England for a couple of days.
Mr Clements added: ‘Florin started to contact me again. I hadn’t lost my feelings for him so I reciprocated. We started texting and speaking on video and we’re still in touch now.
‘Things were very amicable. It was as if he did regret what has happened. I believe in giving someone a second chance. There’s still something that binds us. We’re not enemies.
‘He’s not doing it for money because I haven’t got much money left. The two of us suggested that one day we would have a flat in a town – Dover or Canterbury.
‘ He’s renting out the flat and he said he’d put part of that towards the rent. I don’t want a divorce and he says he doesn’t want anybody else.
‘I’ve asked him to tell me if he finds somebody else and I would understand..’
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