Robin and Patricia Graham
updated 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
Patricia Kehrli, a 25-year-old from Valhalla, N.Y., and Robin, 26, from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, had met before as classmates in Moon's seminary in Barrytown, N.Y., in early 1979. But, says Patricia, "I don't think we had so much as a cup of coffee before we were matched." At the May 1979 engagement ceremony, Moon had the men and women form circles, then pointed to Robin and Patricia and shouted, "You!" After an awkward silence, recalls Patricia, "We said, 'Let's go eat cheesecake.' "
It was a sweet beginning, but bitter episodes were to follow. Although they had had a happy—and celibate—engagement, says Patricia, her parents didn't "trust" the church, and she didn't invite them to the wedding. Robin's family, who in 1976 had unsuccessfully tried to deprogram him, didn't attend either.
Both the Grahams have since reconciled with their relatives. The couple now live in Irvington, N.Y., with their four children (Kristi, 10, Jeremy Patrick, 8, Kascia Marie, 5, and Michelle, 1), and while their marriage seems as strong as any begun under more conventional circumstances, their involvement in the church has lessened under the pressure of family responsibilities. Their marriage, they say, is like any other. "When we were first matched," says Robin, a costume jewelry manufacturer, "people said, 'You're lucky you have such a nice match.' It's not luck. You work. We've had to work at caring for each other."
But do they love each other? "One day when we were first engaged," says Robin, "I asked Patricia if she really loved me. She said I should ask her in 15 years." He should have a reply any day now.