real life

The sad truth is that love does not conquer all.





It had the makings of a Hollywood movie script.

Five years ago, Rick and Leanne Clements met online. They started talking, developed a relationship and then eventually when they met in real life, they fell in love. Leanne had two children from a previous relationship and those kids also became a part of Rick’s life.

When Rick – who was a Sergeant in the British army – was sent to Afghanistan, the loving couple stayed in constant contact. Rick sent Leanne letters every week without fail. She sent him care packages filled with photos of home and the sweets he loved best.

And then one day in May 2011, Rick stood on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province and everything changed. According the the UK’s Telegraph: “He lost both legs, severely damaged an arm, suffered terrible internal injuries and was told that he could never have children or a sex life. Doctors told him that two years ago he would probably not have survived.”

Leanne said she found out about the accident, after receiving a phone call from Rick’s dad.

This from the Daily Mail:

‘I remember him saying, “Hiya chuck. Are you OK?” and I could just tell from his voice that something had happened to Rick. I screamed, “Is he dead? Tell me, for God’s sake. What’s happened?”

‘Graham told me what had happened. He said I should prepare for the worst. I remember feeling panic, sheer panic. It was like someone had their hands round my throat and I couldn’t breathe.’ Two hours later, Rick was being flown home and Leanne, Rick’s parents and his sister were on their way to the military hospital in Birmingham; they thought it would be to say their last goodbyes.

For months, Leanne sat by Rick’s side as he recovered. Rick learned that his life would never be the same; that he’d never work in the army again, that he’d spend his life in a wheelchair, that he’d never again have sex, that he’d never have children.

Rick reportedly told Leanne to leave him but she wouldn’t listen.

“We lay on the bed together and cuddled, and I said: ‘It’s OK. It doesn’t matter that we won’t have sex.’ And I meant it,” she said.I thought: ‘I’ve got two kids and they love Rick,’ and I thought we’d have warmth, intimacy and that I could manage with that.”


And in 2011, Rick and Leanne got married.

At the time, Rick said: “I feel the luckiest man in the world… I came so close to not being here.” Leanne said: “There was no question as to whether I’d stay or not… I have never looked at another man since the day we met. He’s my hero.”

But this isn’t a Hollywood movie.

Their love did not last.

In recent weeks, Rick and Leanne have revealed that they are getting a divorce.  Leanne said Rick has changed; that he didn’t want to be seen as disabled and felt diminished when he couldn’t do something because of his new physical limitations..

Rick also said things had changed in their relationship.

‘We could never make up for what was missing,’ said Rick. ‘Watching Leanne mourn for me and for not having the man I’d been before the blast and not being able to fulfil her, that became too much to take. Obviously I’ve lost my legs as well as my testicles but there is simply no comparison in how these injuries affected my life with Leanne.’

If it was Hollywood, this wouldn’t be the end. Leanne would be in the middle of packing her bags when she’d have a light bulb moment and realise nothing else matters; that she’ll do anything to be with the man that she loves.

If it was Hollywood, she’d run out of the kitchen, open the front door to go to find Rick – only to see him  standing on the porch waiting to tell her he’ll do anything as well. The camera would span out, uplifting music would play and the audience would be left thinking it was happily every after.

But the truth is that this is not Hollywood. And sometimes love does not conquer all.