A WOMAN has said her mum told her to do what felt right when she revealed she wanted to marry her step-brother.
Matilda Eriksson's said her mum's advice led her to "follow her heart" and marry Samuli despite initially fighting the attraction and fearing a relationship might be illegal.
Matilda, 23, and 27-year-old Samuli got engaged last October after a whirlwind romance and were married in July near Helsinki, Finland.
In the beginning they overcame the judgment of friends on top of their own "confused" feelings.
At first, her friends' judgment bothered her and she started having doubts.
But then her mother helped her "get my thoughts in order".
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Matilda went on: "She told me to do whatever I felt was the most right in that moment, putting everything else aside and to follow my heart, and that led me to marry Samuli.
"We both have been in a few long relationships before but never felt like this with anyone."
Members of the unusual blended family were pictured beaming at the outdoor ceremony, three years after they had also gathered for the marriage of the bride's mum and the groom's dad in 2019.
The couple first met in 2018 at Matilda's mother's 50th birthday party.
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Their parents were "very happy for us from the start," said
"I think Samuli's dad even kind of hoped that something like this would happen."
They became pals with "good chemistry" but nothing more – until a spark ignited last spring.
She told Norwegian paper Dagbladet: "Each time we had good conversations and felt the connection.
"In 2021, we started hanging out regularly, but initially as friends or step-siblings."
She said they had a "kind of magnetic attraction" and ended each seeing other at weekends when they were out with friends.
One day Samuli moved in for a kiss, and "I responded right away with passion," she told Yahoo Australia.
'FELT VERY STRANGE'
She added: "The first time something romantic happened between us we decided it could never happen again, ever. We were too afraid to lose our friendship."
But a week later it happened again and "we simply could not deny the feelings and affection we had for each other".
Matilda said: "We started dating in May 2021 and moved in together right away.
"To be completely honest, it felt very strange, and wrong at first.
"I was confused and in love at the same time and honestly I really didn't know what to do.
"Thinking about the fact that he still is my step-brother and also I thought about other people's opinions.
"Some of our friends were first a bit doubtful and kind of judging.
"I think it was because of the confusion that someone I had been calling step-brother has to now be called my boyfriend."
They got engaged in October – "we even proposed to each other at the same time and cried."
But they wondered if it would actually be legal in Finland for them to marry and have children.
'MADE IN HEAVEN
She said: "First we found some false, old information that it would be illegal, but gladly one of my sister's closest friends is a law student and she told us that there would be no problem if we wanted to get married."
They have also not lost any friends despite their initial doubts, as they soon saw the couple are a "100 per cent match made in heaven."
Matilda and Samuli have documented their unusual love story in a series of TikTok videos – and that's where they have received the most hate, she told Yahoo.
In one video, she reveals people have left nasty comments such as "straight to jail" and "I'd rather die".
But many others hailed it as a "true love story".
One said: "Guys chill out they aren’t even related."
Another said: "Like honestly that is so cute your mom marrying his dad and you marrying him."
Another said: "This genuinely makes me so happy!! I love this so much."
They are not the first step-siblings to grow close.
In 2019 we told how Lynley and Daniel Perrett married and had four kids after growing up together in New Zealand.
They met when she was 12 when her mum married his dad.
After moving apart they got back in touch as adults and fell in love.
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In 2020, Teen Mom star Catelynn Lowell defended herself against claims she married her step-brother Tyler Baltierra.
In fact their parents started dating after they were already teenage sweethearts.
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