A protective husband whose wife ‘can only go out with him’ has shared a series of pictures and videos from their holiday – including a lengthy gym workout.
It’s ‘what he says goes’ for Holly Joyce, 27, and her traveller husband, Dougie, 34, as they firmly believe in a more traditional, or historic, type of family.
The couple met online in September 2019 and the pair have now married, and despite Dougie supporting her decision to go out and work if she chooses to, Holly is expected to look after the family and household, and succumbs to her husband’s every whim.
Now the pair have gone on holiday and Dougie is sharing pictures and videos from their travels, including an intense boxing workout in a local gym.
Holly, a mum-of-two, from Salford, Manchester, said: “It’s been a whirlwind that’s turned into a fairy-tale. The biggest difference being a traveller’s wife is you must respect your husband – what he says goes.
“He wouldn’t want me out at parties without him, we’d always go together. He’s the man, so he can go out if he wants, but I’m the woman so I can only go out with him.
“I can go to the salon or out to the shops on my own, but he’s very protective and worries about my safety if I’m out alone. I don’t feel like I’m missing out because if I want to do something I just ask Dougie and we can do it together.
“I’d rather be with him anyway.”
Holly said that she was instantly attracted to Dougie, and it was his smile that won her over, while Dougie felt that it was ‘love at first sight’.
While Holly’s family were initially hesitant that their daughter would become a traveller’s wife, they were soon won over by Dougie’s charm.
Holly has embraced her new way of life, immersing herself into the traveller community after instantly getting on with Dougie’s mother Margaret Joyce, 56.
Dougie proposed at the gender reveal party for their daughter Oceanna, at their home in Manchester in December 2020, and the pair tied the knot in an extravagant ceremony at the Gorton Monastery, Manchester, in July 2022.
The lavish do cost over £60k, and included four Rolls Royces, £12k dress and champagne on tap.
Dougie had planned to arrive in a helicopter, but sadly the venue wouldn’t allow him to land in the car park.
Holly wore a stunning £12k Calla Blanche dress, which was designed especially for her and took over a year to make.
Sticking to traveller tradition, the evening do was segregated, with the women on one side and men on the other.
They had dated for three years, and throughout that time Holly was introduced to the traveller way of life and learnt what would be expected of her, having never dated a traveller before.
Holly’s dad, Hugo, 72, who has sadly since passed away, was initially hesitant about his daughter dating the bare-knuckle fighter and owner of 3D Fight Club, as he was once a bare-knuckle fighter himself and knew the risks.
Dougie has had a successful career as a bare-knuckle fighter and now owns a bare-knuckle fighting club.
His high profile within the community means he is often challenged to fights.
Holly admitted that she worries about him scrapping and is unable to watch – opting to wait for him at home with balloons, a cake, and his favourite meal of spuds and cabbage.
But despite his violent profession, Holly said that Dougie is really a family man and treats her ”like a princess”.
“Family is so important to travellers,” Holly said.
“I remember being so impressed by how Dougie treats his mum. He never answers back to his mother and has so much respect for her.
“He buys her flowers, designer shoes, and anything she wants.
“The way a man speaks to his mum says a lot, and Dougie has always been so loving and respectful towards her.
“My family were worried at first, but as soon as they saw how well he looks after me and how respectful he is, they soon approved.
“He’s such an amazing dad – family is everything to him.
“There is a lot of pressure because there’s a lot of competition amongst the community.
“It’s all about who has got the best bags, the best shoes, the best jewellery.
“Dougie expects the house to be perfect, and to be looked after when he comes home from work.
“He doesn’t even make his own drinks. It’s quite different to my past relationships and it took some getting used to at first, but he looks after me and provides for our family so I’m happy to do it.
“If he’s happy, I’m happy.”
The couples love story – as well as a deeper dive into the traveller community – can be seen in their new film The Joyce Family Documentary, by Art Productions TV, Film and Media limited, available to watch on Amazon Prime.