April 24, 2018 11:33 AM

Richard Gere is a happy man at 68.

The actor has found love with Spanish wife Alejandra Silva, 35, after they starting dating in 2014. The couple quietly married earlier this month and have been enjoying life together in New York along with her 5-year-old son Albert from her previous marriage. Gere has a 17-year-old son, Homer, with his second wife Carey Lowell.

“Richard has been much happier in this half of his life because he is settled, confident and doing what he likes,” a film source who has known him for years tells PEOPLE. “Practicing Buddhism and doing humanitarian work have fulfilled and transformed him, and he is at a stage when he can make the kinds of films that he likes.” 

Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva

In Silva he found a partner that valued humanitarian work as much as he does. The Spanish activist runs Rais Fundacion, which is working to eradicate homelessness in Spain in five years. The two also have religion in common as Silva converted to Buddhism after connecting with the Pretty Woman star.

“I was born Catholic, but converted to Buddhism two years ago,” Silva told Spain’s ABC newspaper in 2015. “I think it was already inside of me. I believe in reincarnation so that’s why I think I was Buddhist before realizing it.”

Though they first met almost 20 years ago when Silva was a teenager and Gere borrowed a boat from her father to shoot a TV ad, the two didn’t start dating until 2014.

Now, the happy couple has settled into life together and recently celebrated the Easter holiday at the luxe Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, N.Y., which Gere owns, and were spotted a few months before at a local iceskating rink.

“They held each other and kept each other warm on the sidelines as they watched her son learn to skate,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE.

This is Gere’s third marriage. He first tied the knot with supermodel Cindy Crawford, who he was married to from 1991 to 1995. The actor later welcomed his only son, 17-year-old Homer, with his second wife Carey Lowell. Lowell and Gere married in 2002 before a contentious divorce that was finalized in 2016 after separating in 2013.

For Silva, this marks her second marriage after welcoming her son Albert in 2012 with then-husband Govind Friedland, a mining executive.

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