Published November 24, 2013
The longest-married couple in America – who are set to celebrate their 81st anniversary on Monday – have one bit of advice on how to stay together so long: just roll with the punches.
“If you think a little bit about what you’re doing, and if it’s wrong… we straighten it out, and if not we just try to go along with it,” said Ann Betar, 97, who is married to 101-year-old John Betar.
The Betars eloped on Nov. 25, 1932, after leaving Bridgeport, Conn., for Harrison, N.Y., to avoid Ann’s father’s plans to have her marry a man 20 years her senior, MyFoxPhilly.com reports. Ann was 17 and John was 21 at the time.
Now eight decades later, the couple lives in Fairfield, Conn., and has five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
"Well, marriage isn't a lovey-dovey thing for 80 years. You learn to accept one another's ways of life, agreements, disagreements -- disagreements on our children, preparation on bringing up your kids,” Ann Betar said. “That was the main interest… was your children.”
In February, the Christian group Worldwide Marriage Encounter determined that the Betars were the longest-married couple in the U.S. after reviewing nominations sent in from around the country, Reuters reports.
Last year, Ralph and Mary Lou Riggs, of Texas, celebrated their 79th anniversary, saying that respect and friendship for one another is the secret to a long-lasting marriage, MyFoxHouston.com reported.