The Two-Way
6:13 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Happy Anniversary! 81 Years And Counting For Conn. Couple

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 8:02 am

Franklin Roosevelt had just been elected president for the first time. The Great Depression had about seven years to go. Something called a rotary dial telephone was newfangled technology.

That's some of what was going on in the U.S. when John and Ann Betar got married.

Today, they're celebrating their 81st wedding anniversary.

He's now 102. She's 98. They live in Fairfield, Conn., "just a few miles from where they raised their five children in Bridgeport," Reuters says.

The Betars hold the unofficial title of "longest-married living couple in the United States," according to Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian "marriage enrichment program."

When the Betars got married, some in their families said it wouldn't last. People magazine writes about how they eloped because Ann's father wanted her to marry someone else:

" '[We] had no choice [but] to elope because my father was set on me marrying a much older man, and I was 17,' Ann, 98, says. 'John was not the boy next door, but the boy across the street, who I loved. He was 21 and used to drive me to high school in his Ford Roadster.'

" 'That's why she married me, she loved that car,' joked John, 102, as he held his wife's hand during an interview at their home on Long Island Sound, N.Y.

" 'Everyone was hopping mad, and my wife's aunt consoled my father-in-law by telling him not to worry, the marriage won't last,' John laughed."

As for their secret to staying together so long, Ann says marriage "isn't a lovey-dovey thing. ... You learn to accept one another's ways of life. Agreements. Disagreements."

John, who ran a grocery in Bridgeport, Conn., says they only really disagree about cooking. "That's the only arguments we have," he says.

"That's what he thinks," Ann adds in a video from Reuters.

John also says the couple has "watched the world change together. ... The key is to always agree with your wife."

Two of the couple's children are deceased. They have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, Reuters adds.

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