Photo courtesy of Betar Family
While the average length of a marriage today is 8 years, there are just some couples who have great longevity. Many ask how they did it? Since engagement season is upon us, we thought we’d share some secrets of love and long-lasting marriage from a couple with a lot experience.
Introducing John and Ann Betar, named America’s longest-married couple. It all began in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “We were friends. He’d drive me to school,” Ann said. John’s story, “She’s the girl I had loved. Always. And I had wanted to marry her.”
Married in 1932, 21 year old John and his 17 year old bride eloped after her father wanted her to marry an older man. Fast forward 83 years of marriage later, both John and Ann have lived to be past 100, are great-grandparents and all these years later still hold hands.
John and Ann shared their thoughts to long-lasting marriage this past year. When asked what the secret was this is what they said. “It’s a lifelong thing. How do you define love? Through actions, understanding, little things…,” said Ann. “I wish I knew! It’s natural. An understanding,” said John.
They were asked, what are some things you do to keep things fresh, new, and entertaining?” Ann emphasized the importance of touch. “We hang onto one another! Just a few little hugs and we’re fine.”
Probably the biggest question anyone would ask marriage veterans would be, what do you do after you have an argument? Do you make up on the same day? Their reply is quite humorous and endearing. Ann said, “I say, ‘Oh go do what you want.’ Nine out of ten times he doesn’t!” John responded, “We never hold grudges. Most arguments are about food.” Ann added, “Yeah, like ‘You bought the wrong kind of cucumber!'”
In the end, their secret to a long-lasting union is simple. “We struggled in the beginning, but, luckily, we were content with what we had. It’s just important to be content with what you have,” John said.
Dunavin, Davis (2016) WSHU
Yagana Shah, (2016) “America’s ‘Longest-Married Couple’ Wants To Give You Love Advice”, Huffington Post