John and Ann Betar of Bridgeport, Connecticut celebrated their wedding anniversary today. At 81 years together, they currently have the longest-lasting marriage in America. They married on this day in 1932, after running away together to New York. Ann’s father wanted her to marry a man who was 20 years older than her, presumably for the money and social status, but Ann, 17, had other ideas. She was already in love with John, 21, the boy across the street. Today, they are 98 and 102, respectively, and they say their marriage has remained strong because of the family they have built together. They have 5 children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.
Their secrets to their long-lasting and successful marriage seem like no-brainers, but are so easily forgotten by so many couples today. John says, “Don’t hold a grudge. Forgive each other. Live accordingly.” Ann says, “We are very fortunate. It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing.”
Who is the longest-married couple you know? What do you think is the secret to a successful marriage?