Fairfield, CT — Meet the longest married couple in the United States.
John and Ann Betar have been married for 80 years, but their happily ever after almost didn’t happen. In the 1930s, Ann’s father had arranged for her to marry another man. But she and John — who grew up across the street from each other in Bridgeport — were in love, and they fled their hometown to elope in Harrison, New York.
In the eight decades they have been married, John and Ann Betar have had five children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren. They were preceded in death by two of their children, who passed away in their 60s.
According to Ann, family is what has kept her and John alive and together for so long.
“That’s what makes life what it is,” Ann said. “We were fortunate enough to live long enough to see this … and it’s really one of the most gratifying things in the world to see your great-grandchildren, to see your grandchildren become adults.”
Her husband agreed, saying, “That’s what keeps us alive. We live for them.”
So how does a couple stay together for almost a century?
“We just live with contentment and we don’t live beyond our means,” John said. “Just go with the flow.”
At 101 and 97 respectively, going with the flow has served John and Ann well. Since we know that money issues can destroy a marriage, the fact that John and Ann don’t live behind their means is just one way they’ve managed to stay together so long.
The Betars are set to receive a plaque and other gifts commemorating their “longest married” title on Saturday at their granddaughter’s home in Fairfield.
The title is based on nominations received by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian marriage group based in San Bernardino, California. The group said that there may be couple who have been married longer that haven’t received nominations.
The title of “longest married” previously belonged to Wilbur and Theresa Faiss. The couple had been together for 79 years before Theresa passed away at age 97 in November 2012.
Congratulations to John and Ann Betar on 80 years together!