'Longest Married Couple' Celebrates 81st Anniversary, Shares Secret to Healthy Marriage

A couple from Connecticut have been named "America's longest married couple" after it was determined that have been married for more than three-quarters of a century.

Ann Betar, 98, and her husband John, 102, sat in their Fairfield, Conn., home when they celebrated their 81st anniversary on Monday. John and Ann Betar eloped on Nov. 25, 1932, shortly after they met.

But there story had a rocky start after they were forced to flee their homes in Bridgeport, Conn., when John was 21, and Ann just 17. They made way to Harrison, N.Y., because Ann's father had wanted her to marry a man that was 20 years older.

Despite the rough start to their relationship, John Betar revealed that family has been a big part of how they were able to stay together for so long.

During a previous interview with ABC, John told his suggestions for a long and happy marriage.

"Don't hold a grudge. Forgive each other. Live accordingly," he said.

"We are very fortunate," Ann Betar added. "It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing."

The loving couple live in a home off the Long Island Sound in Fairfield, Conn., close to where they had raised their children.

The Betars raised five children and have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. They lost their only son and one daughter within the past 15 years, which Ann Betar called the worst thing that a parent has to face.

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian "marriage enrichment program," gave the unofficial title "longest married couple in the United States" to the happy couple in February. They were chosen after a review of several nominations submitted from across the country.

Representatives from the group gave the Betars a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

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