02/12/2013 06:20 pm ET

Longest Married Couple Almost Didn't Get Hitched (VIDEO)

John and Ann Betar were recently named the longest-married couple in the U.S. -- but it turns out their 80-year marriage almost never happened.

John, 101, and Ann, 97, grew up as neighbors in Bridgeport, Conn., but Ann's parents arranged for her to marry another man when she was in her teens. She and John were in love, so they eloped and married in Harrison, New York on Nov. 25, 1932.

"We didn't have any money to go any further," Ann said.

The couple now has five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. The Betars were named the country's longest-married couple by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

Watch the video above for more on the longest married couple. Want some marriage advice from other long-married couples? Readers share their tips for a lasting marriage here.

See photos of other long-married couples "then and now" in the slideshow below.

Married Couples: Then And Now

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