11/21/2013 06:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

America's 'Longest Married Couple' Celebrates 81 Years Of Marriage

In February, John and Ann Betar were named America's longest married couple by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. And on Monday, the Connecticut lovebirds will celebrate an incredible 81 years of marriage.

john ann betar
This photo provided by Worldwide Marriage Encounter shows John and Ann Betar, left, receiving their gifts and plaques from Dick and Diane Baumbach after being named "Longest Married Couple" on Feb. 9, 2013.

The pair eloped in Harrison, N.Y. in 1932.

"[We] had no choice but to elope because my father was set on me marrying a much older man, and I was 17. John was not the boy next door, but the boy across the street who I loved," Ann, 98, told Reuters in a recent interview.

John, 102, said the quickie nuptials caused quite a stir among their families.

"Everyone was hopping mad, and my wife's aunt consoled my father-in-law by telling him not to worry, the marriage won't last," he said.

How wrong they were. The Betars have been together for decades and have five children (two are now deceased), 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

"We have watched the world change together," John said. "The key is to always agree with your wife."

In April, Victoria Wrubel -- who was married to her husband Steven Wrubel for 83 years -- died, ending what was believed to be the country's longest marriage.

According to the Associated Press, the Betars' title was based on nominations, so there may be other couples who have been married longer.



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

Married Couples: Then And Now

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.