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Connecticut couple may be country's longest married

February 11, 2013

A couple from Fairfield, Connecticut, is being recognized for their longevity, but it's not just because they have enjoyed healthy aging. John and Ann Betar recently earned the title of "longest-married couple" in the United States from the Worldwide Marriage Encounter after celebrating their 80th anniversary late last year, according to New York Daily News.

While the award does not confirm that the Betars are in fact the longest-married couple in the country, just the longest of those nominated, it does not diminish the impressive feat. The couple was married on November 25, 1932, against the wishes of Ann's father, who had wanted her to marry someone else. But decades later, it appears she certainly made the right choice. John, 101 and Ann, 97, still enjoy independent living in their own home, and they attribute their longevity to their easy going nature.

"We just live with contentment and we don't live beyond our means," John Betar told the newspaper. "Just go with the flow."

Ann also pointed to their family as a significant reason for their longevity. The Betars have five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. In recognition of their milestone, the Worldwide Marriage Encounter will present them with personal gifts and a plaque. 

The Betars' impressive health and vitality brings to mind a study that was released in 2012. Researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati analyzed data from the U.S. Census and found that married couples tend to live longer than single individuals, something which is certainly true for the Betars. Specifically, the research team found that men who were in cohabitating relationships had about an 80 percent lower mortality rate than single men. For women, the rate was about 59 percent lower.