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Longest-Married Couple Reveal Relationship Secrets

America's longest married couple recently celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary. For all the hopeless romantics out there, hope lives: John and Ann Betar eloped in 1932, shortly after they met. Sigh.

The Betars are the real deal. They're what "rom com" dreams are made of. But what about the rest of us?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to figure out when you're ready to take the marital plunge:

  1. Why are you getting married? John, 21, and Ann, 17, took off from Connecticut to New York and eloped because Ann's father wanted her to marry a different man 20 years her senior. Now he's 102 and she's 98. Despite the heart-shaped mantras that "love conquers all," being clear about your motivation behind getting hitched will help you figure out whether an "I do" is right for you.
  2. What are your views on children and parenting? The Betars raised five kids together and have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Before getting married, you and your would-be spouse should discuss whether you two want children (and if so, how many), your views on adoption, parenting preferences, child-rearing styles, and saving for college expenses.
  3. What is your personal philosophy? From religion, faith and spirituality to bedroom manners, making sure your personal philosophies can peacefully coexist is essential to a successful marriage. Would you mind if you and your spouse lived apart? How about spending time alone or being joined at the hip? Exchange your personal philosophies before exchanging vows.
  4. What kind of daily routine do you envision? For people who aren't Kim Kardashian, marriage is a marathon rather than a sprint. To find longevity in your relationship, figure out how to handle day-to-day decisions: dividing household chores, making decisions, and resolving daily conflicts.
  5. What's your take on finances and money management? Above all, make a financial plan and determine: whether you'll keep finances and assets joint or separate; who will pay bills; what your budgeting preferences are; what your long-term financial goals are; and what your financial expectations are.

So, what's the recipe for a long-lasting flame?

John: "Don't hold a grudge. Forgive each other. Live accordingly," reports The Week.

Ann: "Marriage isn't a lovey-dovey thing, y'know, for 80 years [...] [L]earn to accept one another's way of life."

And best of all, "We always hold hands," John added.

D'awww! Cheers to the longest married couple for beating the odds.

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