A California couple who was honored for having the longest marriage in America have a short answer for how they ve made it work.
“A sense of humor is very important,” Helen Goosenberg said at the ceremony on Sunday, which was hosted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. “And just liking each other very much. I think that’s the main answer for everything.”
Helen, 100, and her husband Maury, 102, have been married for 80 years.
The faith-based marriage enrichment program chose the Goosenbergs as the winner of their “2016 Longest-Married Couple,” contest, according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Their great-granddaughter entered them into the competition.
Although they won this year’s prize, the news outlet says that according to multiple sources, the longest marriage in the country officially goes to John and Anna Betar of Connecticut, who wed 83 years ago.
“Everyone told us it wouldn’t last. Now there’s no one left alive for me to say, ‘See? I told you so,’ ” Maury added.
The couple, who rarely leave each others side, met at a Halloween party in Philadelphia in 1931.
“He had a smile that knocked me over,” Helen said.
Maury said he was also blown away when he first saw his future wife and remember thinking, “Well, there’s a beauty.”
But Helen was warned that Maury had numerous girlfriends and wasn’t prepared to settle down. For a year, he continued to date other women, but soon came to the conclusion that he would stick with the rest of his life.
“What I learned is that she was a solid person and she was beautiful in both looks and attitude,” he said.
Despite not having jobs and little money in the midst of the Depression, Maury eventually found work driving a truck and Helen got an office job about 70 miles away in Allentown. They still found a way to see each other and eloped in 1935.
“She’s the same outstanding individual she was when I was first attracted to her.” says Maury.
The couple had one child, a son named Jerry, who went on to have four children before he died of cancer at 36.
These days, the couple spends most of their time watching golf on TV while sitting side-by-side in matching recliners.
Despite their disagreements throughout the years, they always got through it by working it out “equitably, honestly and fairly,” they shared.