Relationships

The World’s Oldest Living Couple Shares The Secret Behind Their 80-Year Marriage

Living over 100 years old is already an impressive enough feat on its own, but 105-year-old Charlotte Henderson and her 106-year-old husband, John, have managed to do that while staying blissfully in love with each other, too. The couple will be celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary on December 22 and spilled on how their romance has stood the test of time.

They met in a zoology class at the University of Texas in Austin back in 1934. John, 21 at the time, was sitting behind Charlotte and became immediately smitten with his then 20-year-old classmate. Although she was shy, Charlotte admitted to the Washington Post that she wasn’t bothered by the attention. “I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder,” she said. It sounds like the beginning of a romantic movie we’d love to tune into, but it was real life for the lucky pair. 

Still, they didn’t rush to walk down the aisle like other couples of the era. “It took her five years to make up her mind that she wanted to get married,” John said with a laugh. Keep in mind, their budding romance began during the Great Depression, so they made the wise decision to wait until they had earned enough money to set up a home before saying I do.

After their wedding (which was a small ceremony with only two other guests), Charlotte worked as a teacher and John coached football and basketball before starting a career at Humble Oil and Refining Co. They retired in the early 1970s and have spent their golden years traveling the globe together, mostly on cruises sailing to South America, Scandinavia, and everywhere in between. 

But how have they made it work together for so long? John explained that they don’t get into arguments — and never really have. If any small spats to arise, they follow the “don’t go to bed angry” rule. He also joked about the fact that the couple never had any children: “Some people have said that’s really why we’ve lived so long!” 

The Hendersons are the current Guinness World Records for Oldest Living Couple, but are still a few years shy of earning the title World’s Longest Marriage. That still belongs to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who were married for 86 years and 290 days before Herbert’s death in 2011. 

Charlotte and John may already be up there in age, but we hope they stick around long enough to nab another World Record or two with their heartwarming love story!

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