"I guess we knew that we were the ones… and little did we know it was going to last 70 years."

By Jennifer Aldrich
February 13, 2020

Many couples wish they knew the perfect formula to a long-lasting marriage, but it seems one duo has it figured out. Mitch and Betty Coombs, who just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, say their relationship endured for a simple reason: balance.

The pair first met back in 1949 in Westport, Indiana. Mitch, now 91, dined at a restaurant owned by Betty's parents, where she waitressed, and Betty says she was interested the moment she saw him. "I said 'well, I'd sure like to have a date with him,'" she tells CBS 46. "That's the only boy that I ever said that about, so there was something that told me that he had to be the right one." Three days later, Mitch stopped by again and asked her on a date.

The couple eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together every day, and stay active in their community.
Courtesy of the Coombs Family

It didn't take long for the two to fall in love, and just six months later, Mitch popped the question. In 1950 when Betty was 20 and Mitch was 21, they wed. "I guess we knew that we were the ones… and little did we know it was going to last 70 years," Betty, 90, says.

In the beginning, things weren't always easy. For 15 years, Mitch traveled for work while Betty stayed home and cared for their four children. "He'd leave Monday morning and come back on Friday evening, and I had the kids, but it all worked out," Betty explains. Although the distance was difficult, Betty says they always were open with each other. "I made sure every night that I called her and reported in," Mitch adds.

Mitch and Betty Coombs met in 1949 and married the next year.
Courtesy of the Coombs Family

Through that time apart, Betty and Mitch, who now live in Cumming, Georgia, were able to maintain their independence. "I think the main thing is you have to be your own self.... we have pretty much done that," she explains. We haven't tried to run the other one's life. He did things on his own, and I've done things on my own."

Related: We're Smitten with This Couple's 64th Wedding Anniversary Photos—Inspired by Vintage BH&G

In 1982, Mitch retired, and the two took advantage of the all the time together. They now eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together every day, and stay active in their community. They also travel together, which was an early hobby of theirs when they'd take road trips with the whole family.

Betty and Mitch Coombs have enjoyed traveling together for the last 70 years.
Courtesy of the Coombs Family

Betty reveals she's not going to explicitly say that she wishes to make it to 75 years with Mitch, but she does hope. Above all else, she says there's one thing that kept them going the past seven decades. "I never even gave even divorce a thought," Betty says.

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