Irving-With Valentine’s Day approaching, two local couples shared their personal love stories, as well as advice gleaned from their combined 100+ years of marital bliss.
Dr. Bob and Sunny Bettis have been married to each other for 56 years. The two met in Dallas at the Baylor University Medical Center and wedded on Sept. 18, 1964.
“Bob was in dental school, and I was doing a clinical rotation in the laboratory at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. They’re on the same campus,” Sunny said. “He worked in the lab at night with a guy who was in my medical technology rotation class. The guy in my class said, ‘I’d like for you to meet a dental student.’ I thought I guess that’s okay.
“He brought [Bob] had him come over to the lab and introduced us. We went down to the hospital coffee shop, had a cup of coffee, and he asked me if I’d like to go to the movie that night with him and another dental student and his date. I figured that can’t be too dangerous, so we did.
“It was a ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ movie. It was three hours or four hours long or so. Both of us had to be on duty at seven o’clock the next morning, so it was a pretty short date after the movie was over.”
After the 56 years of marriage the Bettis have learned a lot about each other and about marriage.
“Obviously, if you’ve been that many years you know most of the things about the other one,” Bob said. “Things that you want to stay away from basically, and others that you can encourage.”
“We both are very much alike,” Sunny said. “We both have always been early people. We’ve had to go to work early, and we’ve always gotten up early. We both are kind of type A personalities, and we want everything to be in its place, and so we pretty much agree on things.”
They did not offer much advice for today’s young people, but Sunny provided a few tips.
“I would say that you need to take [relationships] seriously,” Sunny said. “So many young people today think, ‘Well, if we get married and it doesn’t work well we just get a divorce and go move on.’
“We never ever dreamed that. We knew from the minute we decided we were getting married it was for keeps. I would say they need to take it seriously and realize it isn’t always going to be perfect. There are going to be problems. You’re going to have health issues, and money issues and one of you may think you need to deal with it one way and one the other. But you just need to work through it.”
The Bettis plans to stay in Valentine’s Day because of COVID-19. They will order in some good food, exchange a few gifts, and get up early to work out.
Carl and Pauline Haines have been married for 66 years. They married on Nov. 14, 1954, which was also Pauline’s 18th birthday.
Both of them are retired. Carl is 89 years old and Pauline is 84. They have one daughter. The Haines attend the Church of the Nazarene in Irving. They met and married in Newport, Pennsylvania, and moved to Texas in 1979.
“We both attended the Church of God in Newport,” Pauline said. “That’s where we met in the church. His family were active members in the church, and I started going there somehow or other. We just clicked I guess when I was 16. We kind of met each other, and the rest is history.”
“You have to learn to have a lot of trust and a lot of faith. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I was raised in a very dysfunctional home. But Carl was raised in a Christian home. I guess it was through him that I learned to trust more and have more faith in and knew that perhaps it would work out and hopefully it would work out since we were from two different homes. And it did work out.”
Carl gave some brief advice for today’s modern couples.
“Hopefully they’re going to church themselves, and have the Lord Jesus in their hearts to start with and keep him there,” Carl said. “I come from a family like that, where she wasn’t, but still between the two of us we made a go of it.”
This Valentine’s Day, the Haines are planning on going out to eat together, and spend the day together.
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