Although the trials of marriage are not foreign to couples Larry and Doris S. Weishaus and Joseph and Susan N. Bank, both couples’ marriages have thrived for more than 50 years.
The Weishauses and the Banks were two of many couples that attended a Mashpee Senior Center celebration of couples who have celebrated 50 or more anniversaries on Friday, June 20, in honor of wedding month.
“It was interesting meeting other people who have been married even longer than us,” Mr. Weishaus, 83, said. He and Ms. Weishaus have been married for nearly 60 years.
Ms. Weishaus described their wedding ceremony at the Lincoln Park Jewish Center in Yonkers, New York, as “beautiful and elegant,” with a full orchestra and no disc jockey, the latter of which is often featured in weddings today.
When asked how they met, the couple glanced at each other and giggled.
“We met in college,” Ms. Weishaus said, explaining that she and Mr. Weishaus were each members of a sorority and fraternity at Hunter College and New York University, respectively.
The female group invited the male group to visit their sorority, and for the Weishauses, it was love at first sight. Mr. Weishaus said that he took Ms. Weishaus home that night, and because of his familiarity with the Bronx, knew exactly where she lived.
They married at ages 21 and 23, living in Detroit, Michigan, for two years while Mr. Weishaus served in the army. Since then, the couple, who moved to New Seabury from Worcester, has raised two sons— Robert, 57, and Richard, 53—and welcomed six grandchildren.
“It’s like an old pair of shoes,” Ms. Weishaus said of their relationship. Patience and listening, she added, are important to practice in marriage.
Looking back, she and Mr. Weishaus agreed that perhaps they married too young, but they have a lot to be grateful for.
“It’s just a good feeling,” she said.
Like the Weishauses, the Banks remember their own wedding day, 51 years ago, fondly.
Pointing to a photograph of herself in her wedding gown, Ms. Bank, 72, said, “My best friend got married to his best friend a year before us, and this was her dress. [After her wedding] she said, ‘Would you like to wear it?’ ”
She and Mr. Bank had over 100 guests at their wedding at a beach club on Lido Beach in Long Island, New York.
But some of their favorite memories occurred after the ceremony while on their honeymoon in Bermuda.
“It was all honeymooners,” Mr. Bank, 75, said, recalling that there was one family with children that left their hotel upon realizing they were surrounded by newlyweds.
They formed friendships that trip that followed them in later years. Other seemingly brief connections that they have made, too, have reappeared throughout their lives, perhaps a testament to the lasting nature of their own relationship.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of their marriage has been “making a living,” Mr. Bank said, but they earned enough to raise two “loving” sons, ages 50 and 46, who have married and had their own children, Ms. Bank said, and to travel to many different countries together.
“We didn’t know what it [marriage] was going to be like,” Ms. Bank said, “but we’ve traveled and had a good life.”
The couple can no longer travel, due to surgeries from which Mr. Bank has not yet recovered. He has trouble walking and completing everyday tasks now, but his wife, a neighbor, and loved ones have been there to help.
“Things I ordinarily would be doing I can’t do anymore and it’s frustrating...she [Ms. Bank] loses it once in a while and I lose it once in a while, but we always go to bed with a smile,” he said, and Ms. Bank laughed.