Patience is the key

Published 11:09 pm Thursday, September 20, 2018

I had the pleasure of sitting down with a couple who have been married for more than half a century, and when I left, I felt more confident about my own marriage.

John and Jeanne Banks have spent the last 66 years happily married, and their secret sauce to sticking together so long was something so simple — patience.

Jeanne spent a lot her marriage apart from her husband while he was in the Army or sharing him with whatever church he was pastoring, and patience was the key to helping her get through some of the hardest times.

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The advice was so easy that it almost didn’t seem real.

The world tells you that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but no one ever tells you how to get through that year. People always say that you’ll just “get through it,” and that it will just get better. Obviously, to most sane people, that seems absurd, because that’s not how relationships work.

So, naturally, hearing someone say patience was the key seemed just a little too easy to be true.

But before I left their home, I knew it was the best advice I would probably get in the first year of marriage.


It’s because the way they spoke about each other made it obvious they are still so in love after what seems like a lifetime together.

When I asked John what he thought of Jeanne when he first saw her, he told me, without skipping a beat, that she was the girl he wanted to end up with. Jeanne smiled like she was 16 years old again.

If just a little patience is all it takes to have my husband still love me that much after 66 years, then I’ll be the most patient woman in the world.

Their relationship was a beautiful thing to witness, and their advice is something I will cherish for quite a long time.

They always say that patience is a virtue, but someone always says that when you’re waiting in line for food, the bathroom or movie tickets. “They” never say that patience is the key to a long and happy marriage.

In just a week after I spoke with John and Jeanne I’ve tried to be more patient with my husband, and I’d like to think it is making a difference.

Maybe everyone can exercise patience in their relationships instead of just reserving patience for their slow internet connection.

I think we’d all be much happier for it.