Marriage Matters – Something I Didn’t Expect to Realize in Rome

20160721_181432You think you have your act together. You keep the house fairly picked up. You cook dinner a few times a week. You juggle baseball, scouts, homework and swimming lessons.

You have things semi-under control and do a lot of things on your own.

Then suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a hot, foreign street dragging three suitcases behind you while you wander with your entire family searching for the place you will call home for the next few weeks. Your husband’s cell-phone GPS is the only thing that knows where to go.

Suddenly you aren’t Miss independent, I-can-take-care-of-myself-and-my-offspring alone anymore. You have been plucked from hometown suburbia and flicked into the heart of ancient Rome – a busy bustling city full of excitement and anxieties.

And you realize you need your husband more than ever.

Our family lived in Italy for one month this summer. I learned many, many things while over there. I knew it would be an amazing experience, but what I didn’t know is that Rome would make my marriage stronger.

Why? There are many reasons.

We relied on each other for everything.

We helped each other rig a makeshift laundry basket out of a towel to carry all of our clothes down three flights of stairs to pay three Euros to wash and 3 Euros to dry each load of laundry.

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Then we had to figure out how we were going to find enough Euro coins each week to run as many loads as we needed for our family of six.

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When I saw a mouse scurry across our apartment floor, I knew I couldn’t easily call our exterminator company from back home to come and get it. We worked together to trap it in the hallway late one night under a plastic garbage can.

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We helped each other figure out what food we could find at the store that our kids would eat.

We charted our adventures and then bought train tickets together.

We kept all four of our kids safely by our sides in Italy for an entire month.

I can’t ever remember a time when we worked so closely together for every aspect of our lives. I can’t ever remember a time when I needed his help so much.

20160722_191206I needed him to speak fluent Italian for me. I needed him to show me how to buy a train ticket and pay for my gelato. I needed him to carry and push my little children along when their traveling legs got tired.

But more than needing him for basic survival – eating, staying safe, finding our hotels and apartments – I needed him for company and companionship.

We were on our own in a very far away place.

We were together all day every day.

And it was really good for us.

We laughed together. We stressed together. And we cooked the meals and did the dishes together.

No we probably won’t have an opportunity like this ever again – most people never get to take their family to Italy for four weeks.

But I’m hoping that although we are back in America, that we keep needing each other. I hope we keep consulting with each other on all the minor and major parts of our lives. And I really hope we keep doing the dishes together. (It makes them get done much more quickly.)

I knew we would have an amazing time living in Europe, I just didn’t realize I’d come home with a new appreciation for my spouse and the time we get to spend together.

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