When I agreed to spend a hot summer weekend away, with my husband and some of his Army buddies. I didn’t expect it to turn into a couples therapy session. It was sold to me as a relaxing canoe trip. We would take in the sun, have a few drinks along the way and then camp on a sandbank. We would then row back down the river the next day. I was assured I would not be required to do any work harder than cracking open a cold one.
The reality. The river was barely a trickle in parts due to a dry season and there were lots of felled trees from a recent hurricane, causing obstructions in the shallow water. We constantly needed to get out and drag the boat until we were clear of the debris. The promise of a relaxing float down a lazy river disappeared. I had no choice but to take up the oars and row. After a few hours we were exhausted and hot.
I was rowing at the front and working pretty hard at it. My husband suddenly declared that I was making barely any difference and he was tired of doing all the work. I knew how hard I had been rowing so I decided to prove a point. I pulled my oars back in the canoe folded my arms and waited. Within minutes the canoe was spinning in circles and then we hit the riverbank. I had to stifle my laughter as it became clear that I had indeed been making a difference after all. After disentangling himself from the weeds, my penitent husband swallowed his pride and asked if I would please help. We were soon back on track and able to enjoy the rest of the weekend. We recognized that we both needed to work together to get where we were going and finally relax.
Relationships require listening to each other and working together especially when the going gets tough. We still laugh about how our canoe trip turned into a marriage therapy session. Thankfully our weekend was saved by recognizing the problem early on, dealing with it and moving on.
How do you resolve your differences? I would love to hear your stories of unusual ways you have discovered to improve your relationship.