Travel is the Best Marriage Therapy

My husband and I just came back from a weekend in Ohio, just to meet my favorite band, For King and Country! Lenny knew that I’ve wanted to see them in concert since I started dating him, so we took time and money just to have this special weekend together. He found this concert and saw that the platinum package came with a meet and greet. When he asked if we could spend our vacation this year on this concert, my answer was a wholehearted yes!

As much as I tried to play it cool when I met them, my voice went up a few octaves once it was finally our turn in line. I was so excited, not just because they’re a great group, but also because they rarely come to New York, so we had to take the eight-hour drive just to get the chance to see them in concert. The concert itself was wonderful as well. They are a fun group, in addition to the other bands that were there.

Okay, maybe you didn’t catch it, so in case you didn’t, yes, we drove EIGHT HOURS to Ohio and then EIGHT HOURS back to Long Island. We were on the same road for about 450 miles, between three different states. On the long drive back home Sunday, staring at the fifteen trillionth patch of grass in Pennsylvania, I realized how much my love has grown for my husband through this vacation. I felt so close to him, not just because he helped me to accomplish my dream of seeing my favorite band, but because he was all I had on this trip.

Road trips do wonders for your love life.

There’s nothing wrong with our marriage, except that it’s new. As with anything in life, there is always room for improvement. A thriving marriage is one that grows more and more each day, so since we’ve only been married for about two years, it will only get better from this point on.

One way where I personally needed to grow was trust. There is no better way to build trust than to put yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to trust your spouse. Lenny and I drove down a road that had exits every 10 miles (which, for Long Islanders, is basically like saying you’re in the middle of nowhere). If we broke down on one of those streets, we would only have each other. We would have to survive together. I know that is a morbid thought, and probably a little overreacting, but when you have anxiety, these thoughts are pretty normal. You always want to have a back-up plan. You always want to have a way out of the situation in case the worst happens.

As we drove, I realized that I kind of liked being alone with Lenny. We were in the middle of nowhere and we were in unfamiliar territory, but we were together, and that made it special. I truly learned the meaning of “Home is where the heart is” through this time. It didn’t matter how long we were in the car together. We learned to conquer traffic, making our snacks last the whole trip, impatience over driving in Pennsylvania for hours, and waiting for rest stops to stretch our legs, together. Sorry, Pennsylvania, but you’re too big. I still love you, though!

Through knowing no one but Lenny, he became my familiar territory. While having one of the coolest experiences of my life, meeting my favorite band, I was able to share that unique and fun experience with my husband. And, of course, the only thing I said to them was that “This is Love” (one of their songs) was our first dance at our wedding. So if Joel and Luke only know one thing ever about me, it has to do with Lenny. We’re a team.

The long drive also taught us to, as the old cliche says, stop and smell the roses. Pennsylvania was very big, and it took us about six hours to drive through all of it, but it was beautiful. Between every “We’re still in Pennsylvania?” we added a “Wow, what a beautiful mountain range!” We danced to the radio and made fun of the silly town names we found along the way. We learned to take a normally mundane task (driving) and make it fun.

So, on a serious note, I highly recommend taking a long trip with your spouse. See what negative emotions arise as you’re confined to a small space together. Be quick to forgive when your spouse grows impatient from hunger, thirst, or fatigue. Be honest about how you feel, and practice thankfulness and positivity along the way.  After all, in marriage, you are on a journey together.

Photo by Octavio Fossatti on Unsplash