30 September, 2013

Talking with the husband

Tonight is our last night in Puglia.  Tomorrow we head for Rome, the airport, and fly out on Tuesday.  That will be the end of three wonderful months in Italy.  Three months with my husband that form part of an experience we never expected to have.  Three months where we actually didn't rip each other’s head off, though of course there was a bit of yelling, usually over the issues of travel planning, or navigation.  Fortunately, yelling like that is quickly forgotten.

I've had friends and family joke about how often we have wanted to kill each other.  And yes, probably the answer has to be “sometimes” if we’re honest.  But when some people say this to us, they sound puzzled that we could go almost four months (since we left home) with each other as company, as the only people we talk to, as our social fun, and emotional support.  Yet we have

And we were talking about it tonight, as we were at dinner tonight.  We watched a couple – younger than us – struggle to make conversation.  And we thought about their lives – probably busy, maybe difficult financially, almost certainly with children.  And we realised that our relationship is probably the beneficiary of the “no kidding” factor in our lives.  We don’t have to be parents together, we don’t have to have battles about different parenting philosophies and styles (and believe me, we would have had a few battles), we don’t have to crawl in bed exhausted from looking after children, wrestling with toddlers or teenagers, juggling our annual leave so we can look after the children in school holidays, and never finding time for ourselves as a couple.

As a couple without children, we are able to just “be.”  It doesn't mean we don’t have difficulties.  Dealing with no income when we get home will be a struggle, and is sure to put strains on us.  Stress and foreign situations can be difficult too at times, and health issues are always a worry.  But we are able to know each other in perhaps a different way, in perhaps a deeper way than I suspect we would have time to do so if we were parents.  And for that, for our close relationship now, I am very grateful.  (And I think he’s okay with it!)


  1. I'm glad that you've had a good trip and I LOVE that you appreciate your relationship as it is.

  2. LOVE this posttttt...I'm glad you've had a chance to do a trip like this. :-) GOOD LUCK in adjusting to life back home!

  3. Reminds me of the very first time I ever went on a trip with DP. We had only met three months before, and he suggested we drive a car from Amsterdam to Namibia. I chickened out, convinced it would ruin our your relationship, and we went canoeing on a tame trip in Sweden instead.
    Later I found out he didn't have a passport or any real travel experience. Can't help but wonder if we would have survived, together. And if so, if we would be more adventurous in our travel now...
    So um, meant to say: glad you realise your relationship is something special!
    Hope you will draw light from it in times of strain.

  4. My husband and I had a similar conversation on our trip to San Francisco in June. We were only there for six days, we never had a fight or disagreement about anything, but we saw several couples in yelling fights. So we asked each other why we hadn't fought about anything on the trip. I think only have to compromise with each other for what to see next or where to eat helps that a lot. We don't have to try to pick something that would appeal to a child or a sullen teenager (we saw many of those too), and we know there will be more trips after this one, so we will both eventually get exactly what we want. For people with kids, I know the big trips are less frequent, so it probably seems more crucial to get your own way when on a trip. We definitely enjoyed only having ourselves to answer to.

  5. It's true how folks can find themselves (while being alone or with each other) in environments not familiar to them- that reminds me of the book "Eat, Pray, Love"- and I'm glad that you have that strength and knowledge that you will be there for each other- that's the hub of the relationship, you know? :)

  6. I love that I don't have to share my husband with any body, if we had kids I would. I love having him all to myself.

  7. It's been fun to keep up with your travels. Like you, I've got a keeper -- a top notch companion, lover and friend. We keep our relationship lively and continue to learn new things about each other and ourselves. I've seen where that's not the same for friends who are stressed out raising children. I've observed behaviors similar to what you describe in restaurants with couples who don't seem to know each other any more staring off into space.

  8. dear Mali,
    I know you are not happy that your wonderful holidays has just finished.
    But I am more then happy that you are safely back home.
    Because - this means that I will have to wait less then 1 month for your next post on nokidding blog.
    Yes. I admit. I am selfish.
    (as an excuse: I am really missing your posts!)
    lots of love from Slovenia,

    1. Klara, I promise to post more regularly now I'm home!