There are all kinds of sayings about getting to know other people. For example: you don't know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. Or: you don't know a person until you live with them.
Or this one, which I discovered on a Google search and kind of love: you don't know a person until you see how they react to getting their bag of chips stuck in the vending machine.
Everyone told me, before my husband and I got married, that no matter how well we thought we knew each other before we got married, we would soon discover how much we still had to learn. And, almost a year into this whole husband-wife thing, I can safely tell you that I know I still have things to learn. Lots and lots of things to learn.
This is all coming up now because, after a week-long trip to Ireland with my parents, I have a new saying to add to the list:
You don't know a person until you spend a week, in a foreign country, in a car, in the rain, with them and their family.
Fortunately, my husband made it a point to let me know that he still likes me. And that he thinks my family is kind of fun. Anyway, traveling with your spouse puts a whole new spin on your relational dynamics. At home, you have patterns. You know where the clothes go, when you'll be eating dinner, how to find the grocery store (or bathroom, or closest cup of coffee). But in a new place? With jet lag? Whole different ball game.
Let's just say that I think all of you should forget about premarital counseling: instead, spend a week driving around a foreign country on the wrong side of the road and see what you learn about your relationship. Because it will be good and it will be challenging and at the end of the trip you'll get to look at each other and laugh really hard about that time that you were completely awful at figuring out which was the map was actually pointed and ended up missing your turn by...oh, three kilometers or so.
All I have to say, at the end of a week of quality time and new adventures, is that I like learning more things about my husband. And I like even more that the things I learn are a constant lesson in how very lucky of a girl I am.