As hard as it is to go through a crisis of any kind, its impact can be a gift to your relationship. Sixteen years ago today, on Sept. 7, 1995, my husband and I lost our home to a fire. Although we lost almost all of our material possessions, what we gained was immeasurable.
As smoke engulfed every room in our home and flames spat out the third floor windows, my husband and I worked together to channel our energy and plan for the inevitable: the loss of our home. Within 24 hours, we had a makeshift office in a nearby restaurant that became communication central. After two weeks of living in a hotel, we had a rental house our children and we would call home for the next 9 months. Keeping our kids in a regular routine in the midst of mass chaos took a tag team effort. For the following 270 days, as our house was gutted and rebuilt from the bottom up, my husband and I seemed to use our strengths to compensate for each other’s weaknesses. It worked.
Looking back on this crisis sixteen years later, we both agree. The loss of our home produced one of the biggest gains in our relationship: teamwork.