*And Your Marriage

When my husband and I were first married we lived in a tiny studio apartment in mid-town Manhattan. One evening after a hard day I had done something he 'approved of', I don't even remember what, some mundane task. So he says in this annoyingly supercilious manner, "Good girl."

My first impulse was to smack him. Hard. But I resisted. Instead I said, "What am I, Lassie?" He looked at me, shocked, and then he laughed. Then I laughed at him laughing!

The snarky jerk before me morphed back into my sweet husband and my anger vanished.

Like many things in the first year of marriage, that little incident set the tone for our future. Thank God.

Consider this:

  • Our sense of humor is the canary in the mine shaft. By the time couples come to me for counseling they've lost their sense of humor. Check in with yourself. If you haven't laughed in a while ask yourself why. The reason may be as simple as low blood sugar (which usually explains a lot in my house) or it may be more complicated or chronic. Take the sign seriously and take corrective action ASAP.
  • Laughter = Intimacy. When we 'get' each others jokes we open our hearts to intimacy, an essential element in a good marriage. Intimacy goes way beyond sex. The best kind of intimacy is spiritual, mindful, nurturing.
  • Laughing *with* someone: Good.
  • Laughing *at* someone: Bad
  • Say no to sarcasm. Sarcasm, [the use of irony to convey contempt] is *not* funny, witty or clever. It's abusive. Cut it out.
  • Use it or lose it. Often I will ask couples in counseling to find a way to make their point with humor. They are so used to nagging, pleading, arguing or worse, chilly silence, that they draw a complete blank. I take pity on them and make a suggestion. They smile, maybe chuckle a little and visibly relax. It's still there! They just need to dust it off and make it work again.
  • Laughter makes us more beautiful. Really. Check this out in front of a mirror. This is me serious. This is me smiling and laughing! See? Gorgeous!
  • Laughter is sexy. Yes, sex is better with a generous dollop of humor. Scientists can explain this better, something to do with our physiology, all that breathlessness maybe, but I'm sure this has to do with making intimate connections of all kinds. Mike Strobel reporting for the Toronto Sun said, "…92% of Canadians think laughter is one of the greatest aphrodisiacs." That many Canadians can't be wrong!
  • Laugh together, stay together. If you're laughing with someone else, someone who is not your spouse, look out.
  • Laughter is contagious. The video below has nothing to do with either sex or marriage but it's just too funny. Share it with someone you love.