“Love often begins with a smile,
but blossoms through laughter.”
Using Laughter in Your Marriage: Part 2
Scratch the “Itch.” The “itch” is when you reach the point in your marriage when you question or even doubt your love for each other. You wonder if they would be happier with someone else; you wonder if they are happy with you; you may even wonder if they are cheating or would cheat. We hit the “itch” after our third child. I was questioning everything. I would ask, “Why don’t you talk to me?” or say, We don’t talk about anything.”
One day I worked myself up wondering about all of this at once. It even spread into an argument. I’d get so upset and frustrated because he wouldn’t share his thoughts or feelings with me. He finally said, “I do, you just don’t listen or pay attention. You’re too busy telling me your feelings”.
“Hmm. Ok,” I said: “Then tell me something about me, why you married me?”
Well, he could. He knows me better than I know me. I could tell him why I married and love him—which made each of us realize sometimes things seem worse than they are. We wound up sharing stories of each other, our likes and dislikes. We reminisced of times past and looked at what is headed our way. He said, “I’m not crazy enough to have someone else.” Neither am I.
I thought about what he said—that I didn’t listen or pay attention. I realized that even when we are not speaking we actually are. I would get up and discover he had made coffee for me. I would find special treats like my favorite candy in my purse. He calls me every day just to see how we are doing—tell me every day how pretty I am and how lucky he is to have me. He would take the kids to the park so I could have time to myself. He would say I don’t like this or that so I would be aware of what I bought or made for dinner.
We were talking about our feelings every day. We would laugh at silly things we did. I’m accident prone, mess is my middle name, and he would laugh and get me laughing. While I cook, I play music, we are always in the kitchen—even the kids wound up dancing and singing in the kitchen. If the “itch” happens again, we’ll scratch it—for one another.
In-Laws: Dealing with in-laws also calls for humor. We actually get along with each other’s families and love them very much. However, there were times they made their way into our discussions and even arguments. I say “were” because now we know that our parents have the right to say whatever they want, give advice and even spoil our children. We have the right to either listen or not to listen. As adults we can consider opinions; some may be helpful, some not so much. Some may be damaging, but only if we allow it to be.
We decided to be tolerant of our parents. Respect what they say and consider our options. Ultimately we make the final decisions. They can choose to like it or not. That’s ok. How did we finally arrive at this conclusion? Talking it over. Yes, it involved laughter. I come from a huge, loud family, and both my parents are blind. His family is very small and quiet.
Our childhood experiences were completely different. However, our families love us and they are supportive in every way, we have/had good strict parents. We honestly can’t argue about our families without laughing. Even when they do something upsetting and discouraging and just downright mean. In the end, it turns into something funny. Personal examples would fill a book—or two. Heck, my stories alone with my family would fill a book trilogy.
Friends Who Laugh Together: I could tell you countless stories of how we cope through laughter. Our sense of humor at times would seem cruel, even morbid. Bottom line: we know each other well, and we are truly best friends. We NEVER go to bed angry, even if our “discussion” isn’t over or no matter who is sleeping on the couch we always say, “I love you,” we kiss and say goodnight. Every day we say we love each other. Every day we call each other no matter what is going on.
There isn’t anything he can’t say to me or names he hasn’t called me. Which is humorous. I figure if it’s bad enough for him to call me names, I know I deserve it. HOWEVER the same goes for him. If we are so mad that we can’t discuss, laugh or talk to each other civilly, then we know to back off and cool down. I admit I tend to hold things in until I feel they are resolved to my satisfaction. Some things I realize just have to work themselves out. Others need to be discussed, argued and mulled over.
We have learned to choose our battles wisely. Especially when we started having children. We didn’t have the time or the energy to argue. We find ourselves smiling and laughing more as the years go on. Things that would seem really important early on in marriage are not as detrimental as I once thought. I used to think that communication in a marriage meant you talked about life, politics, news and each other’s feelings all the time. My husband and I are complete opposites and our interests are very different. I don’t need to know every thought he has. Honestly he doesn’t want to know mine. Just being in the same room with each other is enough.
Don’t get me wrong. Communication in a marriage is very important. You need to discuss issues, feelings, wants, needs, desires and even what you are thinking at times, just not every waking moment. It took years to realize that marriage is more than talking. Know when to shut up and listen.
Laughter: A Daily Remedy: Making mountains out of molehills is a lot of work. I over analyze everyone — including myself. I worked at finding things wrong and worked harder to make things perfect. NOW? I can only be serious for short periods at a time and he has the roll-off-the-shoulders attitude. We usually wind up laughing or smiling at each other, and then we say. “Ok, so we need to figure this out. What do you think?”
Keep in mind humor can be used daily. We laugh at each other often, we laugh at ourselves more often, and we laugh at our children on a regular basis. We taught our children that through laughter nothing seems as it seems. Laughter is soul cleansing, good for your mind, body and spirit. Laugh.
Contributed by Lisa Gerard
Marriage Lovers Circle
Become a Master of Love
Create Bliss in Intimate Relationships
Is yours a marriage of lovers or combatants? Perhaps it is a little of both. If you prefer combat to bliss in relationships, then the Marriage Lovers Circle is not for you; however, if you would choose bliss and passion and joy in your intimate relationship, then join us. If you have not yet found “The One”, then please join us. Become a Master of Love.
Some of the subjects we explore together:
- · Don’t Find the Right Person – Become the Right Person
- · Your Joy is Your Job, and No One Else’s
- · Suffering is Optional
- · Relationship is Communication…Sometimes, Non Verbal
- · Internal Friendship Prevents Unhealthy Attachment
- · Giving Freedom to the Past
- · Lying is Alright (in a way)…Because it Points to a Truth
- · Right Now…Nothing is Wrong
- · How Many Other People Are in Bed With Us?
Marriage Lovers Circle classes are $20 per person, or $35 per couple
Couples Coaching is available at $50 per one hour session.
Contact: Gary Pennington at the Spirit Hospital Alliance for dates and times. (513) 675-6085: email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An invitation from Pastor Eastman
Any time you think that some one-on-one conversation might be useful in strengthening your marriage, contact me, Pastor Eastman, at OurChaplain.com / MarriageChaplain.com. We know many counselors and healers who provide great support to couples, and my job is to help you connect with someone who is a good fit to help you move forward in your loving and working relationships. Calling me is best because you will get a quicker response: 513 853 6180, but Pastor@OurChaplain.com or text 513 703 8196 will also work.