7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages part 6: Lack of Laughter

A month ago, we started a new series of seven blogs designed to recognize unhealthy habits. If you missed the last four weeks check out our first FIVE Highly Defective Habits:

Habit #1: Spiritual Continuity.

Habit #2: The Single Life

Habit #3: The Fun-less Couple

Habit #4: Criticism Floods

Habit #5: Inconsistent Sex

Here we go…#6 on the list of my 7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages:

Defective Marriage

Habit #6: Lack of Laughter

noun: the action or sound of laughing
Synonyms: chuckling, chortling, guffawing, cackling, sniggering

I feel I can’t blog on this topic enough.  There are too many people who take themselves WAY TOO seriously.  A great quote from Agnes Repplier says,

We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.

Such truth about a sorely forgotten VITAL aspect of marriage.  We do not realize how necessary laughter is in marriage. Anne and I always talk (and blog) about our two essential ingredients to marriage: Jesus and laughter.

Psalm 126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

I remember it was almost four years ago, I was in the salon waiting for Anne to finish getting her hair cut.  We were playful arguing back and forth about something silly.  We were not just laughing, we were egging on each other causing a bit of a scene which drew in the rest of the people in the salon.  We found out later (from Lisa…Anne’s stylist) that after we left, the people in the salon (workers and customers) were talking about us.  They assumed we had just gotten married because we were playful as well as willing to laugh so much together.  Lisa blew them away when she told them married we had been married 10+ years.  Why were they shocked at that? Because, for some reason, couples with any vintage, are NOT supposed to laugh that much.

Why do we see laughter as an option in marriage? Why do we not strive for more of it?  We wait for it to happen like a desperate person holding their lotto ticket listening to the numbers being read on the TV.  We yearn to laugh with our spouse again.  We hope it’ll happen. Maybe today we’ll hit the jackpot and enjoy a time of fun together.

Laughter isn’t something that happens randomly like a lightning strike.  Laughter is fostered and cultivated. It has to be seen as an essential piece of the marriage puzzle. Take it from professionals.  Comedian Bob Hope said laughter is an “instant vacation.” Jay Leno says, “You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.” And Bill Cosby says, “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” These men made a living on the understanding that laughing brings an astronomic affect to people.  Crowds would gather around them to get “medicated” with humor (Prov. 17:22).

When it comes to laughter, it produces a number of benefits: 

  • Reduces stress and tension.
  • Stimulates your immune system.
  • An increase of natural painkillers in your blood.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Raises your spirits.
  • Laughter relieves tension and brings closeness.
  • Having a sense of humor refreshes your relationship.

As you can see, laughter is not to be taken lightly. Laughter is to be indulged in.  It’s the dessert of life that should be enjoyed every day…as much as possible!!! You need this.  Your spouse needs this. I want to help you increase the laughter and in your marriage.  I challenge you to…

  • Look for the “funny” in your day. Be aware of the humorous moments around you.
  • Laugh when you don’t feel like laughing.
  • Make it a habit to share funny moments with your spouse. Don’t wait to tell them later.  Bring them into the moment.
  • Become of student of your spouse. Study what makes them laugh.
  • Reflect on funny times in your past together.

When it comes to laughing, psychologists and scientists agree. Their studies reveal that individuals who have a strong sense of humor are less likely to experience burnout and depression and they are more likely to enjoy life in general — including their marriage. Do you want a marriage that is set up for success? Do you want to bring health and vitality to your marriage? Do you want a marriage that is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE?

Create a culture of laughter.

Thanks for letting me ramble…


2 responses to “7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages part 6: Lack of Laughter”

  1. PDave – Great points about the importance of laughter!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the comments David. It’s too essential not to bring up.

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