Sunday, May 23, 2010

Marriage Longevity Requires Good Humor

"Laugher is the closest distance between two people." Comedian Victor Borge

"I love how you still think he's so funny after all these years." This is a comment I hear on a regular basis from my friends about my husband, Brad. Don't get me wrong, most of them think he's funny but they don't have to listen to him all the time. I believe it's one of the most affirming compliments we could get about our marriage. It always comes when I'm not expecting it, but have just stopped giggling over some stupid thing he's said. I look over and Marilynn (Lavona, Marlene, Chris, Bev, Paula...the list goes on) utters that remark with admiration.

There are so many critical elements and skills that keep a marriage alive: love, respect, forgiveness, patience, kindness and physical affection to name only a few. But shared humor and laughter top the list. If you can still laugh together all those other things will be by-products. It's impossible to remain angry with someone when they're making you laugh. When they're working to make you smile because they care about your happiness, it demonstrates love. And for me, there's nothing sexier than sharp wit.

My husband shared his secret with me a while ago. Sometimes he doesn't feel like kidding around, especially when he walks in and I'm clearly not smiling. I may even snap at him because the cat brought in another lizard or the computer went down. Yet he knows that he has the choice, in those first few moments to act or react. If he ignores my mood, not snapping in return--and says something funny, I almost always come around to a lighter mood. For years I was unaware of his intentional effort and the awareness he had of my attitude. Talk about being attentive, sensitive and humble! He know he has the power to set the tone for (and sometimes salvage) our whole evening.

We all have this ability if we approach relationships sacrificially. When our minds are on our own challenges and focus is inward, it's impossible to be the leader and pace-setter in our intimate relationships. As we learn Brad's secret formula: taking the pulse of our partner, setting our own "stuff" aside, then deliberately infusing a dose of humor, we gain a tremendous advantage.

I hope this works for you. It's still working for us...we're celebrating our 31st anniversary on May 26th.
Do you agree that laughter and humor are hugely significant in marriage? What other secrets have you learned for relationship longevity? Share comments and see our wedding photo at WordsInHighDef.
Diane Markins

1 comment:

lteachum said...

31 years! Wow! Incredible! I'm only going on 18. We have a ways to go to catch up! However- that is why I married mine! He made me laugh!

He still makes me laugh - although many times I'm shaking my head with a smirk instead of full out belly laugh :-D.

I'll have to share this with him. I think he's very similar. We're very lucky! ☺