When researchers ask couples who have been married over 50 years, “How did you do it?” there are some common denominators in what these couples shared. You might think that their marital success is rooted in the profound and cerebral. Not really. Salt of the earth stuff, like picking your battles, finding a way to see the good even when things were tough.
Curiously, one of the greatest common connections within these success stories is humor. The couples said that they made sure they laughed together.
If you’re married, or want to be married, I’m sure that your heart wants the marriage to last for a lifetime. To be sure, marriage is hard at times, so I suggest we take a page from these wise couples who have made it.
Plan to laugh.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine”. I Googled to see who said it first. While there isn’t any one particular person who is credited with that quote, I find it interesting that the thought goes all the way back to a proverb from the Old Testament. Proverbs 17: 22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Other translations say a “joyful heart”, a “merry heart”, a “cheerful heart.”
To me, that’s what laughter does, it creates a happy heart, even for a short period of time. Even when you’re tired and your marriage isn’t in the best place, it takes so little effort to plan to laugh.
YouTube is a laughter treasure chest.
Try these comedy channels on for size.
You can always search YouTube for that funny clip from your favorite TV show from the past. It’s probably there. What video isn’t?
Take time at least once a week to reminisce about something funny that is a part of your history together.
The bottom line is, laughter connects. It works. It’s FREE. And hey, it’s cheaper than counseling and WAY cheaper than two divorce attorneys.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.