Advice for Newlyweds – Find Ways to Keep Things Funny
One of the less heard but important pieces of advice for newlyweds is – you must find ways to keep it funny, regardless of what you’re going through. When in your honeymoon phase, everything will seem like a walk on the roses. And for some time, it might. But, life happens, and you will inevitably hit a bump or two (or a thousand). At those times, humor will be your best friend.
All the fights that lie ahead
Newlyweds rarely plan to live a life filled with arguments and bickering. Who would, right? Yet, when two share everything, their plans, their future, their time, finances, possessions and care for children and family, disagreements are inevitable. And one should not fear them, as disputes are actually a way to get closer to each other. If done right, of course.
If you and your spouse have recurring toxic rows that end up in ever-increasing levels of resentment, that is by no means a way to be intimate and close to your life partner. Fights can also be the sign that the couple has problems when it comes to their system of values, characters, temperaments, or just ways of communicating. And such underlying causes of never-ending quarrels need to be resolved for the couple to be able to get through all the storms that lie ahead.
But, tiffs can also lead to learning so many important things about our loved ones and can be used to actually benefit the relationship. If we observe the other carefully during a fight, we can notice how they react, what’s important to them, what sets them off and how quickly, what hurts them, and what helps them feel better.
What research reveals about humor in marriage
One of the very important ways to benefit from an argument is to approach it with humor. Apart from the importance of assertive communication, in which we always respect both the others and our own rights and needs, humor is the single most healthy habit in human interaction.
Although we’re not saying that you are to laugh when you’re facing a foreclosure, life cannot be serious all the time. In other instances, when things aren’t that bad, you need to make some room for cheerfulness. Laughter is good for everyone, and although some people find it difficult to end an argument in a buoyant mood (they feel compelled to spout for some time afterwards), newlyweds should start practising being humorous about their arguments from the first day of their married life.
This isn’t just an observation, although it can also be pointed out that a marital counselor’s office is rarely visited by couples who know how to laugh together. Empirical studies reveal that one of the main components of a happy and lasting marriage is good communication, and, in specific, the use of humor in quarrels.
One such extensive study examined hundreds of couples over the course of ten years, and the findings resulted in the researchers’ ability to predict the outcome of a marriage with up to 94% accuracy. One of their main findings was that, compared to unhappy couples, happy ones used positive behavior in fighting five times more. And the main such behavior was humor!
Humor serves as a sort of a repair. When an argument gets too heated or threatens to evolve into prolonged resentment, happy couples use humor to mend the damage and to offer a reconciliation. By using humor, the tension of an argument dissolves and the couple gets reminded of how much fun they have together.
And in your everyday interaction with your spouse, when there’s no argument that needs fixing, there is also a lot of need for laughter and for keeping things funny. Because it isn’t about making your husband or wife roll on the floor laughing, it’s about choosing to look at the bright side of things, when it’s easy to do so, as well as when it is difficult.
What if you’re just not that kind of person?
Well, there are also many couples who made it to the end without cracking each other up. Although the former is a bit more fun. But, if you just can’t make yourself joke your way out of an argument, that doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed, not at all. You just need to use some of the other tools at your disposal to be able to communicate in a way that will be respectful for both, and never to forget to recognize your partner’s point of view. And you can always go see a comedy show together when you can use a laugh.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.