16 Apr Harmonious Marriage: Humor Me.
So New Year’s has come and gone as has getting the taxes done. In my house both of these things bring up budget and financial talks. A reckoning of sorts. Fun? Not really. Money talk and relationship harmony does not exactly go together. In fact, money issues are the cause of approximately 22% of all divorces.*
My own spouse and I sat down to review final tax documents this weekend. To set expectations I said, “I don’t want any aggressive or judgmental language directed at me.”
To which she answered dryly, “Is there a translation app for that?”
I paused then laughed out loud.
Soon we were both cracking up and enjoying each other. The potentially argumentative and tense hours were diffused before they ever occurred. To be honest, laughter has largely kept us going for 21 years.
Bring back the Harmony – Laugh
Humor can be a great communication and conflict resolution skill. John Gottman, PhD has studied couples for over 2 decades and found that the successful couples were those that had skills in repairing arguments with humor.
Humor is a powerful tool to avoid arguments, turn the tide of a contentious conversation, and to repair after an argument. It lowers the tension level. Laughing together brings you back into “we-ness” instead of “you against me-ness.” As a therapist, I hate to say this, but it can end an argument without having to talk about feelings.
Of course, it must be well placed. An ill-timed joke during an argument can totally back-fire. I’m sure you’ve been there wondering where the undo button is for your mouth. I know I have!
Additionally, stay away from sarcasm or teasing your mate about something she or he is sensitive about, this will just get you into more hot water.
In a tense moment, stay calm, find the humor, and remember…
The couples who LAUGH together
*Institute of Divorce and Financial Analysts.
Kate Murphy, LMSW
Kate Murphy, a therapist in Berkeley Lake, specializes in helping you decrease stress and anxiety. You can live a more balanced, connected, and meaningful life. Kate works with individuals and couples over the age of 18 to support healing, communicating, and experiencing joy more often.