A cheerful heart is good medicine. Prov. 17:22
My husband, Greg, has always known how to make me laugh. His sense of humor and wit were some of the things that attracted me to him early on. And he loves that he can make me laugh, even without words. All it takes is this certain expression on his face – and I’m a goner!
As our children get older, we all share more inside jokes together. There have been times we all just laugh and laugh together for thirty minutes or more at a time. And we each add to the jokes and funny stories. It’s one of my favorite things about the dynamics in our family.
How wonderful to laugh together around the supper table and to enjoy each other and have fun!
Humor and Relationship Research
Jeffrey Hall, a researcher in communications at Kansas University, has done quite a bit of study on the subject of humor and relationships.
Hall says, “That people think you are funny or you can make a joke out of anything is not strongly related to relationship satisfaction. What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humor that couples create together.”
In the article “Humor in Romantic Relationships, a Meta-Analysis,” Hall looks back on 30 years’ worth of studies on the topic, concluding that “playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security” and that laughter, “particularly shared laughter, is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates.”
Hall cautions that research warns a mate not to make his or her partner the butt of a joke. “Having an aggressive sense of humor is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if the style of humor is used in the relationship…”
Some Benefits of Humor in Relationships
Humor can be a huge blessing in family dynamics both between spouses – and between parents and children. It’s not always the best way to handle every situation, of course. But humor, rightly handled, can often do amazing things like:
- Create emotional bonding for couples and families.
- Forge lasting memories.
- Attract our spouse to us.
- Ease stress.
- Boost romance.
- Increase playfulness and fun.
- Increase satisfaction and contentment in relationship.
- Break tension.
- Give your husband more confidence in his abilities as he sees he can get you to laugh and smile.
- Slice through an awkward moment.
- Calm anxiety.
- Fight fear.
- Counter depression.
- Calm anger.
- Help us deal with annoyances in a healthy way.
- Prevent misunderstandings and arguments.
- Help manage conflict.
- Help us cope in times of trial
- Possibly boost our health in a number of ways
When we can find humor together in difficulties, or come up with inside family jokes, or share funny quotes and impressions – we bond as a family. Life is more fun. And our family is closer emotionally.
Shared humor makes our marriage and family stronger. As long as it is done in love, sensitivity, and fun, never with spite, disrespect, or malice.
This bonding helps us weather the less pleasant parts of life together and helps everyone feel loved, accepted, and important. It also helps us, as spouses and as a family, to feel connected and like we are a team who can conquer anything as long as we are able to face it together.
Humor is a great way to add positivity to your own life and to your marriage and family. It may take a bit of practice. And, it may take some time to study your husband and your children to learn what kinds of humor really engage them most. But the rewards can be amazing when we find the right style of humor, balance, and approach!
I’d love to hear your stories of how you and your husband use humor to strengthen your marriage and your family. I’m sure many of you have amazing insights to share with all of us that would be such a blessing!
SMILE! – Your smile is a huge blessing to your husband and children
Why Laughter Is Good for Your Marriage – Focus on the Family
Bringing Laughter Into Your Marriage – Focus on the Family
Managing Conflict with Humor – HelpGuide.org
Laughter Is the Best Medicine – (the health benefits of laughter) HelpGuide.org
Relationship Success Tied Not to Joking But Shared Sense of Humor, Researcher Says – Hall, Kansas University