How-To Strengthen Your Marriage
The Number 1 Way to Strengthen Your Love: Laughter
Let me just cut to the chase. I grew up in a “broken home.” And so did my husband. When we got married we vowed to never repeat our family history by doing this or that, but despite our best intentions and most sincere proclamations that said, “we are going to be different”, we somehow repeated some of the same mistakes we’d witnessed as children.
I’d like to say “we quickly learned to work together” after tying the knot, especially because we each had a front row seat to the other person’s childhood pain. But the truth is, we have both needed quite a bit of humbling to smooth out our rough edges.
Marriage is work, and it will cost you. Before you foot the bill for couples counseling, consider instead giving up yourself to enjoy life’s best medicine: LAUGHTER.
Because laughter is healing, and energizing, wielding unity and goodness – we’ve recently realized laughter must be a main part of our marriage arsenal to fight off the sins of our past – to heal, to grow, to thrive.
I had this preconceived notion that holy matrimony was holy enough, and I wasn’t going to have to change much of myself to enjoy it. (Rolls eyes) Oh, so naive. Now, maybe you are reading this and don’t have baggage, or visible faults, or an ego. At least not yet. But if you do have these, and see them – you know I’m not talking about changing your whole being or personality, or giving up your biggest dreams-type of change, I’m talking about a change in perspective.
In marriage, you have to see 3 things to keep a good head on your shoulders:
1: You have to understand you. The gut wrenching, honest, wonderfully wonderful you.
2: You have to learn, and understand your partner. The gut wrenching, honest, wonderfully wonderful handsome beast (or beauty) you chose out of the rest of the world’s population. And then, you must accept them as they are now, in their present state of growth, always cheering them forward. *Key word is cheer – not nag or critique or correct or instruct or reprimand.
3: You have to, at the same time, cultivate, and begin to understand US as it now further develops on this side of the altar. With no “I” in in team, the “we, us, ours” team vision gets ever bigger in your mind as you plan your days and regulate your ways.
Laughing is a skill. Before it becomes some automatic action, it’s first a mindset – an attitude with perspective that says, “I’m flexible, and I love you before my agenda, my desires, or your faults.” Laughter only happens when we are truly humble, and don’t feign teachability. Healing, strengthening laughter only happens when the “WE & US” is held sacred.
When the road gets rough, or you simply want to level up your love, laughter just might be your cure. We all have weak spots, and points of pain. Laughter, for us, has been the medicine to not only maintaining our sanity, but also guiding us to a stronger US. Rick and I are our truest, best selves when we laugh together.
There are millions of ways to go about getting more laughs into your love life. I’d suggest a weekly date night to start, where no phones are present, no major life responsibilities are discussed, and where you both have a chance to talk – to think about new things and old things out loud. Perhaps a record store, a local library, a thrift shop, your bedroom or a bar would be a good scene. Don’ worry if the laughs don’t spontaneously appear. The more you relax and focus on putting your partner and US first, the more likely the real-life LOL’s will start to appear.
If you have found another awesome and affordable way to boost your marriage, please share in the comments below! More wisdom is always welcome!
Now go love ’em, haha!