When Your Relationship Feels Flat: How Humor Can Help

HumorIs the fun, light-hearted side of your relationship missing?  Do things feel dull and blah between you and your partner?  Do you have more fun with people other than your spouse?   Have things felt this way for a while?  It’s likely that things were dramatically different at the beginning of your relationship: it used to be fun.  You used to love being together, touching, talking and kissing.  You used to play and laugh with each other.  But, not recently.  You don’t know where that side of your spouse went.  Come to think of it, you don’t know where that side of YOU went!

And as much as you may not feel like laughing when things are this dull and distant, humor can really help your relationship.

  •  When was the last time you kidded around with your partner?
  • When was the last time you shared an inside joke?
  • When was the last time you were both bent over in hysterical laughter?

There is tremendous value in bringing that fun, humor-filled attitude back into your life.  Humor connects people.  Sharing jokes between you brings you closer and helps bond you.  In addition, laughter helps us to see our lives more clearly.  Sometimes we need a reminder that BOTH difficulty and joy exist in our relationships.  It can be challenging to keep joy and playfulness in your heart when your relationship is going through difficulties.  Remember though, that your relationship does have joy and goodness even in the midst of hard times.  Life offers us plenty of moments of quirkiness, ironies,and absurdities.

Start by laughing at yourself.  As humans, we make plenty of mistakes.  There are so many idiosyncracratic things about each of us.  Keep in mind that I’m not talking about self-deprecating humor; humor in which we put ourselves down.  Instead, imagine that you can see yourself from another angle: a funny, jovial or playful way of seeing yourself.

Joke, laugh, and have fun with your partner.  Be aware, though, that joking with your partner can be tricky.  It’s a slippery slope to mocking and shaming. Teasing can easily turn to ridicule.  We might try to excuse it away by saying, “It’s only a joke!” or “Can’t you take a joke?”  However, some teasing is really criticism deeply disguised, so you have to be mindful about how your partner might feel.  The goal here is to use humor to bring you and your partner closer to each other, not an opportunity to put your partner down.  You don’t want to create more resentment and distance.

Find something neutral to introduce the humor back into your relationship.  Laugh together at things you both find funny.  It could be:

  • the silly things your kids do and say
  • a hilarious show or movie
  • a comedian whose humor you both like
  • something absurd that happened at work
  • a funny website
  • your pet’s curiosity and reactions to things
  • playing with your kids and your pets

Bringing laughter back into your lives can help change the tone of your relationship. 

To find out more about how having fun together can help to bring you closer, schedule an appointment here at Couples Therapy Center.  Call 908-246-3074, email mkeller@couplestherapycenterofnj.com 

Meredith Keller's Book

Relationship Essentials

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Relationship Essentials book

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