Humor/Soft answer/God’s Bomb squad
We know that “A soft answer turns away wrath…” from Proverbs 15:1. I’m thinking of average, everyday irritations here, NOT major marital issues that require deeper attention.
- How often do you use humor as your soft answer in order to avoid stirring your spouse to anger?
- Share an example of a time you did this?
- How did the situation work out, right then? Long term?
- Are there times when humor is not the best way to defuse the ticking bomb?
- Would it help your marriage to aim for a more lighthearted approach to minor irritations or would your spouse appreciate you taking the little things a little more seriously?
- Do you think making the adjustment (to more or less humor) would decrease the number of missed opportunities to connect sexually?
You may include what you think your spouse would answer if you wish, but please give give sufficient room for introspection before looking to your spouse’s potential failings. (Splinters. Planks.)
We love to laugh in our home, but irritations can creep in. I will share the incident that prompted the question.
The other night I had told DH something about how much I loved him. It might have been to ask him if he saw something I wrote here, but I just don’t remember what it was. It’s not important right now. Later, in the shower, I had become annoyed with a couple of DH’s habits and had started to spiral, where each complaint led to another until I was standing naked in the bathtub with him, just thoroughly annoyed with him and with the world in general. All of a sudden, he looked at me and said, in a tone of grievous irritation, “We LOVE each other!!” It was just the right thing to say at that moment. I laughed and all my irritation just ran down the drain…until a moment later when I was apologizing and made the mistake of trying to explain why I was irritated, how I just felt absurdly grumpy, and managed to get myself worked up again, but I realized it, we looked at each other, and said together, “We LOVE each other!!” It has now become a running joke, whenever one of us gets on the verge of out of sorts or snappish, we just declare, in a tone as if we are mad enough to spit nails, “We LOVE each other!!” and you can almost hear the “Darn it!!” at the end. It has been almost like a kill switch for irritation and a bonding over a private joke and a reminder that we do, indeed, love each other, all in one. I think it was a moment of laughter that was inspired by God that will have a long-lasting positive effect in our marriage.
Occasionally I might wish DH would take things I’m talking about a little more seriously, but overall, I can say with all sincerity that humor has been of enormous benefit in our relationship, and I KNOW there are times when we were able to go ahead with romantic plans for the evening because we were able to laugh about a disagreement, as well as some evenings that were ruined because we were too stubborn to do so.
I feel like this experience reminds me to look for the humor in a situation even more often and to maybe do it even before I become agitated and grumpy with DH.
Humor is the key to unwinding tension for us really often. We have very similar senses of humor and we both love to laugh. I don’t have a specific instance off the top of my head, but it usually has something to do with my malfunc y ioning brain-to-mouth filter. I’d say its probably 80/20 that I can get out of the impending blow up if I can get her to laugh first. Actually, now I’m thinking, I think we have better conversations after the laughing than after expressing the irritations more grumpily.
A good reminder. I struggle not with humor but healthy humor. Sarcasm rolls easily off my tongue and DH has a cynical humor. Positive, healthy, wholesome humor takes more brainpower than I have sometimes; perhaps it’s just like a lot other muscle that needs to be flexed and used…
I do know that my Tasmanian Devil 3-yr-old brings levity to the room when he passes gas. He laughs like it is the funniest thing and gets everyone rolling, no matter what the topic at hand had been.