People fall in love by smiling at each other, but people stay in love by laughing together. For example: Mark is a “Type A” overachiever and when his girlfriend complained that they weren’t spending enough “us” time together, he put a date night for them on his calendar every other week and cleverly began sharing with her that “You’re on my ‘to do’ list.” The shared joke created greater intimacy between the two.
Lori’s husband, a contractor, often comes home sweaty and dirty from his job. This is a major turn off for Lori, and when her husband tries to give her a romantic hello, she turns away and asks him to take a bath. This makes her husband angry, and he accuses her of not appreciating what he does for a living.
To resolve this conflict, Lori has started turning on the tub water before he gets home, and then she playfully peels off his clothes when he walks through the door, and sometimes joins him in the tub.
Conflict is an inevitable part of all relationships. It may take the form of major discord between the two of you or simply petty aggravations that have built up over time. Either way, how you manage conflict can often determine how successful your relationship will be.
When conflict and disagreement throw a wrench in your relationship, humor and playfulness can help lighten things up and restore a sense of connection. Used skillfully and respectfully, a little lighthearted humor can quickly turn conflict and tension into an opportunity for shared fun and intimacy. It allows you to get your point across without getting the other person’s defenses up or hurting his or her feelings.
:c) SMILEY TIP — Whenever there’s a recurring conflict in your relationship, take a moment and stop and think whether there’s a joke that the two of you can share that will help to bring back the smiles.