It’s Not Funny Only Because You’re Not Laughing

It’s the end of the week and time for a “marriage situation” post.  We’ll post the situation today and its biblical solution tomorrow. As always  my comments will be normal shading and Paul’s will be bolded.


I have a secret to tell you. When I was dating Liz, she didn’t make me laugh. In fact, her humor was somewhat exasperating at times. I remember actually telling her on occassion to stop making jokes because they were getting on my nerves (seriously). A man can only take so many Jane Austen quotes and references.

And since my humor did run more along the “Austenian” line, Paul’s constant references to “The Tick” left me less than amused (a man who dresses like a bug? or is a bug?). I honestly didn’t understand his sense of humor at all. I thought it was weird and a little too sarcastic.  When I laughed it was born more from politeness than anything else. And if I said something that I thought was hilarious, he’d just get this slightly condescending smile on his face and wait patiently until I stopped chuckling. That kind of annoyed me.

To be fair, we did laugh when we were together. Every once in a while one of us said something the other thought was humorous, but that was the exception rather than the rule. As a rule, our personal attempts to make the other one laugh fell flat. Normally we would find ourselves laughing about the situations around us or something someone else had said or done. Shrug. No big deal right?


It didn’t occur to us right away to think of  this humor issue as a significant indicator of the success of our relationship. But then we started hearing other couples talk about “falling in love” and inevitably they would end up says something like “I knew it was love because he/she made me laugh.”  At that point, we started to get nervous. Maybe a shared sense of humor was a necessity for true love and a happy marriage! Or maybe it’s a compatibility issue: If I couldn’t make her laugh then our relationship was just a ticking time bomb, ready to implode at any second. Like many issues, we figured that this problem would solve itself once we were married. (Right, isn’t marriage the key to fixing life’s problems? : ) But naturally, it didn’t get better when we got married. We discovered that our respective families were very different in many ways, humor being one of them. Thus as hard as we tried, during that first year we just kept running into those cultural differences (and I can guarantee those cultural differences weren’t funny:-). In fact, when we would hear people repeat the “he/she makes me laugh” trope, we would feel that our relationship really was inferior. That we were missing out on a key element in a successful marriage.


Paul and I have some scriptural and practical musings about this.  But that’s for tomorrow’s post. For now, we would love to hear what you think. Does your spouse make you laugh? Did they make you laugh while you were dating? What place does humor have in your marriage?





  • Mom24almost5Munchkins says:

    Gotta admit, the Tick comic made me lol. but I do love me some Jane Austen too!:) Of course, my husband does sit in the other room and laugh at comments from Mr. Bennet when I’m watching Pride and Prejudice.:) We are just really well-suited for each other.:)
    I would say that humor is a HUGE part of why we fit so well together. We really do think so many of the same things are funny. We laugh together a lot, have since we started dating. I think we both think the other person is one of the funniest people we know.:)
    Of course, there are other reasons we are together but humor is one of the non-spiritual reasons our relationship works.:)

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

      Yeah, I thought of you as I wrote this – you were probably the closest thing to a mix between my humor and Paul’s when we were dating. I saw it as a hopeful sign that one of his siblings liked Jane Austen : )

  • Melissa Melissa says:

    Wow…I never in a million years would have thought Paul would make constant “Tick” references. : ) Ben’s family definitely has a more refined sense of humor than my family does, but my brothers easily corrupted him into laughing at all things crude and stupid. We didn’t laugh together a whole lot at the beginning because I was too busy trying to hide my non-fundamentalist nature. We laugh all the time now and really have a very similar sense of humor these days.

  • adam&rach says:

    I have NO idea what you’re talking about! Our senses of humor are so aligned, I’m laughing at the joke before he even finishes. :-)
    To be honest…I have both seen and given that small condescending smile often. (I call Adam’s look his “judging eyes.” )
    I am interested to read tomorrow’s post. The thing I appreciate about Adam is that he can point out something in a situation where I may be taking it too seriously, and he helps me laugh at myself.

  • Maria says:

    Humor is a HUGE part of our marriage!!! One of the things that I love the most about my husband is that I can honestly say that he makes me laugh just about every day. We find a lot of the same types of things funny. A lot of times they’re things that no one else finds funny(we’ve given up recommending movies for this very reason. We’ll think something is side-splittingly funny & everyone we recommend the movie to comes back w/ rather wan smiles & “It was…alright.” :-}), but we both do, so it works out. Now don’t get me wrong, he still watches The 3 Stooges & I will NEVER think those guys are funny. But it’s all good.

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

      You guys are just a hoot to watch while you are together. I won’t even know what ya’ll are talking about but I can laugh just watching you talk about it.

  • Dave says:

    The Tick is so great … I’d pretty much forgotten about him. Love the cartoon.

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