So much of our attitude about life and our capacity to meet life’s challenges depends on the quality of the relationships we have, especially our most intimate relationships.
When they go sour, life tends to feel bleak. Because the quality of our relationships has a powerful effect on physical and mental balance, as well as our sense of satisfaction in life, it’s important that we keep our relationships rewarding and fresh. The data on divorce provides compelling evidence that we are not succeeding at all. Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce — cohabitation couplings are far likelier to end badly — and of the marriages that endure, many are less than happy.
Most people know the value of a good relationship and no matter how often they have lost at love, they keep on hoping. As a result, advice on how to make relationships work fills shelves and shelves of bookstores and hours of talk-show time. Some of it is even good, the product of careful research on happy and unhappy couples.
But of all the elements that contribute to the warm atmosphere of a good relationship, there is one that seldom gets translated into advice or even therapy, yet it is something that everyone desires and most people would like more of: laughter. Continued…