Although raising a family and making a living are serious pursuits, marriage has an equally serious purpose to providing an arena for play, humor, and lively interests. Just as passion, so too can a marriage become frozen into a dull repetition of daily routines.
The nemesis of a good marriage is monotony unrelieved by imagination.
Over and over again, the couples in happy marriages said that shared laughter was one of the most important bonds between them. Many used the word "funny" to describe a spouse.
But by humor and "funny" these couples meant something deeper than the latest jokes making the rounds.
There were referring to an intimate way of relating to each other, a love key, spontaneous bantering that kept them connected.
The task of using humor and laughter to replenish the relationship, lasts a lifetime. This is not something reserved for vacations and anniversaries;
it is part of everyday life.
A healthy, pleasurable tension between husband and wife provides a zing that keeps the marriage alive and exciting.
For many couples lightness, fun and playful teasing are a treasured aspect of the relationship. Bantering brightens the day, hinting at a private world with a secret language and a tone, but more than often a couple's banter pokes fun at the ups and downs of everyday life, including everyday marriage.
Teasing, flirtation, and laughter, which always carry a hint of insecurity --- not so much to create anxiety but enough to banish tedium -- are an important part of a satisfying relationship.
A good marriage is not a business partnership, although it surely includes some of the same elements. Nor is a good marriage just a form of a friendship, although husbands and wives need each other as close friends.
Nor is it just a support system for adversity.
The distinctiveness of a good and happy marriage lies in its electricity, its power to light up the participants and enhance the excitement and pleasure of their lives.
Wallerstein & Blakeslee ~ The Good Marriage