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How a Sense of Humor is Essential for a Happy and Loving Relationship

Submitted by on July 11, 2011 – 10:28 pmNo Comment

Author: Marvin H. Berenson, M.D.

Having a sense of humor has often been called the most essential element in maintaining a happy and fulfilling relationship and marriage. Couples who can joke and laugh with each other, kid around and seek out ways and places to have fun together, tend to have happier and longer lasting relationships.

Is humor a primary ingredient that is necessary for a truly loving relationship? For many couples having a sense of humor was essential for the relationship to blossom into love and intimacy. Laughing together always set a tone of closeness and the feeling that they blended as a couple. Humor would help couples overlook and even overcome other feelings of doubt and incompatibility.

Couples where humor is lacking or diminishing over time begin to have doubts and begin to react to situations where conflicts appear that may have once been ignored. The confidence that what they had was special and unique begins to erode. Grudges are held longer. Alienation tends to occur and a sense of separateness begins to prevail. Unless checked and overcome these negative feelings soon dominate the relationship and humor becomes less frequent and may even disappear.

Partners then tend to find that other individuals serve their more intimate needs and often they are attracted to new friends who make them laugh. Unless a way is found to reduce the growing alienation, anger and doubts, relationships slide downward and couples may actively seek other outlets for fun. Such changes can lead to a down cycling of love and eventual separation.

Can the lack of humor have such a great impact? The simple answer is YES, especially if it was once a fundamental part of the love. Many couples when they finally marry have little humor, only rare periods of warm and friendly repartee and actually become involved with a partially alienated partner. Security, sex, family considerations and finances often dictate the reasons for a couple maintaining their marriage.

Couples in a courtship also tend to be different and loving and endlessly bending over backward to show their loving and intimate sides. For many the partner is seen as a soul mate and ideal for life-long marriage. But, alas for many such is not to be after marriage occurs and the other needs of a relationship take over.

To put it most simply a relationship that initially has humor in the mix has a good start. It behooves couples to be conscious of the benefits of laughter and fun and consciously vow to always keep humor in the mainstream of their lives. To be able to laugh at foibles, mistakes, times of stress, arguments and out and out disagreements, is a true elixir to combat the potential of conflicts and separateness.

Let’s agree that LAUGHING together is an antidote to many of the ills that befall us in our PATH to a long and happy life.

Reaching the highest levels of love, intimacy, communication and sharing come from the building of understanding and trust. For in-depth suggestions, advice and methods to improve your relationship read “Couples in Crisis.”

Visit to review “Couples in Crisis” and sign-up to receive Dr. Berenson’s highly informative weekly newsletter and two FREE gifts.

Marvin H. Berenson, M.D. is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, USC Keck School of Medicine, psychiatrist, lecturer, author and artist.

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About the Author

Dr. Berenson is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the USC Keck School of Medicine and has been a Training and Supervising Analyst with the Los Angeles Society and Institute of Psychoanalysis. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society.

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