Keeping the Fun in Marriage

When James and I were engaged and meeting with the wedding coordinator in church, there just happened to be a wedding happening simultaneously. After our meeting, we were walking through the lobby and noticed the wedding party getting ready to begin the procession. This was a sacred occasion, right?

James pushed me over to a side door, pretending he was a spy, and said, “Okay, we’ve got visual contact with the bride. Let’s get ready to roll!” He crouched at the side door, took out his imaginary gun, and pretty much acted out a scene from Mission Impossible. I was horrified. What if someone saw us acting like super spies? I said in the most serious voice I could muster, “Sweetheart. This is not funny. This is someone’s wedding. Let’s leave quietly.”

This, of course, made it funnier to James who now laid it on even thicker. “Get down, hide, they’re coming!” he exclaimed, running to another side door. Now I’m more embarrassed because we’re mobile. I just wanted to get in the car and drive away.

That moment didn’t play out well for us. We both left the church (that we soon would be married in) upset. He was wondering, “Why is she such a killjoy?” I was thinking, “I can’t believe he is so inappropriate!”

I believe this tension exists in many marriages today. Why can’t he be more serious? Why can’t she be more fun? (or vice versa).

The sooner we can lean into our spouse’s brand of fun, the better.
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You may even have to force yourself to find the funny in a situation – and that’s okay. When you look for ways to constantly laugh together, that fun will carry you through the mundane moments of marriage. It’s even good for your physical health. The Mayo Clinic says laughter may have the following long-term effects:

  • Improve your immune system. Positive thoughts actually release neurotransmitters that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

So the next time your spouse wants to play spy…go along. And when your spouse says “Knock it off! This is embarrassing!” don’t think of him or her as a killjoy. Just bring it down a few notches and find something you both can laugh about.

Now go out and have some fun!


Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman), 31 Days to a Happy Husband, and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, Focus on the Family, K-LOVE, The Better Show, The 700 Club, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, and TLC’s Home Made Simple. Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children. Visit Arlene at for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

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