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Chapter 1 Excerpt - In Laughter We Are Not Alone

In Laughter We Are Not Alone

" Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one." -- Oscar Wilde

Laughter also provides another bridge to the beginnings of our relationships. When we find someone to love, we feel a profound relief that we are no longer alone. Our primal fear of death by isolation can’t withstand our twin defenses of laughter and love, and it retreats into the recesses of our minds. We gratefully relax into the comfort of a companion who loves us and joins with us to create a “tiny tribe” of our own. We no longer live in fear of abandonment.

Laughter is a gift of connection for human beings, and that’s why we are drawn to each other when we laugh. When the “new” wears off in our relationships, laughter keeps us caring and supports us as we endure the painful aspects of growth, both individually and together. Laughter is profoundly important in the maintenance of life long relationships.

As a counselor, it is my privilege to enter a very personal place in my clients’ lives. I hear tales of relationships lost and relationships found. Laughter is always present in the beginning and always absent at the end. It’s a fact that relationships that lose their laughter become brittle and break.

As sad as I am to hear about those broken relationships, it is my pleasure to hear tales of relationships that endure. Without fail, laughter always plays a vital role in that endurance. People report that they continue to like one another because they laugh. They appreciate the ongoing laughter in the relationship and acknowledge its role in easing them through the difficult times.

In my clients’ laughter, I recognize their connection with their partners, their friends, and their families. As they invite me into their lives through their laughter, we form yet another kind of relationship, another connection. It seems that our fears of loneliness are mostly “a tempest in a teacup.” All we need to fend it off is laughter with another human being.

So—laughter in a relationship is a positive: below the belt, above the belt, and under the belt. It is essential in keeping our relationships alive and well. It will enable us to choose to stay together with gusto instead of resignation.

Now, in order to go for the gusto, the following exercise should get you started laughing. If you’ve already started, it should help you keep going —so, loosen up those face muscles and get ready for some belly laughter.

Exercise: Belly Laughter for Couples
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