Table of Contents

"If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old." -- Pat McManus

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter One- Belly Laughter in Relationships: Something Else Positive Below the Belt

The Importance of Laughter in Relationships

Laughter Is Part of Attraction · Laughter Puts Us Intensely in the Moment · Laughter Is Marvelous for Love · Laughter Makes It Easier to Cope · Laughter Helps You Enjoy Life More · Laughter Eases Conflict · Laughter Adds Enjoyment to Ordinary Things · Laughter and Humor Are Different · In Laughter We Are Not Alone · Exercise—Belly Laughter for Couples

Chapter Two- In Our Face

Using Laughter to Handle the Power Struggle

Laughter and Fun Are Essential in Relationships · The Biological Love Bug · Bonding Through Laughter and Touch · We Seek to Be Whole · We Need to Resolve Old Issues · We Love Because It’s Fun · What Happens to All the Fun? · The Power Struggle for Love · We Can Be Playful While Seeking the Love We Need · The Fight for Happiness · Yelling Is Telling · Silence Is a Golden Opportunity · Let Me Tell You · "Love Without Lunacy Is Impossible" · Hello Mother, Hello Father · Laughter and Play in a Serious Relationship · "If You Take Life Too Seriously, You’ll Never Get Out Alive" · Exercise—On Our Face

Chapter Three- Dance With the One Who Brung You

Using Laughter to Cope with Patterns of Behavior

The Survival Pattern · The Mind Says Work It Out · The Determined Ones · Identifying Patterns Can Be the Key · The Patterns of Childhood · Frozen Needs · Identifying a Pattern · Playing With Patterns · Exercise—Laughter Affirmation for Couples

Chapter Four- Talking, Talking Happy Talk

Using Laughter to Improve Communication

What Happens to the Happy Talk? · Communication Is Learned · The Dilemma of Expression—Thoughts or Feelings? · Playful Ways to Communicate · Criticism Ain’t No Way to Communicate Feelings · The Importance of Listening · Resistance to Change · Reflect This! · I Love You—What Do You Mean? · Don’t Assume! You’ll ASS-U-ME!?! · SPEAK UP, MY DEAR, SPEAK UP · Exercise—Speak to Me! Tell Me! Duh, What?

Chapter Five- In the Big Inning There Were Sex, Money, Children, and Housework

Using Laughter to Cope with the Four Major Issues in Relationships

Whipped Cream, Silly String, and Sex · In for a Penny, In for a Pound · Hanging from the Family Tree · A Maid! A Maid! Our Kingdom for a Maid! · Exercise—Pla-a-ay Ball!!

Chapter Six-You Can’t Rain on My Parade

Laughter in a Relationship with a Serious Partner

Living with a Serious Partner · The Search for Laughter Reborn · Focus on Your Own Laughter · Laughter Doesn’t Change the Facts— It Changes the Way We Relate to the Facts · A Relationship Is Possible When Only One Person Laughs · Exercise—Liberated Laughing.

Chapter Seven Laugh Together Each Day and Your Partner Will Stay

A Daily Laughter Workout Plus Additional Laughter Exercises for Specific Issues

The Weekly Laughter Workout · Fill Yourself with Laughter · Laughter Training to Laugh More · Hump Day · I Love You When You Are Irritating · The Laughter Sanctuary · The Laughter Reflection · Toning Up Your Week · Tools, Glorious Tools, More Tools · Laughing and Loving · Laugh Along With Me · We Laugh Because We Hurt · Face Off · The Bullet Point Tantrum · Personal Advisor · Talk To Me, Baby · Love Letters with a Twist · Little Bitty Notes of Love · Thank You, Thank You, Thank You · Exaggerate Your Needs · I Need You · Sh-h-h-h, You Can’t Talk About Sex · Silly Sex · Mister, Can You Spare a Dime? · Just You and Me and Baby Makes Three · Have Fun · What You Practice Is What You Become · All Good Things Must End.