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Belly Laughter Workbook

When I think about the couples I see for counseling and how serious they all are, I am reminded of Oscar Wilde’s famous quote about life. With a little paraphrasing, it applies to couples as well. “Relationships are too important to be taken seriously.” There are some couples who seem to keep this in mind, and they maintain laughter and play as a vital part of their relationship. Others can not or do not keep laughing, and their relationships often suffer as a result.

Laughter in a relationship is a treasure. It is one of our primary reasons for even wanting a partner. All of us can feel the magic power of laughter after we have a good belly laugh, and if someone offers us laughter as part of being with them, we tend to stay. Each time we laugh we feel better, our step becomes a little jauntier, and we feel closer to the person with whom we laughed. The world seems brighter and friendlier, and we are able to approach things more positively.

Everyone involved in a relationship cherishes the positive feeling laughter provides. We all want to stay immersed in the love and laughter that brings us together. We want to keep the feelings that enabled us to join our lives together easily and in joy and optimism.

However, this very ease in forming our relationships causes our surprise at the effort required to maintain our positive feelings. Mysteriously, it becomes easier to bog down in the more serious aspects of living, no matter how much we love each other. As I listen to couple after couple describe their struggle to maintain a satisfying relationship, the fact that they seldom laugh and have fun together strikes me again and again.

Since I realize that couples don’t deliberately sabotage the fun in their relationships, I decided it must be due to a lack of ideas on how to keep playing and laughing while involved in something so important. We all need suggestions now and then on how to keep laughter in our lives. This workbook is the result of making concrete suggestions to couples over and over again on how to play with all the serious issues of a relationship. When we are able to approach the serious aspects of life with our partners with a playful attitude, we regain flexibility and fun, and our laughter increases. The result of more laughter in our lives is a closer, more loving relationship.

I sincerely hope that as you use the laughter techniques you will find in this workbook, you will experience a new immersion in all the warm and wonderful feelings you felt in the beginning of your relationship. If you enhance the laughter in your lives, you will no longer be two people caught in a solemn, stoic march through the duties of a relationship. Instead, you can be two, light-hearted people laughingly pulling each other along through those same duties. Always remember that couples who laugh together, last together.

Here’s laughing with you,
Enda Junkins

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