Let ‘Em Laugh: Embracing Your Spouse’s Sense of Humor


There I was enjoying a nice, relaxing shower. The kids were sleeping, the clothes were folded, and the floors were actually mopped hence I was enjoying a 10 minute shower instead of the typical hurried five minute one. Suddenly, I hear running footsteps. My husband bursts into the bathroom, opens the shower door, turns around, pulls down his pants, and lets out the most disgusting, revolting, rancid flatulence I’ve ever experienced. He shuts the doors to the bathroom and takes off.

He laughed. I could hear him laughing and giggling like a little school girl as I yelled in frustration. The steam of the shower mixed with my pregnancy nose made the smell even worse than it probably would have been otherwise. Thus, I screamed that I was plotting my revenge and that he better watch his back that week!

He was still whole-body giggling when I stormed out of the bathroom. Since true laughter is contagious, it wasn’t long before I let out a smile, too. 

In that instant I realized that, despite his typical witty and refined sense of humor, my husband needed to exhibit some immature and middle-schoolish humor at times. He, like many other husbands, was under an incredible amount of stress; we had just experienced our first PCS and had moved far away from family, he was studying for his medical boards, we had recently discovered we were pregnant with our surprise third child, there was still much to do with the house we had bought, we were patiently waiting for the military to give us our first paycheck, and he was entering into a vigorous residency program that kept him away from home physically and mentally a lot. 

Although pouring a cup of ice cold water on him while he was taking his own warm, relaxing shower did cross my mind, I never did execute my revenge. Instead, I let him laugh.

Ladies, our spouses are under a lot of pressure with their jobs each day. Whether they work at home with the kids or away from home, they work tirelessly each day and are eager to get the long day of work off their minds. 

So, let your spouse laugh.

Let ’em take your kid to the biggest hill on his one day off in the freezing cold and go sledding despite your safety concerns.

Let him start a wrestling match between your two boys. Let him ride around on a scooter with the kids in the middle of the store.

Rather than playing calm, relaxing lullabies, let him play loud, obnoxious music right before the kids’ bedtime resulting in the kids getting riled up and eager for a dance party.

Let him throw the kids up into the air (and catch them, of course). 

It can be difficult to embrace your husband’s many different sides of humor, but it is oh so important to let him laugh. When he (or she!) is deployed overseas or working long hours, you’ll miss that big smile he cracks at the most inopportune times. You’ll regret rolling your eyes and sighing loudly when you’re trying to get the kids ready for an outing and he’s banging on the piano singing while the kids are running around naked giggling because Daddy doesn’t know how to play the piano or sing well. They are all laughing together and having fun, so let them. That store you were going to will still be there in an hour. 

Join in! Laugh with your spouse. Laugh with him when he makes silly faces and says, “Woah! Watch out!” at your growing pregnant belly. Laugh with him when he invents outlandish stories about random people’s background stories.

I am typically an optimistic, ‘the glass is half full,’ kind of person, but there are days when I don’t want to laugh. There are days when I’ve changed so many diapers and cleaned so much food off the floor that I just want to close my eyes and frown. These are the days when I need to laugh. Maybe it’s telling your spouse at the end of the day about how your boys both had explosions in their diapers at the same time and obviously decided to smear it all over the playroom floor; you’ll see him crack a smile and then you, too, will realize that it is kind of funny.

Biographer Agnes Repplier puts it best when she writes,“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”

Embrace your spouse’s humor. If he likes pictures, text him a funny meme or gif or a crazy thing your kid did when you get a free moment. If he likes corny jokes, look up the cheesiest of cheesy jokes and keep a stash of them handy when laughter is needed. If he likes cat videos, have a Youtube list of hilarious cat videos under your belt. And if you still are unsure of what exactly makes your husband laugh, find it. Because laughing together and embracing each other’s humor is what every day needs to end with. (Although ending the day with a glass of wine never hurts, either.)

I’m curious: how do you embrace your spouse’s sense of humor?