Finding your funny is essential to keeping your relationship healthy.

Here’s a little story. It has the potential to be painful or funny, depending. A few days ago, my cutie and I were heading out of town. We had taken a Thursday/Friday break, going off to see the changing leaves. As we were leaving town, there were a couple of errands to be run. I needed to go to the bank, and he needed to pick up his new glasses.

The first indicator that the whole day could go sideways was for me. After I had dropped Michael off to get his glasses, I went into the bank, and the teller said to me, “You know your driver’s license is expired?” Me, “No, really?” Her, “Yep.” Me, “Yep, sure enough.” Just to make it better it expired, not like last week, but on August 1, over two months ago. “Ok, thank you, I am not sure how long it would have taken me to figure that out.” My first reaction was, “Crap.” The second was, “Yay, I get a new picture.” I really didn’t like my last photo, but not enough to actually go in and take a new photo. In all honesty, my head could have gone in multiple different directions. Having witnessed my own unraveling in the past, over simple disruptions. My mind racing with some self-induced pressure to resolve the issue immediately, or to start looking at who to blame, “Why didn’t the DOL send me a notice?” Instead, here was a perfect opportunity to put into play an agreement I had made with myself. Let go of the “little shit,” just let it go.
Michael and I looped up, he had his new glasses, he modeled them, and I have to say, he looked cute. I told him my story, and we laughed that, “Yay, I was getting a new photo.” I figured if I didn’t drive like a loon, I would be fine, so I drove us off to our next stop. We needed to grab lunch before we really hit the road.

So, we stopped into our favorite Hamburger Joint and grabbed a burger, the mini-vacation had started!

After a great lunch, fun conversations with each other, the guys sitting near us, the server, lots of laughing and chatting, we left for our last stop, a bottle of wine for later, we were almost on the open road. As we are getting the wine, Michael realizes he couldn’t find his glasses. He basically unpacks and repacks the car, no glasses. “Ok, I must have left them at the restaurant.” So, back the way we had come. We get to the restaurant, Michael looks high and low, no glasses. Now we are really retracing our steps, both of us with our eyes glued to the side of the road. We had gone about a mile or so when, Michael says, “There they are!”

Ok, 4 lanes, cars behind me, I drive ahead and flip a U-turn, we see the case, and I flip another U-turn, start the hazards, and he jumps out. He comes back and says, “They aren’t in the case.” Me, “Well there are a lot of cars, you go look, and I will come back.” He starts jogging back along the road, I take off and flip another U-turn, come back and flip another and he’s standing there with the glasses in his hand. Me, “Amazing! You found them.” Michael, “Yep.” Me, “Are they scratched?” Michael, “A little.” Me, “I can’t believe you found them, let me see!”
Ok, at this point, I was at choice. Michael had had his new glasses less than 2 hours. I couldn’t help myself, I burst out laughing. It was the kind that brings tears to your eyes, and I am thrilled I didn’t have food in my mouth, I would have sprayed the entire interior of the car. Michael said with sincerity, “I got a warranty on the lenses, do you think the Dr. will cover them?” Honestly, I was laughing too hard to answer.

Ask Yourself These Questions if You Want a Healthy Relationship:

  • What type of response would you have?
  • How would your reaction to the situation help?
  • How would your reaction impact your relationship?
  • What focus would you want for the rest of your mini-vacation?
  • And, what memories would you make?

There have been times in my life I would have lost it. I could have been really upset, glasses are expensive after all. I hate to spend money twice. Still, when looking back, I could have completely ruined the entire day with my general unhappiness about the situation. I also could have negatively impacted my relationship with Michael. Knowing him the way I do, I could already hear his internal negative narrative about this situation, I didn’t need to help him beat himself up. And, at that moment he needed my help to see that it was ok, cuz he hates spending money twice too. Within about 20 minutes he started laughing about it too. So, what would my bad attitude have served? We went on to have a fantastic 2 days of exploring Fall in the Pacific Northwest. Feeling connected, we had fun. Nothing about reality changed, I still needed a new license, and he still needed new glasses. We had a blast and created memories that will last a lifetime. The only thing we had control over was our attitude and our desire to have fun together. By adding a funny story to our couple story, it helps us never to stop laughing, which is key to a healthy relationship. The outcome was so much more to our liking.

Your Turn...

I would LOVE to hear from YOU!

  • What gets in the way of using humor to help your relationship(s)?
  • Share a story about a time you used humor well and it helped your relationship.

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.


Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC is a Leadership Confidence and Whole Life Coach, and the author of StoryJacking: Change Your Inner Dialogue, Transform Your Life, the Reflective Coach, and Light Up: The Science of Coaching with Metaphors. Lyssa works with confidence challenged high achievers who are ready to rewrite the internal narratives that slow them down. Her clients include executives, senior leadership, and managers at organizations such as Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, the US Military, as well as with creative writers, actors, and artists.

What fires her up is working with smart people to trust their brilliance and develop the courage and confidence to believe in themselves and the work that is their purpose. If you are interested in meeting to see if you could benefit from working together, let's have a coffee and a chat.

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