Relieving Marital Stress Through Laughter

by Peter Davidson
(Arnolds Park, Iowa USA)

Let me start with a disclaimer – I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or marriage counselor. I'm just an ordinary guy who learned a few things about marriage through the experience of forty-eight years with the same woman. One of the lessons I learned is that you can relieve a lot of tension and stress in a marriage, or in any personal relationship, by enjoying the humor in a situation and by having a few laughs now and then.

When my grandson, Joel, got engaged, I decided to jot down a few words of marital advice for him based on my vast experience as a husband. Then I thought, why share this wisdom with only one person when I can share it with the whole world. So, I started a blog and added new marital advice every week. As the popularity of the blog grew, people suggested that the material be turned into a book, and eventually, it was.


Here are a few comments I shared with my grandson in which you might find some marital wisdom and have a few laughs at the same time.

Your New Best Friend: I highly recommend that you volunteer to handle the vacuuming of the carpets and floors. Here's why: There is something about the hum of a vacuum cleaner and knowing that her husband is running the machine that gives a wife a euphoric high that borders on a mental orgasm. In fact, some women have reported that they consider their husband vacuuming the floors to be a form of foreplay.

Here's a little tip – before you start vacuuming, go to the hardware store and buy a roll of electrical tape. Why? Because sooner or later you are going to run the vacuum over the electrical cord and the vacuum will gnaw the outer casing off the cord, exposing its bare wires, which, eventually, will cause the cord, and maybe the house, to catch on fire. Here's where the electrical tape comes in. All is not lost, though. When your wife brags to her friends and relatives that you do the vacuuming, fully three-fourths of them will not believe her. She will then show them the vacuum with its taped-up cord as physical proof that you do, in fact, vacuum. You see, women do not vacuum over the electrical cord. It's a guy thing.

The Look: Let's say that you and your wife are out for the evening with friends. You're having a great time and it might even be said that you are the life of the party. You glance at your wife and she is giving you a steely-eyed, clenched-jaw scowl, known as The Look. Obviously, you have done something wrong, but what? Since there are so many infractions that you might have committed, you may not be able to figure it out, but you don't have to. Within thirty seconds of when your wife gets you alone, she will inform you.

The Gift Giver: There will be numerous times throughout your marriage that you will buy your wife presents for her birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, Valentines Day, and other occasions. Buying the perfect gift is an art and a science. If you do this right, your wife will treasure the gift forever and will brag about it to her friends and relatives. If you do it wrong, you will pay in ways that you cannot imagine.

This is a comment made by a wife (true story) to her husband after he gave her what he thought was a wonderful anniversary present. See if you can guess what the gift was.*
She said, “Listen, Bubba - Give me flowers, perfume, clothing, candy, a book, a card - or nothing at all. But do not ever give me an implement of work as a gift.”

* The finest vacuum cleaner that money can buy. (Do you blame her?)

Female Shopping Logic: Since the beginning of time, mothers and grandmothers have passed down shopping philosophies, strategies, and techniques to their daughters and granddaughters when the young women reach an adequate age, maturity, and mental capacity to comprehend the complexities of female shopping logic. They accept these morsels of wisdom as absolute, indisputable truth since they came from Mother, or better yet, Grandmother. It goes something like this:

“If you find something on sale at a deep, deep discount, buy it, even if you don't need it or have no use for it. And when you get married, if your husband cannot understand this simple logic, tell him to go . . . . himself.”
That's what you're up against. Don't fight it.

Her Silent, But Very Loud, Language: In interpreting what your wife's body language means, carefully scrutinize her voice, eyes, head movement, lips, laugh, fingers, hands, arms, and silence, and then . . . Guess.

The Fabulous Dream: When you buy a home, make yourself aware of the 80-20 Rule. This says that your wife will be in charge of 80 percent of the house and you will be in charge of 20 percent, which, coincidentally, is the approximate size of the garage. The same 80-20 Rule also applies to closet space and dresser drawers.

A Carpenter's Advice: “Measure twice and saw once.” In marital terms, guys, this means to think twice before you open your mouth.

And, Speaking of Your Mouth, Guys: Here is one of the most profound marital philosophies ever uttered:
“Your mouth will get you into a whole lot more trouble than your Willy ever will.”
(Every married man on earth has learned this first-hand.)

Well, there's a little marital wisdom for how to relieve stress in marriage from my new book, Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel.

I'd like to end this writing with one of my favorites: A married couple develops their own language and secret code. It might be a touch, wink, sigh, voice inflection, or word that has special meaning to them. It is one of the unique things about married life that forms a special bond between the couple.

Quotations about marriage are scattered throughout the book. You can read excerpts from Peter Davidson's book, Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, and read readers' reviews of the book here:

Visit Peter's blog at

Which one of Peter's tips for relieving marital stress is your favorite? Do you have a favorite marital stress relief tip of your own to share?

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Avoiding unnecessary marital stress
by: Val

With age and experience comes wisdom. I have learned to focus more on appreciating my husband's good qualities and overlooking some of his annoying habits (not always easy) and commenting less about them. I figure I probably have some annoying habits that he has wisely chosen to keep quiet about. And when he does speak up, then I know I need to do something about it. But here's the rub: when he speaks up, I do something about it right away. When I say something, he picks up his plate - that one time- and then goes right back to his old ways until I nag again. Men!

Oh, and I agree. A man doing housework is sexy indeed.

Thanks for the article, Joel. I will be reading your book.

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