How Humor Can Resolve Conflict

By Tori Benham

The details about how the argument began are a bit foggy. Jason and I hadn’t been married two years because we only had our first born, Trae. He was in a stroller and we were walking through a parking lot making our way to the county fair.

I’m sure I had all sorts of expectations for the evening. I love the fair. Well, at least the idea of it. The sound of kids running from ride to ride with their squeals and giggles. The smell of those giant turkey legs that look like they came straight from the Flintstones. The indulgence of cotton candy, hand-dipped corn dogs, and fried dough. The bright lights from the ferris wheel, carousel, and chair ride. Everything appeals to my senses!

Jason, however, does not love the fair. For him, the sounds, smells, tastes and sights at the fair cannot make up for that fifth sense, touch. Shoulder to shoulder with a crowd, sticky cotton candy and candied apples, sweat running down your back and every other feeling of unclean makes the fair opposite of appealing to him.

Needless to say, we were already at odds with each other walking in. We were arguing about money, of which we had very little. I’m sure he thought wasting what little we had on the fair was the dumbest thing ever while my dream of taking our new family to the fair was starting out badly. This was supposed to be fun!

Well, I must have gotten pretty mad. Mad enough to grab the money we had for the fair and throw it at Jason with these five articulate words, “wipe your butt with this!”

I mean, I’ve never been really quick with words, but wow! What did I just say? At that point, I was even madder. Mad at myself for such an epic comeback fail!

Then, in typical Jason fashion, he did it! The very thing I told him to do.

“OK,” he said as he smiled big and turned his backside toward me, right hand wiping in slow motion.

The grin on his face was as stupid as him standing in the parking lot wiping his rear end with cash!

And that was it! We busted out laughing. Argument over.

Dr. John Gottman, a world-famous psychotherapist, said that after 40 years of research he found using humor to be one of the best ways for couples to calm themselves in the midst of a fight. We found this to be true that night outside the fair.

While your humor may look nothing like ours, having a good laugh together can certainly stop a quarrel dead in its tracks, even if you prefer toilet paper to five dollar bills.

Now excuse me while I explain to our kids that potty humor is inappropriate.


Tori Benham

My goal is to help you in your battle—for your marriage and your kids. I’ve discovered that my best battle buddy is my husband, Jason, when we choose to fight alongside one another and not against each other. Fighting together draws us together. This is exactly why Satan wants to divide us. But we cannot let that happen, and neither can you. I promise I will write from my heart whatever God gives me, and hopefully this sharing will help both of us. The Lord knows I need it as much as anyone!

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