Play: The 4-Letter Word You Need to Add to Your Marriage

Did you know that there are huge psychological benefits to play? Sadly, many adults forget how to engage in playing behaviors and instead live a life of work, work, work. If your marriage is void of play, you’ll probably find that you just don’t enjoy it too much. So, to help you out (since that’s what I love to do), I’m going to tell you the benefits of play and give you some thoughts on how you can have more of it in your marriage.

Play increases your ability to be creative.

Why might creativity be important in marriage? Think back to your last ugly argument or annoyance you had with your spouse. When we lack creativity, we lose the ability to problem-solve. When you can’t solve your couple problems, you start to believe that your marriage is harder than most people’s or that just maybe you married the wrong person. You begin to think that the reason your marriage is tough is because you always argue. Not true, friend. Arguments are quite a bit less painful when you figure out how to come to a solution together and learn how not to have the same argument later. Creativity plays an amazing role in allowing you to think outside of the box, be a team, and fight your problems instead of fighting one another. 

People who play are happier than those who don’t.

This is one of those “well, obviously” type ideas, right? But since researchers love looking at the obvious, it has been proven that happy people like to “fool around a lot” (You can see Brene Brown’s book, The Gift of Imperfection for more on that). But, if it’s been a while since you played and you’re just not sure how, know that laughter is typically involved. We also know (again because of scientific research) that laughter boosts your immune system, relaxes your entire body, releases endorphins, and provides a protective barrier against heart disease. If the two of you will boost your personal happiness you will by default boost your marital happiness as well! That’s what we call a win-win.

Play builds your friendship.

When you were a child, you built your friendships through playing games with other kids. In fact, play is the way kids learn to understand their world. Somehow, we often forget about the ability to learn through play as we get older and as responsibilities take over. Friendship with your spouse is one of the best ways to feel bonded and connected and that friendship will always grow when you play together.

Ways to play together:

Lost for ideas? Maybe this can get you started.

– Play some board games together. Unveiled Wife describes several here. Want even more fun with your board games? Play them like you would strip poker…loser loses an item of clothing.
– Explore an area of town you haven’t been to in a while and take pictures like you’re tourists.
– Do an Escape Room challenge with some friends – seriously one of my favorite things to do!
– Play with your children or pets.

Play really is just about enjoying the moment simply for the moment.

So go ahead…grab that water gun, sneak up on your spouse, and have a little fun this weekend.

May your marriage be filled with fun and enjoyment!

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