49. The Importance of Humor in Marriage

January 25, 2023

Julie is a Jewish comedic actress and writer & Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman is a marriage coach. Together they’ll discuss the importance of humor in marriage.

Find Julie on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Links

FLOW Mastermind – A Business Mastermind for an Integrated Life

The Fly Program – A Marriage That is Finally Free To Take Off

5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage

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Welcome to the Connected for Real podcast. I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women and business, and my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage, and into your business. Let’s get started.

Welcome everyone to the Connected for Real podcast. I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, and with me today is Julie, and I’m super excited. Julie, please introduce yourself so everyone knows who you are and then we’ll get into it. I am Julie Rothschild Levi. I am a comedic actress and writer.

I am originally from Minnesota and I’ve been living in Israel for the past 12 years. And I just like to laugh at life situations and I create those types of situations and reels and comic videos on social media. You can find me on Instagram and TikTok and on Facebook yes. That’s how I found you. I find it so fun to just take a break and watch you doing funny things,

So that’s really fun. Okay, so I’m a marriage coach and what I am obsessed with and fascinated by is how everything in our lives, our marriage, and how our marriage affects everything else. So I wanna talk a little bit today about how humor affects marriage, and if you could give us a little bit into that and some examples.

Well, first of all, I think the concept of marriage is pretty funny to begin with. , you know, I mean, we, we head into a lifelong relationship or hopefully it is and build a family with somebody who we continuously get to know over the years and we change obviously as much as they change. And I think that it.

Marriage, I think is a challenge. As much as it is, as it is. Wonderful. I think laughter and humor have such a role because what are laughter and humor? They’re light, they’re bringing light to the world, bringing light to our relationships and, and any type of situation we deal with, really. I mean, I think it’s a coping tool, right?

So I I really believe that humor is an important part of marriage. . Yes. And I think of humor as a connector as well because, you know, my husband says an attractive man is a man who can make a woman laugh. You know, it, it creates a relationship like right away, you know, if a guy can make you laugh and on a date, or, you know, when you’re just out with your friends, you feel connected.

very much so. I mean, I think laughter is one of the main connectors, and I think it’s very intimate. I think when we can make each other laugh, we’re creating a bond. First of all, it’s release, right? We get the endorphins going and it’s, it’s a way to share something with somebody that you’re only sharing with them.

Like if you laugh at the same joke, , it’s it’s bonding. So I think laughter and humor are very much important in marriage because life is, can be very heavy , and we need to take that heaviness and somehow shine some light into it. So that’s the way, that’s the way to do it. And I also, you said that a husband making his wife laugh.

Well, I think you can go the other way too. , I actually love it. When I’m able to make my husband laugh and anybody else in my life, to me it’s just it’s a wonderful feeling. I think it’s a gift to give to somebody. Yes, for sure, for sure. I love that. And we have, one of my, one of our daughters is very funny.

She has such a sense of humor and it adds so much to the conversation was someone says, like the thing you didn’t expect, but makes everyone like double take it is so, Because it takes you out of your own head, you know? Mm-hmm. , what is weight really like? What happens when you’re feeling so weighed down is you’re so enveloped in the story that you’re telling yourself and you’re sitting up here in your head, being inside yourself, not really seeing what everybody else is seeing, or not really.

Able to see the peripheral vision of, of life, and someone comes in and sort of pops that bubble and brings a little bit of, Hey, you know, you’re not the only one here. Like, you know, this is actually pretty funny. It, it gives you permission to laugh about it too. You know, it lightens up the weight just by, by giving that new perspective.

Exactly. Exactly. So I just, I find that. I’ll give you a little bit more information about myself. So for about four years, I was a medical clown. And a medical clown. If you’re not so familiar with it, it is actually a trained clown. So we dress up with, you know, the colors and my clown was a four year old clown called Funny the Clown.

And we’re trained to go into like hospitals, nursing homes, battered women’s shelters, places where there are people, probably in the more difficult places that you can find people. And we were trained to go in and to try to take them out of themselves and their difficulties for even a few minutes by using humor and laughter.

So it was a challenge, but one of the things that I saw in being a medical clown was how even if somebody is in pain, and you have to have the skills to know when to like back off and not to take it personally if they’re not in the mood. And I think it’s so very important in marriage, you, you have to gauge, right?

We have to sort of feel and see, maybe the joke isn’t appropriate right now, right? But the power of. Even those few minutes of taking somebody out of their pain, whether it’s emotional or physical, is so powerful. And so I just, I learned so much about how it doesn’t even take much to bring a smile to somebody’s face.

It doesn’t have to be this whole standup act. Right. . And I just, I also find, say like humor’s. coping tool. So I’ll find in marriage that even, even with the kids, you know, sometimes laughing, it’s not so much making fun of the kid, but like if there’s a quality in a kid who, you know, let’s say he’s kind of you know, he is a teen, right?

So he’s, his room is a mess and always scatterbrained and all this stuff. So it can be very frustrating. Let’s say the same thing can be in marriage. , the common gripe is that the husband leaves the socks on the floor and you know, doesn’t put the toilet seat down like that sort of thing. But if we can bring some humor to it, make light first of all, then I think it makes our relationship with the person better because it, it brings out the human in them.

Cuz we’re not perfect. Right? None of us are. Right. So yeah, and I think that here is, you brought something really important, the difference between, you know, when, how to keep the balance with humor. because there are times, and there’s also things that are, you know, beyond the red lines where it’s like, no, that’s not funny anymore.

And people have to have that really clear, because like you said, making fun of someone or making them the center of the joke is not going to get. The same effect. And also timing, you know, when is an appropriate time and when is not an appropriate time. Can you talk a little bit more about that? How do you gauge your balancing act in humor?

Yeah, so humor, again, like you said, when I think about standup comedy, a lot of times it’s, you know, you’re, you’re sort of poking fun. Regular situations in life, and it can be a fine balance between offending people , right. And, but it’s cathartic, right? To be able to laugh about our human flaws is really cathartic as far as timing and balance.

Somebody actually asked me once How, how can you be funny? Like how does that happen? Is that just something that you know is within you? Is that something you can develop? And I think for me it was just, it’s just a sense, it’s just a sense to know. And to know when maybe to break the tension and to know when, yeah, you have to see who you’re with.

If, if it’s one-on-one, like in a marriage and it’s, it’s with your husband and you know, his no, maybe his red lines or what will trigger him. Probably not in a funny way, then you have to be, have to be aware of it. So you have to be sensitive. But as, I don’t think there’s any magic formula. I think everybody in their own relationships needs to gauge.

Yeah, that, you know, it reminds me of, I have a method called the Calm Method, and step one is connect to yourself. And it’s really important to get into that space before you do anything else. Like just, where am I? What am I laughing at? Like where am I coming from? You know? Am. poking fun because I wanna get back at, or am I making fun just because I need to lighten up the mood?

Mm-hmm. , is it something, like you said, a protective mechanism because I’m running away from dealing with something. Where is it coming from within me and that way I can address it. You know, I can adjust myself to really know how to do it. . Right. I like that you said it’s so unique because there is no one size fits all and there’s never any rules about life that fit all criteria in all situations.

Right. So as much as we’re talking about humor and marriage one of the things that, that I do in my comedy, and I, I’m an American who lives in Israel. I’ve chosen to be lead a religious life. I have a large family. So all of these things, I, I have to find the humor in them. And there’s so much material, right?

So if somebody can find what Yeah. Again, things that are challenging for them, things that are even difficult and things that annoy. Israel is a much more, for example, aggressive culture than the one that I grew up in. So I, I have to, I have to laugh. , I have to laugh at things that, that just don’t jive with how I grew up culturally.

Culturally. So, so, yeah, it was, It’s, it’s been, it’s, and, and I think those skills of being able to laugh at what at what can even irritate you and drive you crazy is for sure something you can bring in your marriage. Like I said, the toilet seats left off up. Yeah. Toothpaste, cat things can bug us Endless.

And I feel like even, even if you bring it up with somebody, you know, let’s say you bring it up with your husband, like again, we’ll bring, we’ll bring back, let’s say the toothpaste cap. Okay. I feel like we don’t wanna talk down, like treat our husbands like kids. Right. Right. But there’s a way you can do it in a, in like a lighthearted way.

Yeah. , you know the, the, I don’t know, the, the toothpaste cap is quite lonely. It needs to come back to the mothership. Yeah. I don’t know. That’s just like one thing off the top of my head. You know, again, there’s a way to communicate something, but li a little more lighthearted. . Right. How did you get into what you’re doing now?

How did you get into doing all these TOS and Instagram and, you know, the different dress up things that you have? Like, it’s really, it’s fun to see your actual things, but also the behind the scenes. How did you get into that? I’m not sure , it just happened. No, I, I I, I’ve always loved performing, but there was a time in my life for about 20 years I didn’t do it.

I was very busy with all the life changes that I had mentioned before. And then and then on Facebook, there was a group that I was in and there was an impersonation challenge. So then I would, I would dress up as different, like pop stars like Madonna or Prince a seventies rocker, different personas, and then do a.

like them, and I found this real connection. I found this side of me that I didn’t really know was there. That was so much fun. That got really good reception. I was very hesitant to go on to go beyond that, let’s say Instagram. But I took the leap and there I was able to really, once reels came out, then I was able to develop different characters, bring them back, and I just saw that there was.

There is a need for it. Not only like from within myself to have a platform to create, and I think Corona really brought me to that. Like, you know, we’re all shut in our houses. How can I, how can I, I can’t get on stage. So that was really an an in for me and I’ve had such a great time with it. It’s a great way that I’ve connected with other creators, with people like you.

Right. It’s. That’s what I was gonna say. It’s, it’s fun to watch because you could tell you’re having fun. Like some people, it just, you know, it just seems like they’re working and here you look like you’re just, this is my fun, this is my play. This is, you know, and it, it, we could tell. . Yeah, it is, it’s, it’s actually a blessing to be able to do something that you love so much and even make it a profession, which is what I’ve, I’ve been doing and I’m writing a like a show, one woman show, which I hope to get out there.

So it’s amazing. It’s amazing to be at this stage in my life where I can do that. It’s a real blessing and like I said, there is nothing to me. brings me greater joy really than to be able to bring a smile or a laugh to somebody. And when I get that feedback, feedback, it’s like I’m on a high, I’m on a high.

Yeah, it, we could see, we could tell it’s fun. , I’m on a high when I can give feedback, so here we go. We’re doing great. . What is it that you like, how can people, how can people give you money? Like how can they interact with you in order to get more of this? Okay, so you know, whatever I put my content is free.

, know, I don’t have subscribers or anything. I do, I do some what’s called paid collabs with with businesses, with companies, nonprofits, if they want to take their, whatever they are offering to the public and, you know, give it a lighter note. So I’m available for that. That’s, that’s mainly right now how I do it.

Yeah. That’s really cool. Yeah, I saw one collab that touches marriage and it was the mikvah one. Yeah. And it was really, it was really funny because you know, here in our house we discuss it openly cuz I have four girls, so I want them to feel like it’s not something to hide or whatever. But, you know, I, I also grew up where it’s like, you know, you don’t talk about it.

It’s a secret. So it’s, it’s something that’s really also fun to balance and.

Yeah, I get that. I have mostly boys, so , I have one daughter and all boys, so that’s a, it’s a kind of a different thing actually. They’re a little bit more clueless I think, about everything in general.

Yeah. So, so it seems, but I’m always attracted to the people with the boys and when I, when my kids were little, it was like, what are you going to do? The kids didn’t wanna play together, you know? I had a friend with four. when I had four girls since already I had you. , two boys and another girl, but it was four boys, four girls.

And it was really easy because they would just share the crayons. Like, I’ll give you the pinks if you give me the blues, you know? Yeah. And everybody won. It was a great, you know, a great collaboration. And then we just broke off. Right? Her kids went to the boys school, my kids went to the girls school, and we laughed it off and we were like, we’ll see each other again when our kids are old enough to start making

And then, you know, We’ll have, that’s right. We’ll have people to look out for. So it’s very funny. But yeah, it’s a totally different experience. Yeah, definitely. I have a question for you, . Can I turn the tables? Oh yeah. As, as, as a coach and somebody who works specifically with marriage, what would you say, so you’ve been asking me, but what would you say in your own practice you’ve seen.

Really can work with couples in terms of bringing that lightness. What’s been your experience? So the first thing is that I only work with the women. Mm-hmm. , I don’t believe that the husband has to come into any. anything. The way that women get their answers is from without, you know, they go and they get advice and they, we go to like parenting classes and we go to mentors and we go and ask, and then we take it in and we process it and make it our own.

Right. And that’s like the receiver part of us. , the husband’s the exact opposite. He needs to go into his cave. He needs to shut down. He needs to find the answers from within. And then he comes out when he’s ready and he has to take credit for his answer, even though it was something he heard, like you sp speak about a million times, so there’s something you could la laugh at, right?

But when you take a husband by the ear and you say, come over here, we need help. What? What’s happening inside? You know, automatic is I’m being taken to the principal’s office. I did something wrong. There’s something wrong with me. I, you know, they’re both against me, so I need to be defensive and we end up creating more of an issue than we do by just.

You know, taking him off the hook. She’s like, you know what? I realize it’s nothing about you. It’s, it’s my inner work that I need to do. So like, you go do your thing. Mm-hmm. , I know you love me, and I will go and figure myself out. What that does is magic, because then you get to. , you invest in yourself and grow your business and grow yourself and figure out what makes you come alive and all these wonderful things about life that we get to do because this is what it’s all about.

And we learn to receive. We learn to allow his love in without filtering it and making it have to be a certain way. We learn a lot of skills that, you know, is what I focus on, you know, the receiving the allow. The, you know accepting that he’s not going to change the way you want him to change, but when you finally start receiving, right, like we were talking about jokes before, if you laugh at a joke, he’ll know.

Oh, it, it was received. Hmm. Oh, a well received joke brings with it another. , right. It gives you the permission to try again, to give more, to allow when you don’t laugh at the joke, because it’s just not funny anymore after 35 years, right? Like the joke is just not funny. So he stops. , right? So he gives love and the love isn’t received.

It’s not like it’s worse than that. It’s a rejection. It’s shut down and don’t, don’t do that again. So he’s like, well, that’s the way I know how to give love. So I guess I’m shutting down my love and, you know, mechanisms and I’m just gonna stop trying. Mm-hmm. , he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do. , the way you allow it to be different is by focusing on the things you do want and allowing the things.

Laughing at the jokes you like. Right? So if you focus on, oh that was funny. Oh my gosh. More of that. Then you’re training him to focus on the things that actually are getting the laughs. Right. Same thing with marriage. So that’s where I focus a lot on my other very, very big focus is on God and bringing God into the situation because God is at the core of everything we do, and I’m very God-centered.

So a lot of times when a woman will come with the real big story about you, you don’t even know what he did, what he said, blah, blah. And like, you know, and there’s so much drama in it and so much stress and so much of that tangible blah. Mm. . Mm-hmm. then, then I ask her like, oh, so you know, what about God?

Where is he in all this? And I, and it brings a smile to their face because, oh, again, like remember we’re talking like you’re so in your head, you don’t let anything else in. Allowing that into the story a lot of times brings light to. , you know, . It’s not actually him. It’s the way God wanted it to be, right?

It’s like it’s not, it’s not his fault that there was a power outage, or it’s not his fault that we didn’t make the bus. I could blame it on him. I can use him as my very convenient excuse, but I don’t necessarily get that much. Out of that, when I use excuses and when I blame, so we, we turn the tables a little bit and I use, I, I use humor and laughter a lot in my coaching because the coaching is so deep and so powerful.

A lot of times you need to, you know, like shake it off, you know? Sure. Just bring something funny. Bring a smile to your face. Allow, allow it to feel a little lighter. . I’m also really positive as, as a, you know, in my core we were just talking about blood types and I, and there was a bunch of my husband’s students here for Chavez and, and they said, oh, I don’t know what my blood type is.

You know, one of the guys says, guess what my blood type is? And he’s just looking at me. I’m like, be. He was like, oh, okay. I’m like, you don’t get it. Be positive. I’m like, that is my blood type. Okay, so , that’s actually my blood type too. . There you go. That’s the first time I really thought about it like that.

Wow. Be positive . Yes. Amazing. And, and when you realize, you’re like, oh, it’s what I’m all about is being positive. So I was once. in a coaching program where they kept going down and like go into the darkness, go into the depth of like, you know, the, the heavy stuff. And, and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no. You’re not gonna get that.

In my world, we’re going to allow the darkness up, you know, into the light, but we’re not going anywhere that is painful or hurts too much or is like, you know, the. Like all that negativity is not my vibe, so I, I like to keep it. Light and manageable, and I also like to go really deep, so I have to always be balancing those two together because I’m so positive that it’s really important to face your stuff.

You know, being positive doesn’t mean like pushing it away and just being like, I’m only doing positive now. Right. Sometimes we need to listen to what’s happening. We need to go down. We need to go deep. There are a lot of things that hurt and you know, women will cry at sessions with me. Like it comes up.

It comes out, but it’s part of the cleansing process. And it always ends with a laughter. It always ends with, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that’s what I was crying about, you know? And it blows me away every time when they. at the end, at how they started. Like, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I was crying, but thank God, that’s what it’s all about.

Right? Right. That’s where I want it to be, so that’s where I bring laughter and humor into my, into my world. And I’m surrounded by funny people. So yeah. It makes, it makes my life, you know, it’s so funny. It’s so fun. Like we go to we went to a circus when my three kids were young and with my parents, and my husband said my, oh, my mother said, oh, I’m so scared that they’re going to eat him.

And my husband’s like, If, you know, if, if this one would say something, it would be like, Ooh, I hope they don’t need him. If the second one said, oh, I, I hope they do. And the third one would say, Ooh, can I go and do it? You know, like each one of them had such a strong ality that like he’s able to use their personalities and, and a little.

What’s happening within our life as a family mm-hmm. to, to bring it out. So it’s really fun. It’s fun to, to watch it and experience. And, and, and that’s a great example of a potentially stressful or frightening situation for a child, right at the circus. All these animals , right? You know, the lions, that kind of thing.

So when you use humor, it’s amazing how you just shift. You can almost feel it physiologically actually. You know, there’s so many scientific studies about the benefit, the health benefits of laughter, and what amazes me that I learned as a medical clown is that let’s say there is a medical clown involved in somebody’s treatment, and some hospitals, at least here in Israel, and I think in other, some hospitals in the States, but in Israel, it’s very common to have medical clowns on staff and before someone goes into surgery, if a medical clown is with them and when they come out, they actually need less anesthesia and less painkillers.

So it just shows you the power. Right. That humor even. It’s just sort of like, it gives you a sense of safety, I think. Yeah. You know, we almost don’t realize how much tension we have, how much, it’s so much easier for the brain to go into negativity. sometimes, I think, than positivity. Well, I’ll tell you why.

By the way, the, I, I use the refrigerator as an example. When your, when you leave the door open to your refrigerator, after a minute, it starts going, beep, beep, beep, right? Mm-hmm. , it wants you to know that something is, Can you imagine if every time everything was okay, your refrigerator would be like, beep, everything’s fine.

Beep, everything’s okay. Doors, doors closed. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s good. You, you’d go crazy. Same with your brain. If everything was fine. and your brain had to constantly be looking for these things, it would be exhausting. Yeah. So your brain is programmed to find when the things are wrong, to find, when the door is left open, when this is not going the way it’s supposed to be.

Right. And that’s how the brain is programmed. Doesn’t mean that’s how you have to leave it programmed. And we, we program our. all the time with gratitude, you know, journaling and challenges of looking for the positive and changing your, your perspective. All those things are our job to make our lives better.

But there’s a reason why your brain was programmed that way. . It’s interesting. I never thought of that. Yeah, actually every time the refrigerator beeper goes off, I always sing Jingle bells. It’s like it’s got the exact same tune. So , , go figure there. . Yeah, and you know what? I also think that God created humor on purpose.

he could have made our lives black and white. He didn’t have to create color, right? He didn’t have to make things taste good. He didn’t have to make things smell good. Like all these things are created for us to enjoy. Right? And it’s just to just, it’s just enjoyment. Like God did not have to, nobody made him.

And one of the things that he created for our enjoyment is laughter and is, is. Humor, you know, and you said marriage in itself is a funny thing. It is. You know, the opposite attract thing is, is hysterical Sometimes You sit there going, what was he thinking? You know? Right. , of course. Now I appreciate being with someone who’s the opposite because I grew so much as a person from being able to see the other side and, you know, be pulled towards the center.

But you have to do a lot of inner work in order to, to see that as a, you know, positive thing. Most of the time it’s great content for, you know, people like you who make fun. . Yeah, it, it, it definitely great. I actually don’t, that’s not really the focus of my comedy so much. I’m, I, I bring light more to I think just everyday situations.

I, I’ll, I’ll do like some kids stuff, you know, like the mother to the kids. But I haven’t really touched on, on marriage at this point. Hmm. Hmm. For a thought. , watch out. Everybody listening. She just know that it was my fault that she started doing marriage. That’s right. . . Yeah. But yeah, there’s, you know, there’s great, there’s great stuff out there that we can laugh off and we can, you know, lighten up and we can always bring it back to God and say it’s, you know, it’s supposed to be, It’s not supposed to be heavy.

It’s not supposed to be painful. It’s, you know, it’s here to make us grow and to let us enjoy the journey. Yeah. Yeah. I’m with your sister. This is so fun. Where can people find you? How can people get in touch with you? Okay, so my handle on Instagram TikTok is officially Julie underscore comedy. So you can find me there, you can check out my stuff.

And I do, I do my reels in English, even though I live in Israel. I do some humor, but everyth. If I, if I do something in Hebrew, it’ll be, it’ll have the transliteration or the translation into English. So no worries. But you can find me there in the meantime until other bigger, more exciting things and outside of social media come up.

That sounds great. Thank you so much for being here. As you all know, you can find me@connectedforreal.com and I am so happy that we got to speak and. I thank God for this opportunity. So thank you for being here. Thank you. And I feel like I’m heading into my day later. That’s, yeah. I’m gonna go trip on the socks on the way out of here, but that’s okay.

I can, I can handle it. . You can. Thank you very much everyone. I’ll see you next time. Thank you, Julie. Thank you.

And that’s it. Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm, this is a good podcast. And make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected? For real? And now, take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode.

Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from Connected for real.com. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget, you can be connected for real.

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