Bubble gum saved my marriage communication. It let my husband and me heal after our fight.
It was those big square chunks: Bubble Yum, pink lemonade flavor.
“It’s a race to see who blows the first bubble,” I said, doling out the gum as we got in the car.
We promised to take the kids to the park. But we were suffering under the weight of the same old fight. The same, tired marriage communication failure.
I grabbed two packs of gum on the way out the door.
My five-year-old son sat in the backseat along with his eight-year-old sister. The gum was so juicy my son began to drool, which made us all laugh.
So much saliva and so much Bubble Yum, none of us could talk.
Not talking was the fix to our fight.
It was the laughter we needed. Because inside our house it was tense. The tension that always crippled our marriage communication. It was the same argument we always had:
Me: You never have time for us.
He: I can never do anything right.
And then the bubbles started blowing. Puny bubble blobs. Sticky fingers. Popping on faces. But the laughter glued us back together.
You’re busy. You’re married. You fight.
You want to stay in love.
But those same issues trigger the same fights. How can you find your way back to laughter and connection?
Give yourself a handful of bubble gum tricks.
Little toys to lighten the mood that give the fight a chance to let go. Keep them stockpiled in your sock drawer where no one will find them in the everyday normal.
This is your reserve. Because when you and your spouse fight, you become unresourceful. You can’t count on yourself to find your way to happiness and healing.
Why do 4-minute fixes help your marriage after a fight?
Because you and your spouse both want the fight to be over. You both want your communication to be happy and breezy.
But you’re both captives of the sting the fight has wrought. Resentment and anger hang on with tenacity.
You need something completely different. Something that shakes anger free.
When you have a powerful diversion—like bubble gum!—it restarts your marriage communication on a happy note. 4-minute fixes shift the mood and give you a chance to begin again.
Gimmicks as good as gum
Here’s a list of diversions to help you restart your marriage communication after a fight.
- BIG wads of bubblegum: The key here is too much gum for your mouth. That’s what gets you giggling.
- Dance in the kitchen: Don’t make it a big deal. A single song. A twirl. Some sway. You’re touching and that helps calm your nervous system. What’s the best song for you and your partner?
- Race around the house: Go outside and run! Run around the house. Leap frog over each other. This helps because it’s so diversionary. And it gets your body shaking off the anger in the same way you can watch a horse shake after a spook.
- A balloon: Balloons are fabulously versatile. How many volleys can you do? Get two going and, as a team, try to keep them both in the air. Fill the balloon with water and play catch.
- Silly walks: This one has saved my family on multiple occasions. If there was a tangle in the car—if you have kids you’ve tangled in the car—these silly walks heading into the grocery store save the day.