I Play The “Worst Case Scenario” Game With My Husband & Here’s Why You Should Too

If you watch This Is Us, you know that Beth and Randall are #relationshipgoals. In case you missed it in between ugly sobs and tissue box runs during the Season 2 finale, they blurt out horrible hypothetical scenarios in order to make themselves feel better about their present situation. My husband and I started to use this almost daily and I’m not gonna lie, it works like a charm.

  1. It’s super easy and really effective. According to Randall, the game is simple. Each person takes a turn to say “all the bad things that we’re thinking. No judgment, no censorship.” This can be played first thing in the morning when you have a particularly stressful day or in bed at night when you can’t turn off your brain. I know you have some irrational worries floating around in your mind, so this is a chance to get them out in the open.
  2. There’s something powerful about releasing our fears. We all have stress and anxiety in our lives, but some of us let it affect us more than others. Bottling up your worries and emotion is helpful zero percent of the time. Taking the time to express them will take a serious load off of your shoulders—it definitely does for us. Once you say them out loud, you may even realize how irrational they are.
  3. It’s comforting to know that we worry about many of the same things. I was surprised to find that my husband was worried about the same crazy stuff I was… to a T. One day he said to me, “You’re going to realize that you’re way hotter than me and trade up.” This was hilarious to me because I’ve always felt that he was the hotter one in the relationship. I mean, he looks like a 30-year-old Johnny Depp and I spend most of my time with him in sweatpants.
  4. The more horrible the scenario, the better. This is guaranteed to not only release some stress but also a whole lot of guttural laughter. Instead of just voicing your stress about getting dumped by your boyfriend, tell him that you’re worried he’ll leave you for your best friend, rob you blind, and that your family will take his side. The prize goes to the most irrational worry.
  5. We always manage to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Coming up with infinite worst-case scenarios may eventually increase anxiety if you start to believe they’ll come true. To keep that from happening, my husband and I take it one step further. Right now, we’re going through fertility treatments and since this is always at the forefront of my mind, I often turn to him and say, “Worst case scenario: we can never have children,” to which he always responds, “We spend all of the money we save on fancy dinners and travels.” This relieves so much anxiety because while not having children would be a terrible reality for us, we still see ourselves together and happy. That’s pretty awesome.
  6. There’s science to back it up. According to Psychology Today, failure to express uncomfortable feelings or heavy worries can lead to confusion, shame, and a sense of unworthiness. Worrying will increase your cortisol levels, which compromises your immune system. Research also links cortisol with diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Then, there’s the matter of stress, which can lead to depression, panic disorder, exhaustion, and burn-out. Basically, you have to let it all out, and we definitely do.
  7. It’s basically a magic trick that actually gets my husband to talk about his feelings. I don’t know how it is in your relationship, but trying to get my husband to talk about his feelings is as easy as the climb up Mount Everest. For some reason, this game gives him the courage to release his stress without sacrificing his manly, feeling-free persona.
  8. It’s a game that can be played with (almost) anyone. No significant other? No problem! Playing with your bestie will have the same effect. If you want to play this with your mom, make sure she understands the rules of the game. Mine kept offering solutions like, “Well, if you lose your job, I would never let you become a stripper. You can come live with us!” That’s cute, but you’re not getting it, Mom.
  9. It brings us one step closer to being Beth and Randall. They keep it light, even in the face of disaster. When they’re fighting, there’s still love in their eyes. They are 100% grounded in each other. HOW DO THEY DO IT? #relationshipgoals
Caitlyn is a freelance writer living in Washington D.C.