Couples usually have a hard time getting their needs met. Feeling unloved and unwanted can lead to resentment, anger, and even cheating. These comprehensive couples communication worksheets will teach you the best ways to understand, communicate with, and make your partner feel loved and respected.
Often good communication is defined as the ability to listen instead of hearing what your partner is saying. No doubt this is important. However, most counselors and therapists agree that this is not enough.
Communication is much more than setting aside time in your hectic day, sitting down with your partner, and talking/listening to them about the day. We can say that good communication exists in a relationship when the partners can talk about anything to each other without reservations or thinking about the consequences.
Communication in your relationship can be considered healthy when you can instinctively understand what your partner is telling you, be it something they found interesting or something they experienced or their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Of course, this is a two-way street. You should also be able to convey everything in your mind without restraint and your partner should be able to understand.
Achieving this level of openness and honesty in communication in a relationship is not simple or easy. It involves hard work. No couple can aspire to reach this stage without investing time and effort in this.
Couples’ communication exercises are designed with this very idea. A therapist or a counselor’s help is not always needed to improve communication in a relationship. There are numerous communication exercises for couples available online that you can take advantage of. All you need is your commitment.
What makes for a good marriage communication exercise?
It is hard to pinpoint a single communication exercise as “the best” for couples to improve their communication skills. What works for one may not work for another. Some may find heart-to-heart talking the best therapy of them all. While for another it can be couples’ activities like trekking, biking, or a road trip. Listening to music, playing a board game, or just being together help some others.
However, we can draw commonalities in all these couples therapy exercises. No matter what you choose to do, make sure that it conforms to these guidelines.
The relationship exercises for couples’ communication are something:
- That you do on a regular basis.
- That you do it together.
- That you both enjoy.
- That helps in improving communication between you and your partner.
Most activities for two people will satisfy these conditions. So, it is up to you to choose what works for you and your partner, keeping these criteria in mind.
Download the Couples Communication Exercises PDF guide to start a conversation, improve your relationship, and keep it going.
Practical marriage communication exercises to make your relationships last longer
Effective communication exercises for couples are available in plenty. Most of them revolve around, you guessed it right, improving conversation between couples. After a few years of “settling down” in a marriage, couples tend to take each other for granted and forget the art of listening and the importance of being there for each other in their times of need.
Each one of these exercises is aimed at developing a love language, opening up the blocked channel of communication, and keeping it open for a healthy relationship.
1. Listening exercises
Almost all of us are guilty of interrupting when someone is talking. We justify it by saying that it is meant to be a dialogue and not a monologue. True that. But again, you can have a dialogue without interrupting what your partner is saying. The problem with this is that we have forgotten the art of listening.
To relearn and develop the listening skills you can try the “listening without interrupting” exercise. In this, as the name suggests, you listen when your partner is speaking. In the end, you paraphrase what your partner said. Then, it is your turn to speak and your partner has to listen without interrupting. Again, after you have finished, your partner needs to paraphrase what you said.
Paraphrasing is an important aspect of this listening exercise. Only then the speaker will know that the listening partner actually listened to what they said.
When doing this exercise, you choose any topic that is comfortable for both partners. If this is done daily, it can also be about the day’s experiences.
This is an enhanced version of the listening exercise described above. The listening and paraphrasing parts remain the same. Along with paraphrasing, you ask questions to understand more about what your partner said. Like “Did I get that right?” or “How did that make you feel?”.
You can conclude your paraphrasing by validating your partner’s views, thoughts, and feelings. “That makes perfect sense.” “I’m happy you told me this.” Just remember that validating your partner’s feelings or emotions doesn’t mean you are agreeing with them. It means that you are recognizing and acknowledging their existence.
This exercise can root out the most common complaint among couples of not being heard or understood. If you are considering a long-lasting relationship with your partner, these skills are vital for the health of the relationship as well as for the happiness and fulfillment of both partners.
3. Repeat it once more
All couples argue. It can be on minor issues or something more serious. In this exercise, you have to think back about your previous conflicts and remember the hurtful things you said. You and your partner should sit together and discuss how it could have been said differently and how the situation could have been handled better.
You will realize that you could have said the same things in a better way that is not hurtful. Only if you adopt a loving and non-judgmental approach, you will understand how to make this happen. You can still have your say without causing pain to your partner. Isn’t this the point of good communication?
In the heat of an argument, it will be difficult to remember all these. Moreover, when you are angry, your aim is to hurt the other person. But practicing this exercise regularly can help in making such a thought process a part of your habit. Then, it will come naturally to you even when you are irritated or offended.
4. Lend me a hand
This can be a fun exercise for you and your partner. This “communication for couples” exercise demands cooperation to complete a task together. One hand of both of you is tied behind your back. And, the task needs both hands to work. This means you and your partner have to work together in perfect understanding to get it done.
This exercise also reveals some interesting facts about your relationship. Who is the natural leader among you and who is the follower? How successful were you in this exercise? Did it lead to stressful situations?
Maybe after finishing the exercise, you and your partner can sit down and talk about it to iron out the wrinkles you found out in your relationship.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the idiom goes. There are numerous similar or better marriage exercises to improve communication skills among couples.
If you are facing trouble in choosing a suitable exercise, you can download our couples communication exercises PDF to get yourself started. This is a couples’ exercise to learn more about your partner.