Use Couple Counseling Exercises To Strengthen Your Relationship
Updated July 12, 2019
You want your relationship to be strong because you want it to last, but it's not always easy to get a relationship that lasts forever. You need to be willing and able to work on it as a couple, and that's where couple counseling exercises come in. These exercises are going to help strengthen your bond with each other and your relationship as a whole, making sure that you will be able to weather the storms that come your way and that you'll be able to continue working together, no matter what.
Couple Counseling Exercises
There are a number of different exercises that you and your partner can work on. Whether you want to do them entirely on your own or whether you do them at the urging of a counselor is entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that the only way these exercises are going to work is if you and your partner are willing to be completely open with each other and completely vulnerable. After all, that's what any relationship is going to be all about, and if you want to succeed, you need to put yourself out there.
Appreciate Each Other
Take a little time and write your partner a letter telling them all the things that you appreciate about them. Don't mention the things that you do for them, but talk about the things that they do for you and how much you appreciate them. Maybe talk about that time you woke up late, and they already had the kids' lunches packed, or the way that they always take care of the yard or make the coffee for you in the morning. Letting them know that you notice the things they do and appreciate it makes your partner feel loved and respected.
Don't let that one instance be the only time you do this, however. Make sure to start letting your partner know more and more about what you appreciate and what you like best about them. Each day try to let your partner know something that you appreciate about them from that day. Let them know that you're noticing them and that you're recognizing how hard they're working. It doesn't have to be something that they did for you. Maybe it's something they did at work that they mentioned to you. Show them how proud you are and how much you appreciate them.
Hold The Fight
When you and your partner start to argue, take a moment to step back and think about it. Agree to put the fight off until Friday or Sunday. Pick a day a few days away and then wait until that day comes around. Do you even remember what you were fighting about? Chances are, most of the fights won't happen because you won't even remember having them. Perhaps you now had time to think a little more rationally instead of at the heat of the moment. Now it will be easier to discuss instead of arguing.
If you can't put the topic off, then it's time to step back and take a few minutes. Maybe you need to make a decision on that party for your daughter right now, and neither of you wants to change their mind. Maybe you have to make the payment for the bill right now, so you need to know where you're going. If the decision has to be made quickly, try to take at least a few minutes to each sit-down and breathe and think things over on your own before you come back to the situation. This gives you a little time to center yourself and to feel more prepared to discuss things calmly instead of being too heated.
Make Dinner Family Time
If you and your partner often eat rushed meals on the living room couch or even in the kitchen while you're getting ready for something else, you're not taking the time to enjoy being around one another. Take the time to move your meal to the dining room or at least to a table somewhere and sit down together. Talk a little, even if the meal can only be 10 minutes before you have to be rushing off somewhere else. That little bit of time to talk and interact with each other is going to help you connect better as a couple.
Your mealtime is a great time just to spend time as a family but if there are days when you can't do it, or there are times when you're in a rush at meal time just make a plan to devote a set amount of time to talk with each other. Maybe it's 10 minutes after the kids go to bed or it's the 20 minutes while dinner is cooking. Whatever it is, make sure that you and your partner and your children are all sitting down together and talking at least once a day so you can share what's going on in your lives and even things that you need help with or that are happening at another time.
Be Completely Honest
This can be a difficult one because you don't want to hurt your partner, but sometimes you need to be brutally honest. Come up with a single hour during the week or even just once a month where you and your partner can sit down and be 100% honest with each other. Once you leave that honesty hour, you can't hold any anger over what was said (though it's okay to take a little time to reflect). For that hour, there's no fighting and only absolute honesty. It helps to strengthen your relationship and your love for each other.
Commit to being honest with your partner all the time and showing them that they can trust you. Being honest doesn't have to be cruel or heartless. It means telling your partner where you're at when they ask or letting them know where you spent the money or what's happening at work. It means not hiding things or having secrets because you think your partner will be upset or angry. If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship, you need to be honest from the start.
Spend Time Alone Together
We already talked about taking some time to talk to one another, but it's also important that you and your partner have alone time together. Schedule a date night once a month or even more frequently and make sure you stick to it. Get a sitter for the kids or ask a parent or friend to come over and help you out so that you and your partner can have some time for just the two of you. You don't have to go anywhere special or fancy. You don't even have to go out at all. Get the sitter to take the kids somewhere, and you can have a nice night in.
Spending time with the two of you alone is going to give you a chance to talk about all of the things that you can't talk about when the kids are around. It's going to give you the time to remember why you fell in love and why you want to be together. It gives you time just to enjoy being a couple again without the pressure of taking care of the kids and making sure they have everything that they need.
Remove The Stress
Talk to your partner about the things that stress them out and the things that stress you out. Chances are they're not going to be the same things. Maybe you're a big clean freak, and you love to keep the house spotless, but your partner stresses about cleaning every week. Maybe your partner is great with numbers and seeing that budget makes you break out in hives. Look at the things that each of you is good at and that each of you feels stress about and come up with plans for how to get rid of those stressors.
If you love to clean, then that's a great thing for you to do and take it away from your partner who hates it. If your partner loves the numbers, then that's a great thing for them to take care of instead of you. It means that you're both going to feel more calm and secure and that you're both going to be happier. Getting rid of stress is extremely important, but it doesn't have to be as difficult as many people make it out to be. Just take the time to figure out how to work around those things.
When you and your partner are struggling or even when you're not, it's important to work on exercises and improvement methods for your relationship. You want to be strong and healthy together so that you can continue to improve the relationship, and that's going to take some work. With the help of a therapist, like the ones you can find at Regain.us, you'll be able to start on the path to an even better relationship in no time at all.
Therapy can be a great way to work through each of these tasks because you're doing it with someone who knows what they're talking about and has helped plenty of other couples with the same things. Maybe you're not sure how you're going to do it on your own, or you and your partner seem to struggle with not fighting or arguing when you try to fulfill the exercises alone. If that sounds like you, a therapist may be the perfect way to make sure that you're getting the actual help that you need without stressing yourselves out unnecessarily in the process.