Use These Marriage Counseling Worksheets To Help Boost Your Relationship
By Abigail Boyd
Updated May 28, 2019
If you and your partner are currently in marriage counseling together, marriage counseling worksheets can be a helpful supplement at home. Even if you think that everything is going great, and you have no need to work on your relationship, these exercises can strengthen your bond. The important thing is finding the right worksheets that are going to help you. Well, you're in luck, because we've found some of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself (and your partner) to make sure that you're on the right track.
You may have hesitations about marriage counseling and find the process uncomfortable at first. Using marriage counseling worksheets with your partner on your own time allows you to work on improving the relationship at your own pace. Marriage counseling is only effective if both people put in the effort. Doing these exercises and others recommended by your therapist can help you become familiar with the therapy process, which will, in turn, lead to a better outcome for your marriage.
Marriage counseling worksheets and exercises can help you become better acquainted with your own emotions and needs as well of those of your partner. Also, you'll strengthen your communication skills, allowing you both to develop better intimacy.
Being able to communicate your needs, desires, and annoyances is an essential part of maintaining a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of couples struggle with communicating effectively. Many people dislike confrontation, and so they will sit on an issue and avoid speaking on it until the problem goes out of control. This can lead to arguments and resentment that undermines the foundation of the relationship. For this exercise, become aware of situations in which you and your partner struggle to communicate. After an argument, for example, write down what both parties said and what might have triggered it. Then, go through the statements and identify what you wanted to communicate and reword this information in a non-confrontational way.
Relationship Gratitude Tips
One of the most important things you need to learn when you're in a relationship is how to be grateful for the other person. It's not just about feeling that gratitude either, but about expressing it to them. Everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated. When they do something for you, they want you to appreciate the effort that it took, no matter what. With this type of worksheet, consider the good things about your relationship and your partner. Identify what you enjoy most about being with this person and what you're most grateful for, and have your partner do the same. Then share your gratitude lists.
Identifying and Defining Triggers
The purpose of this exercise is to identify what situations trigger a negative response in you in regards to your partner. The same is true for the other person. Maybe they leave dirty dishes in the sink, despite you asking them to clean them and put them in the dishwasher. Or maybe they don't spend enough time with you. The important thing is that you each know what those triggers are and that you talk about them with each other. Your partner wouldn't keep doing those things if they knew it bothered you so much, but if you don't tell them then they don't realize and they'll continue to do it, which will continue to bother you. See how the cycle continues?
Being assertive is not being bossy (or that other 'B' word we all know). Instead, it's about letting someone know what you like or dislike and what you need or want in a relationship. It's about opening up and letting your thoughts and feelings be heard, which can be difficult sometimes. With this type of worksheet, you're going to start working on those thoughts and feelings and start telling your partner about these important things so they can continue to support you in the way that you need them to. Being assertive should replace being confrontational.
You may have seen these or even tried them out for yourself in the past. You both sit back-to-back. One of you has a drawing or a stack of blocks that are arranged in a specific pattern. The other person has a piece of paper and a pen or a haphazard array of blocks. The task is for the person who is looking at the finished project to tell the other person what to do so they can recreate it. The person with the drawing doesn't get to see what the other person is doing. The other person doesn't get to see the finished product, and they also don't get to talk. This is another exercise where the focus is on communication, differently.
Explore Your Boundaries
Even if you and your partner have been together for a long time, you might have boundaries that have never come up or that you have tried to stretch but felt uncomfortable about. First, you need to identify your boundaries by writing them down. Many people don't consider which areas they have boundaries until they think about the subject. Writing this information down can help you process your limits. By talking with your partner about your boundaries and theirs, you can work together to find a comfortable level of intimacy for both of you. This is an area that requires sensitivity and the willingness to be vulnerable, but it is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your relationship.
Sharing Goals and Dreams
Talking to your partner about your goals and your dreams for the future may not always be as simple as you'd like it to be or as easy as you'd expect. However, if you plan to build a life together with your partner, you each need to be clear on what you want that to look like. By knowing what the other person wants to achieve, you're going to be much better off in the long run. Keep in mind that their goals and your goals may not be the same, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Talk about the different goals you have and then try to work out ways that you can achieve both.
Music can have a significant influence on our emotions. It's normal to turn to music when things get rough and to assign importance to the music that was there for you during these hard times. Often, people keep this music to themselves, as it can feel intensely personal. With this worksheet, consider the most important and touching music that you find significant. Write down the musicians, songs, and especially lyrics that resonate with your emotions and have your partner do the same. Then share this music. It can make you feel vulnerable or maybe even a bit silly, especially if your musical taste differs significantly from your partner. But this can be an effective bonding experience that brings you closer together.
Stop Playing the Blame Game
Often, especially after the early days of a relationship, couples fall into the habit of blaming each other when things go wrong. This blame game can involve problems inside or outside of the relationship, ranging from intimacy issues to money concerns to clashes with family members. Healthy couples view themselves as a team, working together to solve the problem instead of blaming their partner. Even if you feel your partner has a hand in the issue, it's always best for the relationship to try to work on it together. With this exercise, you should identify the areas in which you may be blaming your partner and figure out how to adjust your communication.
Finding More Help
If you're not able to work on these types of skills and worksheets by yourself (or if you just don't want to), that's perfectly fine. It can be uncomfortable and difficult for those in a relationship to work on these issues alone without an outside, neutral party. Reach out to a professional who can help you and your partner to communicate more effectively and who can get you started on these types of worksheets and skills. They'll be able to find you even more worksheets as well and give you exercises to work on together.
You and your partner want to have a positive and fulfilling relationship, and while you may already be on the right track, there's always going to be room for improvement. Part of sustaining a relationship is allowing both people to grow and change over time.
Another thing to remember is that as your relationship continues even longer, it's very easy to fall into complacency, which could lead you to become less observant of your partner's needs and wants. By continuing to use these exercises over time, you'll be setting yourself up for more success and building a way to communicate with your partner.
If you're not sure where to find the right help you can get online. It's not just about checking the reviews online before you call someone either. You can find a therapist online that you'll be able to talk with the same way. Instead of having to go to a physical location for your appointments, you'll be able just to log on to ReGain from anywhere that you have internet access. Then you'll be able to communicate with them even more openly because you're already in a space that you feel most comfortable. No matter what's going on outside or where you are at the time, you and your partner will be able to connect and your therapist.