Use These Marriage Counseling Worksheets To Help Boost Your Relationship

Updated August 18, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

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.

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Effective Communication

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?

Be Assertive

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.

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Drawing Activities

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 Therapy

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.

Learn How Worksheets Strengthen Relationships

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I do marriage counseling at home? 

If you are seeking couples counseling or couples therapy, you can either find an in person marriage and family therapist or couples counselors online. Either way, finding a marriage and family therapist should be relatively easy so that you can start to tackle whatever you are seeking marriage counseling for in the first place. 

Whether you have a good relationship with your partner that you want to achieve longevity with, or you are having a challenging time, marriage therapy should not be a painful experience. Sure, you may talk about things that may be hard to discuss, but the goal of couples therapy is to achieve a healthy relationship with your significant other. 

Sometimes, getting out of the house for couples counseling is not ideal; you work odd hours, have small children, have a disability that limits your outside activities, etc. However, you should still be able to strive to have healthy relationships with those around you. While counseling books can begin to help you identify issues, counseling can be done online with free relationship consultations and then online couples therapy. 

Most online counselors will offer you some element of free relationship counseling, as an initial session, and then determine how often you would like to have scheduled sessions. For couples therapy, it is typically best to see licensed couples counselors; however, there are always free trained support individuals that you can also seek advice from while waiting for your official appointment.

What should I ask in couples therapy? 

Depending on why you are seeking couples therapy will determine the types of questions you may want to ask in your sessions. Couples counseling can be utilized for a variety of reasons. These may include: 

  • Past traumatic relationships
  • Death of a child
  • A sincere effort to work out differences within the marriage 
  • An affair
  • Assistance to build a healthy marriage
  • A desire for a happy healthy relationship
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • PTSD from military service/re-engaging in civilian life
  • A new relationship that you want to ensure has a healthy foundation
  • Trouble with finances or mismanagement of funds
  • Lack of trust or lack of support

These are just a few reasons why you may want to attend couples therapy or couples counseling. When you are in a relationship and marriage, sometimes things happen that cause a healthy relationship to go sour. Communications may break down, or trust, and the relationship marriage is not as strong as it once was at one time. You do not need to live in sadness or misery. Relationship and marriage counseling can help you regain what you lost and rebalance and refocus your marriage. 

Therefore, there are no one or two questions that you should ask in counseling. In fact, your counselor will help make things easy on you both and ask you questions to get to know you and your relationship better. They may give your worksheets for couples that are designed to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the marriage through both your eyes. Relationship worksheets are a great tool for positive psychology couples counseling.  

What is the success rate for marriage counseling? 

This depends on how much effort each person in the relationship puts into couples therapy. Couples counseling is only as successful as the people participating in the sessions make it. If they both want to achieve a happy outcome, the success rate of couples therapy is quite high. However, if one party nearly drags the other into couples counseling, the success rate will be very low. Couples therapy needs to be a team effort in order to find success. 

How can I fix my marriage without counseling? 

While marriage therapy is specifically designed to help couples achieve a happier relationship, with hard work, you can sometimes fix your marriage without counseling. However, this takes complete and open communication and a joint effort at reconciliation. 

Many people are not able to do that alone, and in those instances, couples therapy can help. Couples counseling uses evidence based practices to create a positive psychology atmosphere. Together, couples work with their counselor to talk through differences and explore strategies that they may not be able to fully engage in on their own. Couples therapy worksheets and counseling exercises are utilized and analyzed by a therapist who has an impartial position in the relationship; the counselor has nothing to benefit from, only the clients do. While free relationship worksheets can be found online, without the background to properly analyze them, couples therapy worksheets cannot be utilized to the greatest potential. 

However, if you want to use free relationship worksheets prior to attending couples therapy, you may find that you have a starting point for your sessions. 

How do I reconnect my marriage? 

Lack of communication is often the demise of a marriage. When there is a breakdown of communication, all else starts to fail. The best way to reconnect with your partner is to attend couples therapy. In your couples counseling sessions, your therapist will most likely provide you with relationship worksheets for couples. The relationship qualities worksheet will start to help your therapist to understand where your partnership started and where it is currently. As you navigate couples therapy, your counselor may use what the worksheet describes to be lacking and build upon those qualities first. If you are asked about your relationship this worksheet you are given is a good start to getting to the core of the problem. In addition to the relationship worksheets for couples, counseling exercises will be used to help you learn how to communicate and deal with problems better. Something as simple as the body language you exude may be causing turmoil, and your couples therapy counselor can help you work through these challenges. Being open minded definitely helps.  

Couples therapy should be a positive psychology experience for both parties. Sure, you may not always walk out of every session beaming with love and joy, but you will slowly be making strides to a happier relationship. 

Can you fix a broken relationship? 

If you feel like your relationship is broken, giving couples therapy a chance is a worthwhile endeavor. While not every marriage can overcome every issue, unless you give couples counseling a fair shot, you may be bowing out prematurely. However, if you are set on ending the relationship and have no desire to repair it in couples counseling, no amount of worksheets for couples can mend a broken marriage. 

How do you know when the marriage is over? 

Sometimes couples amicably agree that they are no longer in love, or they want different things in life, and they choose to end their marriage. Other times, these epiphanies happen in couples therapy. 

Every relationship is different, and while couples counseling is designed to help couples work out their differences, sometimes there is a realization that both parties have been hanging onto a marriage that has long been over. You can have a positive psychology experience and still decide the relationship is over. Couples therapy is there to help you work towards an end goal; sometimes, the best goal for everyone involved is to end the relationship. 

What is the difference between marriage counseling and couple therapy?

While both are nearly the same, some people who are not yet married want to attend counseling together. In these instances, they would attend couples therapy. Marriage counseling is for those who are married and either way to work out a difference or ensure they have the best marriage possible. Couples therapy, on the other hand, is for people who are in committed relationships and want to work through something as a team.

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