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Communication Exercises for Couples to Maintain a Healthy Bond

Communication Exercises for Couples
Communication exercises for couples help in improving communication between them as they start understanding the other person's perspective. So, if you are facing some communication problems with your spouse or partner, going through this article may help you in resolving certain issues.
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
The basis of every healthy relationship is communication. However, communication does not just mean expressing one's opinions, but also listening and understanding the other person's point of view. Unfortunately, this is something that most couples do not realize and this is also one of the reasons that give rise to arguments when they discuss certain sensitive issues in their relationships. This is quite a serious issue because miscommunication and lack of understanding can cause a rift between couples and can also lead to a divorce or breakup. To avoid such things, it is important for them to recognize communication problems and work towards improving their communication skills. One of the best ways of doing this is with the help of communication exercises. So, if you find this concept interesting and useful, here are some tips and exercises that can help you in communicating better.
Inducing Communication Between Couples
If you and your partner are having too many arguments and fights due to few sensitive issues, it is important to find a way to solve them. Many couples make a mistake of not talking to each other or just ignoring the issue completely and leading their lives normally. However, this does not solve the problem and there are high chances that the issue will crop up sometime or the other. As these situations arise due to very less or lack of communication, these can be solved with the help of communication workshops. These workshops introduce couples to activities which they have to practice during the sessions as well as at home to bring an improvement in the way they communicate with each other.
Back to the Basics
As such there are many ways you can go about working on your problems, but for starters take up certain habits to create a comforting environment. These are some tips that show immediate results like:
  • Make it a habit to greet each other every morning, and end the day with a good night.
  • Keep each other informed about your plans for the day.
  • Use each others' name while calling out, and while speaking to each; this works especially well when you thank them for a particular act. It is said that using names strongly imprint the use of one's words.
  • Do not forget each other during the day when you are busy with your respective work. Make at least two calls during the day to say hi, even if it is a short one. You will know how good it feels to know that someone remembers you even when he/she is busy.
  • Devote the nearest weekend to something you both enjoy doing together.

With this, let us take a look at some exercises that you can try at home over a longer time span to maintain a healthy relationship.
Eye Contact
maintaining eye contact
Most of us are aware of the game where we sit across another person and stare at each other's eyes and the person who blinks first loses. Now, here you and your partner are not going to play a game where someone wins or loses. Rather, there is no competition here and you just have to put in all your emotions and thoughts to do this exercise. Here, communication will not take place through words or actions, but only through the eyes.

Place two comfortable chairs in a room with dim lights and sit facing each other. Look into each other's eyes and continue to do so in a relaxed manner. Do not stare harshly, rather be gentle and allow your thoughts to flow freely. Though you are not talking or touching each other, this exercise will definitely help in unifying your body sensations and feelings. With due course of time, you both will know what the other is trying to say even without speaking a single word and when you have reached that level you will also understand each other better.
Active Listening
importance of active listening
As I said earlier, for most of us communication is just talking and putting forth our viewpoint. However, listening is one of the most important parts of communication and should never be ignored. It has been observed that human beings are selective listeners and would only listen intently when something matters to them is said. This attitude has to be abandoned and you have to learn to become a good and active listener, if you want to solve the communication problems with your partner. To do this exercise, sit facing your partner and opt for a neutral topic i.e., something that would not ignite an argument between both of you.

A safe topic for this exercise can be what happened during the day. Decide who would be the speaker and the listener. Once this is done, one of you has to start talking and say a few things about how his/her day went by. When the speaker finishes, rather than commenting on what he/she said, the listener should repeat what was heard. After the listener repeats the lines, the other should confirm whether it was repeated correctly. If there were some mistakes or few things were missed, then it should be repeated again. This can continue till the listener has said everything correctly. They should go along this procedure 3-4 times and then, switch roles.
Role Reversal
role reversal couple
Role reversal is an exercise that is commonly practiced at communication workshops. Here, the couples have to switch roles with each other i.e., the husband becomes the wife and vice versa. Once they have switched their roles, they have to adopt each other's habits, mannerisms and talking style. It is said that by being in the role of the other person, couples are able to understand their thoughts better. When this is done, the couple should start talking to each other in their new roles i.e., wife should talk to the husband in the same way he generally talks to her and vice versa. This will help the couple to realize how the other person feels when he/she talks to him/her in a particular manner.

For instance, if a husband yells at his wife when she does not complete her chores, then the wife can talk to him in the same manner. On the other hand, if the wife has the habit of nagging the husband all the time, he should take up her mannerisms and dialogs and make her realize how he feels when she badgers him the whole day. This exercise of role reversal has been beneficial for many couples where they realize their flaws and make an effort to change themselves. Stay calm and take criticism in a positive way.
Forecasting Method
forecasting future issues
According to an issue published by Human Communication Research in 2006, it is proven that couples often overestimate the similarities between their reaction to a particular situation and that of their partners. This leads to faulty judgments and misconceptions. To tackle this problem, make a list of situations and ask your partner to describe his/her reactions to them. This will prevent future conflicts on similar issues and also help you to get to know your partner better. Keep in mind not to detest or critically examine your partner's reactions; it might worsen the situation. Remember and respect the right to freedom of speech.
Apart from the advises given above, adopt certain things as a part of life like patience (which is the best virtue), being more vocal and less judgmental. Follow it and you will experience a more balanced relation with your partner. Just like these exercises have helped many people, I hope this would work to improve your marriage or relationship. An important thing that couples should understand while in a relationship is that both of them have come from different families and backgrounds and hence, would have different experiences in life which molds their attitude and personality. Once a couple understands and accepts this difference, it will be easier for them to communicate in a better way with each other.