6 Simple but Effective Couples Therapy Exercises You Can Practice at Home
It may seem as if the relationship and marital problems are unresolvable at times, but often that’s only without help. Couples therapy is 75% effective because of the knowledge the experts have, and the exercises they can pass on.
The only downside to therapy is the time and money it can take. There may not be a therapist conveniently located to you, or the price of an expert maybe a little bit out of your budget.
This doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed if you can’t get professional help.
These couples therapy exercises have been tried and tested by counselors and patients, and are guaranteed to make your relationship healthier.
Even if your relationship is currently perfect as it is, these will prevent problems from cropping up!
1. Resolve All Arguments Before Bed
One of the most effective couples therapy at-home exercises is one of the simplest: resolve all arguments before bed.
By going to bed angry at each other, you give yourself the time to dwell on an argument. A conflict that may not have been a big deal during the day has time to build at night, giving each of you time to grow bitter and more resentful over the issue.
Instead of going to bed and lying awake thinking about it, sit down and talk before you turn in. If you resolve the issue before sleeping, you’ll wake up feeling much better about the problem.
2. Set Aside a “Date Night”
At the beginning of a relationship, dates are far more common. You’re still getting to know each other, which means trips out for dinner, to the movies, and other fun activities.
As you settle into more of a routine — especially after moving in together — these activities may become less and less common. Eating in is cheaper and more convenient than eating out, and why go to the movies when you could watch something on the TV?
The issue with falling into this pattern is that it’s not just the activity you’re missing out on — it’s the bonding.
Going out with your significant other every once in awhile builds your relationship even after the initial dating phase. You can both dress up and be excited, whether it’s to try a new restaurant or do something more adventurous.
Date nights will allow you to communicate with your significant other in a new environment, which might reignite a spark you thought you had lost.
3. Honesty Hour
Of all the couples therapy exercises to do at home, honesty hour might be the most vital.
Honesty hour involves scheduling a time to sit down however often is necessary and talk to each other about the issues you’re having in your relationship. Even if those problems don’t necessarily seem like a ‘big deal’ yet, having them out in the open can prevent them from turning into one.
During honesty hour, it’s important to listen to your partner and fight any defensive urges. Try to use language that isn’t accusatory, but is simply explanatory.
It might take a couple of sessions, but this should become a valued time that you can use to express yourself without fear of judgment.
If you can’t do this without conflict arising, it may be necessary to seek an actual therapist.
4. Unplug From Social Media
Social media can enhance relationships or it can change them for the worse. It has truly changed the way couples communicate and while that makes it easier to stay in touch if you aren’t around each other, there are downfalls too.
Tones can be misread in text, so it isn’t a good way to resolve an argument. Even if you’re both in the same room, looking at your phone too much can be misread as prioritizing social media over your partner.
It might even begin to make one of you suspicious of infidelity.
To ensure you’re valuing each other, assign a night a week where neither of you is on your phones. Watch a movie, cook dinner together, and lock your phones away somewhere.
There will be no distractions and you’ll feel all the more appreciated when the night is out.
5. Trust Falls
When it comes to couples therapy trust-building exercises, there’s none more classic than the trust fall.
It’s a simple concept. A trust fall involves a blind fall backward where your partner is supposed to catch you.
People often struggle with this initially. It’s hard to put the amount of trust into someone necessary to ensure you won’t get hurt! But if you practice this a few times, you should get into the habit of trusting your partner implicitly.
It’s important to ensure this exercise is practiced in a safe environment with both of you ready. Otherwise, it may have the opposite effect than intended.
6. Leave It Until Sunday
The concept known as “leave it until Sunday” is an often-assigned part of couples therapy homework that’s easy to practice even if you’ve never attended therapy.
If you feel yourselves getting into a fight during the week, walk away and postpone the issue until Sunday. Do this with any conflict that begins to arise and then circle back to each issue on Sunday — or whichever day you designate for this exercise!
By the time that day rolls around, any issue that wasn’t a big deal in the first place will have been forgotten about. Only the true issues will remain to sit down and discuss.
This prevents a huge fight from happening over something that isn’t actually a big deal.
These Couples Therapy Exercises Will Keep Your Relationship Healthy!
Couples therapy exercises can be important even if you’re not having problems but if you are, these exercises could be essential to fixing your relationship.
It’s important to be preventative but if you haven’t been, it’s time to repair the relationship.
If you need couples therapy to help as well as practicing these at-home exercises, contact us today to get started.