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Love is an amazing thing. Whether you are enjoying the euphoric feeling of being a brand new bride or groom or you've been happily married for 20 years, communication is vital to a long and happy relationship. Learning about different communication exercises is a great idea. Even if you and your partner communicate with no problems right now, it is important to know how to approach disagreements if, and when, they arise.

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Appreciation

The longer you are married, the more comfortable you'll both likely be in the relationship. It is not uncommon to sometimes forget to give your partner the courtesy that you would any stranger or acquaintance. Because you are so comfortable in your everyday lives together, you may even forget that your partner needs to be reminded that they are appreciated. If you are a newlywed, start making it a habit to remind your love how special they are to you. If you have been married for a while and are experiencing communication problems, there is no better time than right now to stop and tell your partner the way you feel.

Three for Three Exercises

A really good communication exercise for couples is called the three for three exercise. This is where you and your spouse go to separate rooms and write down three things that you really admire about each other, as well as three things that you would like them to work on. Discuss these things with each other and begin taking steps to implement changes. Another good exercise is try to go into the conversation without using the word “you”. Try instead using the word ‘I” or “we”. This will lower your partner’s defenses and make them feel less like they are being attacked or blamed.

Stop Words

It is always good to have a stop word in place. A stop word is something one of you says in order to stop an argument in its tracks. So let’s say your stop word is “freeze.” If one of you yells out the word “freeze,” it means nobody says another word. Instead, both of you go to separate rooms until you are ready to have a calm and constructive conversation.

Click here for a list of things you should never say to your spouse. 

Have a Goal for the Day

Try having a goal for the each day. For example, if your goal for today is to practice patience and say nothing negative to your spouse, you cannot do so from the time you wake up  until you fall asleep. No exceptions. Tomorrow your goal might be to practice a new greeting, so you greet your spouse with a smile and excitement. Try keeping a journal and writing down how that day went because of your goal.

Love Endures

Go over your wedding vows with each other and remind each other how and why you fell in love. This is especially helpful when times are tough. Remember that love can endure anything, even communication problems. If both of you resolve to work on your communication, these guides can be a healthy new habit in your lives.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
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