Conflict is inevitable in all relationships. Communication covers every possible way we interact. Effective communication is essential to a good relationship. Couples communication exercises can help fighting couples learn to communicate more effectively. These skills alone may not solve or resolve issues, however, no problem can be resolved or managed without them.
One of the best couples communication exercises to start with is the couple dialogue, where each partner feels safe, heard and understood. There is a sender and a receiver. The sender initiates and sends the message. The receiver’s job is to grant a couple’s dialogue as soon as possible.
The sender and receiver switch roles to be heard and understood.
Effective communication between couples consists of three parts to include:
1. Mirroring –
This method uses reflecting information from one’s partner. A form of mirroring is called paraphrasing. This is a restatement using your own words.
2. Validation –
This method communicates a summary of what has been said and checks out the accuracy, to be true to one’s partner.
3. Empathy –
This is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. When the receiver has gone through all three parts (mirroring, validation, and empathy) then they say, “I would like to respond now.” Then, there is a switch and the receiver becomes the sender.
Conflict Management Goals for Couples:
- Commit to manage or resolve couple conflict without the use of power or authority to win at the expense of the other losing.
- Seek a win-win solution.
- Use “I” statements.
- STICK TO THE SUBJECT.
- Avoid conflict when drinking or overly fatigued.
- Respect crying (not to be used as an escape).
- Allow time for both partners.
- Practice effective communication with responsive listening, empathy, and unconditional positive regard.
- Remember to take time to cool off.
- Agree to no violence.
While considering fair fighting, it is important to work toward finding the best possible solution, considering both partners’ needs. Frustration and anger are managed versus taking it out on each other. It is important to separate the person from the problem to avoid personal attacks.
Call Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy for Help
If you find that you are unable to meet the above goals and achieve a better line of communication, call Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy at (205) 807-5372 for an appointment with one of our relationship counselors. We are located in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, where we serve Birmingham and the entire state of Alabama.