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Enrichment Activities for Couples

by Hannah Wahlig

Sustaining quality in a relationship requires teamwork, cooperation, compassion and growth. Relationship enrichment activities bring couples closer together by engaging them in open conversations and cooperative tasks to build their communication skills and partnership. Activities invite couples to reflect on their own beliefs, feelings or behaviors and to share their experiences with a partner. Enrichment activities can help couples advance to the next stage in their relationship or repair damage done to a relationship through mistrust.

Future Visions

Woman looking up and thinking.

Couples who share a vision for their future are better equipped to make decisions that move the relationship forward. Both partners should sit down and make a list of their goals for the next month, six months, year, five years, 10 years and 25 years. The goals should encompass all realms of life including love, family, friendship, work, leisure and health. After you've made your lists, place a star next to the items that are most important to you; ask yourself which goals are integral to you being happy with your life. Each partner then shares his list. When your partner shares an important item, ask him, "What do you need me to do to help you achieve that goal?" Keep your lists in an accessible place and refer to them when you feel that your relationship is getting sidetracked.

Time Capsules

Use a small box as a time capsule.

Part of sustaining a healthy, happy relationship is celebrating the small events of your daily lives. Purchase a small box that can be easily sealed. Each partner individually collect items or mementos that represent important aspects of the relationship. Items could include business cards from a current job, a piece of mail with the home address, or a picture from a recent event or vacation. Sit down with your partner and share the items you want to include. Discuss what the item represents and why you feel it is an important piece of your lives. Place the items in the box and seal it with tape. Bury the box outside, or simply place it in a difficult to access location like the attic. Agree to open the box in a certain number of years, or when you feel like you need a reminder of all of the good parts of your relationship.

Building Project

Couple with blueprints.

Completing a challenging task requires effective communication and teamwork, skills essential to a successful relationship. Take on a building or construction project in your home; build a shed, install an air conditioner or remodel your bedroom. Even small tasks like replacing a bathroom faucet can be opportunities for couples to work together to accomplish something tangible; the lesson can then be transferred to accomplishing less tangible tasks, like communicating feelings more effectively.

Learn From Other Couples

Mature couple.

Exploring the strategies of other happy couples helps couples internalize techniques for communication and cooperation in their relationship. Sit down with couples that you admire; invite a married couple from work to your home for dinner, or visit your married grandparents at their home for lunch. Pay attention to the way they communicate with one another and the small ways they show each other that they are in love. After the meeting, discuss what you noticed with your partner and identify three major changes you could make in your own relationship.

Couples' Retreats

Couple on a retreat.

Counseling centers and churches offer couples' retreats to members. Most of these retreats involve therapeutic discussions, physical challenges and communication exercises designed to help couples navigate their issues. Retreats are useful to engaged couples or married couples who feel their relationship needs redirection. Most retreats take couples to exotic or wilderness locations and require a fee to sign up.

About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

Photo Credits

  • Stewart Cohen/Digital Vision/Getty Images