Communication between a husband and wife can often become strained. With limited time, money and patience, the smallest miscommunications can lead to a major source of tension and conflict within the relationship. Practicing good habits on a continuing basis helps couples to identify sources of miscommunication, enabling them to avoid conflicts in the future. By acting out some simple communication skits, couples can discover problem spots and learn to maneuver through tense moments in healthy and effective ways.
One skit idea to practice with your husband or wife is to hold a conversation while switching roles. The wife should use verbal and nonverbal cues that she believes to be common of her husband. The husband will simultaneously participate in the conversation pretending to be his wife. This activity will bring out hidden misconceptions that each has toward the other. If you feel that your spouse has misrepresented you in any way during this skit, explain why you feel this way. This will open a new, conscious line of communication that may not have surfaced otherwise.
Act Out Past Arguments
In this exercise, you will be interacting with your husband or wife to re-enact a past argument. The way that you communicate and formulate reasons to justify your side of the argument will come out in a simplified way during this skit. Use those main points to identify any miscommunications that may have occurred. At the end of the skit, take turns analyzing how you thought the argument progressed and what verbal and nonverbal cues could have made it more effective.
This skit takes place in the front seat of a car. Allow the husband to take the drivers seat and imagine that you are lost while driving a long distance to attend a birthday party on time. Start talking about your feelings in this hypothetical situation. The one rule is, you must start every sentence with the words "I feel..". This skit will demonstrate our human tendency to place blame on one another, while illustrating the importance of effective communication about our feelings.
The Resentment Wall
Another idea for a skit is to stand facing each other while visualizing a large, brick wall between you. This is the Resentment Wall. Take turns acting out the motion of removing a brick from the wall. Each person who removes a brick must identify something that she resents in her partner. For example, the wife may state, "I resent the fact that you watch TV for five hours each night instead of spending quality time with me." She would then pretend to remove a brick from the wall. After the wall is gone, take time to discuss the reasons behind those resentments and possible solutions to resolving them.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images