Talking to your partner about issues such as household chores, scheduling time to be together and dealing with in-laws doesn't have to end in arguments. Learning to communicate with your partner can be fun. Play games with your sweetheart to help you gain a better understanding of each other and deal with your pressing concerns.
He Said, She Said
One common exercise for couples is repeating statements after each other to see if what one says is what the other hears. Turn this concept into a communication game by doing just that.
Mimic each other while starting a conversation based on one topic. Each take a turn for three minutes or less to repeat the response using "I" statements in the reply. For instance, if you think your partner is not supportive of your schedule, set a timer and ask your partner, "Do you feel like my work schedule is too laid back?" Your partner answers what she feels, such as, "I feel like you deliberately stay late at work so you don't have to come home." Follow up her reply by expressing what you heard, such as, "So what I hear you saying is you think when I'm telling you that I have to work late that I'm playing at work?" Go back and forth to get to the bottom to the situation.
Play a quick game of relationship Jeopardy featuring some of your most pressing questions for each other. Just like the "Jeopardy!" game, create a game board on your dining room table using index cards. Arrange headers for each topic, such as "The In-Laws," "Housework," "Uninvited Guests," and "Past Relationships." Create questions that relate to each category, and cover the questions with an index card with a value. Values, instead of money, can be tasks, favors, kisses --- anything you like. Take turns answering statements like, "This person does the dishes the majority of the time," and address the issue at hand for each question.
Fight Like A Girl, Play Like A Girl
Take your games back in time by awaking your inner adolescent with a quick game of dolls. If you don't have kids, purchase two dolls, one for you and one for your partner. If you two are prone to creating snippy arguments when it's time to discuss issues, use dolls to act out your arguments instead of lashing out at each other. Hold up your doll when it's time for you to speak, and have your discussion through the dolls to take some of the tenseness out of the conversation while adding a little humor to your relationship.
Shut It Up
Some of the best communication is non-communication. The non-verbal exchange between you and your other half is as important and identifiable as your spoken words. When you're ready for a change in your relationship communication approach, use a piece of heavy duty tape such a duck tape to cover each other's mouth. Communicate with each other solely through facial expressions, touch and eye contact. Use props to explain details, but don't talk until you've completed a session of communicating non-verbally.
Crystal Green is a marketing and event management consultant specializing in non-profit organizations and small businesses. Green spent the last seven years working for a statewide education association directing their trade publications, writing articles for programs' training teams and other event-related freelance projects. Green hold a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, and is currently working on advanced degrees.
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