10 Couples Counseling Exercises That Don’t Always Work

Relationships take work, and sometimes couples counselors recommend “at home” exercises that lead to more problems instead of reconciliation. Watch 5 former bridezillas work to rebuild their relationships on Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas, Fridays at 9/8c on WE tv.

1. Going for a walk

Stephen McCulloch / Via Flickr: stemack_street

Experiencing the outdoors together can help you reconnect because it takes the focus off you guys for a while. However, there are always distractions.

2. Or talking to an empty chair

Vince LoPresti / Via Flickr: vlopresti1964

Arguments often result in hurt feelings that turn into resentment. A way of expressing yourself freely is by talking to an empty chair. This is a good idea until you realize, you’re the crazy person talking to an inanimate object.

3. Going on another honeymoon

Peter Sheik / Via Flickr: flexsleuthor

Trouble in paradise? Consider returning to paradise on a second honeymoon! Just don’t spend the whole time yelling at all the newlyweds.

4. Reading self-help books together

Nothing will make you love your partner more than the time you spend fighting over what each and every page in a picture-free book is about!

5. Exchanging passwords

Sharing passwords is another way of encouraging honesty, and is only risky always.

6. Not talking at all

Tom Page / Via Flickr: tompagenet

The silent treatment was a great idea when you were a kid. Your parents always gave in at some point. Trying it on your significant other? Not such a great idea. Nothing will ever get resolved. Silence is not always golden.

7. Sharing “new” or “fun” facts with each other

Unfortunately, things like “did you know I won the archery tournament at my sleep away camp in 1997?” doesn’t make you hot.

8. Scheduling sex like it’s a doctor appointment

Zeke Reno / Via Flickr: zekesaysso

Sex is not a chore. It’s fun. It’s not something you pencil in on a calendar between “return encyclopedia to library” and “dog sit for Katie”

9. Trying to learn from relationships you respect, like the one your grandparents have

Jazzbeaunola / Via Flickr: jazzbeaunola

Of course there are things we can learn from successful partnerships — Never draw direct comparisons between your relationship and anyone else’s. You’ll realize that your grandparents (or whoever) are far better people and you are more ungrateful and flawed than you thought.

10. Listening to your single friends talk about how “great” it is to be single

Counselors will tell couples to hang out with single people so they’ll remember how awful it is to be single. But being single is pretty rad. You get to use the bathroom with the door open.

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