Role play is an excellent way to improve the way you get along with your spouse.
When you use role play with your partner, you put into practice a new way of behaving toward each other. Because you practice it at a time when you are getting along well, there is no tension and the role playing can even be fun. Role play is “play acting” something that you have learned to say or do, or something that you want your spouse to say or do.
An example of how to use role play to help your marriage:
A long time ago, my wife and I practiced role playing what I should do when she interrupts me while I am using the computer. Before the role playing, my lovely wife would come behind me and put her arm around my neck in kind of a headlock position. That rendered me unable to move, and was somewhat uncomfortable for me.
My usual response was to wait it out. I know a good martial art move to deal with this, but considered that wasn’t the best response. But, my “waiting it out” was also not what my wife was wanting. I asked her if we could use role play to make this situation better for both of us (being careful not to complain and to make it positive).
Then I asked her to sit at my computer and to show me what she would like me to do when she comes behind me and grabs me that way. Then, I came behind her, and put my arm around her neck the way she had been doing with me. Then I said, “Show me what you would like me to do.”
She thought for a moment, then turned the chair around and stood up to face me. “What’s next?” I asked. Thinking more, she said, “Hello,” and kissed my neck and then started coughing and choking. Then, I said, “Let’s stop here and just practice up to this part.”
Then, I sat at my computer while she came up behind me. I turned my chair around, stood up, said “Hello,” kissed her neck, and then coughed and choked as she had (we have a lot of silliness in our relationship work). She had me do it again without the coughing and choking.
Then, she sat down at my computer again and continued the role play. This time, after she kissed my neck, she continued to embrace me, and asked me, “What shall we do?” Then, it was my turn again. I sat at my desk, she put her arm around my neck, I turned around in my chair, stood up, gently kissed her neck several times, continued to hold her and in my best sexy voice asked, “What shall we do?”
Instant relationship improvement
As you can probably guess, this new method of behavior worked much better for both of us than the old. And we had a lot of fun doing it. We practiced the same situation several times and it has been years now that I have not had a wonderful response to my wife’s approach in this situation. You can use role play to improve your relationship if you and your partner are willing to learn how to please each other in a low stress situation.
10 Reminders to improve your relationship with role play
1. The best way to introduce any new idea to someone is by appealing to their interests rather than your own. Wait for some change that might benefit your partner before trying this technique.
2. You can also start by role playing a first date, where you not only pretend it’s your first time meeting, but where you switch roles and pretend that you are your partner.
3. Role playing should be fun. If your partner tenses up, then try again at some other time. Don’t push on.
4. Role playing is a good way to practice any new skill. For example, I used to role play being a therapist with other students who pretended to be clients.
5. Do not criticize or remind your partner of past negative behavior.
6. If the new behavior is long or complicated, practice only part of it at a time. Many people I work with have trouble handling big gatherings with their spouse. Role playing ahead of time will help both of you to know what to expect from each other and will allow you to demonstrate what you would like. All politicians and celebrities benefit from such role play. Why shouldn’t you?
7. When working with your partner have him or her switch roles with you to show you how they would like you to be.
8. Be willing make your partner feel good about his or her role playing, no matter how lousy they actually are at it. One of the keys to a happy relationship is making your partner believe you think they are great just the way they are (if you don’t do it, someone else will!).
9. New behaviors improve with practice and repetition. Keep your first trials short and fun. Don’t try to do too much at one time.
10 Be willing to improve your relationship by doing things that are not natural for you, as long as they don’t violate your morality or harm your marriage. I am always ready for my wife’s ideas and she is for mine. She is my girlfriend and I enjoy doing all kinds of things with her.
What would you like to role play in your relationship? Relationship coaching clients learn all kinds of skills they can practice with role play, from initiating a conversation, to handling criticism, to problem solving. Any area that you would like to improve is a good candidate for role play. And, if your spouse complains about the way you do something, have him or her role play with you how he or she would like things to go. You will be one step closer to a Oneness marriage.