Easy Couples Technique – 3 Nice Things


We tried this technique in the couples workshop yesterday and people liked it.

A couple times a week (not everyday, that’s expecting too much), before bed (or another time that works), one person says “let’s say 3 nice things.” The other agrees. One person says 3 things that they like, are grateful for, or appreciate about their partner.

For example, “I like how you looked in that white t-shirt today. I appreciate you taking the garbage out tonight. I am grateful you came to that couples workshop with me with morning.”

This is a behavioural technique originally designed by couples expert John Gottman and modified by me to be easier. It helps couples go to bed on a grateful note. In a short amount of time it can increase the number of positive interactions and decrease the number of negative interactions between the members of the couple.

The emotion-focussed exercises I do in counselling sessions work well to help distant or fighting couples get to a place of closeness again. But even those with good-enough relationships can use extra help and they will find this easy addition to their routine to be greatly nourishing for themselves and for their relationship. We all know that marriage takes work to maintain and this is the kind of effective work that has a positive impact.