Are You in Valentine’s Day Relationship Burnout?
Valentine’s Day looms near…
You look across the dinner table.
And there they are. Your spouse. Your live-in partner.
You study their face and their mannerisms.
No feelings. No passion. No…spark.
Let’s face it.
It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and you’re in Relationship Burnout.
Perhaps you’re asking “How did we get here? Whose fault is it?
But even more important is the question–How do we get out of this?
How to Pull Out of Burnout
Good News! There is a way out. In fact, there are 8 ways to avoid Relationship Burnout and possibly to bring your relationship back from the dead.
You Can Get The Spark Back
But you’ll have to start remembering and reinitiating Courtship type behaviors.
Here are the methods that research indicates are most likely to help a couple recover–but these are not short-term quick fixes, they must be practiced long term to keep the relationship alive and kicking:
We’ve all seen that ridiculous couple tearing at each other in public. And we’ve all thought “Jeez! Get a room wouldjya?!”
Affection does not have to mean climbing all over one another. It can be the touch of a hand on her shoulder, a small kindness like making him a cup of coffee, a laying beside one another while listening to music, watching a show or tending a fire.
Affection can also be more assertive such as tender touching and passionate kissing all the way through making love.
2. Showing your Care and Concern
You may be thinking ‘s/he knows how much I care. I dont need to do anything. It’s assumed that I care.’
Nope. Ya gotta show it.
It could be coaching your partner to join you at the gym or yoga. It could be just letting your partner know you are thinking about the hardships they’ve been enduring recently. It could be a quick text check in to say you’re thinking of them. Or it could be as simple as picking up that favorite food you know she likes.
Concern is really allowing your partner’s concerns to be your concerns as well. Sympathy and empathy go a long way. Always ask if they just want to be heard or if they’d also like some solutions. But never push solutions.
3. Show that you are Interested
Get yer damn head outta yer phone!
When your partner talks to you, stop multitasking and really listen…listen with your ears, with your eyes, with your heart. Let them know you are listening through words of sympathy (not through attempts to fix the problem, unless they ask for fixes) and simple acknowledgements (head nodding, ‘yes…I see…uh huh.”
The old saying goes “Love means never having to say your sorry.”
BULL-SHIT my friend.
Love means saying your sorry early and often.
Apologize sincerely when you’ve done something wrong, intentional or not. You’ve heard the expression ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’
We are often so busy proving that we aren’t malicious (defending the image of ourselves as pure and unassailable) to notice that the other person wants us to acknowledge their hurt, their upset.
5. Appreciate your Partner
Whether its something they did in the past that you appreciated or something in the present, be vocal and let them know what it meant to you.
Even very old memories can be useful in rekindling the couple flame. You can stoke those feelings by recalling in detail what you appreciated about your partner’s past behavior. Be careful though, not to use it as a comparison to present day behavior.
Just offer appreciation–and especially for the little things that you might have started taking for granted. Making the bed, working on bills, buying groceries. Be sure to verbally notice more of what your partner does.
Watch out for insisting on agreement on all things. Allow your partner to have some thoughts, feelings, opinions that you may not agree with.
Conveying your respect of your partner’s thoughts, feelings, ideas–even if you dont agree with all of them, is very important in preserving your ‘coupleness.’
Even when your partner is accusing you of something you dont feel you’ve done, accepting that this is their point of view and that it is very real to them, can go a long way towards a resolution.
Ever fart during sex?
Did you run from the room shrieking in terror?
Or did you look at each other and fall out laughing?
Sharing inside jokes, taking yourself lightly, light teasing of your partner (as long as it is not humiliating or condescending, put-down humor) can also lighten the load of a couple and bring laughter and levity into your relationship.
Even bringing up old times when your partner or you had a hilarious moment can bring back those humorous feelings.
Even about farts.
8. Share your Good Times
Whether its a personal accomplishment, something funny you experienced or the thrill of a lifetime, share these joyous moments with your partner so that you can both experience them together.
Listening to your partner’s story? Practice ‘mudita.’
Mudita is a word meaning ‘pure joy unadulterated by self-interest.’ When we can be happy of the joys other beings feel, it is called mudita
Start Investing In Your Love Bank
Think of your relationship having a ‘Love Bank Account.’
Remember that research now shows for couples to weather the storms of conflict, there must be 5 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction.
Its not enough to simply do nothing wrong.
A relationship is like a bank account.
You must keep making deposits.
Otherwise, regular maintenance fees and withdrawals (negative interactions) will deplete your account until it is empty. And that is equivalent to complete burnout.
Start Your Relationship Recovery TODAY!
I hope this has given you a few ideas to re-invigorate and recharge your relationship. Please start TODAY to re-invest in your relationship and it will have potential for great dividends!
Questions? Thoughts? Opinions?
I’d love to hear from you!
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©2020 Ross Grossman, MA, LMFT
Affinity Therapy Services