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Unblock the DRAIN in your Relationship

Identify the D.R.A.I.N. In Your Relationship

This following is an exercise extracted from my Self-Compassion module…

The purpose of this exercise is to identify specific thoughts and behaviours you may be having or expressing that are “DRAINing” on your relationship.

You may not even be aware of these specific thoughts and behaviours – therefore this is a powerful exercise that can spur significant positive change in your relationship.

D– Disconnection, 

R – Reactivity, 

A – Avoidance, 

I – Inside your mind, 

N – Neglecting values


Disconnection: How do I disconnect from my partner?  (E.g. Do I get bored, irritable, stop listening? Do I go cold and distant? Do I close off/shut down? Am I distracted rather than present?)

How does my partner disconnect from me?


Reactivity: How do I react, impulsively or automatically, without stopping to consider what I am doing? (E.g. Do I yell, snap, swear, storm off, say hurtful things, criticise, blame, accuse, sneer, jeer?) 

How does my partner react, impulsively or automatically?

relationship drain exercise
Identify the D.R.A.I.N in your relationship


Avoidance: How do I avoid or get rid of my painful feelings that are related to the issues in this relationship? (E.g. Do I use drugs, alcohol, food, cigarettes? Do I withdraw or stay away from my partner? Do I try to distract myself with TV, computers, books, going out? Do I avoid talking to my partner about the issue?)

How does my partner seem to avoid or get rid of his/her painful feelings?

Inside Your Mind

Inside Your Mind: How do I get trapped inside my mind? (E.g. Do I worry about the future, dwell on the past, relive old hurts, rehash old arguments, and stew over everything that’s wrong with my partner? Do I get caught up in judgement, blame, and criticism? Do I get caught up in thoughts of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, or being controlled?)

How does my partner seem to get trapped inside his/her mind?

Neglecting Values

Neglecting Values: What core values do I neglect, forget about, or act inconsistently with, when I am disconnected, reactive, avoidant, or inside my mind? (E.g. Do I lose touch with values such as being loving, kind, caring, generous, compassionate, supportive, fun-loving, easy-going, sensual, and affectionate?)

What core values does my partner seem to neglect, forget about, or act inconsistently with?

Well done!

Identifying the D.R.A.I.N in your relationship is a major milestone toward making the right changes in your life for a healthy, happy relationship.

Take note of these responses and see if you can find just one thing to improve on. Ask yourself what you can do differently.

Often, it’s the simple things that really do make a big difference.

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