Burnout is becoming a more common phrase nowadays, mostly due to people experiencing too much stress in the workplace and with social responsibilities and demands.
However, did you know you can also experience burnout in your relationship?
You might be dealing with it right now without even realizing the official “term” for it.
Relationship burnout occurs when one person (or both people) in a relationship starts to feel detached from their partner. It occurs for a variety of reasons, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is doomed.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the signs of relationship burnout, and what you can do if you’re experiencing it with your partner.
What Does Relationship Burnout Look Like?
Relationship burnout can manifest itself in several ways, including both physical and emotional. Some of the most common signs include feeling complacent, like your relationship doesn’t excite you anymore. This could happen during your intimate moments, or you might feel like the “spark” you once felt for your partner is gone.
You might also feel hopeless, like your relationship isn’t going anywhere. People who feel a sense of hopelessness in their relationship can also often struggle with depression or worry, wondering if things will feel that way forever.
The biggest sign of relationship burnout is an obvious disconnect between you and your partner. You don’t necessarily have to be arguing or even have a “dislike” for each other. But you might feel like you’re living in two separate worlds. Do you find yourself only half-listening when they talk, or less interested in their life? That’s disconnection and doubt creeping in.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for couples experiencing relationship burnout to cope in unhealthy ways. You might start to distance yourself even further from your partner or look to someone else for comfort and connection.
What Causes Burnout?
There are many factors that can play into relationship burnout, and they’re unique to each couple.
You might be exhausted if you feel like you’re the only one putting effort into your relationship. Or, maybe you don’t feel like you spend enough time together because of other responsibilities like work, a social life, or kids. If you can’t strike a healthy balance in your relationship, it’s easier to feel burnt out and exhausted.
If you’re experiencing burnout in other areas of life, like work, that can also contribute to similar problems in your relationship.
What Can You Do?
Experiencing relationship burnout doesn’t automatically mean you and your partner won’t last. But, it’s something that should be addressed as quickly as possible.
It takes time and effort to work through and eventually overcome this type of burnout, and both of you have to be on board to make it work.
First, share your feelings. Moving forward in your relationship requires vulnerability and openness. If you’ve been feeling disconnected in your relationship, chances are your partner shares at least some of those feelings.
Once you’ve cleared the air, put together a strategy on how you can reconnect and come together again. That could be something as simple as planning weekly date nights or committing to better communication every day.
If you’re not sure what’s “missing” from your relationship and causing you to feel burnt out, don’t feel like you have to come up with the answers on your own. Talking to a therapist or counselor can make a big difference.
A third-party perspective is a great way to get to the root issues affecting your relationship. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment for couples counseling. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of what’s causing your relationship burnout, and work on effective strategies to strengthen the bond between you and your partner.