You’re worried about your relationship.
You’re picking at each other. The gaps between fights are getting shorter, but it’s taking longer to patch things up.
You seem to have lost your connection, your spark. It doesn’t feel like fun. You know your relationship needs work but you can’t find the motivation to try.
You head away for a weekend together. It’s nice. But then you get home, the rush of life takes over, and you’re back where you were. Niggling, annoying each other, going head to head over the same old things.
This is the point at which many couples first consider counselling. But then they abandon the idea: research shows couples wait an average of six years before taking a proactive step.
Side note… the Mamamia team confess our relationship deal-breakers. Post continues after video.
The trouble is, things don’t get better in the interim. Bad habits get ingrained, resentment builds and before you know it, you’re in the burnout zone.
But burnout is for work — not couples.
Officially, yes. Burnout — exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress — is most commonly applied to work situations. But the warning signs are just as easily applied to a relationship.
Most experts agree burnout shows up in three key ways. When applied to a relationship, these are the key indicators:
1. Physical and emotional exhaustion.
Your relationship drains you. You know it needs attention, but you can’t find the energy or the motivation to keep trying. Even the thought of “date night” makes you feel exhausted.
2. Detachment and cynicism.
You feel disengaged from your partner and increasingly negative (or even cynical) about their behaviour, the things they say, their personal quirks — and even your suitability as a couple. You don’t want to admit it but you’ve started to wonder if there’s another (better) “option” out there.
3. Falloff in investment and feeling ineffective.
You go through the motions. You stop making an effort. You’d rather hang with your phone/device than your partner. The physical intimacy drops away, so does the emotional connection. You’re at a loss to know what to do. Occasionally you feel like packing up and walking away.