10 Ways to Tell if Your Relationship Suffers From Burnout

relationaship

New research suggests what may really be going on in a burned-out relationship.

The feeling that your relationship isn’t going the way you expected it to can make you feel emotionally depleted. A couple generally enters into an intimate partnership with the hope that it will grow and flourish over time. When this doesn’t happen, the resulting disappointment can make you question why you ever got involved with this person in the first place.
Certainly, romantic characterizations of relationships emphasize the idea that couples move into a “happily ever after” state once they’ve decided to commit to each other. Even though you may realize that the reality of a relationship is unlikely to live up to this fantasy, you may still be at least somewhat surprised when the reality deviates even farther from that idealistic scenario.

What Is Relationship Burnout?
You’ve undoubtedly heard of burnout in the context of occupational settings. Burned-out employees feel exhausted and unenthusiastic about their day-to-day job routines, but they may also be plagued by the question of why they entered that particular occupation in the first place. According to a new study by Kharazmi University’s Solaleh Zamani and colleagues (2023), the counterpart in relationships of “marital burnout” occurs when couples realize “the reality of their marriage is not what they expected” (p. 1).
For the sake of generalizing beyond marriage, the term “relationship burnout” will be used here instead. As defined by the Iranian authors, this is a condition reflecting a “myriad of factors” including “emotionally life lost function” in which an individual’s coping strategies have become overwhelmed. The individual suffering from this “profound emotional state” may experience a range of physical reactions such as lethargy and headaches, emotional reactions such as feelings of hopelessness, and a sense of frustration with one’s partner.
The 10-Item Couple Burnout Questionnaire
The Zamani et al. study was intended to examine predictors of relationship burnout, but before turning to its findings, you can first test yourself on your own experience of relationship burnout. Rate yourself on these 10 items (0=never, 7=always) from an earlier study by the late University of the Negev Ayala Malach Pines and colleagues (2011):

When you think about your marriage/intimate relationship overall, how often have you felt:
1.Tired
2.Disappointed with your spouse/intimate partner
3.Hopeless
4.Trapped
5.Helpless
6.Depressed
7.Weak/Sickly
8.Insecure/Like a failure
9.Difficulties sleeping
10.‘‘I’ve had it’’

Who Is Most Prone to Relationship Burnout?
If you’ve diagnosed yourself or your partner as showing signs of burnout (with scores higher than 5 per item), the next question becomes which “myriad” of factors is leading to this unfortunate condition. Zamani et al. propose that those high in the quality of alexithymia, or “without emotional words,” would be very likely candidates. People who show this particular trait find it difficult if not impossible to relate to their partners or even be responsive to them because their emotional life is so empty. Their “deactivating strategies” (p. 4) lead them to tune out instead of connecting when their partners need them the most.
In addition to being poor communication partners, those high in alexithymia may also be characterized, the Kharazmi U. researchers propose, by an insecure attachment style. The qualities of fearing emotional closeness (avoidant) or being afraid of abandonment (anxious) both can impede their ability to grow within their relationship and, as importantly, facilitate the growth of their partner.
A related deficiency, the inability to regulate one’s emotions, could further contribute to relationship burnout. People high in emotional dysregulation would describe themselves as easily getting out of control when they get upset, and they would also state that they are confused about labeling their feelings.
The 216 adults in the Zamani et al. study were recruited through a family psychiatric clinic on the basis of self-identifying as suffering from relationship burnout, and this was confirmed via their scores on the Couple Burnout Questionnaire. Most were over the age of 30 and the majority (71 percent) identified as female. The analyses were conducted on data gathered prior to their entry into an emotion-oriented couples therapy program.
By statistically modeling the predictors of alexithymia scores, the Iranian authors were able to show that, as expected, attachment styles were not the primary influence on this outcome, but had their effect only through the mediational contributions of emotion dysregulation. In other words, emotion regulation had the effect of reducing secure attachment's effects but increasing the effect of insecure attachment's effects on alexithymia.
If emotion dysregulation is the key factor that predicts the alexithymia underlying burnout, the next question becomes how to help couples strengthen their relationship by focusing on emotions. According to emotion-focused therapy, the framework adopted by the Iranian research team, it may be possible to do just that. In this approach, individuals learn to gain better understanding of their experienced emotions and strengthen their emotion regulation. Such a strategy could, Zamani et al. argue, turn insecure into secure attachment.

Rekindling the Burned-Out Romance in Your Relationship
Because attachment style is so often regarded as fixed in early childhood, it may seem difficult to understand how it could be “adjusted,” as Zamani and colleagues propose. Even more to the point, if alexithymia is a trait, is it reasonable to think that it could be changed through intervention? It may also seem like quite an impossible task to turn the burners back on in a relationship that has become depleting.
The Kharazmi U. research team and the therapy clinic with which it is associated provide hope that all of these positive changes are within reason. The steps toward achieving this goal include developing greater awareness and understanding of emotional experiences that occur in the lives of a couple. As they do so, their emotional resilience becomes strengthened.
Turning this into practical steps, the findings suggest that you begin by working with your partner to stop and examine your emotions as they evolve over the course of your daily experiences. Which deeply held insecurities and anxieties are tapped when you get into an argument? Which similarly deep positive emotions do you feel when you and your partner validate each other’s feelings? If one of you feels uncomfortable talking about your emotions, this can become even more of a reason to take on the challenge.
To sum up, although burnout may seem to be an inevitable result of a relationship that has endured over time, the Iranian study suggests that it can be remedied, if not prevented. As you work on identifying and gaining control over your emotions, you will be on the way toward finding fulfillment in enjoying each other’s inner lives.

reference:
psychology today
link:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fulfillment-at-any-age/202304/10-ways-to-tell-if-your-relationship-suffers-from-burnout

29 replies
  1. Kimiya khoshbin
    Kimiya khoshbin says:

    ‏Hello, it was very informative and excellent
    ‏I think. Emotional relationships can never be perfect
    ‏Sometimes everything is great and sometimes
    ‏everything is boring
    ‏Two different people are supposed to live together
    ‏With different opinions, different interests, different experiences, different decisions
    ‏There are many differences of opinion in the experience of married life
    ‏If couples use wrong solutions when dealing with
    ‏problems
    ‏They will face exhausting relationships
    ‏It requires speaking correctly and understanding the differences

    Reply
  2. زهرا بابائی
    زهرا بابائی says:

    How good it is to set up the engagement period to get to know both parties, however, Iranian customs are such that if you find out that there is an understanding or a problem during an engagement, they cannot disturb it because they think that the problem and fault is on the part of the girl, so they say so. to bring

    Reply
  3. kimiya khoshbin
    kimiya khoshbin says:

    ‏Hello, it was very informative and excellent
    ‏I think. Emotional relationships can never be perfect
    ‏Sometimes everything is great and sometimes
    ‏everything is boring
    ‏Two different people are supposed to live together
    ‏With different opinions, different interests, different experiences, different decisions
    ‏There are many differences of opinion in the experience of married life
    ‏If couples use wrong solutions when dealing with
    ‏problems
    ‏They will face exhausting relationships
    ‏It requires speaking correctly and understanding the differences

    احساس وادراك جمعه ٩:٤٥—١١:١٥

    Reply
  4. chenarani
    chenarani says:

    In this joint journey that the couple travels together, it is very important to repair the common pain because if it is not treated, it will turn into a deep and deadly pain, maybe the only solution is to pass the years of living together. It is easier to go through with empathy and thinking. Rumination is really like a poison that slowly destroys a person. In my opinion, it is not harmful to think about a bitter experience to the extent that we can learn from it or pass it on in our mind, but if It becomes a constant mental challenge, it takes energy and motivation, and maybe if this is a bitter experience in married life, it diminishes the interest and feelings for the other party. It is better if I think about a problem to solve it, not to rummage and poison the mind. which may spread to the heart and soul

    Reply
  5. kimia aghabeygi
    kimia aghabeygi says:

    Hi Professor, my opinion is that a relationship or marriage goes towards exhaustion when we don’t create variety in life or relationship, when we stop talking about our feelings with each other, don’t use loving words, don’t consult with each other, don’t have fun together, the relationship goes towards Exhaustion will go away

    Reply
  6. Zeynb nami
    Zeynb nami says:

    This article is very helpful in determining if your relationship is frayed, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to ten specific ways. Rather, you should talk to your spouse in general and according to your circumstances and situation and try to strengthen your relationship with cooperation and joint efforts. Also, if necessary, look for new and creative solutions to solve problems in your relationship.

    Reply
  7. Anahita Bahreman
    Anahita Bahreman says:

    Life is too short to waste it on someone who isn’t worth your time. If your partner is constantly controlling, harassing, or arguing with you, it may be time to value yourself and get out of an unhealthy relationship. But you should be more careful in the future to get into a relationship with the right person, being in an unhealthy relationship will cause harm to both people in that relationship.

    Reply
  8. Fatemeh khorsand fard
    Fatemeh khorsand fard says:

    Hello Professor, thank you for your content. In my opinion, marriage is one of the most important events in people’s lives. Premarital counseling helps a person to choose his wife with knowledge. Premarital counseling is a type of couples therapy that can help couples get to know each other better and prepare for marriage.

    Reply
  9. Niloofar Nikooie
    Niloofar Nikooie says:

    Problematic relationships can be cured by sharing and talking about our own feelings, trying to allocate ample time to get to know each others deepest feeling, insecurities and vulnerability. So that we can have a better understanding of each other.

    Reply
  10. Niloofar Nikooie
    Niloofar Nikooie says:

    Purpose of marriage in our society is fundamentally misunderstood in the first place. people usually step in marriage without setting a clear or realistic aims for doing that!
    Even worse than that youngsters get into marriage for false reasons.

    Reply
  11. Darya Ghaderi
    Darya Ghaderi says:

    Many couples experience burnout in their lives and are afraid of losing their spouses. Therefore, if their problems are not acute, they should work hard for their relationship, and this effort should be mutual, and they can travel for diversity and return of enthusiasm. Try different things and make new friends

    Reply
  12. zahra kakavand
    zahra kakavand says:

    Burnout is the feeling of being tired of a relationship that you don’t enjoy emotionally or physically or a combination of both. But it is possible that your love still remains and sometimes you get excited about it.
    Exhaustion may be due to work, marriage, even choices of lifestyle and level of living and methods of raising children.
    The most common burnout is burnout from marriage and job burnout. Burnout may result from one-sided attention to the partner, inappropriate rewards for knowledge and job integrity, spontaneous social discrimination, social pressures from old traditions, and political pressures. be In the eyes of many psychological scientists, individual burnout is given more attention than the relationship between social burnout and individual burnout. There are new researches going on in this topic in neurosocial science.
    Signs of wear and tear:
    Some signs of relational burnout
    1. Feeling unmotivated, we are tired of the past and we spend less time with each other in personal relationships.
    2. We feel disappointed and less inclined to continue it in the future.
    3. We have reduced communication or even cut off communication with our spouse, job, and sympathetic groups.
    4, we feel depression or anxiety and doubt in relationships. This may be a family, friendship or group relationship
    5, we have lost our patience and we get angry easily. Our differences have increased and our arguments have increased.
    Burnout can be reduced and eliminated by:
    1. Exhaustion is not destruction and death. There is a field of interest and love and a desire to rebuild.
    2. Interpersonal communication and social communication is the most important factor in connecting people. Habermas has discussed the types of communication in the communication act.
    3, share communication. Communication sharing helps mutual communication.
    4, take the initiative to communicate
    5, to have a plan for communication. Communication without content brings fatigue and exhaustion.
    Couple therapy or family therapy and group therapy and art therapy are recommended for worn-out relationships.

    Reply
  13. Mohadeseh khan mirzaie
    Mohadeseh khan mirzaie says:

    Hello
    In my idea All relationships go through ups and downs and challenges can be worked through to rebuild a stronger connection. This may include seeking counseling or therapy, improving communication skills, and trying to prioritize the relationship and spending quality time together. It’s important to be honest with yourself and your partner about your feelings and needs and work together to find solutions that work for both of you. Ultimately, a broken relationship can be an opportunity for growth and renewal, as long as both parties are willing to make the effort to make positive changes.

    By regards mohadeseh khanmirzaie

    Reply
  14. mahnaz nouruzi
    mahnaz nouruzi says:

    Fatigue occurs due to failure in love and is a response to existential issues. The accumulation of psychological pressures that weaken love, the gradual increase of fatigue and monotony, and the accumulation of small resentments, contribute to the emergence of boredom. In fact, it is impossible to find an underlying factor of boredom.

    Boredom begins with the growing awareness and attention to things that are no longer as pleasant as they used to be. The onset of heartburn is rarely sudden. Usually, the process is gradual and rarely results from an unfortunate event or even a few unpleasant shocks. Accumulation of frustrations and tensions of daily life causes mental erosion and finally leads to boredom.
    I think that couple therapy is an effective method in this case
    good luck

    Reply
  15. Shirin farrokh
    Shirin farrokh says:

    Communication problems such as not expressing needs, desires and interests, not expressing love, stopping intimate relationships, frequent criticisms lack of emotional companionship, create problems and cause negative feelings to prevail for a long time.

    Reply
  16. Khadijehsedaghat
    Khadijehsedaghat says:

    In my opinion, eliminating unimportant tasks and freeing up your time for the one you love; It is one of the ways of expressing interest in one’s wife. In fact, this will remind your wife that you always consider her position higher than other things and try to make her happy

    Reply
  17. sevda.jafari
    sevda.jafari says:

    Hello, how interesting was this story, this story about broken relationships, love, feelings, etc. was very good and informative, this material will be useful for people and they will follow these recommendations.

    Reply
  18. fatemeh zare
    fatemeh zare says:

    It was a very useful article. In my opinion, one of the problematic factors is the idealistic thinking that people have before marriage. And when they enter into a joint life, at first they think that their thoughts will come true with the passage of time, but after the passage of time, they realize that they were wrong. This causes their relationship to deteriorate.

    Reply
  19. fatemeh zare
    fatemeh zare says:

    Hello dear professor. In my opinion, the biggest factor that harms couples is perfectionism. Both parties, or at least one of the parties, believe that their life partner should be perfect and consider themselves entitled to it. The fact that a person considers himself flawless will cause many problems. In my opinion, it should be cultured that people go through counseling sessions before marriage to find out whether the other person is suitable for them or not.

    I am Fatemeh Zare, a student at Iranian University.

    Reply
  20. Nadia Norouzi
    Nadia Norouzi says:

    Hi, I hope you will be fine
    I think at least in today’s societies
    We are faced with many complaints from couples, your content says it all and in my opinion it is one of the most important factors in the feelings of the parties.
    Emotions are the most important thing in the existence of every human being, which is very difficult and yet easy to express

    Reply
  21. Nadia Norouzi
    Nadia Norouzi says:

    Hi,I hope you will be fine
    Ithink At least in today’s societies
    We are faced with many complaints from couples, your content says it all and in my opinion it is one of the most important factors in the feelings of the parties.
    Emotions are the most important thing in the existence of every human being, which is very difficult and yet easy to express

    Reply
  22. Nadia Norouzi
    Nadia Norouzi says:

    Hi,I hope you will be fine
    I think,at least in today’s societies
    We are faced with many complaints from couples, your content says it all and in my opinion it is one of the most important factors in the feelings of the parties.
    Emotions are the most important thing in the existence of every human being, which is very difficult and yet easy to express

    Reply
  23. Nadia Norouzi
    Nadia Norouzi says:

    At least in today’s societies
    We are faced with many complaints from couples, your content says it all and in my opinion it is one of the most important factors in the feelings of the parties.
    Emotions are the most important thing in the existence of every human being, which is very difficult and yet easy to express

    Reply
  24. Farzaneh jornabian
    Farzaneh jornabian says:

    This relationship of despair from exhaustion can lead to severe physical diseases such as migraines, self-mutilation and reduced self-confidence.

    Reply
  25. Maryam farajkhah
    Maryam farajkhah says:

    Hi in my opinion Due to the fact that most of the young couples are not willing to go to the counseling sessions, meetings to help them get to know each other before official marriage should be held by the government.

    Reply

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