If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Marriage is not easy. Like anything in life worth having, it takes work. But, what if you feel your work isn’t being valued? Perhaps you sense your wife has lost respect for you. Or maybe your wife is constantly making decisions without communicating with you. If you feel like you’re in a losing battle while fighting for your relationship, we’ve got some tips that might help turn things around.
Relationship Burnout: Fighting for Your Relationship When There is Nothing Left
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Marriage is hard enough when you try to make it work. However, if either party decides to check out for a significant amount of time, relationship burnout is sure to take place. So, what does relationship burnout look like?
- One spouse plays video games or talks to other people online all day.
- During an argument, divorce or separation is easily brought up, but once things cool down, there’s regret.
- One party wants to get counseling but the other doesn’t.
- Either spouse feels neglected, hurt, unloved, or unappreciated.
The bottom line is, relationship burnout means you don’t have much fight left. Here are some tips that might help turn things around.
Fighting the Wrong Fight
Fighting for love is different than fighting for sanity. If you are dealing with any of the above behaviors in your marriage, you are dealing with foolishness. Love does not conquer foolishness. You are fighting the wrong kind of fight.
A spouse’s job is to love, comfort, respect and honor his/her partner.
If you feel unloved, neglected, unappreciated and hurt, you should be fighting for your sanity.
Seek counseling at church. Pastoral counseling is a good starting point to work through pain, especially spiritual pain related to marital discord. But also, seek secular counseling to work through your psychological distress. You might think you’re stressed, but you might really be suffering from burnout.
Burnout -vs- Stress
Burnout and stress are not the same. Stress can provide a burst of energy and inspire us to take action. Burnout, on the other hand, is a state of emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situation. If you’re fighting for your relationship, burnout can make things worse.
Burnout can cause you to engage in behavior that is not consistent with your values or standard mode of behavior. Symptoms of burnout include:
- Decreased interest, motivation, sensitivity, productivity, and energy
- Increased hopelessness, powerlessness, cynicism and resentfulness
- Feeling dull and mistrustful
- Demoralization: feelings of gloom and inadequacy due to engaging in activities that undermine your morals.
It’s time to refocus
When you feel like you have nothing left, focus on and fight for yourself. Love motivates us to fight, but it rarely saves troubled marriages.
Love is an emotion that does not enhance marriage without action.
Talk to your spouse about attending counseling with you. When you’re both fighting for your relationship, counseling is a reasonable option. In order to have a healthy marriage, you must have a healthy relationship. Be mindful that it is impossible to have a healthy relationship if your significant other cannot relate to you.
While you fight for love, make sure that you do not burnout and demoralize yourself. Fighting for your marriage is noteworthy, but losing your mind in the process does not benefit anyone. It’s always best to seek professional help.
BMWK: Are you ready to face your relationship burnout?
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on October 27, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.