Relationship Burnout: How to Recognize and Overcome it

Relationship Burnout: How to Recognize and Overcome it

When you burn out, you are completely drained. You no longer have the energy, strength, or motivation to move on. Caring has been pummeled out of you. Now, you just want to rest. Nothing can be more fulfilling than a happy relationship. But when one is going off the rails, nothing can be more painful, or exhausting.

We usually recognize the signs of burnout at work. Some savvy coworkers at a bad job can even tell who will have an awkward episode, who will make a scene, and who will leave quietly after they become incompatible with their job. Sometimes it comes out of the blue for everyone. A coworker just up and moves to Colorado and begins making handmade furniture. But the signs of relationship burnout, though similar can be harder to spot. In the work sphere long hours, hard work, and little return for a sustained period often result in burnout. In your love life, if you feel you have worked so hard and gotten nowhere, and your toil and energy have been met with little progress, the same result occurs. When you have tried and tried, and meet nothing but a wall each time, it is time to move on. But we are too close to that wall we fail to see the writing on it. We get stuck in how we remember our relationship back in the happy days that we forget to face facts, and see it for what it is today.

Though all relationships have their ups and downs, if you feel there is no way to get back on the upward track, you are experiencing relationship burnout. But for many, the alternatives scare them into not leaving. Some are fearful of the dating scene. They think they have been out of it for too long, or they just have no enthusiasm for it. This relationship has left a bad taste. People with relationship burnout have no optimism toward their love life. They have no gitty anticipation at finding a new, better suited mate. Those who are experiencing this particular kind of burnout often feel drained emotionally. They don’t laugh as hard at jokes, and are not as moved by inspirational speeches. They have spent all their emotional capital fighting the battle of their relationship, and in other realms in life have none to spend. Flashbacks of negative scenes with you and your partner play in your head as if a film on a loop, until you cannot stand it anymore. It is the stressors of the day and fights with your partner you remember most. That’s when the world between your ears becomes a loathsome place to reside, an emotional prison.

If you are a complete pessimist about love, you are probably experiencing burnout. It may be time to talk about splitting up from your partner, or at least spending time apart. Once it is over, give yourself time to relax, recharge, and reflect. What did you learn from this relationship? Are you ready to move on? Keep asking those questions until you have positive answers for them. Now is the time to reinvest in yourself. Get the negative emotions out of your system. Start to date again only when you feel comfortable. Don’t feel guilty about where you are with someone who is interested in you and you aren’t interested. If you are with someone worth your time, tell them up front, you just got out of a bad relationship and what that means. Whether you aren’t ready to date yet, or aren’t ready to get serious. Do not feel pressured to have someone in your life. But do not be scared of it either. Trust your senses and yourself. You will know when you are ready. Get in touch with your inner light and search for your authentic self. Pursue your interests and passions. When your life and your heart are ready, you will be able to have the kind of relationship you can feel good about.

When you have been by yourself for long enough and are ready to try again read, Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships by Kira Asatryan.

Good Relationships Lead to Personal Growth

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Good Relationships Lead to Personal Growth

Positive relationships are good for our health. That’s no surprise. We’ve been hearing that for a long time. Happily married people live longer, are healthier and wealthier. In fact, a person’s relationship is the single most important factor in determining mortality. Two researchers, Brooke C. Feeney of Carnegie Mellon University and Nancy L. Collins of the University of California, have discovered some ways that good relationships can also lead to personal growth. The two most important factors are helping use to cope with adversity and helping us to pursue our goals, and other opportunities that cause growth. Good, healthy, strong relationships help those that inhabit them reach their objectives and pursue their dreams. The first person we usually turn to for comfort, and perhaps seek advice from would be our spouse, or significant other. Feeney and Collins liken this process to a home knocked over by a violent storm. The next house erected in its place should be far sturdier. If one person is having a problem establishing themselves for instance their partner may help them to feel more confident. This confidence will help them interact with others, their social networks will become more vibrant and more opportunities will arrive.

Our partner can help us to see what our strengths are. They can help us relieve stress and put things in perspective. Our partner can also help us learn new skills that can help you survive and even thrive at work, school or one’s life passion. Those who are supportive can become a “launching function.” They help their partner pursue their goals. They show them the positive aspects, help them to see opportunities, prepare them to face new challenges, and help them to celebrate victory or to cope with defeat. Feeney and Collins found eight specific ways in which a supportive relationship helps.  Our emotional state improves. Acceptance of one’s self increases and resilience expands. We are better able to perceive and interpret events. Our supportive partners help motivate us toward goals, help us to cope, adapt to new situations and improve our psychological and immune functioning. Positive relationships steer us away from unhealthy lifestyles that may sap our strength, hurt our bodies or minds, not to mention our reputation and mood. Lastly, supportive relationships help people to learn how to trust, feel close to someone and feel loved, positive vibes that carry over in other types of relationships.

So how can you make your relationship more supportive? The best way to do that is to become more supportive yourself. Learn how to listen carefully, be able to accept and understand your partner’s perspective, control your emotions and provide the type of support that will help your partner, and make them feel good. Use your resources. These can be tangible resources like money to say buy your lover a new outfit for an interview. Or they can be intangible ones like compassion, patience and understanding, providing emotional support. Being able to understand your lover’s needs and meet them will motivate them to do the same for you. At the same time, you will want to make sure that you will be able to make your own needs known. Clear communication is pivotal. Reciprocate to show you support them and appreciate the support they give. Then a virtuous cycle can commence, where you both constantly initiate and receive support. Don’t overtax your lover however. If they have many demands at this time, you could be a catalyst in them spreading themselves too thin. You need someone you can rely on. But a strong social network to draw from is important too. To build a supportive relationship, you must first know how to effectively communicate. This is in many cases the hardest skill for couples to develop. If you and your partner need to work on this, pick up a copy of the book, Communication in a Relationship: Top tips on how to improve your communication skills to build a long lasting, loving relationship by Lyn Hunt.

How do you know you’re in the Right Relationship?

Couple-Flirting

How do you know you’re in the Right Relationship?

Are you in a happy relationship with physical and emotional chemistry and a deep bond of trust? But you are still wondering if this is the right relationship, if this is the person you should stick with long term, even marry? There is no exact method you can use to find out if you are in the right relationship or not. But there are some indicators that this relationship is good, right, resilient, and will last. But how do you know you’re in the right relationship?

First, notice whether or not you have a plan B. What would you do if it all came apart right now? Of course you’d be devastated. That shows how much you really love this person. But not having a plan B means that you weren’t expecting it to end. If there’s no exit plan, your psyche is planning to go the distance with this one, and it should be consciously noted and recognized fully. Are there any subjects that you ignore? Are you harboring any resentment, anger, frustration or worry? Or do you two talk about and settle all of your differences? If superlative communication is the foundation of your relationship, if everything is out in the open and no hidden or unresolved issues linger behind the surface, if you two can settle all of your differences through talking it out, and you and your partner feel comfortable enough to discuss anything together then your relationship is in excellent shape.

Staying with just one person for the rest of your life can cause great fear and anxiety, no matter if the person is male or female. But if you think about staying with the person you’ve fallen in love with until you grow old, and you don’t feel fearful, but perhaps happy, inspired, content or even blessed, this is the right relationship for you. Some people feel that arguing is an unhealthy practice for a relationship. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Any relationship where arguments never occur means that one or more parties are harboring some problem, slight, or resentment that they haven’t shared with the other. Instead, healthy relationships have their fair share of squabbles. But how do you fight? Do you fight fair? Do either of you say things you can’t take back or don’t really mean? Is there a spiteful element? If not, and you two fight fairly than this is a good relationship to be in.

How about trust? Is either of you sneaking around, looking at the other’s texts, email, or social networking sites? If so, there are trust issues at work here. If not, this is a well-adjusted relationship. If nothing comes between you two, if your bond is strong no matter what happens, this is the right relationship for you. Stick with it. For more relationship advice read, The New “I Do”: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels by Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson.

Knowing Where to Compromise in a Relationship

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Knowing Where to Compromise in a Relationship

It’s hard figuring out when you’ve met the right person to settle down into a relationship with, cohabitate with, even marry. For some people you just know and it feels so right. But for others you never really know. It becomes a journey. Of course, a lot of this just like so much of our love life is illuminated by our past relationships, how we were treated by our primary caregivers as children, usually our parents, and how they interacted with one another. That said, lots of people also feel jaded. They’ve “been down this road before.” They thought they met “the one” and instead it turned out to be the wrong one.

We often rely on how we feel. Though a good indicator the heart is not the end all be all of our romantic decision making, nor should it be. Instead, the intellect needs to be involved as well. Too many people get swept up in how they feel, ignoring warning signs, bad behavior, or simply ignoring it to ride that wave of pleasure which ultimately washes them out. It surely isn’t an easy process to select someone who is right for you.  We assume it should be a natural process. But in fact, what is right for someone else may not be right for you. The selection process can be difficult but a blissful relationship is more than worth it.

Some people come out of a long-term relationship or marriage thinking about what they don’t want. But they give little consideration to what they do want. Or else they have a list of qualities they need so long it becomes impossible for anyone to fit the profile. Then there are those who question every aspect of their selection process. If they ended up with this horrible person how could their process be good? But there may have been a denial at play there. And perhaps this is a wakeup call to not ignore those negative qualities. So how do you know where to compromise in a relationship, what things to accept and what ones spell its utter doom?

Look for someone who makes you a priority. Make sure you two have chemistry, but it may be nerves in the beginning so try a couple of dates to make sure. Sharing a sense of humor is very important. It will not only make you enjoy one another’s company but will help you endure those hard times and relish the good ones. Make sure you have similar goals, lifestyle and moral outlook or else you won’t be able to get along very well. If two people are moving in opposite directions or have a different point of view it’s hard to reconcile them. Of course there are exceptions and everything is situational. Listen to what your partner says. Learn what they mean. Don’t be distracted by money or looks. Look for character. Find someone who has lots of character and you’ll find the person for you. For more on navigating the difficult waters of love majestically read, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo and Kathlyn Hendricks.

How Relationships Help keep you Healthy

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How Relationships Help keep you Healthy

Though nothing seems to be able to tear your heart out like love, researchers keep uncovering how healthy relationships can help keep you healthy. For instance, married people have fewer mental health issues than their single cohorts. This comes from a Florida State University study conducted in 2010.  1,621 college students participated in the study. Those singles who were not in committed relationships and in fact had several sexual partners had more mental and physical healthcare issues. This doesn’t stop with college students. According to a 2002 review published in the American Journal of Sociology, single adults have more incidents of anxiety, mood disorders, depression, suicidal behavior, and other emotional issues.

Both men and women’s mental health is improved equally by marriage. However, mental health issues may also be the reason why a person doesn’t get married from the get-go. Though we sometimes call our spouse a pain, another health benefit of marriage, it can alleviate pain. The journal PLoS ONE published a study in 2010 looking at deep love, the reward centers of the brain and pain relief. 15 university students took part. They all said that they were deeply in love. A photo of their lover was shown along with a hot block that was placed on the palm to induce pain. The students deeply in love felt less pain. FMRI results showed more activity in the pleasure-reward center of the brain while less in the pain center for those deeply in love.

Relationships that are high on love and low on maintenance are stress free. But they can also lower your stress. A 2010 study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago found that cortisol, the stress hormone, reacts in people differently depending upon their relationship status. Singles are prone to higher emotional stress than happily married people are. Another study that was published in the Journal of Family Psychology in 2008 found that women who were happily married with little stress were able to carry relationship stress better. What’s more, couples are there to support one another through tough times, decreasing their stress. Studies have also shown that married couples live longer. Even adjusting for socio-economic factors, married people had a slightly lower risk of death over age 45 than single people. Congruent results were found in studies from other Western countries including the U.K., Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. A University of Pennsylvania study found that men with a low income and socio-economic level actually lived longer when married. For more advice on staying healthy with your partner read, Couples Workout: Train Together, Stay Together- Get Fit & Strengthen your Relationshipby Eric Newman.