Marriage burnout is a thing. While the term ‘burnout’ is usually associated with work and stress, your relationship with your spouse can also reach a point of burnout.
The added stress that has come from the current pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront for many. We’ve had to change the way we live, work and play. And these changes can put a strain on relationships, especially on ones that are already experiencing issues.
For these couples, the pandemic may simply be accelerating the point of burnout.
In my last post, I talked about how I experienced burnout after 17 years of marriage by trying to live up to an ideal that was simply unattainable. In today’s social media world where everyone’s lives are on display – or at least the lives they want you to see – it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your life simply doesn’t measure up.
And the pandemic has only exacerbated this as many of us are spending more time on social media to feel more connection to the ‘outside’ world. And ironically, this desire to feel connected can come at the expense of becoming disconnected from our marriage.
But whether it’s the pandemic or influences like social media, television or your church that have created a set of ideals you simply can’t or don’t want to live up to, marriage burnout can happen to the best of us.
While these issues may bring it to the forefront, marriage burnout is most often a result of longer-term issues that have built up over time. In my case, 17 years.
How do you know if you’ve hit burnout?
You may find yourself increasingly annoyed or irritated by your spouse’s behaviors or habits. You’d rather go out with friends than go on a ‘date night’ with your spouse or be secretly relieved when he goes away for a weekend with the boys.
You’re just going through the motions and the intimacy is no longer there. Plus, you’re physically and emotionally exhausted with no will or energy to put anything into your relationship.
Does it mean it’s over?
Only you can answer that question for certain as only you know what is in your heart. The important thing is to recognize the signs and then assess your situation. Is your stress coming from the marriage itself or are other factors at play? Sometimes we take out our frustrations on those we love. Talk things over. Get outside help if needed. Take some ‘me’ time to gain some perspective and tap into what you’re really feeling. And take a break from social media.
Then, whatever the outcome, you’ll be better prepared for whatever lies ahead.