Relationship Problems Due to Partner with Burnout? 11 Tips

Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Burnout not only has a major impact on the person who suffers from it, but also on his or her relationship.

The partner of someone with a burnout also has to contend with the consequences.

A burnout therefore regularly leads to relationship problems, sometimes even ending the relationship as a result.

Do you have a Relationship Problems Due to Partner with Burnout and do you notice that your relationship is suffering from this?

Prevent unnecessary relationship problems with these 11 tips. So read on quickly!

Purpose of this article: In this article you will learn more about what a burnout is, how it can affect your relationship and what you can do yourself to solve the problems.

What is a burnout?

It is not always easy to recognize a burnout. The associated complaints often correspond to the complaints of another condition, such as depression. It is also sometimes difficult to estimate whether there is really a burnout or overstrain.

In both cases, it is advisable to quickly find a way to reduce the stress and to call in help if necessary. Burnout is the result of prolonged stress.

After someone has been under a lot of stress for a long time, there often comes a time when things no longer go well. The person often only notices this when it is already too late.

Many people with a burnout can point to a certain moment when everything ‘suddenly’ stopped going. For example, he or she had an emotional outburst, or noticed that he or she was no longer physically able to continue.

This is often the turning point at which a person is forced to seek help.


Does your partner have a burnout? Recognize the symptoms!

The diagnosis of burnout can of course only be made by a doctor. However, you can learn to recognize the symptoms that indicate an (upcoming) burnout. Before someone gets a burnout, he or she is stressed for a long time.

You may not be aware of this because your partner’s behavior has slowly changed as the stress increased. It is also very possible that your partner does not want to acknowledge the burnout and still tries to continue working.


Physical symptoms of a burnout

Burnout not only manifests itself in psychological complaints, but often also results in various physical symptoms.

The following symptoms may indicate burnout:

Partner with burnout

Psychological symptoms of a burnout

The symptoms of burnout that hinder someone the most are usually the psychological symptoms.

These symptoms may be more difficult for you as a partner to recognize.

Do you recognize the following psychological burnout symptoms:

  • Concentration problems
  • The feeling of being out of control
  • Mood swings
  • Memory problems
  • Get irritated faster
  • Worry a lot
  • Chaotic behavior
  • Listlessness
  • Not having much fun anymore (in your work, but also with fun things)
  • Irritability

Do you recognize your partner in these physical and/or psychological symptoms?

Try to have a quiet moment about it.

If you are on time and already seek help in the pre-burnout phase, you may be able to avoid a full-blown burnout, and with it the relationship problems that can result.

Man and woman talking

The cause of a burnout

Another factor that can indicate a possible burnout is the situation someone is in. There are various environmental factors and events that increase the chance of developing a burnout.

Think, for example, of the death or illness of a loved one, financial problems or problems at work. Your personality also plays a role in the development of a burnout.

People who are perfectionists are often more inclined to take on more work or take too much responsibility. In addition, not being able to set boundaries and having difficulty saying ‘no’ are important risk factors.

There are many possible causes for stress and burnout. This  scientific research  has already revealed a lot about stress at work and with family.

The influence of burnout on your relationship

Both the lead up to a burnout and the burnout itself have a major impact on your relationship. Your partner is not feeling well and has little energy. As a result, for example, your partner pays too little attention to you.

He or she no longer dwells on your feelings and seems to have little interest in how you are doing and what you are doing.

Stressed woman holding her head

Also, someone with a burnout often loses interest in all kinds of fun things. For example, you notice that your partner works long hours and in the evenings only hangs out or sleeps in front of the TV. Having little or no desire for sex is also common.

In addition, overstrain and burnout are characterized by irritability and mood swings. It can therefore regularly happen that your partner attacks you or other family members without a good reason.

A lack of energy is also characteristic of a burnout. This sometimes results in neglect of household chores and other responsibilities.

Do these relationship problems look familiar to you? Then read on for tips to help your partner with burnout and improve your relationship.

11 tips that help solve relationship problems caused by burnout

You have read this article and recognize your partner in the aforementioned symptoms of burnout. In addition, you suspect that your relationship problems have to do with this.

The most important tip is to talk about this with your partner. Keep in mind that it can be very confronting for your partner, especially if he or she has not yet acknowledged that he or she is very stressed or has a burnout.

Still, it’s important to talk about the issues and work together to find a solution. These tips will help you with this.

1. Offer a listening ear

Some people with burnout have a strong need to talk about their problems and feelings. Others just don’t want to talk about this at all.

The best thing you can do is make sure your partner knows you’re there for them whenever they feel the need to talk.

If your partner indicates that he or she wants this, listen, and respond understandingly.

Try not to give too much advice and be careful what you say; your problems are very likely to get worse if your partner gets the impression that you are not taking him or her seriously.

Therefore, put your partner in charge of the conversation and don’t downplay the problem.

2. Put yourself in the background

In a healthy relationship, there is room for both of you to talk about your problems.

However, when your partner has a burnout, you will have to put your own feelings in the background for a while. Your partner has too much on his or her mind and can hardly deal with his or her own problems.

Your problems can’t reach that for a while. Therefore, find someone else to talk to about your own problems and feelings.

When your partner’s symptoms of overstrain have diminished, you can start talking to him or her normally again.

Man and woman laughing and eating together

3. Don’t judge

Your partner didn’t choose to overwhelm. Burnout is a serious mental illness that can have serious consequences.

Take your partner seriously and don’t judge him or her.

Also, don’t trivialize the complaints, this can lead to your partner not wanting to share his or her feelings with you anymore, which will most likely make the problems in your relationship worse.

When your partner feels that he or she can talk to you openly without being judged for it, you lower the threshold for him or her to confide in you.

4. Talk about it with someone else

Your partner with a burnout is currently not someone you can turn to with your problems and feelings, especially if these are related to the burnout or the problems that have arisen as a result.

Therefore, find someone else in your area who you trust. This can be a parent or other family member, but also a friend or colleague. Confiding in someone will prevent you from bottling up your feelings and ending up in trouble yourself.

Is there no one in your area that you can turn to?

Consider making an appointment with a coach or psychologist. He or she can also help you understand your partner and come up with a solution.

5. Take care of yourself

Dealing with a partner with a burnout takes a lot out of yourself. If your partner gets irritated easily or often suffers from mood swings, the atmosphere in the house is often tense. This is not only bad for your partner, but also for you and any other family members.

Neurobiologist  Brankele Frank , among others , explains what happens in your head during a burnout and how she got through her burnout:

By taking some distance from time to time, you prevent yourself from being included in this. For example, meet up with friends more often or join a sports club.

When you feel good about yourself, you are better able to understand your partner and to work on a healthy relationship, despite the burnout.

6. Get enough sleep

When you do not sleep enough or not well, you are often more irritable and you are less able to deal with the effects of your partner’s burnout.

So try to get used to a regular sleeping pattern. Does your partner go to bed late or does he or she sleep badly? Go to bed on time yourself and do not stay up together. Your partner’s possible sleeping problems will diminish when the consequences of the burnout diminish.

Woman sleeping in bed

The secret to a good night’s sleep is regularity; choose a fixed time to go to bed and get up and stick to it.

Also, do not take any equipment in the bedroom, such as your smartphone or tablet. This disrupts the production of hormones that make you tired.

7. Eat healthy

A healthy and balanced diet keeps you energetic and makes you feel better about yourself.

Choose sufficient vegetables, fruit and whole-grain cereal products and be economical with sugar, fats and prepackaged products. Home cooked meals are preferred over takeaway or warm up meals.

In addition, when you have the time to cook healthy, you can make sure that your partner eats healthy too. Burnout often leads to a change in diet.

Some people with a burnout have less appetite, others do not cook because of stress and/or fatigue and opt for quick but unhealthy meals.

8. Try to create structure

Someone with a burnout often has trouble keeping an overview. Things are chaotic in their heads and they get distracted more easily.

You can help your partner with this by creating a structure in daily life. These can be small things.

For example, prepare breakfast or an evening meal at a fixed time every day. These kinds of small patterns and structures can give your partner more support in everyday life.

9. Make it easier for your partner

Where possible, take work off your partner’s hands. These can be very small things, such as taking over household chores.

When someone has a burnout and is therefore under a lot of stress, small jobs such as vacuuming, cooking or washing the dishes can feel very heavy.

Until the symptoms of the burnout subside and your partner is a bit more himself, it is better to do these kinds of tasks for him or her for the time being.

Just be careful not to go too far here; if you yourself also have a difficult job or, for example, take care of a sick family member, it is not reasonable to ask that you take over the entire household.

Therefore, guard your limits and call in help where necessary.

10. Try to relax together

Burnout is characterized by long-term overstrain and often means that someone no longer feels like fun things and that he or she can no longer relax properly.

Part of the problem is caused by the fact that he or she often does not allow themselves to relax. This is something you can take the initiative in.

Suggest doing something together, such as taking a short walk or going to the cinema or sauna.

Man and woman walking on the beach together

Just be careful not to push too hard; respect your partner’s choice even when he or she says no. You don’t want to make your partner feel like you’re trying to force him or her into things.

11. Get professional help

You can make life easier for your burnout partner, but you can’t solve the problem for him or her.

This requires professional help. Taking more rest plays an important role in healing burnout. For this, your partner will have to request leave from his or her employer.

To be eligible for paid sick leave, a general practitioner or company doctor must diagnose burnout. This financial motivation can help your partner take this step.

After determining the burnout, the doctor will discuss with your partner and possibly with you what the next step will be. Healing from a burnout is often best when you opt for an active approach.

Guidance by a doctor, psychologist or coach plays an important role in this.

Psychologist leaning on a chair

Encourage your partner to take the step to see a family doctor or company doctor and then encourage him or her to talk to a specialized care provider.

With these treatments there is often also room to discuss your experiences. You can also ask the coach or psychologist for more tips to help you deal with your partner.

Relationship therapy for a partner with burnout

Did the burnout lead to relationship problems that you couldn’t solve together?

When the burnout is accompanied by other problems, such as the death or illness of a family member, adultery or addiction problems, applying tips is often not enough.

Even when there are no problems besides the burnout, the tension can sometimes have risen too far. Another thing you can consider is hiring a relationship therapist.

Relationship Problems Due To Partner With Burnout

In couples therapy, you talk to each other in the presence of a specialized therapist who leads the conversation.

The therapist prevents the conversation from stalling or turning into an argument. In addition, couples therapy helps couples with problems to talk to each other, something you might otherwise avoid.

In principle, couples therapy falls under psychological care outside the GGZ. This means that this therapy is often only reimbursed from supplementary insurance.

Therefore, ask your insurance company about the reimbursements for couples therapy, so that you avoid unexpected (high) costs.

Relationship Problems Due to Partner with Burnout

You naturally strive to solve your relationship problems and heal your partner’s burnout.

However, sometimes it is too late for this and you notice that your efforts are not successful or that you simply do not have the energy for it anymore.

Is couples therapy or individual therapy no longer helping both of you?

Maybe it’s time to end the relationship after all. It is not good for both of you to be stuck in a hopeless relationship where both parties are unhappy.

Don’t rush this choice and consider getting the help of a therapist here as well in closing the relationship.

This way you can both move on and maybe even keep in touch with each other.

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