If you think your work burnout isn’t affecting your relationship, think again! Burnout impacts all aspects of your life, so keep reading if you want to know WHY and what you can do about it!
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People have a false belief that they can completely compartmentalize their lives into isolated parts of their brains. Everything is in little boxes that never touch each other!
As if you could just go to work and be a totally different person, unaffected by the rest of your life outside of the office. Or vice versa. It’s just not true!
Let’s use a real-life example: think about the school shooting in Uvalde, TX. Are you telling me that when you heard about the deaths of 20+ kids in a bout of senseless violence, it didn’t impact your day? I don’t know anyone in Uvalde, but I grieved for their tragedy and was very upset about the loss, so much so that I got into action about gun safety.
Now imagine that upset, and then try to put it away in a neat little drawer so you can have a great evening with your partner! Can you just forget about it? Probably not.
Emotions are not like switches that can toggle on and off at will. Instead, they linger and shape the way we see the world and the way we experience our lives. Burnout works the same way.
Burnout affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally!
So what is burnout? It is a heightened level of stress or upset that causes exhaustion physically, mentally, and emotionally, leading to a lack of interest, emotional numbing, and irritability.
So while you may think you only feel burnout in one area of your life, you may be missing the fact that your feelings are actually bleeding over into ALL areas of your life.
2 issues burnout can cause in your relationship:
1. A shorter fuse
If you spend all day teetering on the edge of upset and then come home, you may be only a nudge away from exploding. While lovely, I’m sure your partner is human, and they are bound to unintentionally say or do something that is the final straw, and then what happens? All that frustration comes out, most likely unfairly directed at them.
2. Less emotional bandwidth
One effect of burnout is emotional numbing, where you feel like you just can’t be bothered to care. If you spend all day emotionally disconnected, it will become harder and harder to reconnect when you want to be emotional.
Think about a boat slowly drifting away from a pier: for the first couple of feet, you can still hop into that boat. But as the distance gets bigger, the tougher the jump is.
Healthy relationships REQUIRE emotional depth and interaction. Do you want to be in a relationship with someone so burnt out they can’t even emote or relate to you in a positive way? Probably not!!
Now, as I mentioned before, there are better strategies than compartmentalizing, which just doesn’t work. But here’s something that will work: Venting.
I know this seems simple, but there are some added benefits FOR your relationship. That’s right!
3 Reasons why venting makes your relationship stronger:
1. Venting lets you express your emotions with your partner and not at your partner. Instead of targeting each other with your upset when the last straw happens, you can be on each other’s team.
2. Venting allows you to get your emotions out and share the burden with your loved one. (Quick disclaimer, sharing the burden doesn’t mean you are a burden. There is a difference.)
3. Your partner might see something you’ve missed because you are super upset. When emotions blind us, it’s hard to see solutions. Your partner can offer a different perspective that you might not have considered!
Ultimately, venting allows for healthy emotional release and good team building so that you and your partner can better weather the storms that life throws your way.
Want to create better communication in your relationship? Grab a spot in my free Masterclass – How to Communicate: Relationship Edition!
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