Here’s What You Can Do About Relationship Burnout

If you’re feeling burned out in your romantic relationship, there’s a good reason for that. As obvious as that seems, what’s not obvious is why so many people choose to stay in their relationship even when it continually sucks the life out of them.

But what if that could change? What if you learned how to transform feelings of burnout to feelings of strength and vitality instead? Would you do it?

What Exactly is Burnout?
This week’s quote defines burnout in a way that makes total sense:  “Burnout is when long term exhaustion meets diminished interest.” ~ author unknown

When we have a strong interest in something or someone, many of us can expend a lot of energy without feeling exhausted. The sheer joy of participating in it gives us energy, instead of taking it away.

A perfect example of this is when we first fall in love. We can stay up all night sharing stories and getting to know each other…and still go to work the next day feeling refreshed and alive!

On the flip side, when a relationship takes a turn for the worse, and we stay up all night arguing and defending ourselves, we end up feeling exhausted and depleted the next day and dread going to work.

And then…when unresolved conflict goes on for weeks, months and even years, we don’t even have to stay up all night arguing to feel exhausted…we feel exhausted all the time! Sound familiar?

Long-term unresolved conflict is a result of habitual patterns that don’t work:

  • Lack of communication = lack of positive results
  • Lack of forgiveness = lack of love
  • Lack of willingness to change = more of the same unwanted circumstances

The key is to be willing to learn how to change those patterns, and then actually apply what you’ve learned. Knowledge is simply knowledge. Wisdom is putting that knowledge into practice.

The How-Hole of Change
Whenever the need for significant change appears in our lives, what stops many of us from actually making the change is getting stuck in the idea of how it’s going to happen:

  • How do I know what to do? 
  • How will I know if I’m doing it right?
  • How do I know it will work?
  • How long will it take?


The fear of uncertainty is part of our human nature, but we are so much more than human! If we trusted our strength and abilities the way we trust our hearts to continue beating, there would be a lot less burnout and a lot more thriving!

Because the truth is, the same Divine Intelligence that beats your heart, breathes your breath, digests your food, etc. – all without any conscious direction from you – is the same Divine Intelligence that courses through every atom of your being.

We all have the ability to thrive, but when our human nature gets stuck in the how-hole, that causes us to feel stuck in a hellhole!

There are certainly plenty of situations in which we need to learn how to do something in order for it to be effective – that makes perfect sense. But once you learn how to do it, holding yourself back because you don’t how long it will take or how exactly it will all turn out, is going to make it way more difficult that it needs to be.

Stepping Out of the How-Hole
So what can you do about this how-hole? As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his book, The Four Agreements: “If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break the agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.”

If you haven’t yet read The Four Agreements, I highly recommend it (I send it to my clients as a gift and as part of their first growth-work assignment). What the author means by “the agreements” is just how it sounds. Our agreements are the same as the beliefs and rules we’ve been taught, and they have a HUGE influence on whether our life is lived with fear or courage.

Any fear-based agreements you’ve made with yourself, such as ‘I don’t want to look stupid if I don’t know what I’m doing’  or ‘I don’t know if I can do any better than this’, need to be tossed out the window and replaced with love-based agreements like, ‘I’m worth trying something that will improve the health of my relationships’ and ‘I am a capable person and I follow through and support myself with love.’

You are capable of doing anything that you set your heart and mind to…you just need to believe in yourself!

When you choose step out of the how-hole and into your power, you’re choosing a better quality of life and healthier relationships.

Now What?
So…now that you have some tools to work with, what happens next? Whenever we’re learning something new, unfamiliar and maybe even a bit scary, practice and repetition can be very helpful.

I encourage you to read the information in this mindful message a number of times…to really let the ideas sink in. Then I encourage you to apply this knowledge by trying something simple.

Think of the patterns in your relationship that aren’t working, the ones that only create more tension and frustration. And then be willing to try something new.

For example, if you’ve made an agreement with yourself to hold onto resentment for something your partner did, you are literally depleting yourself of your own energy. Holding on to resentment hurts you way more than your partner.

Try forgiving them within your own heart. If you’re not ready to verbalize your forgiveness, you don’t have to. Just tell yourself that you’re willing to let go of resentment and you’re willing to forgive your partner for not being the person you want them to be. And then keep practicing…with your partner, your parents, yourself, your boss, etc.

You don’t have to talk with anyone about it, unless you want to. You’re doing this for yourself! The act of forgiving will free up some of that heavy energy you’re holding onto and you’ll feel inspired to build a healthy momentum in a new direction.

Tap Into Your Power
You don’t have to stay in a relationship that sucks the life out of you! Instead of blaming your partner for doing this to you, take ownership of your actions and tap into your power.

Remember to always listen to your heart and honor your feelings. And remember to take one step at a time…it will always lead you to the next.

If you’re struggling with the idea of applying these concepts, you’re welcome to schedule a one-on-one Relationship Breakthrough Session with me. I know this isn’t easy, and I would love to support you however I can!

Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!

With love and support,

Catherine Dietz
Healthy Relationship Coach