Feeling totally stressed out from work? You’re not alone. Dealing with excessive and prolonged work-related stress can lead to exhaustion, negative feelings about work, and being less engaged and less effective on the job - otherwise known as burnout. According to asurveyfrom Deloitte, 77% of American professionals say they’ve felt burnout at their current job. But it’s not just making them miserable, it can take a toll on their partners, too.
Burnout can be damaging to a romantic relationship because those dealing with it tend to feel physically, emotionally and mentally drained. So as much as they’d like to shake off the stress of the day when they get home at night, it’s not so easy, and that makes connecting with their partner tough.
So what can you do to turn things around with your relationship if you’re experiencing job burnout? Executive coachKatharine Agostinoand marriage and family therapistJennifer Chappell Marshsuggest these tips:
- Don’t assume your partner knows how you’re feeling- Open up about the challenges you’re facing and frustrations you’re dealing with so they can better understand why you’ve been so “off” lately.
- Plan date nights that feel doable- If getting dressed up, hiring a babysitter, and going to a big party feels like too much right now, think smaller. Try something simple and relaxing that you’ll both enjoy, like an easy dinner out and going for a walk around the neighborhood.
- Ask your partner what they need from you and then do it- If you haven’t been attentive because of work stress, ask your S.O.: “What’s the one thing I could do for you daily that would create a meaningful shift in our relationship for you?” And then do it every day for a week to help your partner feel heard.
- Give each other a pass sometimes- On the days when you’re running on empty and have nothing left to give, you can use your special “game over” pass. It lets the partner who is spent off the hook while the other partner steps up to cover their duties at home for the time being, without getting spiteful about it.