Detaching from a partner for a variety of reasons is referred to as relationship burnout. A person may gradually distance themselves from a relationship out of resentment or apathy, either consciously or not. Even though this can significantly impact a relationship, tools are available to either assist a person feel stable in their relationship once more or end it entirely. 

Relationship burnout can happen when stress becomes prolonged and causes tiredness, similar to ordinary burnout. Although burnout is frequently linked to a person’s job, it can also affect relationships. It is frequently increased when a person feels undervalued by or lacks support from their partner. When a relationship burns out, the person may begin to feel emotionally spent, dissatisfied about the connection, and distant from their partner. 

Signs of Burnout

Frequent Fights

Couples that quarrel all the time create a toxic environment. There is a limit to how much stress a person can handle before it negatively affects their physical and psychological health. One or both individuals may eventually begin to withdraw, which is an obvious indicator of imminent burnout. 

Low Sex Drive with Partner

Sex plays a significant role in a couple’s relationship. When a person stops wanting to be intimate with their partner, it can be a sign of something more serious. A variety of circumstances influence how often sex occurs in a relationship. However, a person may be on the approach of burnout if they see themselves avoiding sex or feeling disgusted by their partner. 

Emotional Exhaustion

When someone reaches burnout, they are completely worn out. They would already have spent time debating, stressing, and exerting efforts to mend the partnership. Any relationship that depends so heavily on the emotional bond between two people might be challenging to invest this much work into. In essence, emotional exhaustion can minimise all hope of mending a relationship.

Overcoming Burnout

Be Honest 

It is crucial to communicate your physical and emotional requirements in a relationship. Building mutual trust and promoting open communication will be possible if you are both honest about how you are feeling and what you expect from one another. Even though it can be simpler to ignore unpleasant feelings, talking to your partner about them can assist to make sure there are no issues which might later cause harm in the relationship. It is impossible to take back hurtful comments, so communicating openly with your partner is essential.


It is unhealthy to focus on the drawbacks of a relationship. When someone develops the habit of doing this, they may become obsessively fixated on petty issues. Changing your perspective to celebrate the good things as they happen might be beneficial. You may come to see that your relationship is still worthwhile if you show your partner gratitude for the little things they do. 


Not just your relationships, but every part of your life is affected by burnout. Stress can make you feel completely exhausted and helpless. This is why it is crucial to take care of yourself. To reduce excessive stress, prioritise maintaining good sleep, exercise, and eating schedules. Self-care is not selfish; it enables you to be your best self and a better partner as a result. 

Burnout in a relationship can be crippling and harm the people involved. Relationship burnout can be identified by its symptoms, which would require immediate attention. True healing can happen when both parties are willing to put up the effort to care for both themselves and the relationship.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Charlot Cauchi is a Gestalt Psychotherapist at Willingness. He has experience working with adult clients with mental health difficulties, anxiety and depression, loss and grief, traumatic experiences, stress and relational issues. 


Wekenborg, M. K., von Dawans, B., Hill, L. K., Thayer, J. F., Penz, M., & Kirschbaum, C. (2019). Examining reactivity patterns in burnout and other indicators of chronic stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 106, 195-205.