This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to fix an emotionally draining relationship.
If you find yourself in an emotionally draining relationship that you deeply care about, you may feel a strong urge to fix it. It’s possible that you spend a significant amount of time worrying about your partner or anticipating the next argument.
After enduring such high levels of stress, it’s natural to seek solutions. We have compiled numerous suggestions to help you improve negative patterns in your relationship. To discover how you can address the emotional drain in your relationship, continue reading.
How To Fix an Emotionally Draining Relationship:
1. Identify the issue.
Relationships are characterized by patterns, so it’s crucial to recognize them. Try to determine when you started feeling drained in order to understand the underlying causes. Set aside a time and choose a safe space to talk to your partner. Clearly express your feelings, observations, and concerns without assigning blame to either party. Remember, your partner will also have their own perspective, so be prepared to listen with patience and empathy.
Keep the conversation focused on the recurring themes in your relationship instead of getting caught up in specific arguments.
When you and your partner identify a persistent issue, ensure that the solution you agree upon is mutually beneficial.
2. Prioritize self-care.
To bring your best self into the relationship, prioritize your own needs. A draining relationship can consume your time and energy, so practice self-care to replenish yourself. By taking care of your well-being, you will be better equipped to approach the relationship with patience, understanding, and effort.
Give importance to getting sufficient sleep.
Allocate time each week to engage in activities you love.
Make an effort to plan and consume healthy, balanced meals.
3. Communicate your needs.
In a healthy relationship, both partners should have their needs fulfilled in a reciprocal manner. However, in an emotionally draining relationship, you may be investing significant effort without having your basic needs met. Before you can address each other’s needs, it is essential to communicate them effectively.
Compile a list of fundamental requirements that contribute to your happiness in the relationship.
These may include loyalty, a certain level of physical affection, mutual independence, and the need for reassurance.
Encourage your partner to create their own list.
Share your respective lists and work together to brainstorm ways to meet each other’s needs in an emotionally sustainable manner.
This collaborative approach increases the likelihood of making positive changes in the relationship.
4. Cultivate compromise as a habit.
In a draining relationship, both partners need to actively work towards a resolution (1). If you and your partner focus solely on individual interests during conflicts, it will be challenging to find resolutions. When engaging in arguments or falling into negative patterns, prioritize the goals of the relationship. Encourage your partner to do the same.
For example, if you’re arguing about who should unload the dishwasher, don’t view your interests as competing against each other.
One of you might argue that their day was more exhausting, so they shouldn’t have to do it. The other might claim that they did it last time, so it’s not their turn.
Instead, seek a compromise by considering both interests. You could propose, “The dishwasher needs to be unloaded regardless. I understand you’re tired, so I’ll do it this time. But next time, I would appreciate if you take care of it, so we can share the load equally.”
5. Ensure you’re addressing the same issues.
Effective communication is crucial for resolving challenging relationships. Sometimes, the only barrier to achieving a great relationship is a misunderstanding of needs and expectations. To initiate a conversation about both partners’ perceptions of the relationship, try the following exercise.
Identify six core aspects of your relationship: communication, connection, investment, enjoyment, growth, and trust.
Both you and your partner should take time to reflect and assign a score of 1-10 to each category based on how well the relationship performs in that area.
Use the similarities and differences in your scores as a starting point for discussing the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship.
Commit to working on one area of weakness each week and periodically check in to assess progress.
6. Educate yourself about attachment styles.
Mismatched attachment styles can contribute to emotional drain. Attachment styles can be secure, anxious, or avoidant, and there are also combinations of these styles, although they are less common. An individual’s attachment style is influenced by early life experiences but can be modified through therapy and personal growth.
A secure attachment style reflects the ability to feel connected to partners, maintain a sense of security in those connections, and still value independence.
Anxious attachment styles indicate insecurity and emotional neediness in relationships, often leading to clinginess, demands, or possessiveness.
Avoidant attachment styles involve a fear of closeness with partners, manifesting as emotional shutdown and avoidance of intimacy.
Other combinations exist, and you can discover your own attachment style through online quizzes, research, and self-reflection.
Attachment styles can be valuable tools for discussing patterns in your relationship and understanding your own needs.
7. Diffuse conflicts whenever possible.
By avoiding major arguments, both partners conserve emotional energy. Constant disagreements don’t have to be catastrophic, but if you struggle to de-escalate arguments, it can cause significant emotional drain. If every minor disagreement turns into a hurtful and intense argument, both of you will end up feeling deflated. Consider these helpful tips and techniques to diffuse fights.
Utilize humor. Injecting a bit of lightheartedness into a fight can help keep things in perspective.
For instance, try using an impression or responding to a question in a playful manner that makes your partner laugh.
Physical touch. Embrace your partner, hold their hand, or put an arm around their shoulder.
Take a break. If tensions are escalating, take a short break in separate rooms to cool off. Even a brief pause can make a significant difference.
8. Acknowledge your mistakes.
Admitting when you’re wrong during an argument can defuse the situation. It may be challenging to admit fault when you and your partner are deeply entrenched in an argument. It might feel like surrendering in that moment. However, in reality, letting your guard down is the key to ending a fight (and the emotional drain) in a healthy manner.
Start by acknowledging to your partner that you understand how your actions have hurt them.
Express sympathy for their feelings and demonstrate genuine empathy.
The more fights you can resolve quickly and positively, the less emotional drain you and your partner will experience.
9. Limit excessive complaints.
Excessive complaining can be detrimental to an otherwise healthy relationship. While it’s important to be there for your partner as a sounding board, too much negativity can leave one person feeling drained while the other feels unheard. When one partner’s complaints exhaust the patience, energy, or attention of the other, the listener can end up emotionally burnt out.
If you find yourself frequently complaining, consider filtering your worries. Ask yourself if you genuinely need support or if you’re simply venting.
If you genuinely need help, share your concerns with your partner. Otherwise, try reframing your comments in a more positive light.
If you’re the listener, be there for your partner when you sense they truly need support. However, avoid turning every complaint into a lengthy discussion. Offer a simple, supportive remark without initiating a full-blown conversation.
10. Seek support from loved ones.
Having a support system (2) can provide a sense of understanding and positivity. When your relationship is draining your emotional well-being, leaning on loved ones can help you feel supported and uplifted.
Reach out to a parent, sibling, cousin, or friend and suggest meeting for coffee to discuss your feelings.
Choose someone who makes you feel heard and valued.
11. Consider counseling.
Seeking professional guidance can assist in navigating relationship issues. If you’re struggling in your relationship, seeking an expert’s opinion is a wise decision. Consult your primary care doctor for a referral to a reputable therapist in your area, or ask for recommendations from friends and family. It may be beneficial to interview multiple therapists before selecting one.
Remember that you can also attend counseling individually if you prefer.
Keep in mind that your partner may desire to continue therapy longer than you do, and this is normal.
12. Take time apart.
Taking a break from the relationship allows both you and your partner to gain perspective. When you’re constantly working on improving your relationship and attending to your partner’s needs, it can be difficult to assess whether the relationship is truly fulfilling. Stepping away from the relationship enables both of you to evaluate whether you’re happier and healthier on your own.
Establish clear expectations and boundaries before the break begins to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Understand that taking a break carries some risks, as it may lead to a realization that the relationship is no longer viable.
However, there are times when a relationship simply isn’t working. Use the break to genuinely reflect on your own needs, desires, and patterns within the relationship.
If you decide to reconcile, the relationship will have a stronger and more secure foundation to build upon.
13. Assess its worth.
Even without taking a break, self-reflection can provide clarity. It’s important to acknowledge that no relationship is perfect and will have its share of challenges. However, overall, your relationship should be a source of more positives than negatives in your life. Consider using the following questions as a starting point for your reflection.
Do both you and your partner demonstrate sufficient care and commitment to making the relationship work?
Are you willing to be flexible and make reasonable changes for each other?
Do you typically resolve disagreements in a friendly manner?
Does the time you spend together contribute positively or negatively to your overall happiness?
In summary, to fix an emotionally draining relationship, there are several steps you can take:
- Identify the problem: Reflect on when the emotional drain started and have an open, blame-free conversation with your partner about your feelings and concerns.
- Prioritize self-care: Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, engaging in activities you enjoy, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you feel your best, you can contribute more positively to the relationship.
- Communicate your needs: Clearly express your basic requirements for happiness in the relationship and encourage your partner to do the same. Find ways to meet each other’s needs in a mutually beneficial and sustainable manner.
- Foster compromise: Focus on the goals of the relationship rather than individual interests during arguments or negative patterns. Strive for compromise and equitable distribution of responsibilities.
- Assess relationship areas: Evaluate different aspects of your relationship, such as communication, connection, investment, enjoyment, growth, and trust. Discuss your scores and work on areas of weakness together.
- Understand attachment styles: Learn about attachment styles (secure, anxious, avoidant) and how they may contribute to emotional drain. Use this knowledge to discuss patterns and reflect on your own needs.
- De-escalate fights: Employ strategies to defuse arguments, such as using humor, physical touch, or taking a short break to cool off. Avoid allowing minor disagreements to escalate into hurtful and draining conflicts.
- Take responsibility: Admit when you’re wrong during arguments, as it can help defuse the situation and lead to healthier conflict resolution.
- Limit complaints: Avoid excessive complaining, as it can negatively impact the relationship. Determine if your complaints are genuine requests for support or if you’re venting unnecessarily.
- Seek support: Reach out to loved ones who can provide understanding and positivity. Engage in conversations that make you feel heard and supported.
- Consider counseling: If necessary, seek professional help to navigate the issues in your relationship. Consult with a therapist who specializes in couples therapy.
- Take time apart: If appropriate, take a break from the relationship to gain perspective and evaluate your happiness and well-being.
- Assess the relationship’s worth: Reflect on whether the relationship brings more positives than negatives to your life. Consider factors such as care, flexibility, friendly conflict resolution, and overall happiness.
By following these steps, you can work towards improving an emotionally draining relationship and creating a healthier and more fulfilling connection with your partner.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to fix an emotionally draining relationship. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.