When you are with the person you love, you are supposed to feel a breeze of tranquility around you and within you. A relationship should be like home. You must find peace in one another. But in an emotionally draining relationship, you will want to run away from your significant other. Of course, no relationship is perfect and there will be conflicts and problems every now and then. But it’s not a healthy relationship if it makes you feel like you are giving way more than what you are receiving.
To know more about emotionally draining relationships, we reached out to psychologist Jayant Sundaresan. He says, “Before we jump into exclusive details on the signs of such relationships, we have to first ask if the relationship was always this difficult or some recent change in surroundings has caused this emotional fatigue.
“If the relationship has turned exhausting due to a few circumstances like family’s interference or over workload and you aren’t able to give each other time, then you can sit down and talk about it. Pour your feelings out and fix it. But if that’s not the problem or the relationship has been exhausting you since day one or if either of you isn’t willing to put in efforts and expect only the other person to take responsibility for the entire relationship, then you are right to ask if leaving an emotionally draining relationship is the only choice.”
What Does An Emotionally Draining Relationship Mean?
Jayant says, “In an emotionally draining relationship, you will always appear to be bending backward to do what your partner wants and needs. It’s always about your partner’s wishes and desires. Your effort in the relationship isn’t equally reciprocated. You are the only one who is moving heaven and earth to try and make the relationship work while your partner is just sitting there and expecting to be showered with love. They won’t move a finger to match your efforts.
“Furthermore, they won’t even show appreciation for everything that you bring into the relationship. What happens here is the person who is giving their all and everything is emotionally drained. Their emotions and feelings will be dominated by frustration, stress, and anxiousness. It even causes depression sometimes. Even the thought of spending time with that person will wear you out.”
9 Signs You Are In An Emotionally Draining Relationship
You care about your partner. You love them deeply. But are you feeling drained in a relationship? Is it causing you a lot of pain and stress? If so, then check out the below signs of an emotionally draining relationship which will help you navigate the situation in a better way.
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1. You are low on energy
Jayant says, “One of the obvious signs of an emotionally draining marriage/relationship is being low on energy. All your strength is dissipated by putting your partner first in every situation. You always put them first in any scenario which isn’t out of love but out of condition and fear that they will feel bad or they will throw a fit if they are put anywhere else other than first. This kind of agitation and dating fatigue will leave you drained.”
Your partner is supposed to make you feel energized. When you give so much and receive nothing, it makes you feel tense. Your energy is yours. You decide on how much to give. When your partner drains you beyond your imagination, it’s time to ask if leaving an emotionally drained relationship is the right choice for you. Make your mental health your topmost priority.
2. One relationship is affecting other relationships
Jayant adds, “An emotionally draining relationship will affect the other spheres of your life. It will affect the relationship and bond you share with your family, friends, and colleagues. You will see your work life going downhill. If you were an excellent performer at work and now your work life is being affected, then it’s one of the signs of an emotionally draining relationship.
“In such emotionally exhausting relationships, even your alone time will be full of distress. Your friends and family will tell you that you aren’t the same anymore. They will immediately figure out that something is bothering you. If you’ve lost the passion you had toward achieving your goals and now there is only a lack of productivity on your side, then you need to get a hold of your life and talk to your emotionally draining husband or wife.”
3. You will hide things from your family and friends
Jayant adds, “This is one of the most common things many people in an emotionally draining relationship do. They will stop sharing things with their close ones because you are embarrassed and ashamed of your situation. In fact, they will stop taking their significant other to meet their family members and friends because they will be afraid they will find out things aren’t good with the two of you.
“It will change the way you used to be open and honest with your siblings and friends. Share your emotional baggage with a trusted fried or family member. When you stop sharing such things, you might feel as if you are growing distant from them. In times like these, I suggest you don’t let go of your special ones. You need to talk to them and even depend on them for their opinion regarding the turbulence in your relationship.”
4. You look forward to spending time away from your partner
Jayant says, “In an emotionally draining relationship, you will crave for alone time. If you don’t get it often, you will start lying to get it. You’ll make up stories. You will say you have to work late at the office and use those stolen hours to rejuvenate. Sometimes, if the relationship is beyond repair, even those alone times will be full of pressure and tension. You will wait for your emotionally draining husband or wife to fall asleep and then go home in order to avoid them. That’s how drastic it can get.”
Everybody needs alone time but if you go out of your way to seek that alone time, then you need to rethink the relationship. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But is it even love if in such times, you don’t miss your partner and celebrate your solidarity? It’s not. Not missing your partner when you are away from them simply means that you are feeling drained in a relationship.
5. You will start walking on eggshells around your partner
Jayant shares, “In a healthy relationship, you don’t shy away from communication because your partner will feel hurt by your opinions. You will filter everything that comes out of your mouth. You will make sure you choose your words and behavior carefully in order to not hurt or anger your partner. Your partner should be your best friend where you don’t hold anything back from them. You should be open, real, and genuine with them.”
If you are asking why my relationship is draining me, then maybe you spend every second of your life doing everything you can to avoid upsetting them. You overthink before sharing something with them. This is toxic behavior and one of the major dating red flags. It can lead to serious mental health issues.
6. You feel trapped
Jayant says, “Some of the things you look for in a partner include love, comfort, joy, and a sense of belonging. It’s not an ideal relationship if you are feeling trapped or stuck with no way out. This is even more daunting if you are married and have kids. You feel completely caged and worn out by the relationship.”
“It’s not just you who is trapped. It’s also the growth of the relationship, which is obstructed. Neither you nor the relationship will witness any growth. If your girlfriend says she is emotionally drained, then maybe she is feeling suffocated by your constant demand for attention. Similarly, if your boyfriend is feeling emotionally drained, then it’s possible you are making him take all the responsibility of keeping the relationship alive.”
Related Reading: 12 Signs You Are Walking On Eggshells In Your Relationship
7. Never ending conflicts is one of the signs of an emotionally draining relationship
Jayant adds, “The central theme of a happy relationship should be compromise and trust. But if your relationship is trapped in a loop of never-ending arguments and fights, then you are right to wonder if ending an emotionally draining relationship should be the way to go about it. A healthy relationship has problems and fights of its own. But if those fights become a norm and not fighting becomes rare, then it’s one of the clear warning signs of a toxic relationship.
“Lack of communication is one of the reasons for conflicts in romantic relationships. And not knowing how to fight is what fuels those conflicts. It magnifies the problems. You need to fight fair in a marriage or a relationship, so you don’t hurt the person you love. You can’t use anger and hide behind it to be mean and rude. There are chances you will permanently damage the relationship if you don’t know how to fight.”
8. Your needs are unfulfilled
Jayant adds, “You need connection, validation, acknowledgement, appreciation, honesty, support, and a sense of safety in a relationship. If none of those needs are met, then it’s no wonder you are feeling drained in a relationship. If sexual intimacy is also focused on them and them alone, then it’s a tell-tale sign of unhealthy relationships.
“Why should your needs be neglected or why should they come second? That’s not fair. Your needs must be seen as equally important. It takes two people to make a relationship work. If this continues, you will grow to hate your partner. There will be so much resentment for them. Once it reaches the stage of hatred, it’s quite difficult to come out of it.”
9. You don’t recognize yourself anymore
Jayant says, “In an emotionally draining relationship, you will lose your identity and individuality. You won’t find yourself while trying to keep them satisfied and happy. Your goals and ambitions are dead. You don’t work toward achieving them because all your energy, time, and efforts are wasted in making the relationship work.”
It’s different if your partner is also trying to keep you happy and cares about your needs. But if they aren’t, then you shouldn’t either. You do it together or you don’t do it at all. If finally, after going through so much, you can’t stop thinking about such a relationship, then it’s clear you can’t take it anymore.
How To Fix An Emotionally Draining Relationship
Jayant says, “The first thing to know about being with a person who is emotionally draining you is their attachment style. If the root cause of your tiredness is their insecure attachment style, then you can talk about it and sort it out. A relationship should contribute to your existing happiness.
If your existing happiness has disappeared along with the joy and glee your partner is supposed to bring into the relationship, then it’s time you looked at the problems and fixed them. How? Below are some ways to heal from an emotionally draining relationship.
1. Confront them about this
Go to your partner. Tell them as plainly and as clearly as you can. Jayant advises, “This is an emotionally draining marriage/relationship. Unless and until you confess that something is bothering you, you will always be stuck with no way out of the problem. You fell in love with your partner because they showed you that you can trust them and be vulnerable with them. Tell them you feel emotional fatigue in this relationship.”
2. Take couples counseling
Jayant says, “If you weren’t able to find solutions to your problems and still your boyfriend or girlfriend says she is emotionally drained, then couples counseling should be your go-to option. Tell your counselor, “My relationship is draining me.” They will detect the hidden problem and help provide you the solution you are looking for and if you’re looking for professional help, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away.
3. Understand that you both have to compromise equally
Compromise is the root of many problems. Jayant says, “Both the parties in the relationship have to understand and compromise on choosing a healthy relationship. You are both hurt and wounded. Before you take any drastic decision, try to heal from an emotionally draining relationship by fighting your battles one at a time. If there are a hundred problems, you cannot fight them all at once. Take baby steps. Fighting in a relationship is common but fight for love and not against your partner.”
Before you jump to the conclusion and think of ending an emotionally draining relationship, take two steps back and analyze if you have placed an unendurable amount of expectations on them. Ask yourself if this person has the capacity to function while shouldering such unreachable sky-high expectations? If that’s the case, then there’s no harm in lowering your expectations for love. But if that’s one thing you can’t compromise on, then maybe it’s time to part ways. Spare yourself and your partner the hurt from all the endless fights and quarrels.