Coaching for partners of burned-out spouses

Burnout can challenge the stability of a marriage, even if you genuinely care for each other.

Burned-out individuals deal with high levels of stress, feel unworthy, and blame themselves for everything, even if, on the surface, they seem hardened and indifferent. As a result, they often become intolerable and unreliable at home, leaving their spouses to manage the household. Their partners feel overwhelmed and stressed, doing everything for spouses who don’t even behave like spouses anymore.

They aren’t malicious; they just have ineffective strategies for handling stress, overwhelm, and feelings of being trapped in a seemingly hopeless situation. I very often hear that they try hard to be present at home, but they just aren’t able and feel guilty for it. Unfortunately, their families often bear the brunt of this.

When burned out, they may feel incapable of handling work issues alone, not to mention family responsibilities. This often to becoming explosive, sarcastic, or ultimately withdrawn, as if only work topics are worthy of attention. Because of that, you don’t remember the last time you went out for dinner or laughed together.

The thought of coming home makes you want to pack and leave. Walking through the door, your mind is flooded with images of what can go wrong again, so you tread on eggshells, trying to please them or avoid being blamed for something trivial again.

Even if you understand what they’re going through, you rebel because no one seems to care that you’re stressed too.

You’re expected to manage your work and the household and tolerate your spouse’s changing moods. You don’t feel like you have a partner anymore, but another child at best, or a source of emotional stress. You’re trying to offer solutions, but they’re met with indifference, shouting, or stonewalling. Your partner’s behavior stresses you out more than anything else at this point.

This feel misunderstood and ignored, wondering if it’s even worth it as intimacy in your relationship is almost nonexistent, and they haven’t initiated sex in months.

Initially, you did your best to help them, but now you gave up a bit and seek moral support from friends, family, or even an exciting stranger to feel seen and appreciated as a person. The situation just feels desperate.

You still love them, but shouldering everything alone may lead you to experience:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritable outbursts
  • Troubles concentrating

You may feel:

  • Preoccupied with their life, feeling that they have no life of their own, and constantly caring for everyone and everything.
  • Isolated and overwhelmed by all the obligations that have landed on your shoulders.
  • Distant and questioning if you can stay in the relationship as nothing you’ve tried so far has worked.
  • Doubtful that the good days can come back as they seem so far behind.
  • Unable to see their good qualities anymore, although you know deep down that they are a good person.
  • Not like yourself, but a designated rescuer without the right to relax, do something for yourself or make fun plans and dreams.

There are strategies to help you improve this situation.

Living with a burned-out spouse and discussing the game plan will not be the same as talking with the same person when they are in a healthy state of mind.

As your coach, my job is to help you understand the realities of burnout and support you in managing this challenging situation to find peace and reduce your self-sacrifice. This includes helping you:

  • Understand what burnout is and how it influences people’s functioning and relationships.
  • Recognize what you feel now and find ways to manage your stress instead of trying to bury it.
  • Assess if your relationship dynamics contributed to your spouse’s burnout and, if so, help you change them.
  • Develop ways to communicate with your spouse effectively so that you both feel heard and understood.
  • Understand your role in your spouse’s recovery while safeguarding your sanity.
  • Find joy in your own life as an individual instead of taking on the role of your spouse’s support only.

You can manage this situation and don’t have to do it alone.

What’s not Included in Coaching:

I do not provide psychological or psychiatric help or treatment for traumas or mental disorders. If you experience such challenges, consulting a doctor is a crucial step towards recovery.

Your situation is challenging, and while you can’t control your spouse, you can take care of yourself not giving up on your marriage. Understanding the dynamics of your situation can help you both find ways to go through this together.

Would you like to schedule a call?