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Bored couple having dinner in back yard, holding mobile phones and surfing the net

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When you’re in a relationship for the long haul, you know that there is no such thing as happily ever after. No relationship is completely perfect and both parties have to be committed to putting in the necessary work to sustain the partnership over time — especially when life happens.

The ebbs and flows of life paired with the regular ups and downs that all relationships will endure at some point can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted. And if not approached with intentionality, over time, you may find your relationship on life support. Coming to this realization about the state of your relationship can be alarming, but it’s also the first step in turning things around.

Mayo Clinic says of emotional exhaustion, “When stress begins to accumulate from negative or challenging events in life that just keep coming, you can find yourself in a state of feeling emotionally worn out and drained. This is called emotional exhaustion. For most people, emotional exhaustion tends to slowly build up over time.”

Relationship burnout can manifest itself in many ways. Oftentimes, it can look like arguing about the same issues over and over, investing little to no energy in the relationship, constant irritation, and a recurring desire to run from the problems that exist.

“Some find ways to symbolically escape while staying in the relationship,” explains clinical psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Randi Gunther in an essay for Psychology Today. “The most common are to withdraw outwardly and/or inwardly, and to re-direct their energies into more pleasurable, productive, or less painful directions.”

If you feel as though your relationship has taken a beating in 2020 and you are ready to hit the restart button in 2021, keep reading.

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