At the very beginning of my marriage, it was puppy love. Lots of things got done and he could do no wrong with me. However, after a while, I was starting to become upset. It was like things around us would go wrong all the time.
He wasn’t going to his martial arts classes at times. The classes he wanted us to take as a couple, somehow I would always manage to be sick or too late to go. Date nights seemed like a total struggle. Anything I wanted to do went on the back burner.
I didn’t understand what was going on. We were doing so well and now all of a sudden it was like I was sabotaging anything I wanted to do or he wanted without knowing I was doing it.
ADHD people have to worry about many things. One of the biggest is relationship burnout. Whether it is you burning out or your spouse, both can happen.
If your needs are not being met or his aren’t there is a problem. First thing to get straight, ADHDers, your partner is not responsible to stimulate you all the time and make you happy. Non-ADHDer spouse, your partner is not always going to be able to make you happy either, and often will not pick up the social cueing that you are frustrated and overwhelmed.
You are responsible voice your needs. When you need to do something for you or if your schedule is too busy for alone time, friend time or in some cases even couple time, there is a problem.
So how do you know you are burning out?
Lack of energy, getting sick more, social withdrawal, downer outlook and bad performance at work .
Lack of energy, the more you are stressed, the less energy you have. This energy low is your body telling you something, SLOW DOWN! Where is the stress coming from? Are you setting too many goals in and around your relationship?
If goals are “Piling up”, ADHDers, this is your weakness, piles either wear you thin as you try to attack them all at once. The other part of goals piling is sometimes all you can see is that list of goals and you can’t break them into doable goals.
When this happens, we get nothing done. Our energy levels deplete. We can’t stay focused and can often take it out on our partner. We don’t have energy for love, we are unable to focus on our relationship. We sleep more and do less together.
If you are experiencing this, maybe you need to cut down or write down step by step how to conquer those “goal piles”. Some goal piles could be extended family events, advancement goals like education/personal development, extreme financial planning, hobbies and so on.
When we are experiencing lots of sickness, it means your body is becoming more desperate to tell you, “Hey, this is too much, if you don’t help yourself, I will force you to”. You’re body is telling you, “ENOUGH!”. This should be a major sign that something is going wrong in your life or with your relationship.
Sure, everyone gets sick once in a while. We have all caught something. However, if you find you have been sick more times than normal, you probably are experiencing some sort of burnout.
My burnout would include more migraine headaches than normal on days I was just not able physically to do more. Or, I would have more heart burn. I had to learn that I needed to slow down. We had to adjust Michael’s idea of “Doing it all” because it wasn’t working for me. I was getting sick constantly on Tuesdays and not doing anything I wanted to do.
Since then we have worked on “Win-Win” situations. Where sure, it isn’t exactly what either one of us wants completely but we don’t both lose. Michael has done Aikido and I stay home and do crafty things. Michael takes me on outdoor hikes I can do and does challenging ones on weekends I work.
If you have family events that one wishes to go to everyone of them but you don’t, make a deal that you will chose which ones to go to. Or, maybe it is a scheduled monthly thing that you can rearrange as needed where you both don’t always have to go.
These “Win-wins” have improved my health drastically. I feel better. I am a better wife because of it.
Social withdrawal is the next sign of burnout. If you have friends you don’t do anything with because you’re emotionally drained. If you are not giving your spouse the love and attention they deserve because you don’t feel you can. YOU ARE BURNING OUT!
When you don’t do stuff with people who make you feel like yourself even, that is a sign of burnout. It means you have too much on the go or more likely all you see is the “Goal pile” and you can’t dig your way out.
You often feel like you have to do it all on your own. I am having to learn daily that I don’t have to do it ALL on my own. Sometimes when you pull away it is when you need people the most.
DO NOT DO RELATIONSHIPS ALL BY YOURSELF! Relationships we often think as two people, especially in a spousal one. However, what you need to know is no one person can provide all your needs. Remember? We discussed this?
They cannot be your only source of happiness. I don’t know about you but I cannot make Michael happy all the time. He often goes to his Aikido classes and comes back happy. He will go off and read a book and be happy. Michael goes on a hike and becomes happy.
I cannot expect him to make me happy all the time either then can I? When we withhold ourselves from receiving help or uplifting by a friend, we’re denying them an opportunity to love and be there for someone like you were probably there for them.
I cannot count how many times I have withdrawn only to explode like a volcano later on with emotional lava pouring out. However, if I had noticed when I was first becoming overwhelmed and talked to that person it wouldn’t have been so bad.
Downer outlook, everything in life is bad, there is no good. This one can be another sign of burnout. Nothing matters, I don’t matter and life sucks. When you feel those statements rolling out of you, negative monster is out to play and he isn’t leaving for a while, that means you have a problem and you need to solve it.
I find when I am having relationship burn out in general, the negative monster says, “You’re not enough.” I have to reevaluate myself and remind myself of a few things. I was good enough to marry him, I have many talents and he must love me for some reason or he would have left a long time ago.
Lastly, job performance. This also accounts for how clean your house is compared to normal, more than normal procrastination at work/home or inability to complete tasks more than normal.
When I can’t even stick my clothes in the hamper or I forget a normal daily task at work that I remember everyday, I know there is a problem. I am burned out, I am going to bed late and it is like I am in a fog all day.
Yes, I have ADHD, I forget things, I am impulsive and focus is not always there. However, medication often helps with me being impulsive, helps me stay more focused and develop plans better. If I am more impulsive than normal, making decisions without consulting people, I know that I am experiencing burnout.
We all have been burned out one time or another but, if we do not deal with it, we will become worse until our body will intervene with a way out. And you may not like it.
So please, recognize the signs. I had to have someone point it out and work with me to change it. I don’t get as many migraines as I did before nor heart burn.