12 Signs Of An Emotionally Draining Relationship (+ What To Do)

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Does spending time with your partner leave you emotionally drained?

You care about your partner, but you find the whole relationship stressful. Being around them is utterly exhausting.

While not everyone agrees that there’s such a thing as emotional vampires, everyone can relate to the feeling of someone draining the energy out of them.

Can this be fixed?

Well, it depends on the reasons why your relationship is so exhausting. And we’ll come to those reasons shortly. You’ll also learn more about fixing these issues.

But let’s first take a look at the signs that your relationship is leaving you feeling depleted.

12 Signs Of Emotionally Draining Relationships

1. You feel exhausted all the time.

Obviously, a sign of an emotionally draining relationship is when you are left tired, frustrated, and annoyed after spending time with your partner.

Your partner is supposed to make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but instead, they make you feel like you’re coming down with the flu – tired, lackluster, and aching to crawl up in a ball in bed.

2. You think about them too much.

Maybe your partner has little to do with the reason why your relationship is exhausting you.

If you are constantly thinking about them and worrying about who they are with and what they are doing, it’s only natural that you’ll end up feeling drained.

If you can’t trust them, consider working on your trust issues with a therapist so as not to let your past experiences damage your current relationship.

Or perhaps you think about them too much because you don’t know what they are going to be like when you next see them. If they experience constant mood swings or you frequently fight, it’s normal to feel anxious about the next time you’ll talk.

3. You can’t wait to be away from them.

It’s okay to need alone time in a relationship, but if you’re looking forward to being away from your partner more than you are to being around them, something is seriously off.

You crave the time you get to be away from them, and you feel like celebrating instead of missing them when they aren’t around.

You probably don’t want to feel that way, but you do, and you would prefer to be anywhere else but next to your exhausting partner.

4. You need time to recover after spending time with them.

After spending time with them, you feel like you could use a nap, so you can’t do much other than rest and unwind.

Instead of feeling like your energy was boosted, you don’t feel like doing anything, and you need some time to forget about the conversations you had with your partner.

Unless the reason you don’t enjoy their company goes away, the problem in your relationship isn’t going to go away either.

People can sometimes be exhausting when they are dealing with a lot of issues that you can’t help them with. So don’t abandon your partner when they need you.

But consider whether you will feel this way every time they have issues and whether you can accept that.

5. You feel like they’re constantly asking too much of you.

Emotionally draining people tend to unload their problems onto other people and this is exactly what makes them so exhausting.

It’s one thing when your partner has problems and needs your support, but if they are constantly asking too much of you without giving much in return, you have to consider whether it’s worth staying in a relationship like that.

Maybe they constantly complain, and you don’t think that there’ll ever be a solution for all their problems.

Whatever the case, you feel like they are burdening you with all their worries and emotions.

6. Your conversations are exhausting.

Maybe you don’t fight in the terms of yelling at each other, but you constantly bicker and talking to them has become frustrating.

It simply requires too much of your energy to have a conversation with them, and it doesn’t feel worth it.

Your conversations are supposed to be uplifting and leave you feeling fulfilled and energized. If they’re not like that, maybe you’re not a good match.

Or perhaps your relationship has hit such a big bump in the road that it’s time to involve someone else in your problems so that you can go back to the way things were before.

Talk to a relationship counselor, and they’ll give you ways you could improve your communication and connection.

7. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them.

You’re worried about making the wrong move when you are near them. What if you say or do the wrong thing? You feel tense and stressed out, and it’s like you have to walk on eggshells around them so as not to cause a fight or upset them.

It’s exhausting to have to be so careful what you say and do, and you shouldn’t feel that way with your partner.

You should feel safe to be yourself around your partner, and being with them should leave you full of positive energy. If they are affecting you in a negative way instead of bringing out the best in you, something is very wrong with your relationship.

8. You don’t feel like your needs are being met.

Are you constantly listening to them? Do they fight their way into getting what they want? What are you getting from this relationship?

If you feel like you’re giving more than you’re getting in return and like your needs aren’t being met, it’s no wonder you feel emotionally drained by the relationship.

A one-sided relationship is not a healthy relationship. It puts too much strain on one person until they eventually break.

9. Your relationship is causing problems in other aspects of your life.

Your friends, family, work, finances, downtime, health, and other aspects of your life shouldn’t be too affected by your relationship, especially not negatively.

If your friends and family don’t see you anymore, your boss complains about your lack of productivity lately, your wallet is empty, you have no time for your hobbies, and your mental health is suffering, you’re in an emotionally draining relationship.

10. You can’t be yourself around them or say what you really mean.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing your feelings with your partner and expressing your thoughts on certain issues, it’s certainly not a good sign.

Keeping up with that is probably going to leave you resentful and unsatisfied because you are suppressing your true self to please your partner.

Say the truth even if it’s not what they want to hear, and don’t be afraid to speak up about what bothers you.

If you can’t be yourself around the person you’re supposed to spend most of your time with, what’s the point in spending it with them in the first place?

11. You constantly have to worry about them.

Maybe they have a lot of issues, and you want to help fix them. But it’s leaving you in a state of constant worry because you can’t find the solutions.

When your partner struggles with a problem, it’s only natural that you want to fix it. When you can’t, you could start worrying about their well-being more than you do your own.

You get caught up in the role of a caretaker, which forces you to put your own issues aside in order to focus entirely on the drama your partner is experiencing.

12. They don’t lift you up.

Ultimately, a relationship should contribute to you feeling good, and being with your partner should lift you up, not make you feel like you’ve worked all day.

Your partner should boost you emotionally, and you should feel positive and energized when you’re with them.

Naturally, this can’t always happen, and there will be days when you’ll just feel relaxed or bored, but it’s not the same as feeling emotionally drained.

10 Reasons Why Your Relationship Is Exhausting

1. The relationship isn’t healthy.

Simply put, maybe your relationship isn’t healthy anymore, or it never was to begin with.

Are there other problems in your relationship besides it being emotionally draining? If there are and you can’t seem to find a way to fix them, maybe you could just accept that you’re not a good match.

There are ways to improve an unhealthy relationship, but if things have always been this way and you don’t feel the connection with your partner, maybe you’re simply not right for each other.

Different people affect us differently, and we are different depending on who we are with. Maybe your partner wouldn’t be exhausting if they were with someone else, or you wouldn’t feel that way around someone else.

Unfortunately, sometimes that’s the only explanation.

2. There is a lot of conflict.

Do you frequently argue about every little thing? It’s only natural that you lack energy if you waste so much of it on unnecessary fights.

Have these fights started recently, or have you had trouble finding common ground ever since you started dating? Again, sometimes you just have to accept that you’re not a good match.

Then again, if you want to work on this relationship, there is always a chance that things will get better. But you will have to communicate with your partner without it turning into a fight.

Can you do that?

3. You are forced to put too much effort into the relationship just to sustain it.

Relationships take work to stay healthy, but when it takes a lot of work just to keep it going, there’ something seriously wrong with it.

If sustaining your relationship takes a huge amount of your energy, consider whether the two of you are forcing something that’s just not meant to be.

Maybe your partner is asking a lot from you. Perhaps you do all the work in terms of arranging dates and making time for one another. Maybe you have to make a huge effort just to keep them interested in dating you.

Whatever the case may be, you have to expend a lot of energy to keep the two of you together.

4. You have to give all your attention to your partner.

What if your partner requires all of your attention at all times? They need you to be around them as often as possible and focus all your attention on them, whether you are alone together or with others.

They constantly text and call when you’re not together. They crave constant validation. You could feel like your relationship is draining if your partner is too needy and clingy.

Your attention, validation, affection – these are all forms of energy transfer from you to them. The more they demand from you, the more exhausted you’re going to feel.

5. Your relationship is stressful.

Stress drains our energy, whatever its source. When it’s your relationship, you have to ask yourself whether things have to be this difficult.

Yes, relationships are hard sometimes. That’s only natural when two people come together to share their lives with one another. But they shouldn’t be so hard that you can’t cope with it emotionally.

So, why is your relationship making you want to hide from it to rediscover your peace of mind?

Even the happiest relationships can be stressful at times, but if yours has been an emotional rollercoaster from the day you’ve met, you might not be right for each other.

If you’ve just hit a rough patch, seek the help of a relationship counselor to push through this and come out of it stronger.

6. You don’t focus on yourself as much as you should.

Your partner requires so much of your time and energy that you have none left for the things you enjoy doing.

Maybe you’ve neglected your friends and family, work responsibilities, and hobbies because of your relationship.

Your relationship should be the best part of your life, but it shouldn’t suck you in so much that you have no life other than the relationship.

Whether your needs are being met in the relationship or not, you have things you need to do for yourself, and your partner can’t be the only part of your life that you focus on.

7. Your partner is too negative.

You can understand when someone can’t see the silver lining because they’re too deep in their issues, but your partner always seems to have problems.

They see the bad in everything and constantly complain. Maybe their vibe is so negative that you feel bad about yourself after spending time with them.

Instead of brightening up your days, they put you in a bad mood whenever you see them.

Sometimes, people get this way when they are struggling with difficulties, but if your partner always seems to be like this, you have to consider whether you can accept this about them or if it’s time to leave.

If they aren’t happy with you and you can’t make them happy, how long are you going to wait for them to start seeing the positive things in life?

8. Your expectations are too high.

Maybe things aren’t that bad between you, but you aren’t happy with the way things are, and it’s eating you up inside.

You expect your partner and your relationship to be perfect, and once you realized they’re not, it started to feel emotionally draining.

You hone in on every little thing they do wrong. You focus on all the annoyances and frustrations instead of their good points. You wish they could just be and act the way you’d like.

To always see the negatives can only tire you out mentally and emotionally.

9. You can’t say no.

If you always agree with your partner, even when it’s not what you want, you are bound to resent them at some point.

Maybe you just want to prevent arguments, but agreeing to everything they say isn’t the right way to go about it. And it’s normal that you feel exhausted for trying to always agree with them.

Whilst it is normal and healthy to compromise with each other, if you sacrifice your wants and wishes each and every time, you will experience ill-feelings toward your partner. And these feelings will drain the energy from you.

10. Your partner is too dependent on you.

If your partner pins all their hopes on you, you feel obligated to live up to their expectations. But doing so is utterly exhausting.

Your partner is too dependent on you for their happiness, and you don’t want to disappoint them, but being their support system has become too difficult.

The weight of responsibility that they have placed upon you is dragging you down and making it hard to be your true self. You fear risking an emotional meltdown in your partner if you even consider putting yourself first at any point.

14 Ways To Deal With An Emotionally Draining Relationship

1. Identify the problems in your relationship.

Your relationship is emotionally draining, but why?

Do you frequently fight, is talking to them stressful, or do they always talk about problems?

The signs mentioned earlier should give you a pretty good idea about why you’re not happy in your relationship, but don’t stop there. What are the problems besides it being exhausting?

Maybe you don’t communicate well, or you don’t feel a strong connection with them. Identify all the problems in your relationship first so that you can tackle them one by one.

2. Talk to your partner about it.

Before you let your partner know about the problems in your relationship, keep in mind that they might not have been thinking about them as much as you have.

Maybe they are entirely unaware of how you’re feeling, so remember that before communicating with them.

When you do talk to them, let them know how you’ve been feeling lately and tell them that there are problems in your relationship that you need to work on together.

Your problems might be solvable simply by talking to your partner about them. If they were unaware of these things, once you bring them to their attention they might be willing to work on themselves and on the relationship.

Just think about the way you are going to communicate all this to them so as not to give them the wrong idea about your feelings or intentions for the relationship.

3. Consider things from their perspective.

Once you tell your partner that you’re unhappy with the way things are, they might shed some light on the subject.

For instance, maybe they have been negative lately because a family member has been diagnosed with a serious illness and they are afraid for their health.

Maybe they’ve been fighting with you because something you’re doing was bothering them, but they didn’t say anything about it.

Hear them out and consider things from their perspective. Try to understand them and consider their point of view before making a decision about your relationship.

4. Communicate your needs in a relationship.

Maybe your needs aren’t being met in the relationship, but have you talked about them with your partner?

Do you need more alone time? Do you need a certain level of loyalty and independence? Let your partner know about it and they might be willing to help you get what you want.

For instance, maybe they wanted you to spend all of your free time with them, but now they’ll understand you also need time for your hobbies and friends. They probably have other things going on in their life that they would like to give more attention to too.

Maybe not all of your needs can be met in the relationship, but by communicating them with each other, you can get more of them met by your partner, whilst finding ways to have the others met in other ways.

5. Start making compromises.

You can’t resolve arguments if you’re both focused solely on your own interests. Compromises are a part of every healthy relationship, and you should make them a habit in yours.

For instance, if you are fighting about who is going to take care of a boring chore and one of you is too tired to do it, the other one should do it this time.

Maybe you argue where you’ll go to dinner. Does trying Thai food for the first time mean more to your partner than eating your regular dose of Italian food means to you? Then go for Thai food.

There’s always a solution that you can both agree on, so make an effort to find it.

6. Learn more about attachment styles.

The reason you’re having problems in your relationship might be because your attachment styles are too different!

Learn about them to figure out if this could somehow help you improve your relationship.

The three main attachment styles are secure, anxious, and avoidant, although there are less common combinations of these.

A secure attachment style means that you can securely connect to your partner and still stay independent. An anxious style means that you’re insecure and emotionally hungry in a relationship. An avoidant style means that you’re afraid of closeness so you avoid intimacy.

If your partner’s attachment style is anxious and yours is avoidant, it makes sense that your relationship is emotionally draining! You can work on changing your attachment style, though this will take real time and effort on your parts.

7. Improve the way you argue.

Fights can be exhausting, so learning how to defuse them can help your relationship.

For instance, maybe you could calm things down by making your partner laugh, trying to hug them, or taking a break from the fight!

You don’t have to say hurtful things in the heat of the moment because you can just wait for the heat to die down, and the moment will pass.

If your fights are bad, find ways to cool things down and turn an argument into a calm discussion.

8. Admit your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to apologize.

It’s okay to admit your mistakes and be the first to apologize. In fact, you should both do so.

You are going to fight if you have to be right all the time, so admit when you’re not

Don’t agree with your partner when you don’t truly want to, but when you are proven wrong or you’ve made a mistake, own it and admit it.

Encourage your partner to do the same. You should both learn to apologize more often because silently pouting for days or weeks just wastes your time and energy.

9. Don’t complain too much.

If you’re the one who complains too often, ask yourself whether your partner could actually help you or if you’re complaining just for the sake of complaining.

If they can help you, by all means, share your problem with them, but don’t constantly talk about it if they can’t help you any more than they already have.

Maybe your partner constantly complains instead. If that’s so, try to sense when they really need you to listen, and be there for them at those times. When they’re not really looking for help, don’t make a big deal out of what they are complaining about.

They could still say it, it just doesn’t have to turn into a long discussion that leaves you feeling drained.

10. Focus on yourself and the things that you can change.

Maybe you can’t change your partner, but you can change yourself. Focus on yourself for now and do more of the things that you enjoy doing.

Let your partner know that you need more time to yourself and go back to your friends, family, hobbies, and work responsibilities. Find the time for self-care and take care of yourself and your needs.

Work on the things that you can control and consider whether you can accept the things you can’t.

It will be good for you to put your attention on other things for a change, so don’t make your relationship a priority when you’ve started to feel drained. Fuel yourself with positive energy without your partner if you can’t do it with them.

11. Consider whether they are the right person for you.

If your partner leaves you feeling tired, it might be time to ask yourself whether they’re the right person for you.

A relationship can sometimes require a lot of your energy and attention, but it shouldn’t be like that all the time. Sometimes people just aren’t a good match.

Different people will bring out the different versions of you, and your perfect match is supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst. They should make you feel positive and energized.

Again, it can’t always feel that way, but most of the time things should be more positive than negative. You certainly shouldn’t feel like you want to be away from your partner.

12. Spend some time apart.

Pull back and get some distance from your partner if your relationship is still emotionally draining after you have tried all these suggestions.

You don’t have to end the relationship, but take some time apart to see if things will be better afterwards. Take a break and consider your relationship from a fresh perspective after you’ve had some time away from it.

There’s always a risk that this will lead to a breakup, but it is possible that you’ll come out of it stronger and improve your relationship. If things have gotten so bad that it doesn’t feel right to stay, you have to take that risk.

13. Think about whether your relationship is worth saving.

After you’ve had some time to think, decide whether you want to give your relationship another chance or not.

Your relationship should be a source of positive energy more than it is a source of negative energy.

Are you both willing to put the effort into making your relationship more positive? Did you both work on yourselves during the time you were apart and is there a chance that things will get better?

Do you usually resolve arguments without screaming at each other, or can’t you communicate effectively anymore? Does spending time together make you both feel good?

Consider these things and decide whether you want to fight for your relationship or search for someone who might be a better match for you.

14. Talk to a relationship counselor.

In the end, whatever you decide, it’s always good to consult with a professional who has experience with all sorts of relationship problems.

You can talk to a relationship counselor on your own or with your partner, and they will be able to give you more ways to improve your relationship or ways to cope with its failure and move on.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are struggling with a problem, no matter how small the problem seems. If your relationship is ending, it is going to affect your mental health whether you work on saving it or give up on it, so let a professional help you go through this and come out of it stronger.

We recommend the online services from Relationship Hero. You can talk to an experienced relationship expert via phone, video, or instant message and get answers to your questions and solutions to your problems.

Click here to learn more.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.