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Overwhelm: How to Avoid Marriage Meltdown

Overwhelm: How to Avoid Marriage Meltdown


Overwhelm: How to Avoid Marriage Meltdown


Many couples get married in the hope of experiencing comfort and safety in a committed relationship. Who doesn’t want to be loved and taken care of? Despite all the good things a significant other can do for you, it is still possible for your marriage to melt down when you or your spouse feels totally overwhelmed by your relationship or your issues. When overwhelm sets in, disillusionment, defeat, and dissatisfaction can overshadow your partnership, no matter how dedicated you are as a couple.


Why a Marriage Can Be Overwhelming

People tend to feel overwhelmed when daily life presents too many challenges to manage. For married couples, there are various reasons why a relationship can be overwhelming. For instance, if one spouse is having doubts about the relationship, it can drain a lot of physical and psychological energy. Amidst the uncertainties, they are making an unconscious effort to prepare for the possibility of getting hurt.

Another possible way for a relationship to overwhelm someone is being married to an insecure partner. Living with a person who makes demands, tracks your movements, and controls your life can be generally overwhelming. A third probable reason is being emotionally unprepared to jump into a marriage. Missing out on the crucial preliminary steps of courting and dating can take a toll as soon as the initial excitement of being in love fades.

Unfortunately, many couples lack the instinct and skill to manage the conflicts and problems that may gradually arise in their marriage. A lack of knowledge about how to resolve issues can contribute to a growing sense of frustration, hurt, and unrest over the loss of marital friendship, communication, and intimacy. As the relationship becomes overwhelmed by myriad negative feelings, the couple may come to believe their marriage was a mistake.


Symptoms of a Dangerously Overwhelming Relationship

No marriage is lacking in conflicts and complaints. Most couples initially react by trying to resolve matters based on each spouse’s values and beliefs. Some couples, however, find marital concerns stressful and respond with contempt, defensive behavior, and defeating habits. Others end up with an exhausting feeling of relationship overwhelm.

Overwhelm may manifest at any point in marriage when one or both spouses cannot manage a variety of significant domestic issues, such as financial difficulties, in-law conflict, parenting style, or work stress. Another related factor that may bring on overwhelming feelings is major life transitions, such as the birth and growth of children.

A relationship is said to be overwhelmed when one or both spouses move or think with total disregard for each other’s feelings. Overpowering negative emotions, such as profound sadness that may lead to severe depression, chronic fear, guilt, or persistent anxiety, make it hard for an overwhelmed person to distinguish between thoughts, beliefs, and reality.

Anger may surface in an overwhelmed spouse who suffers abusive treatment or infidelity from a partner. The feelings of irritability, melancholy, or anxiety may become so intense that the person crosses into panic and disproportionate stress over seemingly petty matters. Couples may lose confidence and hope that what was once a strong bond can be restored. It is not impossible for intense fatigue, physical illness, or thoughts of self-harm to result as a consequence of the intense emotions.

The erratic behavioral pattern of an overwhelmed spouse contributes to their inability to complete tasks and avoidance of accustomed daily routines, which can put the patience of the other to the test. The more the partners engage in unpleasant interaction, the more their marital satisfaction declines. The relationship can get stretched to its breaking point. A happy married life may seem impossible when the overwhelmed spouse feels unworthy to be loved or lacks the competence to maintain a long-term relationship.


Getting Treatment for Overwhelm to Heal Yourself and Your Relationship

It is normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed when you are married and have a family. After all, there is your significant other, children, and maybe an extended family to think about and care for. The overwhelming feelings, however, do not have to cause breakdown, burnout, and marital tension. Just because your marriage overwhelms you does not mean it has to end.

If you have become disenchanted with your marriage and are seeing the warning signs of a marital meltdown, therapy is a golden option to help you hold on to the hopes, dreams, and promises that you and your spouse created together. Although there are ways to feel less overwhelmed by your relationship, it takes more than vigilance to nourish your relationship into a healthy state. Early intervention can be more beneficial and effective than damage control.

If you are willing to make some changes, seeing a counselor is a sensible first step toward regaining the marital bliss taken away by your overwhelming feelings. Find solace in the care of a nonjudgmental, licensed counselor who specializes in helping people recover their healthy mindset, an essential element for molding strong relationships. The right-fit therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pittsboro, NC, can assist you if you or your spouse has uncontrollable overwhelming feelings that flood your relationship. Set up your first appointment by calling CCS — Pittsboro, NC, anytime.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Chatham, Alamance, Durham, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Randolph, Wake, NC
Areas: Pittsboro NC, Gulf NC, Hickory Mountain NC, Hadley NC, Siler City NC, Wilsonville NC, Fearrington NC, Mandale NC, Bear Creek NC, Albright NC
Zip Codes: 27312, 27344, 27207, 27228, 27256, 27559


Gail Gustafson, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 9+) Adolescents and Adults, Individuals, Couples and Families. PTSD/Trauma, EMDR, Adoption, Drug/Alcohol/Substance Abuse addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, Life Transitions, Grief and Loss, Parenting, Family, couples and marriage counseling.
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare/ Tricare Prime Tricare Select/Extra/Retired, Medicare and Cash (Credit Cards Accepted, HSA and FSA )
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Counseling Information

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Carolina Counseling Services - Pittsboro, NC
68 Fayetteville St.
Pittsboro, NC 27312