A recently published report by national counselling service Relate has found that many couples are only staying together because they can’t afford to go their separate ways.
The Relationships, Recession and Recovery report also found an increase in the number of cases of domestic violence indicating that the stress of financial pressures is placing a significant strain on some couples and escalating to physical abuse.
Karen Leadbetter, family specialist at Linder Myers Solicitors in Manchester said: “Divorce rates have been at their lowest in recent years and this study suggests that couples are staying together for economic reasons only rather than romance which is very sad. This finding is of no surprise as money, and individuals’ attitude to how this should be spent and on what, is often cited as one of the reasons couples want to separate.
“Successful long term relationships tend to be those where both parties share the same values and attitudes. Love and romance aside, money – or a lack of it – can put a significant strain on a couple’s lifestyle and basic day-to-day needs. External factors such as a recession can expose a number of cracks in what would otherwise appear as a perfectly solid relationship.
“Anxiety relating to job security, alongside disappointment due to scaled back lifestyle aspirations, can test the strongest of relationships.”
According to Relate, one fifth of the counsellors surveyed reported an increase in the number of couples who had decided to separate but remained in the same property due to financial constraints.
Relate’s Sex Census 2012 also found that 25 per cent of adults aged 30 – 39 said that worries over money had a negative impact on their sex lives.