Money is the main cause of worry in relationships in Northern Ireland, a recent survey has revealed.
The report entitled - The Way We Are Now 2015 - compiled by the charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care, The Way We Are Now 2015, states that fears over finances were cited by 57 per cent of those surveyed.
The study suggests that money worries are a critical issue in relationships, particularly for those with children: UK-wide figures show that those with children are far more likely to say money worries as one of the biggest strains on their relationships (61%) compared to those without (47%). This is backed up by Relate NI’s work, with family finances frequently discussed in the counselling rooms.
The national statistics also paint a picture of families with young children feeling the squeeze. One in three parents of under-fives (32%) said childcare and bringing up children was one of the top three strains on relationships. In addition, 37% of those who were in full- or part-time employment agreed that work interferes with home life, personal life and caring responsibilities, compared to 27% of workers without children.
Dave Murphy, Chief Executive at Relate NI, said: “This study provides a unique insight into the state of the nation’s relationships. It shows that, despite the improving economic climate, money worries still loom large for many – particularly those with children.
“Relationships are the lifeblood of a thriving society, meaning that supporting strong relationships should be everybody’s business. That is why we are calling for the Government to robustly implement its ‘Family Test’, forcing policy makers to think about the impact of new policies on families like those who took part in our study. We also suggest that anyone worried about the impact of financial pressures on their relationships opens up about what’s happening and gets some support if needed.”
Relationships are the lifeblood of a thriving society, meaning that supporting strong relationships should be everybody’s business.
The study also found that:
· More than 1 in 10 (12%)*** people living in Northern Ireland said they have no close friends.
· Just 35%*** of people living in Northern Ireland said that sex life and physical attraction are among the three most important factors in a relationship.
· People living in Northern Ireland said that sharing problems was one of the most important factors in showing commitment in a relationship with more than half (52%)*** selecting this from a list of options.
· Nearly 1 in 5 people living in Northern Ireland (23%) said they have experienced the breakdown of their parents’ relationship.