Money is the top strain on relationships

16 June 2020

New Relate research has revealed the top strains on a relationship.

Money worries come top of the list. More than a quarter of UK adults say finances are placing a strain on their relationships.

Next on the list is not understanding each other, low libido/ differing sex drives, then lack of work life balance and different interests. 

More than 5,000 were surveyed about their relationships as part of our It Takes Two: The quality of the UK’s adult couple relationships report.

Diane Whitmore, our clinical supervisor, says: “The report highlights that, despite the promise of economic recovery, money worries are still placing a significant strain on our relationships. Research has shown that arguments about money tend to cause the most conflict in relationships and it’s something that comes up a lot in counselling sessions at Relate Bedfordshire and Luton.

“Talking about money with your partner can bring up some strong emotions, but there are ways of approaching it which will reduce the likelihood of a full-blown row.”

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton’s tips for avoiding falling out about money

  • Talk to your partner about your attitudes towards money and what you think has influenced them. Perhaps your partner’s parents were really careful with money when they were growing up. You’re less likely to get angry with your partner about their spending habits if you understand where they come from.
  • If one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, recognise that this may be a source of tension but that it doesn’t mean the relationship will fail. It’s all about how you navigate your differences.
  • If you’re entering a new relationship, try to talk about money from the beginning. If you’re used to discussing who’ll pick up the restaurant bill and what your budget is for your first holiday together, topics like joint bank accounts and saving for a house deposit will feel less daunting to broach further down the line.
  • Discuss your financial priorities and be prepared for the fact that they may differ. Only by knowing what each other’s goals are will you be able to reach any kind of agreement or compromise.
  • Think very carefully about whether you want a joint bank account. Whilst joint accounts can make sense for paying household bills, they’re a big commitment. Consider both keeping some money aside each month that you’re free to spend as you wish. That way you won’t feel like you have to justify to your partner that new pair of shoes or night out.
  • Put together a plan outlining how you’ll manage money together and work out a monthly budget. This can be particularly useful if your finances are under real pressure as it will help you to feel in control again and that you’re tackling the problem as a team.
  • Check in regularly with your partner about finances. A lot of people hate talking about money but it’s really important, especially if you cohabit or have children together.
  • Remember that money is one of the things that couples argue about the most. A few disagreements are normal, but if you’re arguing more often than not, it’s worth seeking relationship support.

Struggling to cope? Relate Bedfordshire and Luton provides impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, at all stages of couple, family and social relationships. Why not call our friendly appointments team on 01234 356350.



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