Relate Press Releases
SEP 07 2009 / A quarter of families arguing more because of the recession
A quarter (25%) of families admit to arguing more because of the recession, new figures from Relate, the UK's largest provider of relationship counselling have revealed. These figures are released during the UK National Family Week.
The YouGov survey commissioned by Relate also showed that men are twice as likely as women (nearly one in 10 compared to one in 20) to be concerned that money worries will cause them to break up with their partner. A further one in five (22%) of couples felt they were arguing more because of money worries.
Across the country 66% of Relate Centres have seen an increase in demand for their services as clients feel the impact on the recession.
These figures come within the same month as Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that Relate would receive £1 million over the next two years to fund extra counselling and relationship support for couples and families who may have been affected by the recession.
Claire Tyler, Chief Executive, Relate said: "These figures confirm what we have been seeing in our centres that financial worries can have a big impact on family life. Families need to know that talking can help, in fact talking sooner rather than when things get to a crisis point can save families a lot of heartache. Relate is helping many couples and families who are finding that money worries are the final straw."
Roopa Farooki, Novelist and Relate Ambassador for Family Counselling said: "Couples and families, my own included, have been forced to adapt quickly to the economic crisis; living on a reduced income is a reality for many, and can be a cause of conflict, we feel pressure to provide and guilt if we cannot. Change is stressful for both parents and children, and one of the first ways to manage this is for families to talk openly about their concerns. Relate provides a valuable service in helping this to happen."
One counsellor from Relate described:
- Already seeing a couple, when the highly qualified woman in the relationship was made redundant. After having a high-powered job the lady now finds she can't even get interviews. She never expected she would be unemployed and unable to find work, she simply thought it would never happen to her. She used to feel like an equal partner in her relationship and she now feels very uncertain about everything and is becoming very needy. This has dramatically changed the dynamics of the couples relationship and has even affected their sex life.
- A family already in counselling have seen the main breadwinner lose his job. Lack of money is causing more family rows. The parents feel guilty they can't provide things that the children have always seen as normal, including - 'top-up for mobile phones, being able to go on school trips, etc'. The children haven't seen these things as luxuries before - and find it unnerving that things they considered normal part of life are being taken away.
Relate Relationship Counsellor, Denise Knowles, advises people who are concerned to:
- Remember there are things you can do straight away if you are experiencing money problems - talk about the reality of the situation. Acknowledge that your relationship is being squeezed by outside pressures and discuss how you can manage this as a couple. For example, you may need to make some life style choices and if your children are old enough explain the situation to them so they can understand. Also seek independent financial advice.
- Recognise that as a family and a couple you can have fun together without spending money doing things such as going for walks, or having special nights in - where you get dressed up as if you are going out but just stay-in and have simple meal together.
- Now is a really good time to build-up your 'emotional bank balance' by spending more time together. Perhaps instead of putting on the telly, play a board game together, or put some music on and chat. Think about thoughtful gestures - such as running a bath for your partner. These little things can help you feel closer.
- Also be really open with each other, this isn't the time to have financial secrets. Be honest so you can share the problems and talk them through.
Relate is the UK's largest provider of relationship counselling and sex therapy and offers a range of other relationship support services. The charity saw 150,000 clients last year throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland at over 600 locations as well as by phone and online. Visit www.relate.org.uk or call 0300 100 1234 to find out more.
For further press information contact Mel Merritt Press Officer Relate 020 7554 2892 /07971 869735 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,119 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 18th May 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
- Relate is supporting the UK's first ever National Family Week. Taking place between the 25th - 31st May, the week will celebrate family life and promote a more family-friendly culture in the UK. Thousands of events and activities will be running across the UK provide fun and exciting ways for families to spend time together, one activity will be the Family Week Picnic, to find out more visit www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk
- Roopa Farooki is the critically acclaimed novelist of Bitter Sweets and Corner Shop. She has recently come on board as Relate's new Ambassador for Family Counselling. Her and her husband used Relate Services to help with their relationship.
- Government figures estimate the direct cost to the public purse of relationship breakdown as being an estimated £5 billion, including housing costs, benefits and unemployment. Indirect costs, when taking into account poorer outcomes in areas such as children and adult health, have been estimated at £24 billion.
- Recent Government research highlighted that parents who both work are less likely to break-up and there is a higher risk of couples splitting up when they are hit by economic shocks such as unemployment.
- The same research also showed that every family experiences a drop in income when parents break up , which in turn has a negative impact on the economy and its ability to come out of the recession, as well as making it harder for the Government to hit its targets on reducing child poverty.
- Single and divorced mothers are particularly likely to live in poverty following the breakdown of a relationship.
- Relate is working to promote health, respect and justice in couple and family relationships
- Relate's services extend beyond couple counselling to family counselling, counselling for young people, online counselling, sex therapy and relationship skills workshops
- Relate works in schools, primary care settings, prisons, and with local authorities on homelessness prevention services
- Relate supports 150,000 people each year in over 600 locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Relate has a work-force of 2,000 people nationwide
Relate's free service for parents can be accessed at: www.relateforparents.org.uk or by texting: 60616
Contact: Mel Merritt
Telephone: 020 7554 2892