The Way We Are Now
Money worries are a top strain on relationships for people in Northern Ireland
New study reveals detailed picture of UK’s relationships
An annual study of more than 6,000 people in the UK has lifted the lid on some of the most personal areas of our lives*, finding that for those living in Northern Ireland, money worries are a top strain on relationships for 57% of people.**
Published today by charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care, The Way We Are Now 2015 is one of the largest studies of its kind. It provides a window into the nation’s relationships – from couple and family life to sex, friendships and how we feel about our colleagues and bosses.
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 cite 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.”
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.
To see the full report about the study including infographics on each topic and methodology visit www.relate.org.uk/waywearenow.
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from The Way We Are Now 2015 – an annual study of the relationships of over 6000 people across the UK, of which 418 were living in Northern Ireland by Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care. The study was carried out by YouGov. Responses were gathered between 27th March and 7th April 2015. All figures are based on Relate analysis of data provided by YouGov Plc.
**Respondents were asked to rank the top three strains out of a list of seventeen possible options.
*** For details of the methodology used, please see the full report.