Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
British couples staying in unhappy relationships for ‘financial security’, says study
Almost a third of British couples admit that ‘financial security’ is the main reason that they are still with their current partner – and those who have left an unhappy relationship claim that they ‘stayed longer than they should have’ for financial reasons.
The comments come following a comprehensive study by trade website Ziffit, which found that 35 per cent of couples felt that they couldn’t cover their day-to-day living costs if they ditched their dissatisfying relationship.
Nearly 50 per cent of the 2,000 people quizzed by Ziffit said that they split unmanageable rent and mortgage costs with their partner in order to get by.
Furthermore, a separate study conducted by Opinium in 2014 found that one in seven divorcees felt that they had stayed in an unhappy marriage ‘for too long’, due to monetary motives and concerns.
Psychotherapist Charlotte Dunsby-Ferguson warns that, although dissatisfied couples who combine living expenses may reap short-term financial benefits, the long-term impact of committing yourself to an unhappy relationship can be far more detrimental.
“On the whole, couples get a better deal when it comes to living costs, but when funds are intermingled it can be much more difficult to leave a relationship.
“This can drive some people into situations which aren’t necessarily healthy or happy.
“Once we become accustomed to a certain standard of living it can be incredibly difficult to move on as humans are designed to avoid stressful or anxiety inducing situations.”
Hilda Burke, psychotherapist and couples councillor, added: “When my clients talk with longing about doing something radically different – taking a sabbatical, going back to university, changing career or indeed leaving their partner – the number one reason they give for holding back is ‘I couldn’t afford to’.”
Ms Burke urged couples to address relationship issues early on as, and put happiness and wellbeing before financial concerns.
“You can’t predict whether or not you’ll fall out of love with someone, but you can plan for the future and, if possible, maintain an element of financial independence,” she said.
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