The ongoing cost of living crisis has not only taken its toll on our energy and grocery bills, but our relationships too, according to a new study.
New data has found that nearly half of British couples feel ‘trapped’ in their relationship due to the high costs of living, with a further 34% saying that money strains have led to increased tensions and arguments with their partner.
The study, of 500 therapists by Counselling Directory, found that 49% of therapists had noticed an increase in client conversations around money and finances.
Nearly a quarter 22% of the therapists questioned said that their clients were reporting relationship problems due to money over the last six months, with 43% of clients saying they felt ‘trapped’ in their relationships.
A further third of the therapists who reported an increase in financial conversations with their clients said that the power dynamic around who was the higher household earner was one of the main relationship issues.
“As a therapist, I often meet couples who are navigating increased tensions within their relationship due to financial stress. This can be challenging for both parties, however, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in facing these difficulties,” Counselling Directory member, Rosalind Miles, says.
How to work through financial strain in a relationship
Miles has revealed her top tips for helping couples work through financial strain, below.
1. Keep communication open
“Try to establish and maintain open lines of communication about your financial situation together,” Miles says.
She adds that it’s particularly important to share your concerns with your partner about your finances, along with any ideas you have for addressing these challenges.
2. Have long and short-term goals
Put an evening aside for the two of you and plan out your long and short-term financial goals, Miles recommends.
“This may include creating a budget, saving for specific expenses, or working towards debt reduction,” she adds.
3. Establish shared objectives
“By establishing shared objectives, it can help align your efforts and bring you both together to provide a sense of purpose,” Miles explains.
“Remember that financial challenges are often external to the relationship. Avoid blaming or passing judgement and instead focus on working as a team to find solutions.”
4. Speak to a financial advisor if necessary
Along with speaking to a therapist to help sift through the emotional issues at play, a financial advisor could be your best bet at setting and sticking to a budget.
Miles adds: “They can provide expert guidance on managing your finances and may offer solutions you haven’t considered.”