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One in five UK couples ‘argue regularly’

Nearly one out of every five couples in the UK have serious arguments regularly, a charity has claimed.

Relationship advice group Relate collected data from a survey of 20,980 people between 2013 and 2015 who were all in romantic relationships.

As many as one in ten participants said they occasionally regretted either getting married or moving in with their partner, and nine per cent said they sometimes considered divorce or separation.

Almost half – 49 per cent – admitted that they argued “occasionally”, 18 per cent said they did so regularly and nearly seven percent reported “severe” levels of disagreements in their relationships. Relate classed the couples who argued regularly as “distressed” and believed that as many as 2.87 million people across the country could be in such relationships.

Parents of children under 16 years old were slightly more likely to be in a distressed relationship than the general population, the charity claimed. Of those surveyed, 22 per cent were in such relationships. The advice group’s report also suggested that having a child for the first time was “one of life’s events most likely to reduce relationship quality”.

Dr David Marjoribanks of Relate expressed concern that distressed relationships could have a negative effect on the children involved. He said that “the conflict in intact relationships that can be just as damaging [to children] as when relationships end”.

Children who grow up with parents who bitterly argue were “much more likely to have mental and physical health problems”, to struggle in school and could even turn to “antisocial behaviour and criminality”, he claimed.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Stitchedup says:

    So only 1 in 5 couples argue regularly yet 30% of woman are victims of domestic abuse… Hmmmmmm… So of the 1 in 5 of couples that argue regularly, what percentage are just having a normal domestic disagreement?? For those that are not having a normal domestic disagreement, what percentage are engaging in mutual abuse??? What percentage of the remainder are women engaging in domestic abuse??? We started with 1 in 5 couples arguing regularly, I.e 20%.. How do we then get to 30% of women are victims of domestic abuse??? Is it all a load of bollocks???
    As for the no shit Sherlock revelation that kids don’t tend to like hearing their parents argue , I say no shit Sherlock.. But in the real world parents will argue particularly when finances are tight etc etc… We do not live in some sort of utopia… Get real… For most kids its upsetting at the time but is quickly forgotten once the parents have made up. My father always said never go to be on an argument, …. simple advice but it takes two to make it happen.

  2. Vincent McGovern says:

    My my my, research has shown that couples argue. And there was me believing that nobody ever argued. What next, research that shows some people go to the toilet more often than others. How about some research showing how many people argue with themselves! That would be really interesting. 100 percent of people are dissatisfied with themselves on occasions. No doubt the DV lobby would blame men there as well.

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