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.