Lovers hurting in time of rising prices – survey

Six in 10 people surveyed say the cost-of-living crisis has ‘negatively impacted’ upon their romantic relationship, according to Stowe Family Law.

03 January 2023

The cost-of-living crisis is damaging romantic relationships, a survey by a law firm suggests.

Six in 10 people surveyed said the crisis had “negatively impacted” upon their romantic relationship, according to Stowe Family Law.

But more than 30% were staying in their current relationships because they feared “not being able to afford living alone”, the firm said.

A Stowe spokeswoman said 500 people across the UK, between the ages of 25 and 74, had recently been surveyed.

She said that nearly 90% had been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, with 60% saying it had “negatively impacted their romantic relationship”.

“Our survey showed that nearly 60% of people fear the cost-of-living crisis may lead to the breakdown of their relationship,” said lawyer Niamh McCarthy, a partner at Stowe.

“One of the main concerns was disagreeing on where to prioritise spending.”

But Ms McCarthy said many people were deciding not to go ahead with a divorce in the “current climate”.

“Divorce inquiries are rising, with November 2022 our highest month on record for inquiries at Stowe, up 50% on 2021, and a staggering increase of 192% compared to pre-pandemic and cost-of-living crisis times – 2019,” she added.

“However, many couples are deciding not to go ahead with a divorce in the current climate.

“Over the past few months, I have spoken to many people asking about divorce, but who have been putting it off due to financial worries – most notably concerns about not being able to afford to live alone.”

Kate Daly, co-founder of online divorce services provider amicable, added: “This year, we expect to see the impact of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis combining to take a toll on relationships and sadly we are likely to see more relationships breaking down because of this truly grim double whammy.

“We know that financial difficulty can be one of the biggest pressures on a relationship.

“When couples have different attitudes to money, spending and getting into debt, that can increase the frequency of arguments, or it can lead to self-destructive behaviours such as drinking and gambling.

“We also know that debt can be a risk factor for depression too, making it harder to keep the lines of communication open – one of the most frequently cited reasons for relationship breakdown.”

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