Money disagreements affect 70% of couples

15 September 2015
It makes the world go around but it causes a lot of angst:  research has shown that seven out of 10 couples report that money causes tension in their relationships.

A recent survey of more than2,000 people by Relationships Australia has found that just under 85 percent of people believe that financial problems are likely to push couples apart, with 70 percent of couples reporting that money causes money stress. And it?s an ongoing issue, with regular Relationships Australia surveys conducted over the past 15 years showing similar results.

“Previous research in the field has shown that disagreement over finances is a stronger predictor of ongoing conflict and potential divorce than other commonly cited causes of marital disagreements,” Alison Brook, National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia said. “Unresolved financial issues can lead to blame, anger, stress and intimacy problems in relationships.”

The ongoing high incidence of finance stress comes despite Australia?s 25 years of economic expansion and despite the significant financial literacy education resources and financial counselling resources available.

“Of survey respondents who indicated that they thought financial problems were more likely to keep couples together, 43% indicated that this was because couples worked together to sort things out, while 39% thought it was because couples couldn?t afford to break up,” Ms Brook said.

“The fact is that couples counselling can support people to develop better communication and conflict resolution skills, which may support the delicate negotiations around finances. Couples counselling can also facilitate discussion around the difficult issues of unemployment, mental health, addiction and relationship issues that may lead to money problems.”

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