A recent study carried out by charity Relate indicates that almost one in five couples in the UK, both married and non-married argue regularly. That equates to nearly 20% of all relationships being in conflict.
Drilling further into the evidence which is based on a survey of 20,980 people in relationships, Relate has found that:
- One in ten partners reported at least occasionally regretting getting married or living together;
- 49% of partners reported at least occasionally quarrelling, with 6.8% reporting severe levels; and
- Parents of children under the age of 16 were slightly more likely to be in distressed relationships.
Relate describes itself as ‘the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, helping over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships.’ In light of the above statistics, the importance of their work is overwhelmingly valuable (www.relate.org.uk).
Relate’s services include relationship counselling, for individuals, couples and families. There is a network of centres across the UK and licensed local counsellors can provide face to face counselling and support. In our interactive age, Relate also offers phone, email and live chat counselling.
In short, Relate aims to assist the hundreds and thousands of people in these distressed relationships, with an emphasis being placed on the need to protect children who may be negatively impacted by the conflict. The study goes so far as to say that “the conflict in intact relationships can be just as damaging as when relationships end” (Dr Marjoribanks, Relate).
The hardest step however is the first. It is often difficult to admit that all is not well with your relationship and arguably even harder to admit that you need help. There remains a stigma about the role of counselling in our society and it seems incongruous that such a potentially positive experience should be considered ‘weak’ or a sign of defeat.
Instead, counselling should be seen as an opportunity. An opportunity to address the underlying conflict in your relationship. An opportunity to share your concerns with your partner. An opportunity to discuss compromise. An opportunity to fight for your loved ones. An opportunity to save your relationship.
Relate and hundreds of similar outfits like it are available to speak with you on a confidential basis. Similarly, the Family Team at Trethowans can provide advice and guidance by way of a free half hour initial consultation. This is a good opportunity to discuss your options and we can signpost you to a local counsellor or life coach. And in the sad event that your relationship has irretrievably broken down, we can discuss the next steps, adopting a constructive and non-confrontational approach in all cases.