Free relationship advice for couples facing a cash-strapped Christmas

01 December 2011

An increase in divorce rates in England and Wales suggests financial pressure is impacting relationship stability as the economic crisis continues to bite. And with money worries at the forefront of most minds, marriage counselling is no longer considered an affordable solution by couples faced with a further financial squeeze in the run up to Christmas.

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TheCoupleConnection.net, a FREE online relationship support service developed by OnePlusOne, the UK’s leading relationship research charity, recognises that the extra pressures put on families at Christmas can lead to stress, arguments, and ultimately relationship breakdown.

In 2010 the divorce rate in England and Wales increased by 5.7 per cent to 11.1 per thousand married population, compared with 10.5 in 2009. Social research in the UK suggests that the economic crisis could be in part responsible, with financial strain, changes in employment and related lifestyle changes all contributing to family instability.

Acknowledging the barriers people feel when accessing relationship support, both financial and emotional, OnePlusOne developed a do-it-yourself approach to improving relationships and launched theCoupleConnection.net – an innovative web service which has attracted over 700,000 users since August 2008.

The service offers practical advice on relationship issues relating to money worries, including help with budget planning, strategies for arguing better, and tips for minimising the impact of financial pressures on children.

But it’s not just money that brings about arguments at Christmas. Justine Devenney, Head of Policy at OnePlusOne, says:

“Christmas time often brings unrealistic expectations and every January with the New Year and return to work we see a significant number of couples, for whom it has been too much, consider divorce.

“TheCoupleConnection.net has every Christmas crisis covered, offering tips for fraught couples on common relationship issues from money worries to dealing with the in-laws.”

Tips for couples hoping for peace and goodwill come December 25.

  • If in-laws are getting too much, arrange for some time out during their visit. Ask them to take the children out for a walk or a trip to the pantomime to take the pressure off you and your partner for a while.
  • Agree on how much to spend and show a united front to your children if you can’t give them everything they’ve asked for. Running into debt over Christmas will only lead to more worry and arguments.
  • Don’t feel pressure to spend more than you can afford on your other half. The best present is rarely the biggest or most expensive, it’s the really thoughtful gift that shows our partner knows us intimately.

Follow us on Twitter @Couplerelations

TheCoupleConnection.net  is funded by the Department for Education under the Family Support Services contract.

For further information contact:
Martiena van der Meer, media officer

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