Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The 10 most common causes of relationship strain revealed


After a heated argument with a partner, it can often feel like you're the only person in the world with relationship problems.

But a newly released survey by the Office for National Statistics sheds light on the most common causes of strains on relationships in the UK, and the results may bring you some comfort.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents blamed money worries for conflict with their partners and just under a half (40%) said long working hours and a lack of work-life balance was a major cause.

Extra-marital affairs was the third biggest problem that placed a strain couples, followed by 'not understanding each other' and 'family rows'. 

Respondents were asked to identify three out of 17 problems that they thought caused the most strain on their relationship. They were then asked to rank these problems in order of the most to least severe.


The study also looked at the impact relationships have on personal well-being and happiness.

It found that a third (32%) of people who are married or in a civil partnership rated their life satisfaction as 9 out of 10, or 10 out of 10, compared with 26% who were cohabiting, 21% who were single and 18% of people who were divorced or separated.



The relationship habits that kill romance and jeopardise love


Women's top regrets include having an affair and not trying at school


Five words and phrases that trigger conflict in a relationship


The two question test that determines if your relationship will last


How to fall in love with anyone in 36 questions


Five simple ways to stress less and have more fun in your life



“How beauty rituals help me manage my depression”

One writer found comfort in an unexpected place

21 Oct 2016

Stress is genuinely good for you, experts reveal

Forget everything you thought you knew about stress…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Must-watch Christmas TV: tune in for Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

Just in time for Christmas

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Oct 2016

Bake Off fans, the BBC has already found a replacement show for GBBO

And it's set to hit our televisions very soon...

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Costa’s fancy new menu includes avocado toast and Prosecco

You may want to dress up for the world’s poshest Costa…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Real-life victims of revenge porn share their stories

“Within a week, everyone had seen them… I tried to kill myself shortly after”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

People diagnosed with a terminal illness share powerful life lessons

“You only get one life – and we need to live it”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

This gin is officially the best in Europe – and it's from the UK

Gin drinkers, take note…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Amazing tasting menus from top UK restaurants for under £50

Total steals from Michelin-starred spots

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

9 hilarious tips for making it in a male-dominated workplace

"Never say anything that sounds like a question, even questions."

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016