New research into the factors that have the biggest impact on couples’ relationships in the UK has found that money worries are the biggest cause of stress and strain.

The survey, by relationships charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care, found that 26% of UK adults say financial worries are placing a strain on their relationships, followed by not understanding each other (20%), low libido/ differing sex drives (19%), lack of work life balance (17%) and different interests (16%).

The report also sheds light on what people look for in a partner. Top of the list and out in front by some distance was trust (67%), followed by communication (52%), commitment (37%), shared values (34%) and personality (28%).

Women were more likely to identify trust (70%) and communication (57%) as important factors than men (trust 62% and communication 48%).

Respondents to the survey were also asked questions about the quality of their couple relationship. It turns out that 16% of partners think about getting divorced/separated or ending their relationship at least occasionally.

While the charities say that arguing constructively can actually be good for your relationship, arguing most of the time can be an indication that there are issues. In this survey, 6% of people said they argue with their partner all or most of the time and 42% argue occasionally.

The research also confirmed that the longer you have been together, the more likely you are to argue. Just 34% of partners who have been together less than five years said that they argue at least occasionally, compared to 55% of those who have been together over 35 years.

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