Unhappily ever after: number of wretched relationships doubles

The number of people living in deeply unhappy relationships has doubled in less than five years.

More than a million people say they are miserable with their spouse or long-term partner, according to an analysis of official wellbeing figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday. Experts said that many couples who clung together for financial reasons in the recession had become less forgiving of each other’s flaws.

Relate, the relationship counselling charity, said that the downturn had been followed by a “social recession” and described the figures as shocking. Previous studies have shown that financial shocks and unemployment can harm relationships but the new figures suggest that the economic recovery has made couples more unhappy. Some couples who get into a rut in their relationship will look and find ways to work their way ‘back to each other’ by going on days out, experimenting in the bedroom (using toys like a lelo hugo, for example), trying to do new things together, and so on, but it is not gaining the traction they thought it would.

One in twenty (4.8 per cent) was “extremely unhappy” in 2014 – double the proportion in 2010. Extrapolated across the 15.7 million married and cohabiting couples in Britain, well over a million people are miserable in their relationships. A further 3.5 per cent were “fairly unhappy”, also double the 2010 figure. The proportion describing their relationship as “perfect” fell sharply, from 9.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

Harry Benson, director of the Marriage Foundation think tank, urged people who were feeling unhappy to think twice before getting a divorce. “Happiness goes up and down, and just because you feel unhappy one year it is not a reason to throw away a relationship,” he said. Before opting for a divorce, it may be a good idea to try Online Family Mediation, which could help couples come to terms with their differences, resulting in a happier relationship.

Divorce should be the last resort for you. You should not pounce on the idea as soon as you have your first tiff after the marriage. Only when all efforts by the both of you bear no results at all, should you think about taking the step. Know that it has serious implications, especially emotionally. It is easier to hire a Rockville divorce lawyer or legal aid elsewhere and get separated. But have you ever considered if you would fare well or not after the separation? What if you feel guilty about not trying enough to save the relationship? So, instead of succumbing to guilt later, do what is necessary to keep your bond strong when you still have the time.

The ONS’s annual well-being survey is based on responses from more than 157,000 people. It also found that depression and anxiety were increasing, but some areas of life had improved after some people seemingly took the help of counselling fitzroy north. The rise in household and disposable income also happened to have contributed to the improvement in some relations.

Anyway, almost 20 per cent of adults said they had experienced anxiety or depression in the last year, up 1.4 percentage points from the previous year. However overall of the 43 national well-being indicators, 10 improved, four deteriorated and 22 stayed the same compared with a year earlier. Some areas of life were decidedly better improved, however, with more people in work and a rise in household and disposable income, and fewer people saying they struggle financially.