Relationships During Covid-19 Lockdown

Relate, the charity which is the largest provider of counselling and support in the UK, has published a report into the effects on relationships of the current lockdown measures. In the report the CEO of Relate, Aidan Jones, warns of a “post-lockdown relationship reckoning”, as tensions between couples or family members which have been hidden during the lockdown period erupt and come to the surface once restrictions are relaxed.

The report, based on a survey of 2,021 UK adults conducted by Relate, claims that

  • more than one person in eight (12%) of those who currently live with a partner has felt doubts about their relationship after living so close to their partner during the lockdown
  • this figure rises to one person in five (21%) for 25-34 year olds
  • nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents with a partner admit that the lockdown is putting pressure on their relationship, and that they are having more arguments
  • 22% of men and 31% of women say they are currently finding their partner “irritating”. Hits have increased by over a third on the Relate website article: Everything my partner does irritates me. 
  • just under a quarter (24%) of parents with children at home concede that their children’s behaviour has become an issue during the lockdown period
  • money issues were said to be one of the biggest causes of disagreements by 26% of respondents
  • Relate is urging people to ask for telephone or webcam counselling as soon as problems emerge, rather than waiting until lockdown restrictions ease, as they expect a surge in enquiries as the Covid-19 outbreak eases

Aiden Jones added: “We always see a peak in people seeking relationship counselling after Christmas, when spending unusually long together brings issues to the surface. Add to that the current extended period of isolation, worries about job security, finances, how to juggle work with childcare and uncertainty about the future – and it’s clear why we’re expecting a post-lockdown relationship reckoning.”

According to the Relate report, currently the most visited page on the charity’s website is their relationship compatibility test: Are you and your partner compatible? 

However, all is not doom and gloom. The Relate survey found that 65% of respondents with a partner felt supported by them. In addition, 43% of those currently living with their partner claimed that being together at home for this extended period has actually brought them closer together.

It can be stressful and complicated when relationships break down. Bretherton Law’s experienced Family and Child Law Solicitors have been helping people with changes in their circumstances for over 50 years. We are members of Resolution and Accredited in Family Law by the Law Society. For honest, sympathetic advice call Atifha Aftab on 01727 869293, or make an appointment via the contact form below.


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