Relate now urge policy makers to heed this disquieting evidence and take action to support good quality relationships and how they can be strengthened.
Good quality, couple, family and social relationships are the basis of a thriving society – they are central to our health and wellbeing, and poor quality relationships have far-reaching consequences. Inter-parental relationships have also been recognised in research as well as government policy as a major determinant of children’s life chances.
However, Relate’s analysis estimates that almost one-in-five (18%) people (2.87 million people) in adult couple relationships in the UK are in relationships which could be characterised as ‘distressed’. (A ‘distressed’ relationship is one with a severe level of relationship problems, which has a clinically significant negative impact on partner’s wellbeing. Those in ‘distressed’ relationships report regularly considering separation/divorce, quarrelling, regretting being in their relationship, being unhappy in their relationship, for example. Research shows clear links between relationship distress and depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure and heightened risk of heart attacks. Relationships are characterised as ‘distressed’ using a brief version of a scientifically validated scale for measuring relationship quality.)
- Relationship quality
- Relationship transitions
- Separated/ separating parents