Relate North East and Yorkshire warns of “post-lockdown relationship reckoning”

Relate, the leading relationships charity, has provided an insight into how relationships in the North and the rest of the UK are holding up while staying at home.

By Louise Perrin
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 8:55 am
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 8:57 am
Unhappy Couple
Unhappy Couple

Evidence of growing unease has led Relate North East and Yorkshire to warn of a “post-lockdown relationship reckoning”, where individuals, couples and families who are currently brushing issues under the carpet see tensions boil over as government restrictions are eased.

More than one in 10 people surveyed in the North currently living with their partner is having lockdown relationship doubts

Relate anticipates post-lockdown peak in enquiries but urges people to consider webcam or telephone counselling before crisis hits.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

In new research commissioned by Relate, almost a quarter (24%) of people surveyed living in the North who are in a relationship said the current circumstances are placing pressure on their relationship with their partner right now.

More than one in ten (12%) of those surveyed in the North region who currently live with their partner went as far as agreeing that staying at home is making them doubt their relationship.

The poll of 2,021 UK adults also found that more than one in five respondents in relationships in the North (22%) have had more arguments with their partner since lockdown. This is similar to the UK average, of 23%.

Finances were likely to have played a big part here, as 24% said money worries were placing more pressure on their relationship than usual. Irritation is also a big issue for couples: almost a quarter (24%) of respondents in a relationship and living in the North said they were finding their partner irritating right now.

Surveyed parents who are currently living with their children are under particular pressure with 33% in the North saying they are finding it hard to create structure for their kids and keep to a routine. This was similar to the UK average of 34%. To add to this, just over a quarter (26%) say their children’s behaviour had become an issue since staying at home.

But it’s also important to note that the majority of respondents living in the North who have a partner (63%) said they feel supported by their partner and 45% of respondents in the North region who currently live with their partner actually said their experience of staying at home has brought them closer.

Interestingly, just over one in six (17%) of respondents living in the North who have a partner are having more sex than usual, the same percentage as across the UK as a whole.

Aidan Jones, CEO Relate said:

“We always see a peak in people seeking relationship support 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 relationship reckoning once lockdown begins to lift.

“These findings reflect what our counsellors are seeing. People coming to us for support are saying that the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions are magnifying existing issues.

“Everyone’s trying their best to get through whilst stuck under one roof but that door won’t stay closed forever, which is why we’re urging anyone experiencing issues to get in touch with Relate North East now rather than letting things fester until things get irreparably bad.

“Relate North East and Yorkshire has made an immense effort to increase the availability of our skilled counsellors to support your relationships during this very difficult time.

“We’re proud to be here for you, offering high quality, effective webcam counselling, phone counselling and Live Chat.

“We have availability right now to help you find ways to handle the huge impact of this situation on yourself, your family and the health of your relationships – all from your own sofa.

“You can also visit our dedicated COVID-19 area online for lots of information and support.

“Whilst we ask for payment for many of Relate’s services, we’re also continuing to work with national and local government and other organisations to ensure that some people in some situations and professions can access free or subsidised counselling – contact Relate North East and Yorkshire by directly call 01325 461500 or email [email protected] to find out more.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you