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Introduction

In the month of August, Relationships Australia’s monthly online survey focussed on the impact of finances on relationships.  The questions for August’s survey were sourced from Relationships Australia’s 2011 Relationship Indicator’s survey, a study which was conducted at regular intervals over a ten year period to 2011 (Woolcott, 2011).

Evidence suggests that there is a complex relationship between family finances and relationships.  For example, in the Relationship Indicators survey key external influences identified by participants as contributing to relationship problems were financial stress and work pressures, with a third of all partnered respondents citing financial stress as a key negative external influence on their couple relationship.  Money and disagreements about money are also a major cause of divorce.

Unresolved financial issues can lead to blame, anger, stress and intimacy problems in relationships.  On the other hand, unemployment, mental health, addiction and relationship issues can lead to money problems.  While employment can help with financial problems, the Relationships Indicator’s survey also identifies that factors associated with work can negatively impact on relationships, including time and workplace pressure and stress.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites