Stress-related arguments are at an all-time high, a study has revealed.
Researchers found the average couple now falls out four times a week, with over-spending, a lack of help around the house and paying bills the most likely triggers.
Six in ten of the 2,000 adults polled said stress ’tips them over the edge’ and sparks fights with loved ones, which wouldn’t happen under normal circumstances.
Feeling worked up is also affecting parents’ relationships with their kids, causing a slump in productivity at work and putting couples’ sex lives on hold.
One in four said stress had lead them to ‘hitting the bottle’ and one in five have ‘become depressed’.
The study was commissioned by leading health and wellbeing mutual Benenden Healthcare Society.
Yesterday Karin Mochan, editor of benhealth magazine, the quarterly title for Benenden, said: ”There’s no doubt that many of us feel the effects of stress in our everyday lives, resulting in a major impact on our personal relationships and work lives.
”Twelve million people go to their GP every year with mental health problems and they’re often stress related. These rising stress levels are partly due to the fast pace of modern life and the demands that our jobs, families and financial responsibilities place on us.
”When we feel unable to cope with these demands, stress can start to show itself in a number of ways.
”Symptoms can be both physical and psychological – and so knowing what to look for can be an important step towards finding a solution.”
The study of 2,000 Brits aged between 18 and 65 quizzed them on their stress levels; what gets them worked up, what it affects and how they deal with it.
The average couple endured two stress-related arguments 12 months ago, but talk of a double-dip recession and the expense of Christmas means tension is building up in millions of British households.
A quarter said they have ‘gone days’ without talking to their partner and more than half said it’s a ‘vicious circle’.
The survey found anxiety isn’t just causing fights amongst loved ones, but is affecting many areas of people’s lives.
One in five have avoided getting passionate with their partner because they have too much on their mind.
Daily pressures has lowered the sex drive of nearly half of Brits and four in ten have point blankly refused to any physical activity with their partner.
The same number have even gone without sex for a fortnight while they got their head straight.
Karin Mochan added: ”We all experience stress in different ways and it can start to have a very real impact on our day-to-day lives.
”Instead of turning to the bottle or withdrawing from your friends and family, it really is a good idea to talk about what’s troubling you. Whether you confide in your partner, a friend or work colleague or the family doctor, the old saying of a problem shared is a problem halved still holds true.
”We need to lose the stigma attached to mental health issues such as stress. It is a lot more common than many of us think and doesn’t need to be hidden behind closed doors.”
3. Not getting enough sleep
4. Your figure
6. Your diet
7. Your kids
8. Lack of sex
9. Your Partner
10. Lack of help around the house
1. Heavy workload
2. The nature of the job
3. Tight deadlines
4. Your boss
5. Your colleagues
6. Work/life balance
7. No appreciation
8. Lack of support
9. Working late
10. Finding out other colleagues are on a higher wage than you