Money woes put pressure on relationships

Couples are feeling the strain of debt, new figures from a Christian debt counselling charity reveal.

Christians Against Poverty surveyed its clients and found that more than a quarter (26%) said their relationship had ended because of debt.

Three-quarters said debt had affected their relationship with their partner.

CAP says the figures reveal how important it is for couples to get their finances right.

Chief Executive Matt Barlow said: "So many couples we see have struggled with issues of trust relating to their use of money. For some, it's the subject they daren't talk about because it is a constant underlying stress – especially for those on a low income.

"Some arrive in the relationship with hidden debts, some hide problems in the hope they can sort them out without worrying their partner and when these issues come to light the pressure is huge."

CAP provides a free debt counselling service through a network of 218 churches. It helps clients get clear of their debt by setting a manageable budget and negotiating with creditors.

Where a client is in a relationship, the charity works with both sides and says that although it can be a difficult reality check for the other half, it is better in the long-run if they are both fully aware of the situation.

Barlow said: "We have had instances over the years where this devastating moment has actually been the beginning of a new start for people.

"The truth might be horrendous but at least it is out in the open and with CAP people see there is a way forward."

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