Money, sex & mother-in-laws: has married life changed in 70 years?

It’s easy to assume that most relationship issues are age-old problems that never change. So what do our relationships and marriages have in common with our grandparents’?

Relate, the relationships counsellor service, turns 70 this year. Predictably, they’ve seen it all over the years – from a wife who used to hide from her husband in the box room to a couple who’d never had sex after years of marriage.

Thankfully, one of the main things that we seem to have got better at is sex. Back in 1948, sexual problems made up a whopping 66% of the reasons why couples rowed. Now, however that figure is down to 20%.

Money concerns have stayed about the same at around 25% – perhaps because many women work these days. However, this has created another problem – the so-called ‘work-life balance’ which now accounts for 38% of rows.

This is closely followed by domestic chores at 26% and ‘the kids’ at 20% – after all, if we’re all working who’s keeping house and looking after the children?

So it seems that while in 2008 we’ve found new things to argue about and we’re less likely to blame the inlaws – when it comes to a row, we still know how to put up a good fight!

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