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Lockdown pushes more couples to breaking point over partners’ irritating habits

With the UK having been in and out of lockdown for the last 12 months we surveyed 2,005 British couples to find out if their partners irritating habits have really pushed them to breaking point.

25 February 2021

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With time apart being just as important as time together for a relationship to work, is lockdown causing trouble in your relationship? We surveyed 2,005 British couples and learnt that millennials and generation-z seem to be finding it much harder to get along than their parent’s generation.

A third of people under 44 were considering splitting due to a spouse’s irritating habits during lockdown, whilst only 10% of people aged over 45 said they’d thought about breaking up.

What is the most annoying habit?

Top of the list of bad habits is snoring, with nearly a fifth of people saying it was a real problem in their relationship. Followed by not cleaning up after themselves, nagging, leaving lights on and leaving dishes in the sink.

Whilst older couples have spent more time getting used to each other’s habits, for newer couples it may be more of a shock to the system and habits such as leaving dirty clothes on the floor and not doing chores seem to be causing friction.

Georgina Chase, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said: “During lockdown, couples are spending more time together than they ever have. That’s definitely causing a bit of cabin fever – little annoyances are becoming relationship breaking. When a relationship fails, it’s rarely a big reason, it tends to be a build-up or combination of lots of little bugbears.”

Is working from home adding extra pressure?

We are typically spending an extra two hours a day with our significant others during lockdown, potentially even more if couples are both working from home too. Loud zoom or phone calls, or too many calls were among the most common source of conflict, with nearly half of couples arguing more often than normal.

Georgina added: “Lockdown has put enormous stress on relationships – if they were going to fail at some point, you probably know by now. Working from home has complicated relationships too – blurring the lines between the office and home.

“People are surprised to find out that it’s not a major event – finding out a partner’s been unfaithful, for example – that ruins relationships, it tends to be a straw that breaks the camel’s back. But these are unprecedented times and we are urging people not to act too rashly in case they feel differently when this ends.”

Get in touch

If you are having problems with your partner or your spouse and you feel like your relationship has broken down, we understand that this can be an emotionally challenging experience, especially in lockdown.

At Slater and Gordon, our experienced family lawyers are here to support you and give you the advice you need so that you don’t feel alone during this time. Meetings can take place confidentially by telephone or video call so call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us today if you need assistance.

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