Thousands are stuck in unhappy marriages, but won’t walk away for fear of financial or emotional hardship, a report has revealed…

Loveless and regretful

A study of 2 000 married people revealed that one fifth feel trapped and would end their marriage today, if their future financial security was assured.

One in 10 feel they are stuck in a loveless marriage, while, alarmingly, as many as 15 percent wish they had married someone else.

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Sex and stress cause most unhappiness

Men blamed the unhappy state of the marriage on frustrations with their sex life, while women declared they had too little fun and too much worry over money.

The research, commissioned by UK lawyers Slater & Gordon, also revealed that one third of the women studied had at one time considered ending their marriage.

Finances are a womanâ??s biggest worry

Women were most likely to cite a fear of being unable to cope financially as their biggest reason for not separating, while men were most worried about the impact it would have on the family.

“There is still a prevailing attitude in society that you should stay together no matter how unhappy you are,” Amanda McAlister, head of family law at Slater & Gordon, said.

“Obviously divorce should always be the last course of action a couple takes, but the idea of hundreds of couples staying together despite being miserable because they worry about struggling financially is really sad to hear.â?

Fear of being alone 

â??In my work as a family lawyer for the last 15 years, I have seen both men and women who have stayed in relationships that were loveless for years longer than they wanted to, because they felt guilty or scared to be alone.â?

“But the reality is that divorce can be a liberating experience and studies have shown that children are happier if their parents are happy.”

Money and family cause a rift between partners

The study also found that, sadly, one quarter of married people are no longer in love with their partner, and three in 10 have considered ending their marriage or spending time apart.

Arguments about money and rows over other family members were the most likely factors to drive a wedge between couples.

Not having the courage to split from their partner keeps one in 10 married people in a state of inaction, while men were more likely to admit that a fear of being left alone was the motivation for staying put.

It takes just three years for the cracks to show

More than half the people in the study felt their partners took them for granted, with a little less than three years being the average length of time before people felt things starting to slide.

One third of married people genuinely doubt whether their marriage will last forever, and a fifth feel the spark has completely faded.

Only four in 10 say their marriage has turned out as they expected it to, and when asked to score their marriage, 71 percent was the average.

The one that got away

Only 65 percent of married people felt that they married the right person, while a third felt there was someone else that got away or that they wished it had worked out with.

One in four married parents sometimes feel they only stay together for the sake of the children.

A surprising fifth of the 2 000 married people studied said they hadnâ??t always been faithful to their partner. Perhaps that’s why only 55 percent of the study felt marriage was for life.

And finally, 29 percent said they wouldn’t advise young people today to follow in their footsteps and get married.

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