Money worries pinpointed as major cause of marriage friction
ANXIETY, stress and verbal abuse caused problems in eight out of ten marriages last year, figures show.
More than 50,000 hours of counselling were given to 6,500 couples by Accord, the Catholic marriage care service.
Six out of ten had money worries, while a quarter raised concerns about infidelity, 59% suffered emotional abuse and 13% were the victims of violence in the home.
Elsewhere 7,000 couples took their marriage preparation course with Accord in 2012.
Bishop Christopher Jones, president of the service, urged anyone with marriage or family difficulties to seek support.
"While an increase in demand for marriage preparation courses is a positive development, Accord figures also indicate an increase in 2012 in demand for our marriage counselling service and, sadly, this tells another story," he said.
"Difficult economic times have put pressure on people and in turn on their marriage and on their family relationships.
"My key message today is for those who are experiencing difficulty in their marriage and family, Accord exists to assist you to address, at every stage, these fundamental and vital human relationships."
Almost 800 professionally trained volunteers counsel couples across Ireland.
Anxiety and stress were cited by 82% who needed help, while 82% reported not listening/ignoring one another as a problem and 78% of individuals said they were criticised and insulted.
Bishop Jones launched the figures as he blessed an engaged couple - Holly Asaa from Maynooth and John Delaney from Borris-In-Ossory - at a relic of Saint Valentine in the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin.
The pair will be married in Ladychapel Church, Maynooth, in August.
Bishop Jones said Ireland has a strong tradition of marriage and family.
"Each year large numbers of couples choose to get married and of these a significant majority choose the sacrament of marriage, to get married in the Church," he added.
"We need to encourage and offer them every possible support.
"One of the ways in which we can promote marriage and the family is to highlight the happiness and joy which come from being faithful to a marriage and to family life while, at the same time, we must be ever aware to acknowledge with compassion and support those couples experiencing difficulty.
"In this way we can start the process of helping them in overcoming their difficulties."