Around 16 per cent of Britons feel financial problems have had a negative impact on their relationship, according to a new study.
One in five people surveyed by insurer AXA said they felt so stressed about money that they were unable to properly care for their children and one in 25 claimed they had started drinking because of the strain.
Steve Folkard, of AXA, told the Press Association: "Tackling money worries is not just a case of balancing the books. Falling into financial difficulty can affect your relationships, your emotional state and your professional life too.
"The point is that most of us sweep our concerns under the carpet because for the past few years borrowing has been so cheap that we have been able to afford a buy-now-pay-later lifestyle."
Total UK personal debt at the end of October 2007 stood at £1,391 billion according to Credit Action.