A decrease in the number of Wagga residents getting divorced is not be a good sign, according to city experts.
Social worker Julianne Whyte said there had been a notable spike in the number of couples and individuals seeking help with relationship breakdowns across recent years.
It comes after statistics from the last census revealed more than 11 per cent of Wagga’s population were either divorced or separated.
While this number had decreased across ten years, Mrs Whyte – Amaranth Foundation chief – said it did not mean more couples were sticking it out.
It follows an Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal, highlighting a growing number of people were living together without having officially tied the knot.
While separation data for these couples is more difficult to find, an Australian Institute of Family Studies reported unwed couples were more than twice as likely to call it quits.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot of clients struggling to make it work with their spouse,” Mrs Whyte said. “It’s not because they don’t love each other though.”
The mental health social worker said there was an expectation among younger generations that relationships should be fabulous forever.
“People are looking at what they get from a relationship and thinking less about what they can bring,” Mrs Whyte said. “There’s more of a ‘me’ focus. Values like respect, gratitude and kindness are getting lost.”
She said a lot of millennials were also under the impression they could “have it all” without compromise; the perfect job, house, holidays, friends, social lives, children and relationship.
“People are doing their own thing for longer,” Mrs Whyte said. “So it’s harder to make two independent lives align perfectly.”
The long-time social worker said the increase in relationship instability was a complex issue with a relatively simple solution.
But she said that solution took time, energy and resources that were increasingly hard to come by.