It's the question we all want to know the answer to: Her non-fiction books include 'Couples: Here are her five tips on keeping relationships healthy. A good relationship is about navigating the numerous differences between you — over politics, food, money, how to raise children. Enjoy what others have to offer rather than trying to change them to fit your own template of how life and love should be. Accept that your partner is fallible Expecting someone to be everything you need and everything you are not is a recipe for disaster.
We all make mistakes, particularly in our love-lives, as relationships are never easy. Learn to talk about 'why' There are good rows and bad rows but make no mistake — everybody argues. Ridiculing or humiliating each other is not a good idea, or a good omen. But if you can both talk honestly about what irritates or upsets you and why, you are more likely to understand each other better. It can feel easier to avoid being honest if we feel that could be hurtful, but it is only with honesty that trust is built, and trust is the essence of a good relationship.
But our culture presents only one type as being valid: It is possible to maintain a happy sex-life for decades with the same person. Appreciate what life still has to offer while you can The great wonder of middle age is that we know our time is now limited.
If you have managed to surf the ups and downs of bringing up children, work and making ends meet all within the same relationship, the rewards can be great. You have a wealth of shared memories to laugh over. You accept each other in your entirety. Rather than fearing getting older, remember that many couples in a long relationship find these to be their happiest years together.
From stopping snooping to shutting up, here is her advice. Forget trouble for a little while and laugh together A good laugh is like good sex: That moment when you exchange a look and end up laughing, often over a shared memory, is the best way to understand each other again.
Remember to arrange time without the children Credit: It can be surprising and revealing and paves the way for honesty. So often, things can be resolved by learning to listen.
Arrange time without the children When you have kids you adore, find time to be just you alone so you remember and remind each other of who you were before they arrived, who you are now, and who you will be when they are gone.
Easier said than done, but important. Keep yours smooth by remembering birthdays and anniversaries, by butting out of family disputes, and by never forcing your partner into the position of taking sides with you against their mother, father or siblings — those relationships go back a long way. Try to establish a friendship with the most sympathetic of your in-laws who can be your defender, if necessary, when you are not present. An ally in the family can also fill in aspects of the past that may help you to understand your partner.
Make an effort with the people in your partner's life Credit: Here are his top pointers. Be able to reveal vulnerability, even if it feels daunting When we start a relationship we like to feel in control, powerful even — to protect ourselves from the vulnerability that comes with opening up to a lover.
We may carry the hurt from past relationships, so we protect ourselves by trying to appear in control. A couple that can laugh together, even mid-row, is in a healthy place. Learn to spend time alone Developing a relationship with yourself, deepened by solitary pursuits, hobbies and taking time out from work and relationships, will pay huge dividends with your partner.
Those in successful relationships hardly ever speak to each other that way, even when angry. Instead of attacking your partner for their laziness, show your true feelings. Harnessing the idea of seasons can be particularly helpful when couples start a family. Despite the joy that babies bring, they often feel like a bomb going off in a relationship — the exhausting demands of parenthood can feel overwhelming. Yet get through those first few winters of despondency and there will more than likely be the spring of renewal and love rediscovered.
From ignoring right and wrong to argument enders, here are her five tips. Be prepared for surprise and open to change Love matures and changes as we mature and change. The qualities that make a loving partner are the same qualities that make a loving person. You and your partner are dynamic creatures.
Understand that you can only develop yourself We often fall in love with a person who has the qualities that we would like to develop in ourselves.
We see all the budding possibilities and are excited to be accepted by such a wonderful and perfect person. Make conscious effort Realise that it is in moments of restlessness and upheaval that you find out who you are and what it truly means to love.
But when one of you is out of sorts, exhausted, overwhelmed and distracted, behaving lovingly requires conscious effort. Learning to spend time alone will help your relationship Be kind Becoming a more effective partner is the most efficient way to assure a loving, intimate relationship. Intimacy builders could be: It is about understanding and learning to talk about hot subjects without getting heated. A relationship presents countless opportunities to rise to the occasion and be the best person and partner you can imagine.
It is about facing difficulties and eventually becoming wise. Here is her advice on how to move on after an affair. We get attached not only by what we receive from our partner, but by what we give to them. Thinking about what matters to them, then consciously reaching out with acts of consideration and affection will not only make them feel closer to you, it may help you to feel closer to them.
People often want to feel loved by their partner before they begin the hard work of trying to repair their relationship. Unfaithful partners must work hard to produce bold, humble, heartfelt acts of repair and take responsibility for the harm they caused.
Hurt partners must work hard to encourage their partner to make good, take a share of responsibility for what created a space between them, and allow the injury to recede into the backdrop of their lives. Work to rebuild intimacy Becoming sexually intimate is often complicated and challenging, particularly after a troubled time. Both partners need to reach out with tenderness and compassion, recognising they may each feel vulnerable and raw.
This is time to take off any pressure to perform and to put aside expectations for high performance and orgasms.