Is it OK to discipline someone else’s child?

Last week, my nine-year-old son came home from the park sporting a huge shiner. Pushed over by another child, he’d let it go (the other boy was younger, the “grown-ups in charge” hadn’t seen) but I was outraged. “If I’d seen that kid,” I blustered, “I’d have…” Done what exactly? Truth is, we’ve all moved a long way from the days when children played in … Continue reading Is it OK to discipline someone else’s child?

Help, my husband and I are financially incompatible

Your marriage may be a meeting of minds – but that counts for nothing if you’re not fiscally compatible. Last month, a YouGov survey revealed the biggest root of relationship rows was money. For a ­whopping 26 per cent of couples it’s the key source of tension – above issues of compatibility, child-rearing or even cheating. These days it’s financial infidelity we seem to fear: … Continue reading Help, my husband and I are financially incompatible

3 kids and 34 miles of travel

Mum loves a country walk. Her iPad-obsessed offspring are less keen. How would they cope with four days on the trail? The Easter holidays were approaching. After a busy term at school, our children were worn out, wan-faced and slumped over the iPad. “The sun’s shining,” I moaned to their dad. “Why aren’t we out there?” Mat and I love hiking. Well, loved hiking. We’ve … Continue reading 3 kids and 34 miles of travel

Is it time to stop sleeping with your partner?

The other night, I was roused from sleep, not by an amorous husband, but my six-year-old daughter weeing on me. It wasn’t her fault – she was under the weather – more pertinently, I was in her bed again. Driven from the marital bed by my husband’s snoring – and my own fitful insomnia – I frequently shack up in the spare room, and when … Continue reading Is it time to stop sleeping with your partner?

Is it time you gave yourself a marriage audit?

Every month, we scan our bank statement; every year we scrabble to file our tax returns – but isn’t there a far more important audit we’re missing? In any long-term relationship, there is an unspoken list of checks and balances. If too many grievances start to land in the debit column, a marriage can start to go under. Why not mine? On paper, granted, things … Continue reading Is it time you gave yourself a marriage audit?

Does your man pass the quality test?

Much as I love my husband, he’s a bog-standard bloke. And sometimes the bog is strong in him. Take last year: exhausted by three kids, a stressful job and a profoundly irritating wife, he gave up on his hitherto rigorous exercise programme. As he piled on the pounds, I drew a clear message: I wasn’t worth bothering for. We sparred about it for a bit … Continue reading Does your man pass the quality test?