Baths are being hailed as the latest relationship saviour and being touted by marriage guidance counsellors throughout the UK as a way of re-kindling what once was.
How can this be so, I hear you ask? Well, in this day and age of everything needing to be done at double speed, couples can no longer find the time needed to nurture relationships to fruition. They grow apart in their quest for the ultimate 'independent' life that they think will make them a whole person, not realising that the best strategy for that is to find a significant other to complete them.
Those first heady days of a relationship are wonderful. By our mid-twenties we realise that those first impulsive, all consuming feelings will not last forever but will fade after the 'honeymoon' period. It seems the older you get the shorter the honeymoon period becomes! So, we do our best to hang on them. There's walks in the park, long, leisurely baths and pillow fights that make us feel childlike, carefree and wanted.
Nature has a way of making us do all these things to trap us into a relationship that in the cold light of day we probably wouldn't entertain. It does this for the future of the human race because if we knew what to expect later on in married life, we would probably be the dumper or dumpee as soon as the shine started to fade on the honeymoon period.
Before we know it the long, leisurely, shared baths have been replaced by snatched lone showers and if you stay together long enough you'll reach the stage where life has taken over, showers have become something to be slotted in when necessary and you don't care if you smell because 'they should love you as you are'.
The walks in the park have been reduced to a row over who's going to take the dog for a walk in the rain or, alternatively, the place where you march off the tension and frustration of 'not being understood' or 'not being listened to'.
The pillow fights stopped during the honeymoon period because she didn't want to mess up the linen or he was displaying the morning moodiness that would become an everyday occurrence. They have been replaced with real fights involving items of furniture that can be used as projectiles while giving the neighbours a loud rendition of each other's faults.
Do you want to return to the dizzy, love struck days of the past? It may grate to think that you need to bend a little to get there when it's all the other parties fault but think of the consequences of not doing so. The kids will be passed from pillar to post and holidays and birthdays they will have to be shared. That lovely house will be put on the market and probably knocked down by some developer who puts up twenty box apartments in its place. These box apartments are where you will be living as that is all you will be able to afford once the financial catalyst of a break up occurs.
On the up side, you never have to see the in laws again, but this is beside the point.
Saving your relationship, family and home need not be complicated. There is no point in raking over all the past problems and niggles. Let go of resentment and vow to start afresh. Go back to the days when you made the time to take those baths together. They are the perfect way to end a day. Both parties can breathe a sigh of relief that the long day is over. You can share your experiences and really talk and listen. There are no other distractions and if you take a bottle of wine with you this will always help.
Of course, if he comes into the bathroom and decides to 'drop the kids off' while you are running that scented, candle lit creation of relationship savers it really is time to throw in the towel and ring that solicitor.
Relationship expert Catherine Harvey looks at how sharing baths can bring a couple closer.