|Love is... bringing you your early morning cuppa|
Unless you're a relationship guru or have rock solid assertiveness skills (no, me neither), that sanity-saving alone time, those moments of peace where you remember who (or even where) you are and that space just to breathe have probably all fallen by the wrapping-paper strewn wayside.
Oh, alright. Yes it's selfish but we women often brand anything that is soul-feeding selfish. Men, to happily stereotype and generalise, don't seem to suffer the same angst involved in taking time out. They'll chuck trainers in a bag and breeze off to the gym or leg it to the pub for a 'swift half' without having to raise it with their therapist later.
The thing about stereotypes, you see, is that there's very often no smoke without fire. But it is very un-PC these days to say that.
So, what can we do to keep the peace and to avoid wrecking perfectly decent relationships with basically lovely people? Some of us have a terrible habit of sabotaging the very things that make us happy for no other reason than we are bored and need to create a bit of drama - or we're crying out for some 'me time'.
It's no surprise that lots of relationships finally bite the dust during holiday periods when couples are forced to spend time together and have to deal with their issues. Or the fact that there are no longer any issues between them whatsoever. The latter of course is a common problem once the children have left home or are old enough not to need round the clock parenting anymore.
But, equally, sometimes it's just a bad case of cabin fever and too much time to analyse that's the problem.
I'd suggest that if you are finding yourself in fault-finding mode and wondering why your life hasn't turned out to be the Disney cartoon fantasy many of us baby boomers were promised, then you do the following.
When that critical voice in your head keeps yabbering away - "they never, if only they would, why won't they, " and on, and on, and on, just take 5 minutes and list 5 things you like and appreciate about them.
I'm not suggesting you get out a flipchart but just list them in your head or write them in your diary.
These don't have to be huge things - just things that make you smile and feel cared for. Love doesn't always appear wrapped in a grand announcement.
Do they bring you a cup of tea in the morning? Do they record your favourite TV programme for you if you're out? Do they cook your favourite meal when you're feeling a bit down or run you a bath?
Everyone has their good points. Well, almost everyone. And I'm sure if you think hard enough you can remind yourself of why you thought it was a good idea to let them into your life in the first place.
Just 5 minutes.
To preserve one of the most important things in your life.
It's worth a try, surely?
Because if that 5 minutes stops you losing your temper, flying off the handle or saying something hurtful that you don't even mean, those minutes may be very valuable indeed.
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