Deborah Ross: Handy tips on how not to save your marriage

If you ask me...
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, and having read, over the weekend, three magazine features (three!) on how to save a marriage, it occurred to me there is nothing out there on how to not save a marriage, and bring it crashing on to the rocks. Or, failing that, some guidance on how to keep it limping factiously on, as it has done for years. There is nothing to it, actually, particularly if you follow my tips:

1. No matter how much he resists, keep trying to change him, particularly as it is entirely for his own good.

2. Back the car into a skip.

3. Chant "Left, no right, no left, no right, right, right ... wrong!" at every roundabout when he is driving and you are navigating.

4. Ask him to hold the baby for a sec and then "pop out" for a week, or three if you think you can swing it.

5. As miscommunication is absolutely key, say one thing but mean another, as in: "I'll only be gone for 10 minutes, tops."

6. Have him curtained off. My husband is curtained off behind the sofa in the living room, but curtaining off can work just as well anywhere in the house.

7. Repeatedly ask, "But I don't understand who killed Frankie, or why" during mafia films.

8. Be kind and thoughtful and always listen to his needs before ignoring them, jotting down your own needs on a postcard, and taping it to his glasses, with the writing facing in. Do, however, knock on his curtain before doing so. He is entitled to some privacy.

9. When making important decisions with regard to, say, the kids' schools or financial outlays, do ask him if he has any ideas you can reject out of hand.

10. Say you are prepared to compromise and even go along with it for a bit before pulling back the curtain and exclaiming: "I was only joking! Sucker!"

I hope this works for you, and if you need further help, please visit my website,, where you will find many testimonials – "my marriage is as unhappy as it's ever been" – and where you can book an appointment for my couples counselling. Although this is rather expensive – £250 per hour – I think it is the only couples counselling in the country which offers you the opportunity to laugh at him as well as his refusal to ever accept he is lost, which is why you must always drive round for hours as he says: "I know it's round here somewhere."