Why couples sit in silence after three conversations

COMMENT: Sell alcohol to kids and you will face consequences

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These days it’s not often that my husband and I find ourselves without our children for any length of time. But last weekend, amazingly, we were alone.

This was not good news for my husband. With the spotlight 100 per cent glaring on him, he found that he couldn’t nip off to check any random sports scores, or catch up on Come Dine With Me, or do the other sneaky Saturday morning activities he likes to indulge in while I’m busy commanding the children.

His idea of what else to do on a Saturday (haircut followed by a nap) was as well received as a tax inspection. No, this was going to be a work day.

His strategy, when 9.30am rolled by and he’d already had to walk the dog with me, clean out the guinea pigs and pull up two dilapidated bushes from the front garden, was to offer to buy me lunch.

It was to get me out of the house more than anything, to stop my relentless quest for him to do ‘jobs’ – even though he packaged it up as a ‘date’.

We went to Gosport High Street. I didn’t really want to go farther afield than Gosport, as it’s out of my comfort zone.

Big shops which actually sell new things and all those crowds are too much for me to cope with.

Though you may laugh, while having lunch at a lovely little bistro we met another couple, also free of kids, who’d come all the way from Southampton to see Gosport’s market.

So it’s not just me who quite likes it this side of the harbour then.

Of course, when you’ve been married for 16 years there are only three conversations that you ever really have.

The first is about your children (and how they compare to other people’s), the second is about your dog and the third – shame on him for introducing it when I was in mid- mouthful of panini – is what items of furniture should be thrown out.

It was a cunning move on his part. I see no need to get rid of anything, so to avoid any furniture frenzy I had to suggest going to watch a movie and scrapping the rest of the chores list.

And that’s why couples sit in silence after those three conversations. One is revelling in smug satisfaction while the other considers a better strategy for winning next time.