It is possible to maintain a happy sex-life for decades with the same person.

It may not be as often, or the sort of sex that you think you should be having, or think others must be having (but aren’t) – just relax and enjoy this special kind of intimacy together.

This means that instead of navel-gazing and pondering, you’re coming at the difficult things in life with humour and a lightness of touch.

A couple that can laugh together, even mid-row, is in a healthy place. Developing a relationship with yourself, deepened by solitary pursuits, hobbies and taking time out from work and relationships, will pay huge dividends with your partner.

It can feel easier to avoid being honest if we feel that could be hurtful, but it is only with honesty that trust is built, and trust is the essence of a good relationship. There are different qualities to sex at different stages in a long relationship: first, passion; the urgency of reproductive sex; snatched sex in the early years of parenthood; then the slower intimacy of midlife onwards.

But our culture presents only one type as being valid: youthful, vigorous, usually penetrative.

It can be surprising and revealing and paves the way for honesty.

We tend to jump in with an opinion before we’ve heard each other out.Appreciate what life still has to offer while you can.The great wonder of middle age is that we know our time is now limited.It’s those differences that make life more interesting, as our lover opens up a whole new way of seeing or understanding the world.Enjoy what others have to offer rather than trying to change them to fit your own template of how life and love should be. Expecting someone to be everything you need and everything you are not is a recipe for disaster.Ridiculing or humiliating each other is not a good idea, or a good omen.