I wrote the book on long-term relationships.
Correction, sorry, I wrote A book about long-term relationships.
Ones that have been going on for ages. Ones that have been complicated by children, secrets and the odd betrayal. Ones that sometimes feel like they're suffocating under a mountain of unfolded washing and undone dishes.
The book is called I Give My Marriage A Year, and this is the conversation we'd have right now if we were face-to-face.
"But it's about your marriage, right?"
No, I'm not married. But I have been with my partner for 15 years now.
"But you did that stuff in the book, right? You had a sex contract?"
And I'd tell you that it's fiction, and that inspiration came from all kinds of different places.
"It's very brave of you to be so honest about your relationship."
And we'd talk about how it's interesting that it's still so 'brave' to tell the truth. Even if it's not your truth.
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Writing a book is a solitary experience. You and your thoughts. You and your doubts. You and all your shitful thoughts... who the hell do you think you are, good enough to write a bloody book?
But if you're lucky enough to get that book out in the world, it becomes a very public, collaborative experience, and we realise that really, we're all thinking about the same things.
I Give My Marriage A Year is about a day when a woman, Lou, wakes up and asks, is this it? And then she decides to try one thing every month - the sex contract, couples' counselling, brutal honesty - to help her decide.
My credentials to get inside the heads of Josh and Lou, the characters in the book, include the fact that I have been in quite a lot of long-term relationships, even before this one, the defining one. I was pretty much a serial monogamist from the age of 14. Which is something that the world doesn't really value in terms of experience, since the goal still seems to be, even in 2020, meeting one person and settling down with one person, picking them and having to stick with that choice until, well, someone dies.