Davina McCall says doing this will keep your long-term relationship alive

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Kayleigh Dray
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Davina McCall has been with her husband, Matthew Robertson, for an impressive 17 years. But, while the beloved TV presenter’s marriage has been dubbed #relationshipgoals by some, McCall has always made a point of being honest about their sponsored_longform and the struggle that comes with maintaining it – especially in the public eye. 

Now, in a frank new interview with Red magazine, McCall has shared the easy way that she and Robertson have overcome the rocky patches in their relationship.

 And all you need is an egg timer.

“You get an egg timer and you each take three minutes to say how you’re feeling,” explains McCall. “The other person is not allowed to interrupt, to shout, to argue, to get up.

“They just have to sit and listen and try not to think only about what they’re going to come back with! Then they get to reply in their three minutes.”

The Long Lost Family advises that couples continue “doing this, back and forth, for at least half an hour” – even if they’ve run out of things to say. When this happens, she suggests that you sit in respectful silence until the egg timer is finished, just in case “that person might think of something else”.

McCall goes on to explain that the egg timer trick is a great way to air your grievances without the other person getting defensive and shutting down. And, perhaps more importantly, it helps you to get to a place of “mutual apology” – but only if you use the time correctly.

“Always try and talk about how you’re feeling rather than accusing the other person of making you feel a certain way,” she says. “Look at each other. It makes the person talking feel heard and seen and it will create an atmosphere of feeling sympathetic towards each other.”

It is not the first time that McCall has shared her life advice with the world: the presenter actually penned a book titled Lessons I’ve Learned (with the strapline ‘I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to’) in September 2016, in which she opened up about everything from coping with the death of her beloved sister, Caroline, to living with her husband’s infuriating habits.

Speaking to the Mail Online about her book, McCall said: “I really believe that I am a work in progress, I feel as though I am learning every day. I learn from every situation, every person I meet.

“Sometimes I am unwilling at the time to see it… maybe the lesson hurt or embarrassed me and it’s only with hindsight I can feel how much it taught me. At other times I am desperate to learn – I may be stuck in some emotional rut or a parenting quandary or a self-esteem collapse and turn to others for help.”

Images: Twitter/ThisIsDavina


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.