I was stunned when my marriage fell apart. My ex and I worked together, shared parenting duties and were best friends. Everything worked so well, I never questioned it. But although our marriage was a great partnership, it lacked intimacy, and that is a knife that cuts both ways. Experts say if you want to gauge the level of intimacy in your relationship, consider the amount of time you spend with a locked gaze. “Eye contact is absolutely essential to maintaining intimacy in a relationship,” says clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Dr David Schnarch, author of Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships (R243, Kalahari). “Even during sex.” Aha. In our marriage, the sex was there, but we were often silent, and more telling, when face-to-face, our eyes were averted or closed. But there’s more. “Men and women both need to know that hugging, kissing and even fair fighting are just as important to maintaining intimacy,” says marriage counsellor Dr Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of Financial Infidelity (R157, Kalahari).

– Anne Trubek