Seems to be the season for relationship break downs around here. I've got a few friends moving like molasses through the pain of separation. I am sad for them, and yet I know there is good stuff lying in wait around the corner.

For my husband Rob, who is a divorce lawyer, and who was divorced himself before we met, it's always the season, day in day out. I figured if anyone might know the secrets to a good relationship, it might be him - someone who sees what doesn't work every day.

Plus I've been told many times over that our marriage is the source of much inspiration for others. We have a GREAT relationship! So here are some insights from our respective experiences.

1. "Families who play together stay together." This is Rob's #1 top secret to a successful relationship. What he means is that you enjoy each other's company, that you have some common interests, that you have adventures together. That's why we go on skiing trips, go body boarding in the surf, go running together, watch movies, play with the chickens and hang out together. We like each other's company.

2. Enjoy your respective 'boy time' and 'girl time'. We hang out together, but we don't live our lives in each other's pockets. Rob plays tennis with the boys on Wednesdays and Sundays and I get facials, massages, and this weekend I'm going for high tea with the girls. Bring it on.

3. You don't divorce your best friend. Rob asked me, 'how many times in your life have you ditched a best friend?' Stumped me. My closest friends are still my closest friends, even though we are continents apart and don't see each other often. There's a sense of unconditional support and appreciation, a non-judgment of best friends that holds the relationship together. Apply this to your own intimate relationship.

I promised you three, but I'm on a roll now, so here are a few more:

4. Always speak your truth. If something is niggling, bring it up. Do this before your head explodes with all the imagined responses and twists and excuses and other crapola that your imagination can drum up.

5. Acknowledge that you are not responsible for someone else's happiness. Sure it's easier to be around someone who is tip toeing through the tulips every day, but you cannot make them happy - they have to do that for themselves. You can't love someone enough to make them happy. They've got to do that - from the inside out. Your job is to tend your own happiness, your own focus, your own emotional vibration - that is something YOU can control, so focus on that. Bonus: your joie de vivre will tend to rub off on others.

6.Stop needing them to change. Are there things about Rob's behaviour I don't like? Sure. Like when he leaves the toilet seat up. Grrrr... He says, "I put the lid down as much as much as you close the door to the outside when the heater is on." So if you're going to point fingers, they get pointed back. Focus instead on appreciating what you do like - like the way he brings me flowers from the office every Friday. I LOVE that!

7.Create your own rituals, inside secrets, and family culture. All the examples I can think of are adults-only. Except for maybe the 'tea top up' command which means, "please can you show me that you love me by filling up my tea cup and really I am too lazy to do it for myself" or singing the 'clean-up song' we learned from my niece's day care as the signal for, 'let's do this boring task together and make it fun by acting like two-year olds'. (Did that sound as dorky as I think it does? Well I guess that's the point - we give ourselves permission to act a little like dorks and have some fun together, even with the mundane daily tasks).

8. Tell each other why you love each other, and why you like each other. Saying 'I love you' and then following it with 'because...' keeps the juicy parts of your relationship alive and fresh and bubbling. Kind of like a sourdough starter - you've got to keep feeding it.

9. Love you, and your life, on your own. You do not need anything or anyone or anywhere to make you feel good. All you need is the power of your focus, the direction of your attention. And the more you can do that, for yourself, in any given circumstances, the more you'll feel free. You'll fill with the joys of spring and every day will glisten with weekend delight. You will radiate compassion and sexiness and mojo galore. You'll be so filled with love that you will overflow with it, inviting others to play at your party. And that will fill your cup of love even more.

That's a short list - I would LOVE to hear your tips on relationships that rock your socks. Please leave a comment and let me know YOUR secrets.

Author's Bio: 

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Author Zoe Routh works with women in business to enhance their personal effectiveness and leadership capacity for global effect. For free tips on how to become a more effective leader that will save you time, money, energy, and stress, go to