The Business of Wedded Bliss

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Forget the red roses and spooning under the moon in June - you're much more likely to have a happy life together if you approach it in a businesslike manner

    You may think pre-nups are the antithesis of romance but, according to husband-and-wife marriage gurus Penny Raby and Mike Gordon, they offer a far better basis for a relationship than many romantic gestures.

    Raby and Gordon’s backgrounds are in law and accounting respectively, and their service, Marriage Makeover, offers a businesslike alternative to traditional couple-counselling, looking at relationships in the same way as a divorce lawyer would.

    Based on an analysis of their clients’ lifestyles, and focusing also on more practical elements, such as the couple’s financial situation, Raby and Gordon help them to rebuild the paths of communication.

    Their reasoning is that most misunderstandings can be straightened out by bypassing emotion and getting down to facts and practicalities, thus making a split less likely.

    ‘Most of our clients have a business background and prefer to look at their union in terms they understand,’ Raby explains. ‘Marriage is a much bigger venture than most businesses. No one would expect a business to function if no attention was paid to it, and a marriage is no different.’

    Each one of their clients works on a flexible five-year plan, focusing on where they hope to be within that time, and what they would like to achieve, both alone and together. The service costs £210 each per hour, with most sessions lasting two hours.

    Top three tips for a successful marriage

    1. Keep talking, however difficult it is.

    2. Even if it’s for just an hour a week, make sure you relax together and, most importantly, have fun.

    3. Never allow a relationship with a third party (whether it’s with family, friends or business partners) to become more important than your core relationship.

    Reading now