Love Lose Live published 4 February 2016

Emotionally overdrawn

Modern family life is hard. It normally takes two incomes to rear a family, with one income paying for the housing and the other paying for everything else.

Childcare costs for more than one child often exceed the hourly rate that can be earned by the working parent, so parents often have to work fewer hours to care for children and so earn less money just at the time when they need rather more of it.

As well as being expensive, children are demanding. Employers are demanding. Spouses can be demanding. Staying together needs some work. Unsurprisingly, the romance may wear thin and cracks may appear in the relationship on which everything depends. In mediation we hear sad tales of the build-up to the meltdown. "He was never there." "She was always busy." "We always did what s/he wanted." "I wasn't well, I was depressed, I wasn’t coping and s/he was always in a rush." It all boils down to the words of the famous song: "You've lost that lovin’ feeling. Now it's gone, gone, gone."

What would help? Stop the world, before you want to get off. Make time. Pay some love, time and attention into your overdrawn emotional bank accounts. Do it now, before someone calls in your overdraft.

Mary Banham-Hall, mediator and family lawyer, author of Love Lose Live: Divorce is a Rollercoaster, published 4 February 2016.