"I make sure that we go out for an evening at least once a month" writes Jason Ayres

Today is Valentine’s Day which is a day to be celebrated, whatever your relationship status.

For the single there’s the hope that a card may pop through the door from a secret admirer. For those sending the cards there’s the hope that the feeling may be reciprocated.

For those in the first flush of a new relationship it’s a magical and exciting time. And for those of us in long term relationships, married and with children, it’s a day when we can remind our partners how much we think of them.

Now I don’t want to bring the whole mood of the day down, but a recent survey suggested that one in five children have seen their parents split up by the time they are five years old. There are myriad reasons for this of course, some of which cause irreparable damage. But in many cases I am sure it is a fact that many of the couples couldn’t cope with the huge change in lifestyle that having children brings. Weighed down by nappies, sleepless nights and other worries, hearts and flowers can be the farthest things from our mind. It’s easy to forget the feelings and desires that caused the creation of these children in the first place. It’s also well-known that one parent can become so devoted to the children that they no longer show affection to their partner, this is known as “transference”.

Happily there are things you can do to stop yourself falling into this trap. It is really important to make time to be with your partner away from the daily routine to remind yourselves that you are still husband and wife and not just mum and dad. And that doesn’t just mean a card and a bunch of flowers today just because it is Valentine’s Day, but throughout the year.

I make sure that we go out for an evening together at least once a month and also that each year we manage to have a whole weekend away, just the two of us. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We managed to go to Paris on Eurostar for three nights in July 2012 which was extremely reasonably priced. In fact it would have cost us more to go away in England. And there is something special and magical about Paris. When we are away like this, everything is different. We can talk and enjoy each other’s company without constant interruption and the trials and tribulations of daily life getting in the way. It’s a reminder of why we got together in the first place and a reassurance that everything is still good.

It doesn’t matter if we slip back into the old routine when we get back home, because we know we haven’t grown apart.

So my message today for all the parents of young children out there is to enjoy today for what it is, but make time throughout the year for each other and take that special trip if you can. You won’t regret it. Happy Valentine’s Day!