Why a kitchen timer can save your relationship, according to Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha

Is it time to switch on to this practiced therapist method?

Turns out the humber kitchen timer comes in handy for more than perfecting our baking skills. According to Loose Women's Nadia Sawalha, a kitchen timer helped save her marriage to husband Mark.

The revelation came about as the panel discussed the topic of couples arguing. ‘Experts say it can be good to argue’ explains the show’s Christine Lampard. ‘Setting time specifically aside to row can be beneficial for your relationship.’

Related: Mrs Hinch sparks debate after calling this common cleaning hack 'a waste of time'

‘You are going to be very, very surprised by this,' responds Nadia, 'because this is not very me. But I actually do believe in that.'

And here's why...

Could a kitchen timer improve your relationship?

kitchen times and spice racks

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

Nadia admits that she and Mark sought help after noticing they were bickering constantly. 'The first time Mark and I went to a marriage guidance counsellor, she suggested that we get a timer and we give each other a certain amount of time.’

That time being dedicated for each to speak, without the other interrupting.

‘It’s hard, because you have to listen to each other,’ Nadia says with a chuckle. ’You can decide if it’s one minute, five minutes or 10 minutes – whatever you want. '

'You put the timer on and you do not say a word. And you actually have to listen to your partner,' she explains.

kitchen with wooden spoon with magnetic timers

(Image credit: TBC)

'And the caveat to it was that we weren’t allowed to bring up anything else of any substance for the rest of the day. So you knew there was a time of day you we're going to discuss stuff. And honestly it really works’.

‘I have given this advice so many times to people, and they have come back to me and said it actually really works’ Nadia enthuses, clearly happy to pass on the benefit of the timed conversation method.

Related: Save £1000s on a kitchen renovation by checking this one thing first

So there you go, the kitchen timer could be the answer to a happier household?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.