As I will have been married for 48 years next month, I was interested to read Elena Ferrante’s piece (Is there a formula for a lasting relationship? A friend, married for 48 years, says so, Weekend, 22 September). However, I didn’t recognise any of her friend’s formula in my happy relationship.

There are three things you need to make a relationship work. You have to: (1) like each other (passion is not enough, you need to enjoy each other’s company); (2) respect each other’s views and values (and having similar ones means less argument but more respect); and, most importantly, (3) have the same sense of humour (when life hits rock bottom, and it will, you’ll need to laugh).

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