Guess what: no relationship is perfect. Everyone suffers from a stumble in their relationship. And sometimes it’s your fault. The tricky part about weathering these perfectly normal storms is getting back in your partner’s good books. Whether you’ve made a silly mistake or caused an apocalyptic relationship meltdown, this relationship advice can help get you out of the doghouse.

Let’s start with one of the most common reasons for a head-hanging trip to the doghouse: the classic tale of a missed birthday or anniversary. The good news is that in the grand scheme of things, these problems are just a trifle. The best way to repair this minor, albeit hurtful, rift is with a mighty surprise gesture. It’s important that you admit your mistake, but make it up to them with something fun.

Moving up on the scale of relationship screw-ups is forgetting to do something you’ve promised, like taking out the garbage for the fourth week in a row, or picking the kids up late from a birthday party. A neat and tidy solution is to take responsibly and demonstrate that it won’t happen again – don’t just say it, do it.

A regrettable, drunken argument is a dependable generator of doghouse check-ins. Running the gamut from a thoughtless comment on your partner’s appearance to a hurtful dig in the midst of fight, these wounding words require immediate attention. Apologise for your disrespectful words then and there, and remember the experience.

Another example of disrespect can take place in the form of social snubs. Usually involving an uncomfortable evening with his group of friends – or parents – the challenge of fitting in in a new group dynamic is a real one. When handled indelicately, hurt feelings can only be soothed by honesty and patience.

If a serious schism has developed in your relationship due to infidelity, it is vital that all of your and your partner’s feelings be laid immediately on the table. Even if there is no suspicion of cheating, the perception of wavering commitment is usually a dangerous and tenacious problem. If your partner resents the time you spend (or flirt) with a friend, ex or colleague, the only way to fix the issue is with heartfelt communication. You may need to work on aspects of your personality that encourages this kind of behaviour, but the key is to be honest and open with each other.

What’s your best relationship advice when you’ve had an argument?