How Zoe Hardman and Paul Doran-Jones deal with struggles as a couple

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  Paul Doran Jones and Zoe Hardman were at The O2 for the world's first live TV ad powered by O2 5G  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for O2)
Paul Doran Jones and Zoe Hardman (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for O2)

Zoe Hardman has shared on her top tips for marriage, saying 'anyone who says marriage is easy is lying'.

The Heart DJ told Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast that what she really wants is for her and her ex-rugby player husband Paul Doran-Jones to be in a place where they are 'growing as a couple'.

Hardman — who first appeared on our screens in Playing It Straight in the early noughties — explained how the couple had worked through Doran-Jones retiring from his rugby career, saying suddenly he 'wasn't Paul Doran-Jones the rugby player any more'.

Remembering a recent conversation she'd had with Thornton about parenting, she said: "I'm also going through the battles and the awkward conversations.

WATCH: Zoe Hardman on the awkward moment she told her Heart Radio bosses about the menopause

"I'm here for growth, and the insecurities that come up. I guess people get a snippet of your life on Instagram, where you're posting holiday shots, or this is our new house, this is me on the red carpet...

"And then you scratch away, you go underneath that, and marriage has been like this, and it is like this, and anybody that says that marriage is easy I think is lying.

"For me, I want to be in a place where we are growing together as a couple. And we are really fronting up to all of the stuff that comes up."

Listen to the full episode to hear Zoe talk about going through early menopause and her children being her legacy.

She explained when Doran-Jones, who gained seven England caps, retired from rugby four years ago "they really went through it".

She said: "Suddenly he wasn't Paul Doran-Jones the rugby player any longer. And I have a big career and we really went through it. You know, the last four years have been quite tricky for us.

Zoe Hardman is a presenter on Heart (Global Radio)
Zoe Hardman is a presenter on Heart (Global Radio)

"But mainly because I want to make him realise his worth away from playing rugby. And I think now he's starting to see it but it has pushed us to the limits definitely."

Read more: Zoe Hardman says her eating disorder was a 'devil on her shoulder'

She said the couple went through what many did during lockdown, when all of a sudden their separate lives with their own things going on were thrown together, with all the arguments about dishwasher stacking to go along with it.

But, she explained: "What I say to him at the end of every discussion, if we can get through it without yelling and screaming, and we can come out and say to each other, which I think is really important: 'I'm here for growth. I want to do this, tell me what I need to do. And I'll tell you what you need to do. Let's figure it out together.' Then we're getting somewhere."

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Zoe Hardman (C) with daughter Luna and son son Kit attend the Summer of Disney+ event at Pergola Paddington on August 24, 2021 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Disney+)
Zoe Hardman with the couple's children Luna and Kit at a Summer of Disney+ event. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Disney+)

She also shared the couple's Sunday night appreciation routine, which usually ends up getting a little sexy!

Hardman said: "On a Sunday, we get the kids to bed, we get into bed, and we will have a cuddle and we look at each other.

"And he has got three minutes to tell me why he appreciates me, what I might have done that week, what things I've said and done.

"And then I tell him why I appreciate him and then it generally ends in us having a really nice sh*g at the end of it. And that's a lovely way to end the week, isn't it?!"

WATCH: Zoe Hardman on the surprising reality show she still gets recognised from

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