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Listen to love advice from high-profile couples

Britain's Prince William right  his wife Kate Duchess Cambridge talk together during their visit Strathmore Green precinct Queenstown residential

Britain's Prince William, right, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, talk together during their visit to Strathmore Green, a precinct in Queenstown, a residential district of Singapore Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. Britain's royal couple are on a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific. (AP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri, Pool)

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Updated: December 26, 2012 3:58PM

This year has not been an easy year for celebrity relationships, whether it was the much-discussed and sudden divorce between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise or the shocking breakup of longtime loves Heidi Klum and Seal.

However, the year also saw the happy unions of many couples, as well as the dispensing of relationship advice from celebrities and politicians alike. Here is the best love advice from some of my favorite couples of 2012:

President Obama and the First Lady: America can be quite a divided country when it comes to politics, but regardless of whom you voted for in the past election, most Americans would agree that President Obama and his wife, Michelle, seem like a deeply committed and caring couple. Whether they are ribbing each other about commonplace annoyances such as snoring or supporting each other during tragedy, they appear to keep their marriage strong and intimate in the face of incredible pressure.

Perhaps it’s due to their relationship maturity, which includes allowing one another to explore separate passions as well as their willingness to keep some mystery in their relationship. In discussing their marriage, President Obama has said: “Even if one builds a life together based on trust, attentiveness and mutual support, I think that it’s important that a partner continues to surprise.”

I heartily agree. When couples abandon interests and friendships after falling in love, they end up losing part of what made their partner fall in love with them in the first place, whether it was a passion for volunteerism or a love of adventure. The lesson? Fall in love — but don’t forget who you are.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Better known as William and Kate to their loyal fans, this royal couple has survived the odds and kept their new marriage intact in spite of paparazzi, a new pregnancy and even Kate’s recent health crisis.

In speaking of their relationship, Prince William has touched on the fact that their love grew slowly over time, saying, “When I first met Kate I knew there was something very special about her. We ended up being friends for awhile and that just sort of was a good foundation. Because I do generally believe now that being friends with one another is a massive advantage.”

Of course, I couldn’t agree more! In relationships, feelings of passion and intense desire tend to cool over time, and while this is a natural part of a long-term relationship, it can be devastating if you don’t have mutual respect and love to grow in its place. And, when it comes to being a good lover and keeping those flames of desire stoked over the years, humor, generosity and good communication are generally a must.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: For the last 10 years, Paltrow and Coldplay front man Martin have been going strong, including getting married in 2003 and having two children together. However, Paltrow has been honest about how “challenging” marriage can be, and she recently told Elle magazine, “You can never be relaxed or smug and think, ‘I’ve got this thing.’ I’m not going to take this for granted.”

Wise words! Relationships need work and attention, and taking your bond for granted for be dangerous. All happy marriages take effort, including honesty, openness and a commitment to work through the hard times. Here’s to upholding these relationship lessons for better sex and love in the new year!

Dr. Berman is the host of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman,” which airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

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