Philippa Perry says she and husband Grayson ‘have their differences’

Grayson Perry’s wife Philippa has revealed their secret to never rowing is to discuss feelings rather than facts and reach a compromise – adding that it’s a ‘waste of love when couples don’t know how to argue properly.’

The psychotherapist, 63, who lives in Islington, London, has been married to the Essex-born Turner Prize winning artist, 60 – who is famous for crossdressing as his alter-ego Claire – for 30 years.

‘We do have our differences!’ said Philippa, speaking to The Times. ‘Quite a lot. But then we work out how much I can stand, how much he can stand, who can stand it the most, who can stand it the least. 

And from that, if we’re both kind of fair-minded, we can find a compromise.’   

Philippa Perry, 63, has claimed ‘it’s such a waste of time when couples don’t know how to argue properly.' Pictured, at Red Magazine's 20th birthday party in London on 18 September 2018

Philippa Perry, 63, has claimed ‘it’s such a waste of time when couples don’t know how to argue properly.’ Pictured, at Red Magazine’s 20th birthday party in London on 18 September 2018

Grayson Perry and Philippa Perry attend the 65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards in association with Michael Kors at the London Coliseum on November 24, 2019 in London

Grayson Perry and Philippa Perry attend the 65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards in association with Michael Kors at the London Coliseum on November 24, 2019 in London

The author, whose husband often appears in public, as well as in his own artwork as his alter ego, explained that most people experience relationship problems because they dwell on petty facts, when they should just be honest and express how they’re feeling. 

‘It’s such a waste of love when people don’t know how to argue properly,’ she said. ‘Don’t talk about facts, talk about feelings.’

Philippa went on to say how the first month of the initial lockdown came as a relief to her as she was able to clear her diary which had ‘got a bit out of control’ and was causing her to get ‘quite stressed’.

However, as time progressed and the novelty wore off, she admitted to ‘not doing well under lockdown, at all’. 

Grayson and Philippa Perry attend the Upstart Crow press night at Gielgud Theatre on February 17, 2020 in London

Grayson and Philippa Perry attend the Upstart Crow press night at Gielgud Theatre on February 17, 2020 in London

But for Philippa, the problem stemmed from a physical crisis rather than psychological factors – adding that she and Grayson reacted to the news of government guidelines very differently.  

‘I went, “Phew!” And Grayson went, “Well, I live in the future. My plans are what get me out of bed in the morning. Now I’ve got nothing.”’ 

And then he really learnt all this stuff about appreciating the everyday, living in the moment, all of that. 

‘But I — Mrs Therapist-Pants — went the other way. Because my body needs to be around other bodies. The rule I find the most difficult is the two-metre rule.’

Philippa also recalled bursting into tears when her daughter Flo, 28, dropped a bag of food shopping on her doorstep.

She went on to explain that while she knew the important reason as to why Flo didn’t hug her, her body made up its own reason and interpreted it as a form of rejection. 

Philippa and Grayson married in 1992 and have one daughter, Florence together.  

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