Expert wants insight from successful couples

A Red Deer author who works with husbands and wives on relationship issues is looking for successful couples to speak to for her upcoming book.

Debra McLeod

Debra McLeod

A Red Deer author who works with husbands and wives on relationship issues is looking for successful couples to speak to for her upcoming book.

Debra Macleod is a relationship expert on Global TV and Virgin Radio in Calgary, who has contributed to the New York Times, Cosmopolitan and Esquire. She has written a variety of books with her husband of 10 years Don, focusing on intimacy issues.

Macleod’s upcoming — as yet untitled — book will look at marriage mediation, but also show people examples of good marriages and what makes them work.

She said she has seen a few qualities already that stand out in good marriages.

“I see a sense of teamwork, not just in what they are doing in their actions, but what they say even. They always have a ‘We’ approach and there is that sense of permanence,” Macleod said.

“I also see it in demeanor. Body language is huge…The way they sit. Even if they are having a heated discussion they will still in the middle of it crack a joke. They still have that security and that comfort level. They are in tune with each other and there is this sense that this is getting carried away and we need to diffuse it.”

She said younger couples can be self-centred, stubborn and short-sighted. She said people speak of “starter marriages” and giving vows of “as long as we both shall love” instead of “as long as we both shall live.”

People will say they are “drifting apart,” “falling out of love” or “not compatible,” but Macleod said there will be ups and downs in all marriages. She wants to speak to couples who have found ways to get through the good and the bad to have long-lasting happy relationships.

However, Macleod admits there are marriage issues that are difficult to resolve, among them when there is a trust or infidelity issue, when couples are constantly fighting and thrive on the drama or when they just don’t seem to care and answer every question with a shoulder shrug.

“You can’t have a marriage with a shoulder shrug,” she said.

Macleod, who was trained as a lawyer, started writing books for couples while staying home to look after her son.

Three years ago she started using marriage mediation to help couples using skills she had learned while studying law and conflict resolution.

She said the idea comes from mediation done when couples are divorcing.

The idea was to have couple’s go through marriage mediation while still in the relationship to resolve issues so the marriage doesn’t break down in the first place. The method has become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. Macleod charges $200 an hour for her services as a marriage mediator and she said often couples only need one to three sessions to resolve the conflict.

Marriage mediation is different than counselling, which focuses on each individuals’ needs. Macleod said in marriage mediation she attempts to bring a couple out of the conflict as quickly as possible and move them towards what their common interests are. She said a couple may fight about the husband buying a big screen TV, but it is important to get to the real issue, which may be that the wife is worried about money.

To find out more about Macleod’s marriage mediation go to www.marriagesos.com.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, centre, tables the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
ATB Financial: Five things to know about the federal budget

Five things stand out above the rest in the federal government’s budget,… Continue reading

House sales remain hot in central Alberta with first-quarter sales nearly double last year’s numbers. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta real estate market hot in 2021

Residential sales nearly double 2020 in first quarter

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Most Read