3 ways to build a happy marriage and avoid divorce | George Blair-West

Almost 50 years ago, psychiatrists Richard Rahe
and Thomas Holmes developed an inventory of the most distressing
human experiences that we could have. Number one on the list? Death of a spouse. Number two, divorce.
Three, marital separation. Now, generally, but not always, for those three to occur, we need
what comes in number seven on the list, which is marriage. (Laughter) Fourth on the list is imprisonment
in an institution. Now, some say number seven
has been counted twice. (Laughter) I don’t believe that. When the life stress inventory was built, back then, a long-term relationship
pretty much equated to a marriage. Not so now. So for the purposes of this talk,
I’m going to be including de facto relationships,
common-law marriages and same-sex marriages, or same-sex relationships
soon hopefully to become marriages. And I can say from my work
with same-sex couples, the principles I’m about
to talk about are no different. They’re the same across all relationships. So in a modern society, we know that prevention
is better than cure. We vaccinate against polio, diphtheria,
tetanus, whooping cough, measles. We have awareness campaigns
for melanoma, stroke, diabetes — all important campaigns. But none of those conditions come close to affecting 45 percent of us. Forty-five percent: that’s
our current divorce rate. Why no prevention campaign for divorce? Well, I think it’s because
our policymakers don’t believe that things like attraction
and the way relationships are built is changeable or educable. Why? Well, our policymakers currently
are Generation X. They’re in their 30s to 50s. And when I’m talking to these guys
about these issues, I see their eyes glaze over, and I can see them thinking, “Doesn’t this crazy psychiatrist get it? You can’t control the way in which
people attract other people and build relationships.” Not so, our dear millennials. This is the most information-connected,
analytical and skeptical generation, making the most informed decisions
of any generation before them. And when I talk to millennials,
I get a very different reaction. They actually want to hear about this. They want to know about how do we
have relationships that last? So for those of you who want to embrace
the post- “romantic destiny” era with me, let me talk about my three life hacks
for preventing divorce. Now, we can intervene
to prevent divorce at two points: later, once the cracks begin to appear
in an established relationship; or earlier, before we commit,
before we have children. And that’s where I’m going to take us now. So my first life hack: millennials spend seven-plus hours
on their devices a day. That’s American data. And some say, probably not unreasonably, this has probably affected
their face-to-face relationships. Indeed, and add to that
the hookup culture, ergo apps like Tinder, and it’s no great surprise that
the 20-somethings that I work with will often talk to me about
how it is often easier for them to have sex with somebody that they’ve met than have a meaningful conversation. Now, some say this is a bad thing. I say this is a really good thing. It’s a particularly good thing to be having sex outside
of the institution of marriage. Now, before you go out
and get all moral on me, remember that Generation X,
in the American Public Report, they found that 91 percent of women had had premarital sex by the age of 30. Ninety-one percent. It’s a particularly good thing that
these relationships are happening later. See, boomers in the ’60s — they were getting married
at an average age for women of 20 and 23 for men. 2015 in Australia? That is now 30 for women and 32 for men. That’s a good thing, because
the older you are when you get married, the lower your divorce rate. Why? Why is it helpful to get married later? Three reasons. Firstly, getting married later allows
the other two preventers of divorce to come into play. They are tertiary education and a higher income, which tends
to go with tertiary education. So these three factors all
kind of get mixed up together. Number two, neuroplasticity research tell us that the human brain is still growing
until at least the age of 25. So that means how you’re thinking
and what you’re thinking is still changing up until 25. And thirdly, and most importantly
to my mind, is personality. Your personality at the age of 20 does not correlate with
your personality at the age of 50. But your personality at the age of 30 does correlate with
your personality at the age of 50. So when I ask somebody
who got married young why they broke up, and they say, “We grew apart,” they’re being surprisingly accurate, because the 20s is a decade
of rapid change and maturation. So the first thing you want to get
before you get married is older. (Laughter) Number two, John Gottman, psychologist
and relationship researcher, can tell us many factors that correlate
with a happy, successful marriage. But the one that I want to talk about is a big one: 81 percent of marriages implode,
self-destruct, if this problem is present. And the second reason why I want
to talk about it here is because it’s something
you can evaluate while you’re dating. Gottman found that the relationships
that were the most stable and happy over the longer term were relationships in which
the couple shared power. They were influenceable: big decisions, like buying a house,
overseas trips, buying a car, having children. But when Gottman
drilled down on this data, what he found was that women
were generally pretty influenceable. Guess where the problem lay? (Laughter) Yeah, there’s only
two options here, isn’t there? Yeah, we men were to blame. The other thing that Gottman found is that men who are influenceable also tended to be “outstanding fathers.” So women: How influenceable is your man? Men: you’re with her because you respect her. Make sure that respect plays out
in the decision-making process. Number three. I’m often intrigued by
why couples come in to see me after they’ve been married
for 30 or 40 years. This is a time when they’re approaching
the infirmities and illness of old age. It’s a time when they’re particularly
focused on caring for each other. They’ll forgive things
that have bugged them for years. They’ll forgive all betrayals,
even infidelities, because they’re focused
on caring for each other. So what pulls them apart? The best word I have
for this is reliability, or the lack thereof. Does your partner have your back? It takes two forms. Firstly, can you rely on your partner
to do what they say they’re going to do? Do they follow through? Secondly, if, for example, you’re out and you’re being
verbally attacked by somebody, or you’re suffering from
a really disabling illness, does your partner step up
and do what needs to be done to leave you feeling
cared for and protected? And here’s the rub: if you’re facing old age, and your partner
isn’t doing that for you — in fact, you’re having
to do that for them — then in an already-fragile relationship, it can look a bit like you might
be better off out of it rather than in it. So is your partner there for you
when it really matters? Not all the time, 80 percent of the time, but particularly if it’s important to you. On your side, think carefully before you
commit to do something for your partner. It is much better to commit to
as much as you can follow through than to commit to more
sound-good-in-the-moment and then let them down. And if it’s really important
to your partner, and you commit to it, make sure you move hell
and high water to follow through. Now, these are things
that I’m saying you can look for. Don’t worry, these are also
things that can be built in existing relationships. I believe that the most important decision that you can make is who you choose as a life partner, who you choose as
the other parent of your children. And of course, romance has to be there. Romance is a grand and beautiful
and quirky thing. But we need to add
to a romantic, loving heart an informed, thoughtful mind, as we make the most important
decision of our life. Thank you. (Applause)

About the author


  1. origin of marriage was to create a legal contract by which a man could acquire a female slave.. has it really changed that much? I mean besides men now being the females slave? 😂

  2. The risks outwieght the benefits of getting married though. Can't get married without worrying about your wife divorcing you. Everyone is saying get married buuuut I don't want really want to.

  3. Nice… however, a little shallow…ok, these things could improve your relationships, but how we know how our partner will evolve? After 10-20 years, he/she will be the same, even if we got married after our 30s? How we will know, that his/her behavior is really what he/she is and not just pretending in order to be accepted? And about ourselves, what happen if our partner is the perfect one, but ourselves are NOT? Can we change…? but change after 30's is hard, so, should it better not to change and look for an another partner that could accept us?
    With all these question, the point that I want to raise is that even if you have a good idea of yourselves and have a good idea of how your partner is, it dosen't really matter… not necessarily the combinations of you both will produce a long lasting relationship…
    Perhaps that is why movements like MGTOW are getting stronger : not just because the impossible way a men is treated by law and lot of women, but because a lot of men are realizing a relationship is no worthly

  4. Fact: People who marry under the age of 10 have MUCH lower divorce rates than those married after the age of 10. At a near 0% percent divorce rate, we should be asking ourselves what child marriage does right.

  5. Waiting till the thirties to get married puts woman at a clear disadvantage with a ticking biological clock and eligible bachelors placing a lot of value on youth . I think the speaker makes a valid point about the lack of maturation in younger couples but see no perfect solution . Happily single going on 22 years lol .

  6. For most of its existence, marriage had very little to do with religion or love, it was an alliance between families.
    Duty came first at the expense of one's own happiness or egocentric pursuits. In most cases, the man was the breadwinner, and the woman the caretaker. Roles were very clearly established. It was very frond upon to get a divorce, and in a lot of cases woman were stuck because they required financial security and learnt to adapt whether they liked it or not.
    Want to know why marriages fail at such a high rate today? The modern woman and the "I need to be happy/fulfilled/reach my goals above all" mentality.
    You cannot change a huge part of the equation and expect the same result.

    Life partners, equal-right parents…. we need to change the definitions and have them written in our laws to protect the new relationship dynamics. We need to evolve.

    Speaking of, men, my advice, DO NOT get married nowadays (without a prenup) because the divorce laws were written/built for the age-old institution that marriage once was, and will heavily favour the woman who would have been left all alone without any financial security and away from her family which is really not the case anymore.

  7. I dont know why anyone even tries to have a relationship… I gave up on having one years ago and it is amazing! I guess it is not for everyone, I have always been very introverted so I am totally fine without a man… But most women I know all want a man, yet they never seem happy when they are in a relationship… I never met a truly happy couple where both partners were really happy together, one or both of them usually are pretending for some reason (like kids)… I think everyone should learn to be happy and content on their own…

  8. I have a problem with what he's saying … why are his recommendations (such as marying later and sharing authority) becoming more common at a time divorce rate is going up?

  9. Great talk, especially if you're not married yet. It really puts all the insecurities you develop while thinking about marriage into words

  10. How do we have relationships that last? Marry after age 24. Share power equally, and be influenceable. Respect in decision making process. Be reliable. Does your partner feel cared for and protected. When making the most important decision of our lives, In addition to a romantic loving heart, have a informed thoughtful mind. https://twitter.com/tedstalkin

  11. Lol. Outside there are more than 80% divorces where most women decided to brake the relationships.

    Most men don’t cheat when women do.

    You don’t need to marry in matriarch because after divorce you will be a slave of this system.

  12. My biggest advice would be – don’t even consider getting married before you got your life figured out and is doing what you love and get paid for it.
    Some might say “most people never get their life figured out.” Or “most people don’t make their dreams come true.”
    Well, don’t get married ever than. That might be the best thing in this case.
    Realize this – nobody should ever push you to do anything in your life.
    When you wake up in the morning – it’s your own self and the life you’ve built for yourself is what you should grow to love or be forever miserable because of.
    So be focused on mission, trying to make lives better and grow as a human being. Then, only then if you really really want this – go and get married.

  13. The ultimate 100% success rate 'life-hack' to prevent divorce – don't get married! Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back 🤣

  14. I'm one such millennial curious about long lasting relationships/marriages. My parents happily completed 30 years together in a marriage that was arranged by their parents/grandparents. I wouldn't be able to last a friendship that long, marriage is not even on my mind. I just don't understand how people stay together for so long.

  15. 3 ways to build a happy marriage and avoid divorce:

    1. Get older before you get married

    2. Be influence-able

    3. Reliability – have your partner's back

  16. 3 ways of the speaker are 1) Getting married when you are older 2) Respect and 3) Make sure that your partner have your back and be reliable (and vice versa). I get his points but I think Ted Talk speakers nowadays tend to get lazy on research. This speaker only mentions one study to back up his claim. It's too few to make a solid point.

    I need Ted Talk speakers, from now on, do more researches, study more, dig deeper, investigate much harder before coming on stage and declare your "theory" as if they are "the facts".

  17. The subject is important not only to those looking to get married, but also to really anyone looking for a relationship. You both have to treat each other well if you want it to be lasting and meaningful, that’s the bottom line really.

  18. Strange that what should matter the most in people´s lives seems to be underpriotized, sometimes they don´t even seem to care at all.

  19. This is probably the most accurate and powerful message that I would deliver to all of the young people who so hurry to get married and have babies. I agree with the speaker, these two are the most important decisions we make in life and need to be approached with careful consideration and thought.

  20. another video from fantasy land,,,sounds good and good advice,,,,but the fact is western women,,,are for the most part not marriage material,,,,,so your advice falls short on that problem,,,,,,address it please,, in another video

  21. Never get married. Yeah no, I cannot share. I hate sharing, and I get pissed when I can't control. I have no interest in caring for someone else. I guess in general is because, I hate people, I'm disappointed by humans. I can't trust them, I have no interest in people, I don't like talking or interacting with people. See, i only want someone around here and there.

  22. Often ignored piece of advice: Don't be emotionally dependent on your partner and/or don't be in a relationship with someone who is emotionally dependent on you.
    I don't mean emotionally attached; that's different (and positive).
    I mean thought processes along the lines of 'My partner is the reason I'm not in a state of depression or suicidal thoughts' or 'I'm not a productive member of society without my partner'.

  23. Get older before you get married
    Be Influenceable
    Be Reliable – have your partner's back
    …This really needs to be in the description. It doesn't steal the thunder, it makes the points easier to remember later.

  24. This old bore lifted the three key themes straight from Esther Perel……not just loosely but VERBATIM (word for word)

  25. 1 I’ll never get pregnant
    2 l’ll never get married
    3 I don’t have children on my own
    4 no body can’t tell me what to do with my own body because it’s mine and I’m 29 years old woman
    5 that will be all I need to say
    6 I’m Anti pregnancy
    7 I’m not straight

  26. I preached this in my 20s….and my peers scoffed. Thought I was being shallow and judgmental with potential partners. I’m glad my thinking is validated. It’s so hard finding someone good. I’m hoping this will change in my 30s.

  27. But you know what? You are correct that uninfluenceable men wreck marriages. But they also attract them. Oscar Wilde's quote that nothing was ever accomplished by a reasonable man is correct-including in marriages. Most women see reasonable men as lacking leadership ability-indeed, strength. Especially in the all-too-important first impression phase.

  28. Aside for the upbringing of the kids, marriage is made to keep the man in the house as his attractiveness increases as he obtains wealth and resources and the woman's attractiveness decreases ad her beauty and fertility declines. Theres nothing exclusive a man receives from marriage and is done out of pure selflessnes.

  29. I think successful marriage depend on ( positive communication) Mainly Which means (Good listening , speaking)

    And it is the opposite of not caring how the other person feel or wants , abusing, shutting down others, making orders, not being corporative etc.)

    Happy Marriage is a positive teamwork

  30. Any man that enters into an agreement that has a 65% failure rate with an 80% chance it is initiated by the "woman" deserves the asset reallocation!

  31. In our 20s, we go through the toughest times of our life. We need to find people in these times. Yes the relationship may last longer after 30s because you both earn high and you dont have problems to deal with and probably because you both have independent life by then and the bond will never be as deep as the people who fall in love in their 20s.
    To summarize, IMO, relationship in 20s is very deep because they go through hardship together but after 30s, the relationship is not that deep.
    And yes respect is more important than love in ANY RELATIONSHIP.

  32. Shared power is a myth. It means a cucked, beta male doing what he is told under this guise. 2 out of 3 marriages now end in divorce. Let's see further stats on the 1 in 3 whom remain married, and query the reasons. Sake of the kids, finances, religion etc. The stats on stable happy marriage under its right form is virtually extinct.

  33. Keep sweetness flowing always and learn to compromise whenever misunderstanding arises. Never end the day with unresolved issues. Keep love flowing and intimacy must always present wherever.

  34. Interesting how he ignores the studies that shows the more sexual partners a person has, the more difficult it is to pair bond.

    It is good to wait for marriage. But is better to marry and have a supportive community that helps you through the hard times.

  35. 3 ways to avoid divorce
    1. Don’t get married
    2. Confused? Read rule one
    3. Mgtow

    Women will always lie and cheat, then divorce u. Statistically speaking

  36. Healthy Tips For A Strong Marriage During The Summer Holidays https://www.forbes.com/sites/palomacanterogomez/2019/07/08/healthy-tips-for-a-strong-marriage-during-the-summer-holidays/#67465373512e

  37. For men: Don’t get married to begin with. Marriage is a contract between you, her and the state. Guess who’s side the state will be on. Women initiate 80% of divorces. Why? They get to leave with the kids, the home and the cash and prizes. Until there is divorce and family court equity, men need to boycott marriage.

  38. Just walked past a young couple in the mall jewellery shop looking at engagement rings…
    Little does he know she will take him for everything he has including his earnings for the rest of his life…
    The Juice isn't worth the squeeze.
    Men avoid women, they are scum

  39. 3 easy and simple steps to be happy as a man in 2019

    Dont be her safety net, dont get married, realize "its just your turn and enjoy the ride(s)"

  40. Smartness is important in a relationship and cyberhackinggenius helped cloned my husband’s phone and I got access to all his dealings both on phone and social media without touching his phone. All I did was share my husband’s phone number with cyberhackinggenius and I was able to read both his new and deleted messages from my phone without having to touch his phone. My husband was a cheating Narcissist and I’m glad to find out all his secrets and infidelity with the help of cyberhackinggenius. I’m here in UK and able to access my husband’s phone messages with a link on my phone even while he was away in Canada cheating on me. I got to discover that my husband who is legally  married to me here in UK is also recently married to another woman in Canada and I’m finally going through a divorce with lots of evidence against him. I read all his Whatsapp, Facebook,Skype,Instagram and Snapchat messages Including the deleted text and recent messages. You can contact this great Hacker Gavin via Gmail  (cyberhackinggenius) or text and speak to him directly on his phone and WhatsApp : +19256795146 and don’t forget to thank me later.

  41. Probably one of the most thoughtful comment sections I’ve seen on youtube. Cheers to the informed, analytical and skeptical – millennials or otherwise!

  42. This subject goes beyond psychology. Most psychologists think they can contribute to it, but ultimately I don't think they can. I think they may be able to improve marriages indirectly by improving the mental health of the participants though.
    Philosophy-the parent of psychology holds the best hope of an answer. Perhaps even religion. A good marriage is little more than a partnership between two "good" people. But since everybody thinks they are good, and no mere mortal is qualified to judge and pass verdict on who is or isn't good, it's impossible to give marital advice beyond the obvious. That's to say you might have, in some cases, a very limited ability to say who will be unhappy together (eg. obviously mentally ill people), but people can't reliably advise how couples can be happy.

    A psychiatrist might take issue with what I wrote, pointing out an example of his success, however I said "reliably" and so they'd be ignoring another's failure to do so. In fact, happiness itself is probably too vague for any psychologist to define in absolute.

    If you are truly a good person and they are too, you'll know. It's not something you'll be able to tell other people how to do. It transcends intelligence. Thank goodness there are still some things humans can't screw up with intellectualism.

  43. If you are new to a marriage, please understand that you will struggle in the beginning. You both need time. Time to just live out issues together and try working them out in different ways. Being new to this, you may not know how he/she will react to certain things.. Please do not give up!

  44. A word is enough for the wise and It is compulsory to apply wisdom when dealing with our partners. I got help from cyberhackinggenius as he helped cloned my cheating wife’s phone and I got access to all her phone messages both deleted texts and social media chats without touching her phone. I’m glad to uncover her lies, deceits, secrets and Infidelity. All I did was share my wife’s phone number with Cyberhackinggenius and I was able to read her recent and deleted messages from my phone through a programmed link shared to me without touching her phone and she has no idea her phone has been cloned. I discovered that my wife has been in a long term affair outside our marriage and it was very painful finding out I’m not the biological father of our last child. I’m finalizing my divorce with so many proofs and she is still in a complete shock about my findings. You can contact this great Hacker Gavin via Gmail (cyberhackinggenius) or text and speak to him directly on his phone and WhatsApp : +19256795146.

  45. Another alogrithm fail. Im not interested in marriage currently. Im single. Im only into feminine women. Im a targeted individual, and the attempts of putting havoc in my life is presents problems in my dating.
    I need to be selfish when theres a concerted effort in attempting to ruin my life. Im Independent not on any political plantations.

  46. Please do not stay in a marriage, where you are being disrespected physically or mentally, for that is not love.
    Do not mistake LUST for LOVE. Love is kind, and it does not hurt. Please quietly leave, before the evil demon kill you and your family and friends. A word to the wise is sufficient.

  47. Be sure to read honest and real reviews left by users who have bought Save The Marriage on my blog before you buy. Go to thecbreviews. com/save-the-marriage-review/ (remove space before com). Thanks, Ozzie.

  48. there is no help out there that could save a marriage. No marriage console couldn't decision or help to make a choice if is going to work out or not, is up to the other to decide what's going to happen in the marriage. If they decide to move on and not try to work things out with the spouse, So you need to move on in life, and forgot everything that happen between you and the other person. If by any miracle they decide to stay and work things out, thinks will not be the same and it will be awkward in a short period of time.
    Just move on in life and don't ever look back always walk forward with your chin up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *