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Home » 3 Ways to Build a Happy Marriage & Avoid Divorce: George Blair-West (Transcript)

3 Ways to Build a Happy Marriage & Avoid Divorce: George Blair-West (Transcript)

George Blair-West

Dr George Blair-West is an author, researcher and medical doctor specialising in psychiatry in private practice in Brisbane, Australia. In an actionable, eye-opening talk, psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce — and spotting potential problems while you’re still dating.

Here is the full text of Dr. George’s talk titled “3 Ways to Build a Happy Marriage & Avoid Divorce.”


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.

Fourth on the list is imprisonment in an institution.

Now, some say number seven has been counted twice. 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% of us.

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