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Marriage expert next sustainability speaker

Wilk to present seven principles for successful relationships

By Andrew Mitchell

In the past few years Whistler has hosted sustainability speakers on a variety of topics, from changing the way we do business to changing public perception on major issues like climate change.

Next week the Whistler Social Sustainability Speaker Series will delve to a deeper level and look at the concept of successful marriages.

Darren Wilk, a certified Gottman therapist from the Gottman Insitute in Seattle, will be presenting the seven principles for successful relationships developed by Dr. John Gottman for his bestselling book, The Seven Principles that Make Marriages Work . Among other things, Dr. Gottman claims to be able to predict with a 90 per cent accuracy rate whether a couple will divorce after a single interview.

Wilk has a reputation as a lively and funny speaker, and will present research based on over 3,000 couples and 35 years.

Nancy Routley, a registered Clinical Counsellor in Whistler, helped to create the Whistler Social Sustainability Speaker Series and bring Wilk to Whistler. Wilk will be speaking at Whistler Secondary School on Monday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

About one third of Canadian marriages end in divorce, ranking a distant third in the Western world behind the U.S. and the U.K. The divorce rate, which jumped after changes to federal law in 1968 and peaked in 1987, has stabilized and is poised to decrease as people wait longer to get married, and the number of common law couples increases.

In terms of social sustainability, studies show that people who get married usually have better economic prospects, and live longer, healthier lives. While there are no guarantees, children of parents who get married and stay married also do better.