Debra Macleod

Local author and marriage mediator looking for successful couples

A local author and marriage mediator is looking for couples with successful unions and wants to know how they make their relationship work.

Debra Macleod, who is a relationship expert and author, is in the process of writing a yet to be titled book and will use the success stories as part of it.

She is not only looking for couples with successful marriages but also particularly couples who have had a long lasting marriage while one spouse works in the oilfield.

“We call this the 15 and six syndrome where many men are gone in the oil patch for 15 days and then home for six days,” said Macleod. “I’m looking for success stories – couples who have been together for 20 or 30 years without any help that can say this is how we’ve survived the 15 and six syndrome — and this is really one of the only places in the world that you can find these things because it’s been going on since the 70’s.

“I’m fascinated by it.”

Macleod is a marriage mediator and author who also regularly appears on Global Television and has submitted articles for Cosmopolitan, The New York Times and Men’s Health, among others.

She recently opened her office in Red Deer and her practice is really the only one of its kind in Canada.

“Marriage mediation is becoming a popular alternative to therapy and counseling,” said Macleod. “Marriage mediation basically comes out of divorce mediation. It grabs people at an earlier point where they are still committed to saving their marriage.”

She added marriage mediation is a great alternative in helping couples improve their partnership.

“Mediation as a discipline has always focused on two parties – bringing two parties together whatever their issues are – and finding common ground and bringing a sense of collaboration into that,” said Macleod.

She added one of the frustrating things she often sees in today’s day and age is in many cases marriages are treated like they are disposable.

“Starter marriages are my pet peeve,” said Macleod. “The divorce rate is now 50 or 60 per cent and a lot of couples get married in their early to mid 20s, even up until their early 30s and their marriage lasts for maybe three years and they get divorced.

“What gets me crazy about it is that what usually accompanies starter marriages are starter children. One of the main problems I see in the office are blended families.”

She added many couples don’t realize it is normal to fall out of love during the course of a marriage but couples have to get to a point where they can fall back in love.

“It’s normal if you ride it out,” said Macleod. “We’ve lost that sense of obligation in some instances. It is easier to get out of a marriage than it is almost any other contract.

“We need to shift our way of thinking.”

For more information or to contact Debra Macleod visit

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