By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

We fell in love in Canada today. You can, of course, read that two ways. Those of you who have followed our writings and musings about love and successful marriage know that we fell in love with each other some 47 years ago. And it is true that we fall in love all over again each day of our lives together. But today, we fell in love with Canada!

Currently, we are in Banff and Calgary, Alberta (Canada) interviewing happily and successfully married couples for our new book tentatively entitled, How to Marry the Right Guy. After spending six days in Banff, Calgary, and environs we are struck with the beauty of the Canada and the friendliness of its people. We are also struck with the strength of Canadian marriages!

First, the beauty of Banff. During our interview at lunch today with a couple happily married for 39 years, we sat in a wonderful restaurant with a terrific view of the Canadian Rockies. The mountains are undeniably beautiful! Seeing the mountains and the glaciers, seeing the tall peaks and amazing waterfalls, and contemplating the awesomeness of it all, is humbling, to say the least. The mist on the mountains is, in many ways, more surreal than real. It has a mystical and magical look to it and almost felt dreamlike today as we admired it over a glass of a delightful Canadian Chardonnay.

And the Magpie birds were graceful and splendiferous as they squawked their way from outcropping to outcropping, from tree to tree. These beautiful black and white birds are unique and wonderful creatures.

Secondly, the warmth and friendliness of the people is simply awesome. Everywhere we have gone so far – our hotel, the local restaurants, the airport, the rental car kiosk, the back country store, the service station – we are greeted by people who are polite, relaxed, good natured, humorous, and in love with life. We have been smitten by the Canadians! They are delightful and wonderful! They are awesome!

The food here has been amazing. Just tonight, we ate at a marvelous restaurant with great food and even better service. Our waitress was Helen and she made our whole romantic meal on this, our 46th Wedding Anniversary, even more romantic. She just turned 30. And she is in love! We darn near adopted her as our own!

Today we interviewed a delightful couple in Banff and another in Calgary. Tomorrow we head to Lake Louise. Thursday, back to Banff. We finish our interviews on Friday in Calgary. Here is what we have discovered so far – marriage is alive and well in Canada!

Recently, we read an article that appeared on the front page of The Globe and Mail (called Canada’s “National Newspaper”) entitled “Canadians redefine the family.” The article appeared in 2007. With no offense to the editors of this newspaper, we thought their interpretations were among the most egregious misrepresentations of factual data we seen in our many years of “crunching numbers” about marriage.

The article completely misrepresented and distorted the reality of the state of marriage in Canada and we are, frankly, quite perplexed about why a newspaper would so blatantly distort the data to the point of grossly misleading the country’s citizenry. There has to be an agenda and/or a political purpose. Let us explain why we believe Canada is still very much in love with marriage.

First of all, the couples with successful marriages we have interviewed on this trip mirror the results of our interviews in the USA and around the world that we have conducted over the past 30+ years. And contrary to the conclusions in the newspaper article we referenced, Canadians still are engaging in traditional marriage in overwhelming numbers.

Here are the facts – in 2001 a little over 70% of Canadian “families” were headed by married couples. In 2006, that figure still hovered near 69%. So-called “common law couples” represented 14% of “families” in 2001 and a little over 15% in 2006.

Now, here is where all this gets interesting. We have a saying in academia that we repeat often – “Statistics are for liars and damn liars.” The aforementioned newspaper chose to talk about the percentage growth in common law couples instead of the actual percentage of “families” headed by them implying that common law marriages were becoming more popular than traditional marriages. This is sort of like saying that there are more marriages in Calgary than there are in Banff, so Calgary is more “marriage friendly” than Banff. To conclude such is absurd!

Calgary is a much larger city than Banff with more than 160 times the population—of course they would be expected statistically to have at least 160 times the number of marriages! The Globe and Mail committed the same misapplication of statistical data, and shame on them!

Canadians should celebrate the fact that traditional marriage is still something that nearly 70% of “family structures” in their country mirror. To suggest otherwise is to mislead the public into believing something that is not true. Marriage is alive and well in Canada and no “playing around with the data” is going to change that.

And, oh, yeah, romance is definitely in the air in Banff and Calgary!

In love and marriage the simple things matter.

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

For marriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts : The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 46-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

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