commitment, cooperation, communication and community

This past weekend I learned that a couple of my friends ended their marriage. Divorce. Done deal. It’s all over. Kaput.

I’m still saddened and in shock because I honestly thought that their union was synonymous to what a happy couple was all about. They seemed to compliment each other so well, but they weren’t so joined at the hip that they weren’t individuals as well.

So what could have possibly happened? Instead of dwelling on what led to divorce, I, instead, am compelled to wonder what could have kept it together. According to Couple Power, a program masterminded by Peter L. Sheras, PhD and Phyllis R. Koch-Sheras, Ph.D, there are 4 keys to being a happy couple – Commitment, Cooperation, Communication and Community.

The article is here
and it’s worth a read.

It is essential for the individual to get past their own self-interest to cooperate with their partner, this allows them each to find a way to be satisfied without feeling deprived of their own needs. What might at first look like incompatibility is actually diversity and versatility.

I divorced over ten years ago where incompatibility and maturity, or lack thereof, contributed largely to my marriage’s decline. Since I long for a more permanent relationship in the future, I glean all that I can from the successes and failures of others so that I can be party to a happy couple someday too.

Published by kenn

author. developer. illustrator. Renaissance man.

7 thoughts on “commitment, cooperation, communication and community”

  1. tiff says:

    I feel like you have such a healthy and wise approach to viewing and incorporating the “knocks of life” . You grew up with a mainly absent father and take that and use it to become the dad you always wanted as a young boy and it’s always sad when a marriage ends, especially when there are children, but instead of living in regret you look toward the future…and you and your sons are stronger, better, whole because of it.

    I rarely think about my marriage or my ex, my only regret being that I stayed too long. I’ve accepted that we were both culpable, he to a way, way, way greater extent than I . 🙂 And yet, though I was very unhappy in my marriage, I feel the loss. I lost direction I guess. Sadly, my default is self-pity. One has to keep it moving, i suppose. Forward. 🙂

    1. kenn says:

      Thank you, Tiff. I’m still learning and accepting my limitations in this ‘hard knock life.’

      Self-pity can destroy, but you already have realized that. Keeping it moving and not defaulting to it is the key to thriving.

  2. Lisa says:

    “Since I long for a more permanent relationship in the future, I glean all that I can from the successes and failures of others so that I can be party to a happy couple someday too.”

    I can totally relate and I do the same thing myself. I just wish there were more successes than failures to benchmark off of.

    1. kenn says:

      Failures are a ingredient to success. So look at it like this: you have extra ingredients for a bigger bowl of success 🙂

  3. Tanisha says:

    I’ve been divorced for several years now. And what I’m learning to do is truly evaluate what I absolutely can and can not tolerate in a partner. And hold true to the things that I diligently seek in my future husband. The one thing that I absolutely can’t waiver on in that list of things I must have, is a strong spiritual partner. For me, it’s the most important thing in my life and everything else, I feel I’m strong enough to handle. But the younger me was too afraid of losing the wrong ones, so I didn’t have the courage and maturity to be honest with myself about certain revelations revealed about my relationships.

    But I don’t think there’s an exact science to making it work outside of a strong commitment to God. Looking back on my experience, I can honestly say I was the one unwilling to be lead. My faith (God’s word) tells me there’s a divine order to a marriage. And trust me when I say, we were so out of order 🙂 I knew I didn’t feel he was someone I trusted to nor was I willing to let him lead me anywhere. (<—Here's my sign). Ironically, the desire and ability to lead is a priority of mine, though I have yet to date a man who actually wants to lead, since my divorce. LOL…Go figure.

    1. kenn says:

      You’re right. There is no exact science. Even a strong commitment to God may not be enough without other elements in place as well. But it helps to follow the guidelines of the Creator of marriage for a greater chance of success. Being conscious of self helps a whole lot too. It’s cuts back on unrealistic expectations of self and significant other.

  4. suri says:

    While the article is informative, interesting and ideal… I don’t believe it is realistic. Realistic in a sense where people are not willing to follow the rules of the four Cs. Many of the marriages I’ve seen that have lasted one person has had to give up a part or a whole of who they are to make it work. While I am by no means an expert of how relationships work or last nor have I even been married but I do believe in order for any relationship to work that one has to cut out a part of who they are and what they want to make it last. Not unless there is some magical machine that can take orders on how to create the perfect mate…. not a bad idea. Jokes aside nothing is set in stone when it comes to dealing with humans and their emotions. You can either grow together or grow apart.

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