Top Stories
Front Page
Student Life
Science & Environment
Arts & Entertainment

People & Places


HPU Clubs


Cross Country

Hot Links
Kalamalama Home

HPU instructor coaches relationship success:
Students learn life-long lessons in an era of temporary marriage

by Brian Mercy, staffwriter


The statistics are frightening: ac cording to, 41 percent of all married couples filed for divorce in the year 2000. Welcome to the era of temporary marriage, a time when signing your name (on the dotted line) to signify a life-long commitment to another is simply a transitory agreement.

However, the number of people who continue to marry—2,350,005 couples in 2000—suggests that many feel immune to the startling statistics on divorce. Some couples decide to take the plunge at a young age because they already have children and feel they should be an official family unit. Others simply feel that the timing is right and that marriage is the next logical step.

“We’ve known each other for so long, and we just thought that marriage is the next step. I mean, I’ve known him for practically my whole life, so why not? It just feels right,” said a 22 year-old female communications major at HPU who wanted to remain anonymous.

And many other young, engaged couples feel the same way. Ryan Blood, a 24-year-old public relations major made a similar comment regarding his recent engagement.

“I love Jill [his fiancée] so much, I just can’t imagine my life without her,” said Blood. However, when Blood was asked if he and his fiancée had discussed requirements in a partner and in a relationship, his response was: “What do you mean, requirements?”

Before marrying, couples should communicate with each other and with themselves, according to David Steele, of the Relationship Coaching Institute. Couples should know themselves, Steele said, and have a clear picture of how they want to live. Couples should confirm these pictures and make certain they are similar.

HPU instructor Fran Lowell, who is also a relationship success coach, teaches in her classes that couples should talk about the norms and traditions of their families, and the roles males and females play in each family. This will help in establishing roles and expectations for their future family. Steele feels strongly about defining re- quirements for your partner, and making sure these requirements are fulfilled.

Steele says each person should ask himself or herself, “If this relationship were perfect in every way, except this one thing, would I have to leave the relationship?” And, “What would this relationship look like if this one thing was missing?”

In her class, Lowell discusses require ments in detail, and defines them as non-negotiable expectations that one has for his or her partner, expectations that must be met. For instance, if one requirement is to be addiction-free, it could be a red flag for trouble if the partner is a recovering alcoholic two months into rehab.

In the area of requirements, Steele adamantly states that there is no room for compromise: they must be met or the relationship will never flourish, and divorce will be inevitable.


©2002, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
This site designed Rick Bernico & maintained by Johan Astrom