5 Levels of Communication

Written by Serena Wang

sparkMisunderstanding leads to breakups

About one in two marriages ends in a divorce these days. We are all too familiar with the various problems that can lead to a breakup. Arguments can begin at sunrise and not stop until after sunset. This kind of fragile relationship is like a time bomb ready to explode at any time. Some couples may keep it all inside to avoid the confrontation, but that doesn’t make the relationship any healthier. Either way, it is a no-win situation. The romance and dreams these couples once built together vanish into obscurity.

Arguments are part of every marriage

Couples often fail to compromise simply due to selfishness. Each side asks the other to change. Differences in opinion frequently lead to quarrels. These “minor issues” are just part of your marriage. More serious problems arise from heated discussions that turned into intense arguments. The fact is that no two people are alike. You may have different backgrounds, perspectives, personalities, and professions.

Yes, you’ll still have your share of disagreements and arguments, but you need to handle them with wisdom. You have to realize it is not easy to mix well together for a lifetime. You’ll need plenty of love, faith and patience to start.

This way, your marriage won’t dry up and become routine. Communication is critical for a healthy marriage. Some people describe the ideal marriage as a two-way street. If you don’t have any arguments, or one side is always directing the traffic, you are riding on a one-way street without any communication. That’s not something to cheer about.

Establish a healthy communication technique

Maybe people have different views about the true meaning of the word “argument”. The husband and wife are two distinct bodies. Arguments are just part of life. What is important is how you handle those arguments. You’ll need to communicate with some skill.

Men and women are different, so oftentimes they “talk” but fail to “communicate”. That will just make matters worse. Couples need to find an effective method of communication. Communication is often the major player in holding a marriage together. Unfortunately, many couples lack this skill and desperately need to work on it.

Couples must learn to understand each other better and recognize and accept each others’ point of view. When you love but don’t fully appreciate each other you’ll be destined to have a rocky journey ahead. When couples are willing to talk about everything and step into each other’s shoes to look at problems, then that will be the starting point of an ideal marriage.

Communication is an art

Experts believe communication can be divided into five levels:

  1. Level of acquaintance
  2. Sharing of information
  3. Sharing of ideas
  4. Sharing of emotions
  5. Gut level sharing

Wives often want a husband who can just sit down and listen, someone who can completely appreciate her emotions and views (Level 5). Husbands typically want to reason, maybe even give a lecture (Level 3). In this kind of situation, the wives may sometimes feel that they are talking to a wall. Eventually, the wives may stop sharing many of their feelings and thoughts. Thus, it becomes necessary for couples to learn how to communicate effectively.

In addition, couples need to love and accept each other, learn to listen, and listen with undivided attention. Be proactive, objective, and pay attention for any signs your lover may give. Learn how to talk and praise your lover frequently. Don’t forget to use some humor at times. And most importantly, say everything to your lover with the love that comes straight from your heart.

Find out the cause of the confrontation and work it out

If you notice that confrontations are becoming more frequent, don’t underestimate the severity of it. Try to focus and find out the root of the problem. Resolve the differences in a timely manner and apologize to each other. Don’t delay. Whenever couples have confrontations, it is best to solve it as soon as possible.

Handling confrontations is an art like dance. Here are some steps you can take to master the dance of communication:

  1. Never use the silent treatment.
  2. Never use lies to cover up short comings.
  3. Don’t get in-laws or friends involved right away.
  4. Don’t be subjective in making any conclusions.
  5. Never jump into conclusions, communicate and talk it over.
  6. Discuss what actually happened, don’t judge.
  7. Find out all the facts rather than start guessing at the motives.
  8. Learn to understand each other, not to defeat each other.
  9. Use future and present tense talking, not past tense.
  10. Concentrate on the major problem, don’t divide attention by mixing in other minor problems.
  11. First take care of the problems that hurt feelings in the relationship, then take care the problems arising from just differences in opinions.
  12. Use “I feel” statements, don’t use “you are” statements.

Marriage is a lifelong journey. I wish the best to all the married couples out there. Be willing to make sacrifices for each other and keep an intimate relationship going. Let marriage regain the spark that once lit up your romantic world.

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60 Responses to “5 Levels of Communication”

  • Chris Chris says:

    shelly…i am sorry to hear you are struggling a bit. at the same time i do thank God for a marriage of 30 years. not that many marriages today last that long so that speaks well of you and your husband. we marry imperfect people, that is for sure. we need to realize that always even after being married for quite a while, those Little thorns on the roses can still pop up once in a while but that helps us to develop our unconditional love for our spouses even more just as christ loves us. remember, marriage is a symbol of the love God has shown us in his son jesus. though we were weak and oppposing to God, jesus still loved us the same and even to die on a cross for us. how truly marvelous is the love of God and that is the love he wants to develop in us towards our mates and all those around us too. for more information on having this kind of love flowing in your heart and life log onto…knowingjesuspersonally.com. i pray jesus help you in understanding what he wants to do in your life, your marriage and your spiritual destiny amen!

  • Shelly says:

    I have been married for almost 30 years. My marriage, for the most part, is complete. One issue and from day one, communication and how the communication begins and ends.

    It’s the “tone” the “huh” the “I heard you” the “yah ok”. As I approach him on a subject and ask softly and look him in the eye his reply is always, this is way I say the things I do. You go way overboard. Listen to yourself. Even if we are not discussing an issue, he’s never looked me in the eye for communicating, he’s looked elsewhere. For example, we were on a wine tour with our friends, the other gal asked her husband the type of wine, he looked her in the eyes and proceeded to explain the wine and the discussed back and fourth. So the next stop I did the same the and addressed it directly to my husband, he looked at the couple and proceeded to tell them about the wine. Never once made direct contact with me.

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Ranae, You are in a tough situation and if your husband does not want to talk or see a counsellor, that makes it tougher. Partly it may be because of being a fire fighter and having another job. He is maybe just downright tired. My son is also a fire fighter and is always tired. I don’t know what their sex life is like and I don’t ask but I do know in spite of that and a near fatal illness his wife had a few years ago, they have a good relationship, share a lot together and have very well adjusted kids so maybe that’s where they put most of their energy an effort and not on looking for sexual satisfaction. It may seem hard to believe but sometimes that makes for a very happy marriage, especially if you add
    in the fact that they are regular church goers and seek to live as disciples of Jesus. Where do you stand as regards faith? It does make a huge difference if you know that there is a God who cares and who is ready to give us the wisdom we need in all circumstances.

  • Ranae says:

    We have been married 22 years and we still have issues with sex. Not enough or when he wants it and then I get the silent treatment. We have tried signals to communicate that the other might be interested, but we still m9iss them, or I do. He does not think he should have to ask . he is a firefighter and gone every third night and also works another job. We have had a family bed and sleep was the reason and he really says he likes sleeping alone because he does not want to have anybody touching him at night. After the silent treatment when most of the time I figure out at least it is about sex, I try to discuss, but the end of the discussion is always, and I do mean always “it is all my fault” in sarcasm. It leaves me with no options. It shuts down all communication. I am now disabled and adding that to the mix is interesting. I am concerned that after all of this time, this is where we still are. Counseling is not an option ever he says. how do we get passed this? P.S. but forget about compromises of loving touch other than sex and it has to last forever with me at least having 3 orgasms or it is disappointing for him.

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  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Secorra, I suggest, first, that you pray for God’s help in resolving the issue you are facing with your fiancé.

    Then, you should reread, memorize, and begin applying the 12 steps to Handling confrontations above. They are wonderful principles, which, when put into practice, will provide the help which you are asking for.

    If, after you have made a determined effort to apply those steps, and there seems to be no change, you may want to rethink whether you are in the right relationship. Quite often, when God closes one door, He opens another, usually, better than the previous one.

    If you would like to talk to a mentor on a one on one basis, you may do so by going to this website: http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/.

    Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for Secorra. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help her to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help her to comprehend the sacrifice You made for her in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for her sins, and the sins of all mankind. Lord, grant Secorra the wisdom, fortitude, and calmness of mind and heart to deal with the situation with her fiancé, in Jesus Name I pray, amen.

  • Secorra Gagau says:

    Hello me and my fiance, we can communicate but when have he tends to slide back to talking about my past, something he can’t let go of. I have lied and have not told him things, I know it looks bad but I love him. I have apologized a million times, I have owned up to what I have done, I faced my past. He constantly bring up my past and lives in it it gets frustrating. He don’thear what iI have to say we over talk eachother. He is a person who don’t let stuff go or forgives. I tell him.holding on to my past is holding us back we are standing still. I aslo tell him God has forgiven us you have to forgive. So now I start back shutting down when talk and dont voice my opinion because he makes me feel like Iccan’t say anything to him. He make me shut down like I use to when I was younger and I dont want that all it will do is build up, that will cause resentment, cause a break up. Please help us thank yoy

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    mlou,
    There is a a great verse in the bible that tells us that we are not to let the sun go down on our anger. The reason for that is that once we go to bed angry, without speaking, it is easier to ignore each other the next morning. With each day that passes, the anger and bitterness takes root and makes communication more and more difficult.

    Since your husband was committed to coming home early to talk it through, I certainly hope that you too were willing to talk. Communication takes hard work on both people’s parts. And next time when there is a disagreement or there is hurt, talk it through before you go to sleep. You will be glad you did!

  • mlou says:

    I too have communication problems with my marriage. We had a fall out when i vented my anger at something about my day and he responded not in the way i wanted.
    We have not actually spoken for two weeks now, leaving the room when the other enters etc.
    All i want is to talk about my day etc but it is so hard.
    I see other couples chatting and it seems so easy. Why is it so hard?
    I have suggested we go our seperate ways but my husband is coming home early tonight to talk it through.

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