5 Levels of Communication
Misunderstanding 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:
- Level of acquaintance
- Sharing of information
- Sharing of ideas
- Sharing of emotions
- 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:
- Never use the silent treatment.
- Never use lies to cover up short comings.
- Don’t get in-laws or friends involved right away.
- Don’t be subjective in making any conclusions.
- Never jump into conclusions, communicate and talk it over.
- Discuss what actually happened, don’t judge.
- Find out all the facts rather than start guessing at the motives.
- Learn to understand each other, not to defeat each other.
- Use future and present tense talking, not past tense.
- Concentrate on the major problem, don’t divide attention by mixing in other minor problems.
- First take care of the problems that hurt feelings in the relationship, then take care the problems arising from just differences in opinions.
- 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.