In a previous article, I wrote about the 5 levels of intimate communication a married couple can have. Now I want to talk about the "dance of conflict" that so many couples perform. This dance of conflict is the extreme that couples go through to avoid deep communication.
Here are the 5 levels of intimate communication.
1. Surface talk
2. Sharing facts
3. Share opinions/concerns/expectations
4. Sharing feelings
5. Sharing needs.
I mentioned that to get to levels 3, 4, and 5, you must trust your spouse and be free from ongoing conflict. This is because at levels 3, 4, and 5, you are sharing the most secret and hidden parts of your self.
It has been estimated that the average time it takes a couple to get to communication level 5 (sharing needs) is about 6 years. Do you know what the average time for divorce is? 5 ½ years. Many couples never get to the most intimate level of communication with their spouse. They might get to this level with friends, family, or even co-workers, but they never get there with their spouse.
Without making it a point to grow to the next level of communication, you will more than likely just share general chit-chat and facts. Every once in a while you might dive deeper to the opinions and feelings, but because you don’t feel comfortable with your spouse or don’t feel accepted by your spouse, you immediately resurface to the more convenient and general levels of communication.
Some couples have been married for 30 years and have never consistently reached levels 3, 4, and 5. They have not really been married for 30 years. They have been married for a year 30 times. They never grew their communication, and so they never grew their love.