The 6 layers of communication stakeholders in a Relationship

March 19, 2013

Community, Self-Empowerment

Communication is a concept that is key to any relationship this blog aims to shed light on the various stakeholders and examine briefly how each stakeholder may be involved.  The approach I have taken is to think of each stakeholder as a layer starting with the inner most layer and finishing with the final layer, using the notion of circles this better conveys how one can possibly be aware of each stakeholder and their interests.

What is Relationship and the Digital Age 

Let us begin by taking a look at the word ‘Relationship’ and its definition

The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

The word ‘connect’ is fundamental in defining the term relationship in a world that is catered around the notion of communication the question arises as to why marriages today are failing, for if we are connected 24/7 through our phones should that not make us an evolved species?  The reality however is that as the world becomes smaller through the rapid spread of information it also means that our inter personal skills are failing. How many times have we found ourselves conforming to the idea of ‘Digital Zombies’ where we are walking in the street but with our faces glued to our phones without a care as to what is happening around us. Just the other night I spent a chilled evening with my peers and in order to actually sit and enjoy each others company we had to make a vow that each individual would put their phones in the middle of the table so that it would not be a distraction. However even then our idle hands cannot keep away and that flashing light or buzzing sound must be catered for like a baby crying for his mother.

Managing each others expectations and fine tuning the balance between the various emotions we experience is an art that todays digital age does not teach. Last year I wrote an article on the struggles of marriage and the various approaches one may take in finding his/her spouse, it is no surprise that this article continues to be the the most read blog. I often found myself being asked for advice on marital issues to which I would reply ‘Please ask those who are experienced’ for I do not feel an individual can give advice on that which he has not experienced.  Anyhow one can possibly conclude that the fact this article remains popular is indicative of the need for communication in all its forms to be discussed.

Often if we delve deep into the issues that are causing the break ups today we see that many of them are down to what we may call ‘minor’ issues , for example

“Why didn’t she pick up the phone?”

“Why is he not replying to my WhatApp”

“I didn’t like the way he talked to me”

The above are perhaps typical areas that may exacerbate into issues that are larger than they seem and once they accumulate they become unmanageable and thus we find the relationship becoming untenable. One of the key issues we must bear in mind is that when it comes to the idea of marriage, the spouse is not “your best friend” rather they are much more than that, the idea of ‘Friendship vs Marriage’ is perhaps best left for a future blog.

The 6 Layers – The Couple  (Core)

Lets tackle communication in relation to the various stakeholders in any given relationship,  I shall begin with the core giving a brief explanation of each until the final layer brings about a complete picture of the layers that one must bear in mind when entering a relationship.


Layer 1 – The Couple

The core forms a the central part of the communication layers for  the male and the female are the two most single important stakeholders, it is paramount that this core remains solid in the sense that if the couple were to have an argument they would remain within the boundaries of the first layer.  I have used the term ‘Couple’ instead of Male and Female because in a relationship you are indeed one solid unit, it may be hard to understand this as first but the sooner the concept of ‘we’ rather then ‘me’ is used the smoother the ride. One will notice that this layer is covered with a thick wall emphasising the need for it to be solid the arrows indicate the various communication levels that will come out of this core.  Not everything is negative and so positive news about a new-born being expected for example  will filter through and eventually spread like a ripple effect through the layers below.

Layer 2 – The Parents 

Layer 2 - The Parents

Layer 2 – The Parents

As we expand past the first layer we reach into the layers where external stakeholders related to the core have the following

  1. Expectations as to how the couple behave and interact 
  2. Interest in seeing a successful relationship
  3. Support should the core require it

In many cases it is the parents that are the closet to the core, they will be the first point of contact for a range of ‘communication requirements’, having spoken to an individual who is part of a successful 30+ marriage she tells me that she never once allowed a negative image of her husband to reach her parents.  In times of disagreement and anger she would keep it within ‘Layer 1’ for she explained that had she involved her mother than that would upset her and the situation at hand would expand larger than need be.  For any male wishing to marry I personally would advice that they put themselves in the shoes of the four involved in this layer, too often males complain that they are treated harshly and wrongly perceive finance to be the blocker for their marriage prospects. sometimes we need to evaluate the position of the father and understand that giving away his precious gem is no easy act and so when it comes across as harsh, know that an action today may one day grow into context.

Layer 3 – Extended Family 

Layer 3 - Extended Family

Layer 3 – Extended Family

As we expand the layers there are more and more ‘expectations’ to meet and more parties with interest in the marriage. The aunty/uncle will undoubtedly have a strong interest in the couple , hoping and wishing for success.  Of course this is not always the case and there will be scenarios that are different, no one relationship is the same and all will relate to the layers differently.

Layer 4 – Friends 

Layer 4 - Friends

Layer 4 – Friends

Friends play a major role in our lives and in most cases we will use them for support in times of need, there exist no friend that wants to see any ‘bad’ happen to you they will always want your best interest. As we gather the layers into place we begin to relate them to various information that may flow up and down the layers and so as a couple it should be your duty to ensure that what comes out the core is information that both the individuals are happy with.

Layer 5 – Community / Work Place

Layer 5 - Community / Work Place

Layer 5 – Community / Work Place

As an individual from a tight-knit community in London often information travels fast, sometimes we blame the community for many things in our lives and all too often the idea of unfair judgement emerges. The community will always judge and as a couple there is only one judge to please and cater for and that is Allah (swt). Very simple to say and hopefully easy to remember when approaches the various issues at hand.

Layer 6 – World 

Layer 6 - World

Layer 6 – World

Finally in a square format is the World around us it is square as it is the final limited layer it is pretty much self-explanatory. This approach to dissecting communication stakeholders is no scientific business it is very much common knowledge however as humans we must always seek to remind ourselves of all that is around us.

To conclude and having looked at the various stakeholders I wish to end by saying that when we do enter a relationship and embark upon the journey of Marriage it is not one of you and your partner. The journey encapsulates many individuals with varying interests and so by reminding ourselves of these stakeholders we put ourselves in a stronger position to better meet the expectations of each layer and perhaps form a stronger bond as a couple.

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About mohamedridha

Network Systems Engineer with focus on Wireless LAN Infrastructure and Security. Interests in Middle East

View all posts by mohamedridha


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