The key to a successful marriage is good communication skills. To help understand common mistakes married couples make when it comes to communication and for tips on good communication, I have interviewed psychotherapist Leslie Seligman, LCSW.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing individual, couples and family therapy in Williamsburg Brooklyn and Mid-town Manhattan. I have helped many couples that have difficulties with communication, individuals coping with anxiety and depression , anger management and substance abuse. I also work with families who feel split.”
What are common mistakes couples make when it comes to communication?
“Good communication includes the ability to recognize and try to understand the other person’s way of being, thinking and behavior. Communication can flow back and forth when you have the ability to listen, and understand with more then one perspective. Couples can develop mindful alternate ways of looking at things. For example you may not understand your partner who does things differently then you do. Understanding where your partner is coming from may help you to have empathy, which does not mean you have to like everything your partner does or says. Together you can ask yourselves; how does my partner hear me? What does my partner think I am saying? Are we interested in each other’s pleasure? This way you are paying attention to yourself as well as your partner.”
What are some good communication tips for married couples?
“Couples who are interested in each other’s happiness think about the other as well as their own. A couple is a system, a back and forth between two individuals. You are unique individuals working together like a team. One technique is to ask yourself, ‘Can I put myself in his/her shoes for a moment in order to understand what he/she is experiencing’? Then you can tell your partner what you think you just heard them say and how you felt. Your partner can tell you if you got it right.
Couples often believe their partner should be able to read their mind, know what they want. This is far from the truth, you must ask for what you want, and you may or may not get it. If you are not getting what you want it is up to you to manage your own feelings, it is not the responsibility of the other to give you everything you want. It is important for couples to talk to each other and listen with thoughtful intention and encouragement.”
What type of professional help is available for married couples that are having difficulties communicating effectively?
“Couples can go to couples counseling with a licensed psychotherapist who had training in couples therapy. I help couples listen and talk to each other, discover dynamics and become conscious of who they are individually and as a couple.
Thank you Leslie for doing the interview on good communication tips for married couples. For more information on Leslie Seligman or her work you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her website on www.williamsburgpsychotherapy.com .
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