Dilek (Di) is an experienced Psychologist and Couples Therapist and Alex is...not. They are a couple who are building a consciously mindful relationship and who love to discuss the ups and downs of relationships with episodes about effective communication, having a fair fight and how to reduce the drama in your life. This podcast is not only for couples searching for ideas to enhance their relationship but also for single people seeking to establish a meaningful relationship. Di and Alex also dive into the world of non-intimate relationships such as work colleagues and parent-child interactions.
Ep 23 - Two's Company...
• In any monogamous intimate relationship there are often people and things that can interfere in the strong connection between two people and become the third 'member' of the relationship. Instead of a strong bond or connection the relationship is diluted by this third entity. The energy that you need to put into the us of the relationship is shared between three components instead of two. This could include:
• This 'threesome' could include:
• a friend
• a parent or family member
• a child or children
• a mobile phone
• a pet
• a hobby
• the gym or exercise
• your religion
• a lover - this is seen as a betrayal. What about all the other's?
• This can start to weaken the connection as one person is turning away from the relationship and turning towards someone or something else.
• It only becomes problematic if one person in the relationship starts feeling unhappy, distant, unloved or cared for.
What can we do about it?
• Bring up your concern about it in a gentle way
• Look at ways to create more connection and intimacy away from the other entity.
• Set up some rules
Ep 22 - Surviving Menopause
Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.
Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.
In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:
• Irregular periods
• Vaginal dryness
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Sleep problems
• Mood changes
• Weight gain and slowed metabolism
• Thinning hair and dry skin
• Loss of breast fullness
After menopause, your risk of certain medical conditions increases. Examples include:
• Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. When your oestrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as well as in men. So it's important to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a normal weight. Ask your doctor for advice on how to protect your heart, such as how to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure if it's too high.
• Osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become brittle and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures. During the first few years after menopause, you may lose bone density at a rapid rate, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are especially susceptible to fractures of their spine, hips and wrists.
• Urinary incontinence. As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose elasticity, you may experience frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine (urge incontinence), or the loss of urine with coughing, laughing or lifting (stress incontinence). You may have urinary tract infections more often.
• Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises and using a topical vaginal estrogen may help relieve symptoms of incontinence. Hormone therapy may also be an effective treatment option for menopausal urinary tract and vaginal changes which can result in urinary incontinence.
• Sexual function. Vaginal dryness from decreased moisture production and loss of elasticity can cause discomfort and slight bleeding during sexual intercourse. Also, decreased sensation may reduce your desire for sexual activity (libido).
• Water-based vaginal moisturizers and lubricants may help. If a vaginal lubricant isn't enough, many women benefit from the use of local vaginal oestrogen treatment, available as a vaginal cream, tablet or ring.
• Weight gain. Many women gain weight during the menopausal transition and after menopause because metabolism slows. You may need to eat less and exercise more, just to maintain your current weight.
Debunking the male menopause myth
The term "male menopause" has been used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging. But aging-related hormone changes in women and men are different.
In women, ovulation ends and hormone production plummets during a relatively short period of time. This is known as menopause. In men, production of testosterone and other hormones declines over a period of many years and the consequences aren't necessarily clear. But most older men still have testosterone levels within the normal range, with only an estimated 10% to 25% having levels considered to be low.
How can I support My partner going through Menopause?
How to Survive Her Menopause
To help keep the peace at home, consider the following tips:
• Be prepared for the ups an
Ep 21 - Liar, Liar. Pants on Fire!
Intro: Is it ever ok to tell a lie? What is the impact of lies and secrets on our relationships and how do you recognise a lie when its disguised as something else?
• The different types of lies you can tell
• Is it ever ok to tell a lie? White lie.
• What's the impact of secrets and lies on a relationship
• How do you deal with lies when they show up.
Relationships thrive on trust. It is the solid foundation that the relationship framework is built on. Lets say that the framework is made of wood then telling lies over a period of time would be like termites eating away at your framework that you've both worked hard to build and the whole structure slowly but surely falling down around you both. With lies comes mistrust and insecurity and a dysfunctional relationship. Lies are the antithesis of building trust and a strong connection. Being open and vulnerable with your truth can at times be the more challenging option but almost always leads to a more rewarding relationship. Lies keep us disconnected and distant: Truth & Openness leads to deeper intimacy in all relationships.
White lie: is an innocuous lie that we use to spare our partners feelings. Most people use these to help the relationship move along without needing to debate or discuss every little thing. e.g: does my bum look big in this...or "I'm fine..." "dinner was lovely..."
Lets look at 7 types of lies people use:
• Error-a lie by mistake. The person believes they are being truthful, but what they are saying is not the complete truth.
• Omission - leaving out relevant information. Easier and least risky. It doesn't involve inventing any stories. It is passive deception and less guilt is involved. (leave out the cost of a new purchase) (wanting children)
• Restructuring-distorting the context. Saying something in sarcasm, changing the characters, or the altering the scene. (talking about your past)
• Denial-refusing to acknowledge a truth. The extent of denial can be quite large-they may be lying only to you just this one time or they may be lying to themselves.
• Minimization-reducing the effects of a mistake, a fault, or a judgment call. (illness)
• Exaggeration-representing as greater, better, more experienced, more successful. (finances)
• Fabrication-deliberately inventing a false story. (cheating)
You're not fessing up about your past
Relationships thrive on trust. That requires letting go and showing your partner who you were as well as who you are. That doesn't mean you have to spill your guts about every skeleton in your closet on the first date, but letting someone in, over time, is imperative, if you want to have a relationship that can withstand the bad times that inevitably come to everyone. Remember that withholding the truth can impact upon a relationship in exactly the same way that lying or micro-cheating does. "Things you should never lie about include why your last relationship ended," says Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a licensed therapist. "It's important for your partner to know what went wrong for you in the past, and if you're still continuing the same behaviours. And, that includes cheating." Hershenson also includes mental health issues in this list. "Knowing if you've struggled with depression, anxiety, or substance use is important, because it gives your partner information about potential triggers which might arise for you," she adds. It's also important to let your partner know if you've done jail time, declared bankruptcy, dropped out of school, or have any other deep, dark secret you'd rather not share. Chances are, once you fess up, you'll feel a new freedom, and the kind of emotional vulnerability needed to be truly loved, and loving. Here are the 15 signs your relationship is solid as a rock.
• When partners
Ep 20 - High Anxiety
Intro: Are there times when you feel anxious, worried or stressed and don't know how to help yourself feel better? Or does your partner have similar anxious episodes and you're at a loss as to how to support them?
Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety is more than just worry or stress, which is a common feeling that we all feel. In the absence of an actual life event that creates fear or apprehension, It can be an indicator that something is not quite right. It's really appropriate to have anxiety symptoms before you give a presentation at work, particularly if its something you don't do that often. Is it within the realms of normal to have anxiety symptoms when there is nothing external to you to trigger that response and it happens quite regularly? No, this is often a sign that you have shifted into the realm of an anxiety disorder.
How do people express their anxiety?
• People express their anxiety in many different ways. Some people become withdrawn and quiet. They prefer their own company to that of others.
• Some people get so anxious that it comes out in irritability and verbal attacks on others.
• Some people get very needy and cling to their loved ones for comfort and security.
Ways to Manage your own anxiety.
• The first step is recognise it for what it is. Notice what happens in your body when you are feeling anxious. It will be different for everybody:
• is your chest feeling tight
• is your throat feeling dry
• is their discomfort in your stomach
• are you developing a headache or migraine
• are you feeling tense in your neck and shoulders
• is your heart racing
• are your hands sweaty
• are you sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep
• eating more than usual or eating very little
• The quickest and easiest thing you can do next is to notice your breath. Your breath is always with you. This quickly re-focuses the brain onto a present moment reality. The here and now. There rae many different types of deep breathing techniques and I'll name a couple. The first I call 4,5,6 breathing. Another is 7/11.
• Once you've done some breathing and IF you are aware of the trigger or cause of the anxiety symptoms. Examine your thoughts around the worry. Start writing them down so you can understand them better. You cannot manage something you don't acknowledge. IF you can't identify the triggers and everything
• Re-engage the logical and adult part of your brain. Our anxiety thought come from a very young part of ourselves that is very black and white, right or wrong and does not allow for grey areas. For example, if your fear is about going to a party or event and that everyone will be staring at you. One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is "Can you be certain its true?" when you really think about it that way you quickly realise that everyone at the party is most likely focussed on their own conversation with the person in front of them and not about you walking in. Don't always believe your thoughts as being true. Question them constantly. Is it really true ?
• Distractions are another way to consciously guide the mind away from the anxiety provoking thoughts and onto something else. This could be listening to soothing music, reading a book, watching a movie, learning a new skill, having a massage, drawing. You have to find what works for you as some activities can allow your mind to wonder which can exacerbate the negative thoughts.
• Exercise and movement is one of the most underrated forms of anxiety reduction. A 20 - 30 min vigorous walk can release endorphins the feel good hormone that can counter act the anxiety symptoms. There are some endorphin releasing foods too like
Ep. 19 Living in Lockdown
It's always ok to not feel ok but right now during COVID-19 it's especially ok to not feel ok.
• It's ok to not feel ok: Feeling of uncertainty and lack of control. In a time of little control, find something you do have control over and control the heck out of it! Like organising your closet or the pantry. It can be very grounding and give you a sense of mastery amongst the chaos. There can also be an underlying feeling of grief and loss:
• Routine and dress: create a morning routine and dress for your day.
• Eat well and stay hydrated and Move: Walking, and any other physical activity is great to shift a flat mood state.
• Connect with others. Keep your family and friendship connections alive. No excuses now with Zoom and other means.
• If you have children: expect increase in anxiety, testing your limits, sleep difficulties and some melt downs. Focus on strengthening the connection through physical touch play, reading books and doing activities together and verbal reassurance that you will be there for them in this time.
• Managing others in the household: give everyone a wide berth. This is not a time to nit pick and bring up old grievances or hold a grudge. Focus on safety and maintaining the attachment Everyone is doing the best they can.
• Alone time: Everyone needs to find their own sacred retreat space whether its going for a walk alone or a place to relax and recline or just time to watch your favourite escapist shows on Netflix.
• Feel ok about not getting all the things on your 'to do list' done. Practice radical self-acceptance. Anecdotally, I know people are feeling anxious and stressed about the health crisis but also carrying guilt about the belief that they should be achieving more in this time.
• Decrease the amount of COVID-19 news updates you are reading. It can easily spiral out of control and create a bleak outlook.
• Count your blessings and practice appreciation. Notice the helpers, the positive stories that are always hidden in a crisis.
• Reach out for help to your partner a friend or a professional counsellor. Our government has recognised the impact of this pandemic on everybody's mental health and provided 20 subsidised sessions with a psychologist or mental health practitioner. make use of it.
Ep. 18 We're Back!
After a break of almost 2 years, we're back!
What have we been up to?
Are we still together?
Has Alex improved his dad jokes?
Join us as we catch up on what has been happening as we begin season 2.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Listened to all the episodes, and then replayed them again for my partner to hear. Episode 3 is very insightful and practical. Well worth the listen
Informative and friendly
Loved it. Easy to listen to whilst learning and exploring ways to improve any relationship. Fun entertaining and educational.
I really like the style in which these guys present. I'm not being talked at, there's comedy, there's knowledge, it's contemporary, and put in simple english.
Looking forward to hearing more in the near future.
Thanks guys. Keep up the good work!