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 26 - Keeping the Romance Alive
Alex's episode and Di interviews him
•How to keep the romance alive beyond the honeymoon period
•Acts of service
•Acts of touch
•Words of Affirmation
•Who is responsible for romance?
Ep 25 - Am I Co-Dependent
Do you use up all of your energy in meeting your partner's needs? Do you feel trapped in your relationship? Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices? Then you just may be in a co-dependent relationship.
Co-dependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of co-dependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity.
Who Does Co-Dependency Affect?
Co-dependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence. Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family.
What Is A Dysfunctional Family And How Does It Lead To Co-Dependency?
A dysfunctional family is one in which members suffer from fear, anger, pain, or shame that is ignored or denied. Underlying problems may include any of the following:
•An addiction by a family member to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex, or gambling.
•The existence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
•The presence of a family member suffering from a chronic mental or physical illness.
•A family member that is highly irresponsible and allowed to get away with 'murder'
Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don't talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become "survivors." They develop behaviours that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don't talk. They don't touch. They don't confront. They don't feel. They don't trust.
Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people's health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self.
How Do Co-Dependent People Behave?
Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to "be themselves." Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviours like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity.
They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr's role and become "benefactors" to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may "pull some strings" to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behaviour.
The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the "benefactor." As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from "being needed." When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behaviour that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that sam...
Ep 24 - Breaking Up is Hard to Do
A relationship break up is one of the more stressful life events anyone could go through but sometimes its just plain necessary.
Sign #1: A loss of the Us-ness
•Do they tell the 'story of us' in positive playful way keeping irritability and emotional distance in the closet.
•When negativity takes over its hard to remember the good times.
Sign #2: Weak Fondness and Admiration
•There is a major difference between couples who last and couples who separate. Happy couples tell their Story of Us with warmth, affection, and respect for each other.
•Couples who break up tend to recall unfavourable first impressions with their partners. The words they use to describe their relationship feel cold. The story unhappy couples tell will focus on a major blow-up rather than a fun time or happy memory.
Sign #3: Me-ness Dominates We-ness
•Happy couples tell their stories with a sense of "we-ness," or of solidarity. You get the feeling that they are "in this together." Often their words show similar beliefs, values, and goals.
•When the solidarity and togetherness is lost, partners often describe their history in a way that emphasizes how it affected them individually ("me-ness"), rather than as a couple. They prioritize getting what they want and ignore their partner's needs.
•Unhappy couples become gridlocked by negative arguments because they are focusing on me, not we. When they each try to win, there is no solidarity in the relationship.
Sign #4: Impersonal Details of Partners
•When couples have vivid and distinct memories of each other, it's a sign that they understand and respect each other, and that they know each other well and do their best to be there for each other. It's important to know what makes your partner sad or happy, or what your partner cares about.
•Couples who lack this connection do not reminisce with humour or vivid memories. They talk about their history in an impersonal way, mentioning nothing specific about each other.
Sign #5: Relationship Struggles Push You Apart
•Couples who talk about their history as chaotic are often unhappy. The stories they share are not about pulling together , or of making light of them even if they were difficult at the time. It's clear that the past troubles and conflicts did not strengthen their bond. It pushed them apart.
•What matters is how couples interpret the negative and positive events in their history. Even if there are a number of negative events, happy couples can discuss how they grew together from those events-even if they resulted in a temporary disconnection.
Sign #6: The Relationship Falls Short of Your Expectations
•It's a clear sign a couple is at a risk of splitting when one partner expresses disappointment in how the relationship has ended up. When these partners recall choices in the past, they often express cynicism about long-term commitment. And when they make those cynical statements, they are short, and they don't try to explain nuances of the situation.
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 parent or family member
•a child or children
•a mobile phone
•the gym or exercise
•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:
•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...
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...