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Partner Reconnection Episode 25 of The Women's Mental Health Podcast

Reigniting the Spark: Reconnecting with Your Partner

Partner Reconnection Episode 25 of The Women's Mental Health Podcast

Listen Now to Partner Reconnection

In this empowering episode, we explore the world of black and white thinking and its impact on women's mental health.

Join Randi Owsley, LMSW, and Jessica Bullwinkle, LMFT, as they delve into overcoming dichotomous thinking, managing rigid beliefs, and using cognitive therapy to navigate the complexities of life.

Partner Reconnection

Perfect for women of all ages, their partners and spouses and those seeking coping skills and support. This episode is a must-listen for anyone ready to embrace the gray against polarized thinking and transform their all-or-nothing mindset.

Get information on the signs and symptoms of cognitive distortions in women, and learn more about coping skills and tools you can use. Find resources to help manage dichotomous thinking in relationships.

Things we talk about in this Partner Reconnection episode:

An all-or-nothing mindset, Binary thought process, Rigid beliefs, Extreme thinking patterns, Black and white thinking examples, Overcoming black and white thinking, Impact of black and white thinking, Managing dichotomous thoughts, Black and white thinking in relationships and Cognitive therapy solutions for rigid beliefs.

More important topics we will cover in upcoming podcasts: Black and white thinking treatment, Cognitive-behavioral therapy for polarized thinking, Strategies to reduce extreme thinking, Online courses for overcoming black and white thinking, Therapists specializing in cognitive distortions, and Self-help books on black and white thinking.

Partner Reconnection Questions We Cover:

1. What is black and white thinking?
2. What are the effects of black and white thinking?
3. How does black and white thinking relate to mental health?
4. What are some examples of black and white thinking?
5. How can I challenge my black and white thinking?
6. Can black and white thinking be treated?
7. How long does it take to overcome black and white thinking?
8. What are some self-help techniques for managing black and white thinking?
9. Can black and white thinking be a sign of a personality disorder?
10. Where can I find resources for learning more about black and white thinking?

Ways to Unwind and Relax

Meditative, Relaxing, Mental Health Coloring books developed by licensed psychotherapists Randi Owsley and Jessica Bullwinkle – Available on Amazon Today!

Partner Reconnection Transcript: Learning how to Communicate and Reconnecting with your Partner

Randi: 0:02

1, 2, 3, 4. Hi friends. It's Randy and Jess, and we're gonnaJess: 0:07

cut the bullshit and let's get into women's mental health.Randi: 0:12

Welcome to the podcast unapologetically All over the place with Randy and Jess, where we talk about women's mental health issues and how it's. All normal. We areJess: 0:19

two licensed psychotherapists. You are getting this stuff for free. We do this for a living. We charge a lot And guess what? You can get this for free. SoRandi: 0:31

we know a lot of women can't afford to see a therapist and can't afford to see us, and so we wanted to talk about this and bring it to the masses because we know so many women are struggling.Jess: 0:42

Okay. So you can find us and more information, um, and all the resources we talk about at randy and jess And so this episode we are gonna talk about learning how to talk and reconnect with your partner. Mm-hmm.Randi: 0:58

Yeah. So like, relationships can be so hard, marriages can be so hard, hard. It's, it's not, What they portray in the movies. Okay. Nope. So have you guys ever hadJess: 1:09

these thoughts? Where did the sparkRandi: 1:11

go? I wanna be more than just roommates.Jess: 1:15

I miss how it was when we first started dating.Randi: 1:17

I love my partner, but I want my lover and the romance back and that great sex. I miss that.Jess: 1:25

Okay. So let's talk about how, like what does feeling disconnected even look like and like how do we know we're disconnected?Randi: 1:32

it feels like your relationship is just not as strong as it was. You can feel kind of bored. Bored, discontent, maybe like uncontent with the way things dissatisfied are. Or maybe a little bit like dissociated, like you kind of like aren't feeling like engaged in the relationship, like you're growing apart, or like you want different things. Well, andJess: 1:54

this is not just like when people are arguing and fighting. No. Right. We're talking about like, you're just not quite connected. Um, you're not s. Spending the same amount of time doing things together like you did in theRandi: 2:04

beginning. Yeah. You realize like maybe you're not being like as intimate like as often mm-hmm. as you were before, or you're not as interested in like, you know, having, you know, sex or even just intimacy, which doesn't have anything to do with sex, you know, either.Jess: 2:18

Okay. So how common is feeling disconnected?Randi: 2:21

Um, it's much more common than we think because, I mean, life is stressful, life is messy. Life is hard. Like finances. Kids, like other family relationships,Jess: 2:33

kids are like the, I mean, I know that's how we get kids, but man, they can just destroy sex2:38

lives.Randi: 2:38

Oh yeah. I mean, totally. And like. As women, like our bodies change, our hormones change like as we get older too. Like there's different like seasons of life and it's like, and we're constantly changing too, like as individuals and people mm-hmm. and we don't learn to, to move with our relationships like that. Like we think like we don't grow togetherJess: 2:55

at the same time. We're not all in the same flower patch and growing up.Randi: 2:59

And. So it's, you're constantly having to meet that person where they're at. And a lot of people just don't do that. And so that's why like it's, there's a 50% divorce rate, like stillJess: 3:09

Yeah. 40 to 50% of marriages end up in divorce. And thatRandi: 3:13

probably doesn't even like include like all the people that are like separated. Yeah. You know.Jess: 3:18

Or the ones that were never married and now they're not together anymore. Exactly. This is justRandi: 3:21

stats. Yeah. So how do you start to kind of find that spark again and start to kind of reconnect?Jess: 3:27

I mean, first you have to actually admit to yourself and to your partner that you're disconnected and that you actually want. ToRandi: 3:35

connect, you need to have that conversation with yourself. You need to have that communication with your partner and bring it out into theJess: 3:42

open, and what I say all the time is your spouse is not a mind reader, I mean, you think he should, but he's not and neither are you.Randi: 3:50

And a lot of times, like men just think like things are great. And they have no clue what is going on around them. Meanwhile,Jess: 3:56

you're looking for apartments online. Yeah. Cause you're like,Randi: 3:58

I'm out, I'm out a hundred percent. Like, I mean, I left, you know, I handed my husband divorce papers and he was like, what are these? And I was like, um, where have you been?Jess: 4:09

He's like, um, on the couch with you.Randi: 4:11

What are you talking about? I was like, yeah, hello. This is your wake upJess: 4:14

call. Okay. There's a couple things that we could do so you don't end up with divorce papers. Yeah. Um, and these don't sound like they're like sexy time kind of things, but this is what it takes in our, our society with our family. Well, let'sRandi: 4:28

be honest, as women, intimacy for us is emotional. Mm-hmm. for men's. Physical. For us, it's emotional. So we have to learn to merge those two things together. To get to the point, I always say if men knew how wild women would be and how much sex they would want, if they just met our basic emotional needs, they would be like going into therapy 24 7, you know? Okay. SoJess: 4:52

let's, let's do that. Okay. Well, besides 24 7 therapy, you know, so. Go. I cannot baby steps. Let's just baby steps. Baby steps. Jessica Kata, I would, she would say carve out time on a calendar. I mean, like I tell people all the time, is scheduleRandi: 5:07

with your partner. I know it feels like. It doesn't feel sexy or romantic, like writing it down on the calendar. But it works because you schedule that time and you're, it's your intent thatJess: 5:19

you're gonna do it. And like, oh, tonight's the night. Yeah.Randi: 5:22

Or hey, and, and for women too, like, I get so busy, I need to know that I either have this plan, like, we're gonna go on a date night, so I'm excited, or like, we're gonna go, you know, take this weekend to go get away for a night. And so it's like, I know I'm planning, I'm prepared. I can get myself emotionally and. Ready to the place I need to be. And so that, that's why it's important to carve out that time. It's the same thing like people always say like, well, I don't give my partner like a list of what I want because that's cheating for like a birthday or like Christmas. And I'm like, why would you not? Because then they have a list and they know exactly what you want and these things that need to be met, you're outlining. All need an outline,Jess: 6:02

Otherwise, and if they, they know what you want, that's great.Randi: 6:05

Otherwise they're gonna fill in the blank, you know? Like, and then they can learn and maybe not need that list later on. So anyways, number number two thing that you can do too, is put away your phone.Jess: 6:16

Yeah, just put it away. Trust us. Your Instagram. Can IRandi: 6:19

totally. I have my time doing that. Okay. I will tell you, I work in social media. I work on my phone. Jess and I both do telehealth. We're attached to our phones and our computers twenty four seven. But you need to put it away. You need to put it down so you can reconnect and be present and engage,Jess: 6:34

And start talking with your spouse. Even if it's small things like what are we doing for dinner tonight? Start engaging and having these conversations and making time for them to tell you how their dayRandi: 6:46

was and it, that it creates, uh, this intimacy. It doesn't need to be about sex. You can just cuddle. You can hold hands, you can just hang out, sit together on the couch or like, you know, a lot of men too. This sounds really weird. Counterintuitive, but it's not. They just want your presence around. Like my husband will go out and like build stuff in the garage and he just wants me to go out there and hang out with him. Yeah. And I'm like, this is so boring. But it's like he loves it, you know? So it's like I will go out there and like hang out with him for a while because he feels like, you know, like I am engaging him in, in a way, even though like, you're taking time. I'm not in hisJess: 7:21

life. Right. But you are because you're spending time with him and he's doing what he enjoy. Right, right. Um, if you are going to use your phone, you can also do things like, you know, send them a sexy message. Right. Ask, you know, what they're doing later or if they've, you know, if their girlfriend can come over, you know? Yeah.

Randi: 7:38 little flirt, flirty, flirty, flirty. Like, Hey, I wanna meet a stranger at a bar. Not somebody else like you. Like, let's play dress up. Like, I don't know. Let's, I mean, if you wanna do that, that'sJess: 7:47

cool. Yeah. So, um, we recently, my daughter had her we live a little far from her school. So we went on a date yeah. Near her school, which happened to be one of the largest grocery stores in the US right? yeah. And it's hilarious cuz you walk in and this grocery store has a bar. Yes. It. Band. Yes. Um,

Randi: 8:11

what else did it have? It has a, it has a mini restaurant and it, well, you can order food and bring it, or they also have, they will bring food to a table if you sit in there. It has a Starbucks. It has like a, has everything. It has like everything you could ever like imagine in there. And weJess: 8:24

sat there and we had a date at the local grocery store. Right. Because, you know, a, we, we only had a small time window. Mm-hmm. but I was like, Hey, let's goRandi: 8:33

on a date. Yeah. So you made it work. Yeah. You know, you penciled it in. You got it done. Created some reconnection. Right.Jess: 8:41

Another thing is that, um, we didn't get to play it because it was too loud there. Yeah. But they have these really great cards, these love lingual cards. Mm-hmm. I'll put 'em up on the website. But they're just questions that you can ask. Um, and this isRandi: 8:55

great, like if you're feeling kind of stumped or like intimidated or like anxious about bridging this gap with your partner, like.. I love cards and games and stuff like this because it just gives you like a starting point and then it kind of like balloons into having like a more intimate and like deep conversation.Jess: 9:10

And I like to do the ones for kids with my kid, mm-hmm. like when we go on our date, yeah. But like, here's one. What do you wish you knew about me sooner? Like, oh my gosh. Sometimes you're like, God, I wish I knew that sooner. Yeah. Um, good or bad. Like, I wish I knew that's what turned you on, you know, five years ago. Exactly. Um, oh, this one says, sh this card is blank, but no one needs to know. Ask a question that you've always wanted to know. Mm-hmm.Randi: 9:36

Yeah. And I was telling Jess about this other game too, called we're not really strangers and we'll link it up. And she was like, oh, I want that. I was gonna give it to her to borrow. And this one is more that you would play at home. It's a couple's edition. They have, I think like families and like kids additions too. But this one is deep level of questions to like promote like intimacy and stuff. And you can. Pick like the level of like depth and stuff that you wanna ask because they can get like harder and harder. So like there's different levels. There's just kind of like a reflection level, there's like a connection level, and then there's kind of like a perception level as you go deeper and deeper. So like something too, like you would reflect on your relationship. What could other couples learn from. Ooh. And that's cool too because like that plays to like a positive strength, like of your relationship mm-hmm. and things like that. SoJess: 10:25

yeah. So ask some good questions. Um, you can learn something new together. Oh yeah. We didRandi: 10:30

like a couples painting class once. Yeah. And it was so fun. Like, so we had to sit across from each other and we did a Picasso style paint and we paint. Portraits of each other and we couldn't see each other as portraits. Oh, that's until funny, the end. And it was so much fun and so funny to reveal them at the end because like I went, I did a, like a minor in art, so like I love art and like my husband did not, so he was like, oh my God, this is so funny. And it's, we have them hanging up in the wall in our closet. He's like, what you don? Hang them in the hallway, but like his are like just, it's just like my boobs is like the most like prominent like thing like in the That's awesome. In the abstractJess: 11:09

We should do that for our next like couples gameRandi: 11:12

night, right? yeah. So that was just like so fun. It was something like so different and I always remember. And look at you. LaughJess: 11:17

and tell the story. I am. Yeah. Um, so yeah, plan something. You can do Thank you notes for somebody, oh, just even a little likeRandi: 11:25

post-it note or sticky note or something like that can go a freaking long way. Or youJess: 11:30

can go through and write something on the shower door. Mm-hmm. So when they shower next Oh yeah. It'll, it'll.Randi: 11:36

Steam app, right? I used to leave like little messages, like on the like, um, mirror and like lipstick and stuff like that. Like, just like love you, like have a great day, plan a getaway together if you can. It doesn't have to be something extravagant or ex or expensive. It can be like a staycation or like just like try to get like a babysitter and go away, you know, for like a night, you know, to like spice it up or something. And ifJess: 11:57

you can't get a babysitter and go out to dinner, it's okay to bring dinner in. Yes. Have it after the kids go to bed. Plan a movie at home,Randi: 12:06

Yeah. When we were younger and we couldn't afford to like go out and eat out and do things like that, we would just plan to do a movie night at home. You know, like after the kids. To go to bed and like that was like our thing. Have fun together, play together, play games together. I was telling Jess about this amazing book that actually, um, I had got as a gift and it's called The Adventure Challenge and there's different ones, but this is the couple's edition one and like, so it goes. Into different date nights and you have to like scratch off what you do. So it's a surprise. You have to like pick what you're gonna do. It tells you if it would like cost money or like the time or if you need to drive anywhere. So you can kind of pick based off of that and then you scratch off and it reveals what you're supposed to do for the date night and just was like, hell no. And I was laughing. Oh no.Jess: 12:52

Tell him the date night. Tell them so the night. Cause I was like, I'm not doingRandi: 12:55

that. Yeah. We had to go to a thrift store and we had to buy each other three pieces. And pick 'em out for each other and then put 'em on. And then we had to go do an activity out in public together. Hell no. And so we were wearing all these crazy like thrift store like outfit things, which was like so funny. And we went out to dinner and people were looking at us all crazy. And then you have to take a picture of it. And then you say that in this book as like a memory and stuff. And, but I was telling her about it and she was like laughing. And then she was like, but look at how much like joy like I was. So hard at what we did because one, it was kind of cool. It's a surprise. It pulled us out of our comfort zone. It created this amazing memory that we can look backJess: 13:37

on. I would not wanna know what my husband would dress me upRandi: 13:39

as. Well. I mean, I told her that my husband did try. You're not supposed to say no to what they put you in Uhuh, but I did because he was trying to put me in like a little mini dress and it was like raining outside. And I was like, no, please, something that's gonna cover my body,Jess: 13:55

He's like, no, no, no, no. We're gonna go to public like this, Oh my gosh. Um, yeah. So do something fun. You know, find different ways to have fun. Check in with each other at the end of each day and don't do the, how was your day? Cuz you guess what? You're gonna get the teenage response. How was your day? Good. How was yours? Good. What'd you do today? You know, where did you eat lunchRandi: 14:16

today? What was hard for you today? Or like, oh yeah, what was really good for you today? Where did you find joy today? And do it like when you're not distracted, like after the kids go to bed, like you guys are in bed, like, sit down, just spend like, you know, five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. It doesn't have to be forever. Just to ask a few simple questions and you can watch your relationship like really, reallyJess: 14:36

bloom. Or even on your commute home, right? mm-hmm. after you're done with our podcast, call them and be like, Hey, and just check in. There's so many times that we don't check in with our spouses. Yeah. And, and these are the people that we married or that we chose to spend our lifeRandi: 14:53

with. And, and we're discounting them because they're always kind of around. And we're giving 'em the last. Pieces of us instead of the best or none. Yeah. Or none. Because we feel like we have nothing left to give. But like being in a relationship, you have to work at it. Yes, it is. It's another full-time job. I'm sad to say, but it is. You know, it's not easy. AndJess: 15:12

the other thing too is also give yourself some space. Mm-hmm. sometimes we're also so on top of each other because Yeah. And that we don't. Realize that they're learning stuff new or we're not asking them questions cuz we think we're next to them the whole time doingRandi: 15:28

stuff we assume that they know what's going on with us or that they can read our minds and like we said, no, they can't. Also check in with yourself. Yeah, and listen to episode number nine about self-care. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. And also also listen in to episode number three. The reality of caregiving and why you can't fill from an empty cup. Because as women, we are caregiving for everybody. Everybody all the time, all the the time. And we can't be there for our relationship if we have nothing left to give either. So we need to learn how to care for ourselves too, and then take a step up and learn how to carry it for our relationshipJess: 16:09

and have. Boundaries. And if you don't know what boundaries are, go back to our episode six and listen to boundaries. Because yes, you need boundaries within your life so you can give to other people or to yourself or to your spouse, you know? And so it's good toRandi: 16:25

have those. Yes. And all these things combined create healthier relationships, stronger relationships, better partnerships, longer marriages. So we hope that some of these tips have helped you guys, and you can find a little bit of different ways to reconnect this week with yourself. Maybe your kids, your spouse, or your partner. YouJess: 16:46

keep saying with yourself, and I just keep thinking dirty thoughts, I'm just gonna leave y'all on that. Okay. I'm just gonna say,Randi: 16:51

Connect with yourself. Connect with yourself on that level too, girl. And we should deep dive into that on another episode about that type of self-love, because that, let's be honest, nobody knows your body the way you can know your body,Jess: 17:04

All right, well, on that note guys, we will catch you nextRandi: 17:07

time. Have fun reconnecting in whatever way that looks for you. All bye. Thanks for listening and normalizing mental health.Jess: 17:17

Don't forget to check out our free resources and favorites on our website, unapologetically randy and likeRandi: 17:24

and share this episode and tune in next week.

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Partner Reconnection Episode 25 of The Women’s Mental Health Podcast

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