If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you might find yourself in a ‘comfortable mode.’ But what would it be like to start anew with this person? This week I’m joined by relationship coach Dr. Kimmery to answer questions about new beginnings in relationships.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, episode 177.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello Diamonds, it’s Dr. Sonia with Dr. Kimmery today. And we’re recovering from colds in this household. And my asthma has kicked in. So if suddenly you hear the sound of an inhaler going off, there’s a reason for it. I almost died last night in the middle of the night. I think I blocked up half a lung. So we’re still here for you, Diamonds because we love you so much.
Kimmery: Yes we are.
Sonia: And we are in the middle of a series on new beginnings. This is 2024, the beginning of 2024 and I always have my relationship coach and my wife, thank God, I am always into streamlining expenses and stuff. So I just married the relationship coach, it makes life a lot easier.
Kimmery: Oh man, thanks.
Sonia: I believe a two-fer. I have a wife and a relationship coach, but then try to have her solve your own relationship problems. It’s always a fun journey. Alright, Diamonds, let’s talk and say what’s on our mind today. So we’re talking about new beginnings and I asked Dr. Kimmery to be on this call, because with the new year and the focus on new beginnings, I really wanted to talk about new beginnings. When it comes to relationships, I want to talk about new beginnings.
And not necessarily new beginnings of new relationships, that’s always fun, but new beginnings of relationships that have been around for a while. It’s like a fresh start when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time. You want to stay in this relationship. You appreciate your partner or partners, but at the same time, oxytocin has kicked in. You’re kind of in a comfortable mode. But the thing I think is important about relationships is that you grow and evolve over time. Each individual hopefully grows and evolves over time.
If they don’t grow and evolve over time, I’m not sure, maybe you can answer this relationship coach person, if both people. Because my concept is, both people have to grow and evolve over time for the relationship to continue to be vital and full of life and things like that. If there’s one person growing and working on different issues and the other person is not necessarily, I think that the relationship kind of stagnates. That might be just my bias and my belief system. It may not be accurate.
So I guess that’s my first question. Can a relationship still be thriving when one person is growing and evolving and trying to make a difference in their life and the other person really doesn’t see the need for that?
Kimmery: That’s a great question and something that I see fairly often in the work that I do. And the answer to the question is it depends. Sometimes people grow to match what their partner has already done. And so the one person may be sustaining the growth they’ve already done. And then the other person may be starting to enter their journey of growth in order to ‘catch up’ to what the other person, the other partner, has already started doing.
And so in that case, yes, absolutely, both people have chosen to make the growth journey of their own and together. And that’s something that’s definitely essential for growth and development and new life in your relationship.
Then there’s the other side of that, which is one person has decided, yeah, there’s some things that I need to do, that I need to up-level in my life, whether it’s a spiritual journey, whether it’s a self-care journey, whatever it may look like, educational. And they’ve decided that that’s what they want to do. And the other partner has decided, no, I’m good where I’m at. I don’t feel like I need to make any kind of changes and I think that I’m going to be alright.
Often the person who has changed can get bored because the other person hasn’t decided to do anything differently. And then often the person who is not making the changes, can become resentful, can become jealous. It could be a situation where the growth person has decided to have their own interests and to make those interests a priority.
And where it used to be that the two people spent the majority of their time together doing the same things over and over again. And now that the other person is not growing, they’re not interested in the things and therefore they don’t participate, which may leave them feeling left out. And leave them feeling like they’re being left behind, which can cause some friction and resentment. So It could go both ways.
Sonia: So I always find that it’s kind of interesting, the person that feels that they’re being left behind or left out, that they don’t necessarily just be like, “Alright, let’s do something about this. Let’s match this.” All the time and energy is spent on your fear. And this isn’t blaming this person. It’s more kind of an observation that we can get tied up or wrapped up in the fear of losing our partner. And all of our energy goes towards that as opposed to being like, “What does my partner need now in a partner, who do they wish they were in a relationship with?
And talk to them and see what their new interests are and things like that. So that’s just an observation. But okay, so I want to talk to you about taking a leap of faith. What does that look like? Can you go too far with this leap of faith? So we’re in the new year, you’re deciding you want to revitalize your relationship. We’re talking about new beginnings, rebirth, new opportunities in the relationship.
And so maybe you have gung ho ideas and things like that, but this concept of taking a leap of faith. And I love that idea of taking a leap of faith. Can you take it too far? In the work that you’ve done, have you seen people taking leaps of faith that might end up with things not necessarily going well for them? What do you think?
Kimmery: Well, I mean a leap of faith is that. And most people will see leaps of faith, extreme. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that something has gone wrong. It just means that I stepped over there, I jumped and I reached for that and then I missed the whole platform. And so I jumped just right off the edge. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad or anything is going to end. It just means, then okay, how do I bring myself back to the platform where I wanted to be or how do I make myself comfortable and adjust to where I ended up?
And so I can’t, in my own mind, reconcile taking too far of a leap as an accident or a fear of some type. And one of the things that I think is really interesting for me is that people that I see who have, ‘failed’ by taking that leap of faith too far, that they haven’t failed. That’s heroism. That’s people who are willing to put themselves out there to do something that they may never have thought they could do something spectacular in that way.
Sonia: So this is The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast. So I’m going to talk a little bit about sex. One of the things I talk about is the sexual smorgasbord, if anybody’s involved in my Own Your Sexuality Now course. We go through six pages of sex acts that they could possibly consider doing. And next to the sex act, it might say, yes, hell yes, maybe, not quite sure, no, fucking no, no way. And they kind of have a choice.
And so in terms of thinking about a leap of faith where somebody might go too far. They might have said on that list or to their partner, “Okay, I could try this.” And they’re taking a leap of faith because they’ve never done it before and they’re not sure if it’s something that they want to do. And then they try it and their partner thinks it’s the best thing in the world.
Let’s say a threesome, because a lot of partners, women will come to me and say, “My partner would like a threesome. I don’t know.” And I’m like, “Well, consent is involved here. If this is not something you’re comfortable with then you don’t have to do that.” But if they’re like, “Maybe I want to explore this”, or something like that. And then they explore it, their partner thinks it’s the best thing in the world and they’re not interested in it. So they’ve taken this leap of faith.
And then it’s an interesting mindset that a lot of women have. If they say yes to something and this is just in general, they have to continue to say yes. So they’ve done this leap of faith. It’s not something that they’re aligned with anymore. But because they said yes and their partner is happy that they continue to have to think that they have to do that.
So if we take your discussion about you take a leap of faith that’s gone too far. It’s not exactly what you want, but nothing has gone wrong here. You’re a hero for seeing if this is something you’re interested in or not, people have the right to say no, this is a little too far. This is not what I’m interested in. Can you discuss that a little bit?
Kimmery: And that’s exactly what I mean by getting back to the platform that you wanted to be on. You missed, like I said, you missed the platform. You had the idea and we’ll use your example of a threesome. You had an idea of what it might be like. And you overshot that because it was not that way. And so getting back to your norm is you took that leap of faith and you can maintain your position on that platform that you were shooting for.
And so when you’re on that platform you were shooting for you have the opportunity to say, “No, I’m not ready to take that leap again. I’m not ready to put the platform further out at this point. I took that leap and I can stop there.” You’re a hero.
Sonia: Yeah. And you learned a lot about yourself, not necessarily just shut it all down. And this is something you have taught me is to spend some time processing, what emotion did this bring up for me? What is it that I’m feeling uncomfortable about? What did this whole scenario bring up? And learn something and then what might I want to change about my relationship? Maybe it brought up jealousy. So I always think of jealousy, it’s an insecurity about that person and not necessarily about the partner or anything like that.
Maybe a feeling that you’re not attractive enough as somebody else or whatever is leading to this feeling of jealousy. So you focus on the jealousy and the thoughts that are making you have that feeling of jealousy and then decide what you want to do for it, which will make the relationship better, because you spend time on yourself. And you figure out what is, instead of letting jealousy trigger arguments or something like that in the relationship. You actually spend some time with what’s behind the jealousy, and then you’re able to not get triggered.
And externally kind of lash out, but be able to go, “Oh, wait, I think that maybe I’m not attractive enough or maybe I have an issue with my body or maybe I feel like my relationship is not that secure. And so seeing my partner with somebody else is bringing up stuff.” All those things, that becomes the point to have more of a discussion, to bring you closer to your partner, to, I’d say, enrich the relationship.
So I think you’re right in that nothing has gone wrong unless you decide that you’re going to take that leap of faith, you’re not happy. And then instead of doing some internal processing and then discussing with your partner, you choose to sabotage something. What do you make that leap of faith mean? Does that leap of faith mean that there’s going to be more enrichment in your life, in your relationship? You’re going to uncover some things and then work on it?
Or are you going to just kind of lash out and say, “Oh, well, you made me do this.” And with the sabotaging and the lashing out, it becomes really, this is what people fear about a leap of faith. You’re right, it’s not the act. It’s what we decide to do with the information that we get from the act that we really need to look at in terms of the leap of faith. So really, leap of faith is not really anything to be concerned about. It’s how we decide to process that leap of faith.
And hey, we might also decide that that’s something that was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed whatever that leap of faith was. But I think we get so focused on the negative side that we don’t see that there’s possibilities for anything else.
Kimmery: Absolutely, yes.
Sonia: Okay, so another question. As we start the new year, what do you think would be necessary in order to start a new relationship in terms of the one that you’ve always wanted? You have the same partner but you want the relationship to change in some way. What do you think would be necessary in order to keep the partner, but to change the relationship?
Kimmery: Well, communication. Every time I talk to you about relationship stuff related to your Diamonds and sex and consent and those types of things. Conversation, have a conversation about not necessarily what you feel is lacking but areas of growth and improvement that the two of you can do together or the three of you or the four of you, however many people you’re in a relationship with. What are the things that we can do in order to enrich our relationship this year?
What can we commit to on a daily or a weekly basis that would give us an opportunity to continue to learn more about each other and the things that we desire and like and love and don’t appreciate. And the things that bring us comfort and the things that allow us to fully be who we are. And a part of sexuality, as you’re teaching women who are struggling with that is those are some types of questions to ask. This is a brand new year.
This is the beginning. So let’s start at the beginning and ask, what can we do this year that would help us break free of maybe if there’s monotony in your sexual relationship or help us to break free from the fear of trying new things as you just talked about. And how each of us would feel about trying a different type of act on the smorgasbord. Has something changed about what you felt about the smorgasbord before?
And so I think that being willing to talk about it and to put it out there and to air out the things that you feel were difficult to talk about before or you didn’t know how your partner would have responded to. Starting those conversations is really imperative for those changes.
Sonia: So I’m going to be, I don’t know if I’ll be devil’s advocate, more like a minor player in hell advocate. But the Diamonds are like, “Well, I don’t really want to ask that question from my partner because they might get upset, they might get insulted, they might, I don’t know how to have this communication.” I can’t do all this. So how do you start the conversation?
And even before starting the conversation, what could you tell our Diamonds in terms of it’s okay to ask the questions? They don’t even give their partner the opportunity to interpret a question. they’ve already interpreted it and shut it down even before it’s out there.
Kimmery: Yeah, out of fear. I think how you start that, I mean, I think about you and I, and most of the time the way that I bring up something that I want to talk to you about is, “Hey, I’ve been thinking.”
Sonia: And I’m like, “Oh.”
Kimmery: Yeah. What are you thinking? Stop it. Stop thinking.
Sonia: [Crosstalk]. We’ve got something else we’ve got to do.
Kimmery: Yeah. But you can start it in the way that your personality works, hey, I’ve been thinking. Or sometimes it takes preparation, you prepare first. You start to prepare, you write down whatever it is that you want to talk about, your talking points or whatever. And keep it simple and just ask that question, the generalized question, what would you like to do differently this year in order to facilitate relational growth? Boom.
Sonia: Okay, so this is where I get myself in trouble all the time because I should be like, “Relationship growth, that sounds so great.” But I think of some moss or mold or something growing.
Kimmery: Yeah, see, you all, listen, I’m the relationship coach. We talk about relational stuff and that’s what it’s about. How did your relationship grow? What do you do to make your relationship grow? You ask questions, you learn, you get curious. When I want to know something about you, I ask the question. And I know you well enough to know how to ask the question.
Sonia: Yes, that’s true. That’s an important part. And you also know what my initial reactions will be. And you hold firm during the initial reactions. So there will be, oh, shit, here we go. We’re going to have to have a conversation. The avoidance part will kick in and then I’ll be shifty eyed, trying to get the fuck away. And then you might rub my back or something to get me to calm down.
Because for those of you that don’t know, I’m the avoidant attachment style person. And so I’m always trying to get the fuck out of somewhere or put myself out in, what do we call it, the doghouse or something?
Kimmery: Yeah, you just put yourself in the doghouse. I’m in the doghouse. But we didn’t talk about that. Now I don’t even know what you’re talking about. What are you talking about?
Sonia: So it’s very important to know your partner and know how they’re going to react and be okay with them doing their initial shuffle, the relationship shuffle. There’s going to be something at the beginning, you’ll just be like, “This is what they always do and they get over it and it’s okay.”
Kimmery: Yeah. And the expectation doesn’t have to be perfection. And it also, something to really keep in mind as well is sometimes the conversation takes place over a series of several different conversations.
Sonia: And I think that’s something important that people need to understand. It’s not a one and done. And this is something I say, you’re just introducing the topic and then don’t jump on your partner and expect all sorts of answers. You just kind of put some seasoning on it and then let it go for a while. Let it sit and soak in and you know your partner. Some partners, boom, boom, boom, they’ve got decisions. They’re making them. They’re ready to go.
Other partners will lash out. They come from a place of fear and they need to settle their system down. Some people will want to ask you initial questions and then go and think about it. You need to know who your partner or partners are and be okay with whatever way. But I like how you say it’s about conversation, it’s nuances, it’s communication, it’s curiosity. And those are the things that help your garden grow, love your relationship as opposed to moss and mold growing, maybe mint and flowers.
Kimmery: And like the flowers that are on the back of your wall, that everybody sees when they have meetings with you, yeah.
Sonia: Alright, so our daughter is going to get her braces, she’s going to get her, what is it called?
Sonia: Yeah, so she’s getting her initial appointment. Very interesting, she is so excited about this time. So we’re going to be wrapping up our podcast because we have to go switch gears and be moms and run and help our daughter get fitted for her braces, which she’s super excited about. So it’s become a whole family event to be there and support her as she’s just about to turn 12 and getting more braces.
So in terms of wrapping up today’s new beginnings, rebirth, new opportunities, yeah what else would you like to add? And we can always do a part two on this because I have more questions. I always have questions, but what else would you like to have our Diamonds know about this 2024 and new beginnings, new relationships?
Kimmery: I think, just come from a place of curiosity, that’s the biggest part, not from a place of assumption, but from a place of curiosity. Because remember, when we get together with somebody, we’re getting together with this total and complete stranger. We learn stuff about each other enough for us to know, yeah, this is my person, this is who I want to be with. But if you’re curious, you learn something new almost every day, and that’s the whole point.
And regardless of how long you’ve been together, 30 years or three, you still can learn something new. So come from a place of curiosity, not from a place of assumption or fear.
Sonia: So good, so good. And if anybody wanted to work with you as a relationship coach, how can they reach you?
Kimmery: Yeah. So the best way would be via email and that is drkimmery, so D-R-K-I-M-M-E-R-Y@doctorspecialk D-R-S-P-E-C-I-A-L-K.com. That’ll be your best way.
Sonia: Alright, that sounds good. So, Diamonds, we are always here for you. I brought somebody smarter than me when it comes to relationships. But I want you to know that people that have the avoidance type and neurodivergent and whatever, can be in relationships, very good loving relationships. And so if you need Dr. Kimmery for any reason, please reach out for her. And okay, Diamonds, we will see you next week.
Kimmery: Bye now.
Sonia: Take care. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast. If you enjoy Dr. Sonia’s fun and caring approach to sexual intimacy, head to soniawrightmd.com to learn more.