Ep #187: Renewal, Reflections and Relationships with Dr. Kimmery

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | Renewal, Reflections and Relationships with Dr. Kimmery

In today’s episode, we’re continuing our series of exploring women’s sexuality through tarot cards and I have the wonderful Dr. Kimmery by my side, to discuss The Empress from the Major Arcana. Though it’s traditionally associated with renewal, rebirth, and creativity, The Empress can take on a new meaning within the construct of relationships.

My Diamonds, we’re here to challenge you to take a closer look at your own relationship too. Join us as we assess whether you and your partner have evolved or become stagnated over time. Relationships experience phases, from the honeymoon period to the challenges of midlife and we’re here to explore the notion that as couples reach milestones like the seven-year mark or beyond, it becomes crucial to reassess where they’ve been and where they want to go, individually and as a unit.

Join the conversation and reflect on personal growth, self-compassion, and the importance of holding space for one another. Through empowering practices such as self-reflection and setting intentions, we highlight the transformative potential within relationships, symbolized by The Empress card, where partners can co-create the vibrant, fulfilling life they envision together.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • How The Empress tarot card reflects renewal and creativity within relationships. 
  • Explore the phases of relationships and how they relate to personal growth. 
  • How to strategize and assess the evolution or stagnation of your relationship over time. 
  • Why self-compassion and holding space for your partner is key to fostering relationship growth. 
  • Find inspiration for co-creating a vibrant and fulfilling life with your partner, guided by The Empress’s transformative energy.
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
  • Get in touch with me: Email | Website | OYSN
  • Click here to find out more about the Sexual Intimacy Coaching School and to sign up for the waitlist.
  • Dr. Kimmery Newsom: Website 
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, episode 187.

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 Diamonds. I’m so excited to be here. Why am I excited? Because we were talking about the empress and you know I have been looking at the major arcana for inspiration around issues that women deal with in life. And we’re at the empress, which I love. I mean, I kind of talked to you a little bit about it and then I talked to Coach Lisa about it and now I’m talking to Dr. Kimmery. And I always bring Dr. Kimmery in to talk about the relationship aspect of things.

And so when we’re talking about the empress, I always think of the empress in terms of rebirth, renewal, creativity, and also holding space. And so all those different things. But in the concept or construct or in relation to relationships, then I think about when we start a relationship. And maybe somebody that’s been in a relationship for 10, 15, 20,30 years, your relationship very often looks very different than what it did 10, 15, 20 years ago. We all go through different phases and our relationships change as we change.

If our relationship has not changed from the time that we got together with that person, there’s probably an element of stagnation there and maybe an element of kind of distancing and flowing apart or separating and just kind of living parallel lives. So if you have two individuals over a period of time, they’re going to grow and change and also the relationship is going to grow and change.

So I’m challenging you at this point and I’m not sure if Dr. Kimmery is challenging you as well, we’ll soon see. But I’m challenging you to kind of assess your relationship. Is it everything that you would want it to be? As we talk about feminine energy and creativity and rebirth and the empress and holding space. I’m also thinking about it in terms of relationships, is this the relationship that you would like? So that’s what I wanted to talk to Dr. Kimmery about today. That was an interesting introduction, just a full stream of thought.

So my question to you, Dr. Kimmery is, in the number of years that you have been doing this work with couples, do you see that there’s kind of trends in relationships in terms of over 5, 10, 15 years, not an exact time and space, but do you see certain things? Like there’s the new relationship phase where everything’s exciting and wonderful and then it ebbs and flows. What do you see in your practice or is there more than one way a relationship can go?

Kimmery: Well, first of all, let me say thank you once again. It’s good to be here with you and talking about the relationship aspect of the empress. This is pretty interesting. I think it depends on the people, honestly. Sometimes at year two where people are examining, what’s the next step here? Who is this person? Is this the person that I want to continue my life with? Sometimes it’s at year five. Okay, let’s assess here, where are we? What are we doing? Are we growing? Are we stagnant? Do we want to continue to grow in the same direction? Have we grown apart?

And then sometimes it’s year seven and this is the most common one that I’ve seen in people who have relationships that are 10 years or greater. Year seven, is that, okay, we’ve got three more years until it’s a decade. Let’s look at this and examine where we’ve come from and what we want the next three years into our decade to look like. Are we on the same page, or, why not, if we’re not on the same page? If we are on the same page, wonderful, what’s keeping us on that page? And how can we continue to move forward with it?

Do we need to end it right now? Have we been in this pattern of just doing and going with the flow really and really not being together? And as we go in the flow, live these different lives as you called it, Dr. Sonia, these parallel lives. Do we continue or do we stop here? So there’s a lot of different ways that it happens.

And then I have older couples who have been married for 30/40 years, and they’re like, “I don’t really like them, but I just stay because it’s convenient. It’s less expensive to be with them than it is to not.” And so it’s a variety of things. So all that to say I can’t really say if there’s one set one way.

Sonia: So I have two thoughts, I have many thoughts, I always do. So the seven year writ. I was like the seven year itch. No, no itch actually is a thing. You see a lot of couples at the seven year mark where they’re like, “We’re heading into 10 years. Is this really where I want to be?” I thought it was just a movie, I didn’t realize it. So there’s something about seven that you don’t necessarily see in year five, Dr. Kimmery?

Kimmery: Yeah. And like I said, it’s just the couples, based on the people that I’ve worked with. And some people wake up and they’re like, “Whoa, I don’t know what’s happening and why I’m even in this relationship. Let me do some inventory.” Or, yeah, we’re headed into the decade, we’re on the downslide into the decade, not necessarily meaning into the decade is negative, but you’ve reached the hump at five. You made it to five.

It’s like when you have a kid and they make it to one year of age. It’s mostly grown-ups at the party because I didn’t kill the kid, the kid, we made it. The kid didn’t die, because it’s your first kid, at least for me anyway we had mostly grown-ups at the party. I didn’t kill him, he survived. I’m not meaning that I hate him, but we made it.

Sonia: We made it, yes. Well, I mean, yeah, that goes back to the naming ceremony, waiting till they’re a year old to name them because you just want to make sure they get through all the diseases and things like that. We have vaccinations now, so we’re not worrying quite as much. But I hear you about the seven year itch. So I might as well ask you. So I always have a lot of different questions. So okay, we talked a little about the seven year itch.

Now I’m going to go forward where you talked about the couples that come in that are 30 years into a relationship and they’re like, “I don’t know if I want to stay, but it is financially convenient”, or whatever. But if they’re showing up in the session, part of them wants to commit to the relationship still, is that a yes or no or they’re just showing up to go through motions?

Kimmery: Well, most of the time it’s just one of them that’s coming and they’re coming to deal with something else. It has nothing to do with their marriage. And then they talk about how they’re not supported in their marriage. And then the questions come in, so what’s keeping you in this, what’s happening?

And most of the time it’s, we’ve been together so long, we’ve got our finances tied together so it’s less expensive for us to just stay together or let them have their own partner and we still do our thing or whatever, but I really don’t like them. And they have just tolerated one another.

Sonia: I think that’s a pretty sad way to live. But that seems like it would just stomp all the life out of you, but you don’t really want to be around this person. And I mean, it’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to that person. It seems you could live in separate spaces or whatever and keep the finances going, you’d maybe like each other a little bit more or just end it and get the divorce and cut your losses or just go to mediation where it doesn’t have to be a lengthy and horrible divorce.

Okay, so while we were talking about this and we mentioned the seven year itch, I obviously have an issue with that. I have a lisp around itch and whatever. So other myths, how does midlife crisis play into this? How does that play into relationships? Is midlife crisis real? And I know we’re totally off topic, but we’re talking about myths. Is midlife crisis real and how does it play into relationships? Don’t give me that look.

Kimmery: Midlife crisis is absolutely real and it can play out in a number of ways. If you’ve been in your relationship, you got in the relationship in your 30s and you’re headed to your 40s. And it just happens to be seven years, that might be when you say, “So do I want to continue the next three years in this relationship? How do I want to change? How have I changed? Do I want to change directions? And the ways that I have been interacting with my partner, do I want to change interactions with the professional world? Do I want to do something differently?

Am I burnt out on dealing with my relational partner? Am I burnt out on the relationship in general? Do I need something fresh and new? And sometimes this is where, if we talk about relationships, this is where polyamory comes in, and these types of ethical non-monogamy conversations may come in too. Because it may be the case that the person hasn’t had much sexual experience, and they want new experiences and one partner is really content with the experiences.

And so there’s all kinds of different ways in which midlife issues can show up. The crisis aspect of it, that’s what we call it in mainstream society, but the crisis aspect of it is, who am I? Why have I lived this role so long? Is this right, did I really want this or was this for someone else? Was this someone else’s expectation of me and that’s why I’ve done it for so long?

Sonia: I think it’s a story that women are sold. I have a tendency to have a little bit more of a, I don’t know what the word is, bitter is not exactly the word, because I’m not bitter, but just suspicious, I don’t know. But I remember being six years old and looking at relationships and the woman’s role in the relationships. And at six years of age I remember specifically thinking, I don’t think marriage is going to be for me, this looks like a raw deal. This does not look like anything that I want.

But I think that a lot of people were taught that you’re going to find that amazing partner just for you, your sleeping beauty, they’re going to awaken you with a kiss and the world is going to be perfect and you’ll live happily ever after. Cynical, maybe that’s a better word for me. At six years of age, I was like, “I don’t think so. I don’t think it works like that.” I’m never thinking, this doesn’t look like happy ever after to me.

But I think that women in their 20s and 30s, they think that, I may not be happy, but this is what is supposed to make me happy and maybe I’ll add a couple of children to the mix. And that’ll definitely make it better at that point in time. So you’re in the middle of this and you’re like, “This is not exactly what I want.” And we’re talking about the feminine energy and creativity.

And can you remake a relationship in midlife? Can you create the relationship that you want? Say you don’t want to throw out the partner, the baby with the bathwater, maybe you just want to have the partner but have a completely different relationship, is that possible in midlife?

Kimmery: Yeah, for sure, there has to be a commitment on both sides though.

Sonia: Is there a way that it can be just a commitment on one side? This is who my partner is, they’re not going to change. I still want a fabulous relationship. Is that a possibility or you’re just like, no, they both have to be committed to be making something better?

Kimmery: Well, here it is again. It just depends. It depends because the person may work on themselves and say, “Yeah, I want to stay with this partner, but at the same time, I’m just going to do what I need to do to grow and feel better about who I am and the way that I show up.” And they might be like, “I thought I wanted that, this person isn’t changing. It hasn’t made any difference in their own lives. They haven’t been motivated to see me change, so I think I’m good.”

And I might need to consider either talking with them about ethical non-monogamy or talking with them about polyamory or talking with them about separation or divorce, depending on if you really are married, or if you’re just in a committed relationship. And because the reality is, is that if one person is growing, the other person needs to follow suit. It doesn’t need to look the same, but they both need to make a commitment to being different and take an assessment, taking stock in the relationship of what the relationship has been like.

And then looking at the things that they would like to do differently. And looking at the things that they would like to keep the same. And the way that they can move and be in their relationship largely depends on how they move forward. If there’s no growth, there is stagnation. If there is stagnation, parts of people die and there’s no room for improvement. And sometimes people burst out of a box that they may have put their relationship in, it makes it hard.

Sonia: It does make it hard. It does make it kind of sad. So you’re saying realistically, if you have two partners and one decides that they’re going to grow and change and work on the relationship and work on things and the other person says, “I’m fine the way I am.” That the odds are it may not sort itself out?

Kimmery: It may not, or it may be a point where they’re just like, “Yeah, we’re good friends and that’s it.” Or we’ll live as roommates and I’ll do whatever I want to do, and they’ll do whatever they want to do.

Sonia: So tell me again, what is required if you want to make that amazing relationship where you’re excited to see the other person in the morning, where you want to share time with them, where you’re wondering about what their day is like throughout the day when you both are at work or whatever you’re doing? What do you have to do to create that? If you’re coming from a place of parallel lines, how can you re-braid it? How can you make an interconnection in a relationship, in a partnership?

Kimmery: Well, I think this is where the empress comes in with birthing dreams. Actually sitting down and having a conversation about what are our dreams? How do we create the relationship of our dreams? What is it that we need? Some people need text messages throughout the day. Some people need little calls here and there, just checking in, seeing how you’re doing, kind of thing. Some people need to send messages on Facebook Messenger, so that you’re sharing in somebody’s fun.

But it really just depends on the person. And a lot of the time, sitting down and writing out what it is that you want to do together in the relationship and both being committed to that can be really helpful as you try and re-braid the relationship. And this is a bit easier when there hasn’t been abuse or anything like that has taken place. It’s a little bit easier to do it that way.

Sonia: So you’re saying if the trust is not broken then it’s essentially, if you’re safe within the relationship, the trust is not broken and you can kind of mend the relationship back together. And I had a thought, it was a great thought and it may come back to me. I used to tell people, make a list of everything you would like in a partner and then go through that list and be that for yourself.

Because so often we’re looking for the other person to make us feel good or looking for the other person to give us love so we can be validated. Or all those things that we want in a partner or we think are going to happen if we get the right partner. But if we actually would spend that time with ourselves and give ourselves what we need, if we have heartbreak, giving us what we need in order to heal that.

So then you can go into a relationship not where you want to be taking and taking because you need to be fed emotionally. But coming from an instance where you’re both in a pretty decent place emotionally and able to enjoy each other’s company or enjoy being there without grasping and wanting as much from another person. What do you think about that idea?

Kimmery: Well, I think that’s something that is definitely important. And you’re right, often we don’t take stock in the things that we want for ourselves, more so than we want in or about someone else. And I think this comes to having those hard discussions. And some of those discussions can lead to healing your relational fractures and being able to fill those cracks with gold as opposed to just let them continue to grow and create more and more distance.

And so there are situations where you can do that assessment and you look to see who it is that you want, what qualities they possess. And then try and be those things for you as well. And a part of being able to love someone is to be able to love yourself too and treat yourself well. And so being willing to look at that and this is willingness, and I’ve said willing five or six times in this different sentence. But it is a willingness because it’s not an easy thing.

It’s hard to look at, put those things that you put on a list for someone else and then give it to yourself, give it personally to yourself, not just have someone give it to you because you could still require those things. But the reality is, as you said, is that you must be willing to give those things to yourself too.

Sonia: And then what do you think about self-compassion? I think because I have been practicing self-compassion, you’ve been practicing self-compassion. And it seems like if you’re practicing self-compassion, you give yourself more of a break and you don’t have to be perfect all the time. And I think that once you give that self-compassion or continue to give that self-compassion to yourself, that kind of space grows and includes other people. And you’re not as frustrated with other people because they haven’t done exactly what you want them to do.

It doesn’t become an agenda that somebody else has to keep for you. I think you also have more compassion for your partner as well. And you’re like, “It is as it is”, or the way I would like to do things is not necessarily the way my partner does things and that’s okay. Or, I messed up, they might have messed up, but that’s okay. I think that self-compassion gets to be part of this equation which would help with creating this new relationship. What do you think about that?

Kimmery: Well, yeah, I mean, it’s about holding space.

Sonia: What is holding space?

Kimmery: Being present, being patient, allowing someone to have a hard day and know that it might be something that you did as far as hurt their feelings or something that you promised and you didn’t follow through on. And letting them deal with the feelings associated with that. So holding the space is being present even when it’s not pleasant. That’s what it means to hold space, at least in my estimation. And so you don’t rush in and try to solve the problem.

You don’t rush in and try to make it right and apologize profusely so that the person forgives you right away without having an opportunity to feel their feelings. That’s unfair and it’s also not helpful as you build and you grow and you heal wounds that might have been caused. And so you hold space for that. And then the self-compassion part of it is having compassion upon yourself, knowing that there is something that needs to be discussed that you have or have not done. And then having compassion for them and their pain that you caused.

And we can cause each other pain, when you care about somebody and they care about you, what you do to them or you don’t do to them can be very painful because your feelings and emotions aren’t invested. If what you do can make someone angry then you know they care about you. Now, there’s some people who use that toxicity and they feed off of it.

And then there are other people who are like, “They’re still invested. So that means I need to hold that space for them, to be who they are, to talk when they want to, be silent when they need to, be away when they need to be away, to be near when they need to be near.” And allowing that freedom. And so pain is real and people can cause you to feel a certain way. Are we responsible for how we handle our feelings? Absolutely. But can people who love you and care about you, make you feel a certain way? Yes.

Sonia: So I’m hearing that there’s an allowance that needs to be here, maybe one of the first steps if you’re going to shift and change. There’s a place for shifting and changing for who you are and your self-acceptance and self-compassion. And then extending that to your partner and allowing and to be who they are and feel their emotions.

And it’s interesting that it’s about the empress, because she’s often portrayed as being pregnant, a pregnant pause. The allowing of this process of creating something instead of rushing it. It doesn’t have to be rushed, but it can be created and it can take an extended period of time to create the relationship that you want. Any last words?

Kimmery: As we’re talking about holding space. There’s a trusting that when the time is right your partner will come back or you’ll come together and start to envision what it is you want life to look like from that point forward. And it’s believing in your relationship, is a believing in the person that you are creating, this fabulous idea of what you put together on paper. Creativity, being creative in what you can be and do together. And that is what I think is really a big part of what the empress is trying to say.

You’re giving birth, she’s giving birth and you’re giving birth to the life that you want with your partner and the life that you want to create for yourself and that includes self-compassion and self-reflection.

Sonia: I think that’s a beautiful way to end it when we’re talking about relationships. It’s not passive, creating the relationship that you want. I mean create, that’s the least passive thing out there. But I think sometimes we can get in this rut. You get married or you dedicate yourselves to each other or whatever. And then you kind of think that it’s over from there. But now is when you really get intentional and you really have to get creative about a relationship as opposed to the point up until the marriage or up until the ceremony. It really just begins after that.

So I think that’s an important aspect to understand that there really is this creativity that’s going on and it’s not a passive type of thing. And you end up with whatever you end up with, it’s a creative thing where you’re intentionally creating the relationship that you want. Thank you so much Dr. Kimmery Newsom for coming on, as always just a pleasure.

Kimmery: Thank you.

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.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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