It’s a brand-new year, and there’s usually an increase in the number of people who come to see counselors and coaches around this time of year. Lots of people are thinking about the changes they want to make in their relationships and how to show up as the best partner possible.
This week, I’m joined by Dr. Kimmery, and we’re talking about what we should think, know, and do in the new year about relationships. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together; there is always something new to learn about your partner or relationship, so whether it’s a renewal or repair you’re looking for, Diamond, we’ve got you covered.
Join us this week as Dr. Kimmery shares what people in relationships are generally coming to talk to her about in the new year and the things they want to work on the most. We dive deeper into renewal and repair in the new year, some advice to improve your relationship over the course of this year, and why you always get to intentionally decide what your relationship looks like.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 122.
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, Happy New Year, happy new you, happy new partnership, happy new everything. I am so excited to be in 2022, no, 2023. I love it. I’m so excited to be in 2023 and I am here with my partner Dr. Kimmery Newsom. And we’re going to be talking to you about relationships and about what we should think, and know, and do in the new year about relationships. But before I just wanted to say, I am learning things all the time about my partner. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been together. I am learning things, new things all the time.
And I was zero years old, no, I was today years old when I discovered that my partner has a little Candy Crush issue, I never knew because when we spend time together, we’re working on different projects. We’re coming up with programs. And that’s our jam, that’s what we do, we hang out and we create stuff. And we think about the Diamonds and what we want to have for you. But okay, I developed this little issue with something called Royal something or other, I don’t know what it was, this game.
Kimmery: It’s Royal Match.
Sonia: Royal Match. So I was like, “Oh.” But I’m also, I’m not going to put that much energy towards this thing. But I’d like somebody else to solve my puzzle, so I handed it to Dr. Kimmery. And I was like, “Can you do this for me? I’m just going to lie here next to you. And watch you solve the Royal Match puzzle for me.” And she did it extremely quickly. I was like, “Wait, you have a skillset that I never knew about. How is that possible that I did not know about?” But our bond was formed around discussions, and quality time, and just spending time with each other.
But not necessarily with Candy Crush or Royal Match, so years into our relationship I’m now finding out that she is a badass when it comes to Candy Crush, okay.
Kimmery: Thank you.
Sonia: In addition to all of her amazing accolades and what is the word that I’m looking for?
Sonia: Well, yes, talents, okay, fine, thank you. But I was actually talking about all your degrees and everything like that. She also has the talent, the Candy Crush talent. So if you are in a pinch, now we know the person to contact because I kept pressing the wrong thing. She’s like, “No, don’t do that.” And I’d be like, “Oooh!” [Inaudible] about my partner all the time. So, Dr. Kimmery, we wanted to discussed, since it’s a new year, new you and new partnership, what is that people in relationships come to you to talk about in the new year?
What do you find is the thing that they want to work on the most? Because there’s usually an increase in number of people that come to talk to counselors and coaches in the new year. They have concepts and ideas of what they would like to focus on. And so what is it that they have been telling you that they wanted to focus on?
Kimmery: Yeah. So most recently I’ve had several calls from clients who have a partner who has had an affair. And they’ve just found out about the affair at the end of the year last year. And were wanting to make some decisions about how to move forward and what they want to do with their relationship if they choose to move forward. And so it’s been very interesting having conversations with these clients because sometimes they’re in the moment, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t know if I could do this.”
And in another moment they’re like, “But I love them and I really want to make it work. And I want us to have a good year.” And so that’s been kind of one of the most common ones, the most common calls I’ve gotten here within the last month or so before the new year started. And then there are other couples who are coming in for just kind of renewal. They’re wanting to learn a little bit more about what they can do to be better in the incoming year. They want to know how their partner needs them to be maybe different or ways that they can interact in better ways, to communicate.
Or really just enjoy themselves like learning how to play Candy Crush together, those sorts of things. Just really wanting to learn how to be and how to grow as the year starts. And they don’t necessarily look at resolutions but they’re looking for goals that they can develop together and ways that they can move forward in those goals. So it’s a wide variety. It goes from the affair people and to those who are saying, “We want maintenance, we want to be able to make sure that we can maintain the same level or more of love, and care, and support for each other that we had in 2022.”
Sonia: Yeah. I think that’s really important is that people don’t realize that change is always happening. You’re not staying still. So when you maybe think that you’re staying still in a relationship and you’re not focusing on talking and interacting and such. And you think our relationship is fine. It may be fine but it may need some renewal and it may need some interaction and may need some connection. So even if you don’t feel like anything’s going on, there is always a place to connect more with your partner and to really be there.
And to really see your partner, as I am intentional about creating the best marriage that I can create and really enjoying myself, I mean I think we’re planning our fourth honeymoon at this moment in time. And so we get to have fun with it. We get to make a marriage whatever it is that we want to make. But part of the reason that I choose to or we choose to have several different honeymoons, we might end up having 100 honeymoons over the years or something like that because why not? We get to do whatever we want to.
But to be intentional about what we want to create here and so I think that people think if nothing is going wrong you don’t really have to invest the time and effort in a relationship. And I think that’s the key time to invest the time, the love, the connection, the commitment because there will be crises. These times will come up when there are crises. But if you have not worked on the communication in between and seen that other individual, or those other individuals and seen what they would like and what they would want in a relationship.
Then when the time when the crisis comes you’re not sure how to proceed with the crisis. And sometimes you can alleviate a crisis. I come from the perspective that an affair is kind of a neutral thing, you get to decide what you want to think about it. You get to choose whatever it is that you want to think about it. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the relationship. It can be the beginning of the relationship if everybody’s willing to do the work. But it’s much harder to come back from an affair than it would be to come back if you just were having this communication and connection all the way along.
Kimmery: Yeah, I think that’s true. And one of the things that it really has been an issue for those who have been in the situations where the affair has been the reason for bringing them in is that they haven’t. Communication slowed down and almost stopped right before the affair occurred and all the way during the affair. And that’s it. And one partner’s pulling teeth trying to get the other one to communicate in a way that’s effective in the relationship for both of them.
And the one who is pulling away pulls all the way away and actually goes into another connection with someone else. And so I agree, I think that affairs can be neutral. And they don’t have really any meaning unless the meaning is assigned by each of the people involved in the relationship. And if each person, I’ve seen people come back and bounce back from having an affair. Because each person was willing to do the work necessary to build back up what was broken down or that was already broken down and caused the person to make the decision to step outside of their relationship without permission.
Sonia: Yeah. And I think a lot of the time people think, like when I’m coaching people around the issue of affairs they often think that it’s about sex. They think, my partner chose to step out or I’m stepping out because this is about sex. And usually it’s so much more. Sex could be part of it but a lot of it is being seen and heard by somebody. Somebody, that if you’re in a relationship and you don’t feel like you’re being seen and heard, and you don’t necessarily have your needs being met then at some point people may consider going outside of the relationship.
And I don’t necessarily believe you have to be mono or poly, or whatever, that choice is up to you. But whatever relationship you choose to be in I think it is important to keep that connection and the communication. And so today I was going over my goals because I do that. I kind of go through it. And I asked you, one of my goals is to be the best partner that I can be to you. And to specifically ask instead of just making an assumption. I was like, I came to the realization when I read that that it’s not something that I just say. It has to be something that I check in with you.
Because I might be thinking I’m doing a great job because my definition of a partner may be different than your definition of a partner and what you need and want from a partner. So I might be thinking I’m doing a fabulous job because I’m taking out the trash or shoveling the I don’t know what. But I might be thinking I’m doing but the other person’s concept of what a partner is, is sitting and talking with them and looking into their eyes. And we always talk about the different love languages. And everybody has something that makes their heart sing.
But if we make assumptions, my love language is acts of service 100%. 100% if you’re doing something, an act of service I’m like, “Hey, how’s it going?” It will always get me happy. But your love language is not necessarily that. Your love language, your top love language is quality time. So it’s important for us to know our partners, and to know what it is that makes their heart sing.
Kimmery: Yes, for sure. And it’s very funny because I was actually going to comment on you making the effort to ask me that question this morning, wanting to know about what it is that makes you a good partner, or are you being a good partner. And I thought that was really poignant in where we are in our relationship because we do communicate about those things. We have miscommunications all the time. And that’s okay but because, I believe anyway, because we communicate so openly that we’re able to resolve those things pretty quickly. They don’t drag on and drag out.
And I think another part of it is the respect that we have for one another. And wanting to be in good relationship and in good spirits with one another because that makes our relationship fun. That makes us be able to sit up at night and watch videos on Facebook and laugh our asses off for an hour. I will neither confirm nor deny that we did such a thing. But all I’m saying is, is that often couples come and they want to know, and sometimes individuals come. And they may not, their partner may not be ready yet.
And they want to know, what is it that I’m doing that you want me to keep doing? What is it that I could do differently? How can we grow together? What’s your idea for the goals that we should set together for the year? Wanting to know their individual goals for the year so that they can be supported in those goals. I mean it’s a plethora of things that people can do and say to one another that cause the relationship to continue to be as wonderful as it can be.
And then there are people who come and they’re low because they don’t know how to communicate with their partner. And so then I give them strategies that they can use to help them communicate and find ways that makes their partner’s heart sing as you spoke of just here a few minutes ago. And I think that that’s important because a lot of times people feel like they’re just roaming around and roommates in a house and not really being able to communicate in a way that helps them to feel heard.
Not being able to communicate their needs because they don’t believe that their needs would be met if they did communicate them. And so they feel like they have to do all the things themselves. And so I think that that can cause a tremendous amount of strain on the relationship and could cause someone to feel like they need to step outside of the relationship to find those needs and get those needs met because there is someone who is listening, who is willing to allow them to be fully who they are and show up fully who they are.
That’s one of the things that I appreciate about our relationship is that you show up for me the way that I like you to show up, which is fully who you are, all of the parts of who you are. And that’s something that’s really significant to me because authenticity is what drives me in a lot of ways in my relationships with people. And so because I get to see the Royal Match side of Dr. Sonia, and the awesome sex coach side of Dr. Sonia, it causes me to love her even more.
And I love you even more because I can see all sides of you and all facets of how you move, and be, and do life. And so that’s really important as well.
Sonia: That speaks to an environment where you feel safe not to be vulnerable. And so often when we get to that place, not us, but some people in relationships may get to that place where they’ve drifted so far apart they no longer feel like they have any connection or communication there. And if the connection and the communication’s not there, you can’t get to that place of safety so you can be vulnerable, so you can express and share your truth. So I think that’s another reason why the communication needs to continue to be there.
And I have to say that our society does not necessarily give women permission to ask for what women want in a relationship from a partner, from themselves. And so they get to this place where they may be, assuming their partner is going to figure it out, or they kind of make some comments or something. And their partner’s supposed to know what that means, there’s like mind reading that’s supposed to happen. And it would just be so much easier if people could just say what it is that they want. Of course, I have a tendency to say what I want.
But there’s sometimes even I that I can’t say it. But there’s many different ways to get the information out if you want to get the information about. But I think that we as women have to give ourselves permission to ask for what we want. And to go through that discomfort, if we’re not comfortable asking for what we want. Just to recognize that the discomfort is easier over a period of time. The more we ask the more we get comfortable with asking, the more likely we are to get what we want in life.
Or to be able to recognize, well, what I want I’m not necessarily going to get from this environment, this situation. But I am empowered to create it for myself or to get into a better situation. But when we sit there making assumptions and hoping somebody’s going to read our body language because we don’t feel comfortable enough asking for what we want, we usually get what we ask for which is we’re not asking so we’re not getting anything. And ultimately I do believe that we are the ones that need to empower ourselves to get what it is that we want in life.
And we definitely have control over our thoughts, our feelings and our actions, those three things. So we get to decide how we want to think and how we want to feel in this situation. And as it comes, going back to affairs, we get to decide what we want to think and feel in the situation. But ultimately look what you want for the result, in every scenario, look what you want for the result. Do you want the marriage to stay together, the relationship to stay together? Then focus on your thoughts and your actions to lead to that result and your feelings of course.
Kimmery: Yes, definitely. And you hinted at something that I want to go back to, you talked about people dropping hints and expecting their partner to be able to read their minds. And it’s not just women that do this. People who identify as men do it as well. And the reality is, is that nobody can ready anybody’s mind. As much as I’ve learned about you, and as much as I’ve learned about the way that you operate and the things that you need, I still can’t read your mind. So I always ask you, “What’s happening?” I can see body language but I’m also always curious about that too.
And really paying attention and making sure that I’m in tune with you. Now, you all, let’s be real, okay, we’re not perfect. We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we try. And we work together to do the best that we can, to love each other the way that we need to be loved, not in the way that we think they should be loved but in the way that we need to be loved and cared for, and cherished, and valued.
And so I think that when we’re thinking about styles of relating in our relationships as we move into 2023, it’s so important to remember that everybody’s communication styles and everybody’s needs may not show up on the surface. We have to go a little bit deeper into who the person is in order to understand and to just kind of get an idea of what it is that we can do as partners to continue to grow and build in a relationship. There’s something happening, if there’s an affair happening, something happened on both sides.
Not to say that one is to blame over the other, the person who committed the offence definitely needs to take responsibility for their actions. And the person who was offended also needs to take responsibility for how they can be in the relationship and how they need to show up differently too. And so that’s something, accountability is something that’s really important as well.
Sonia: Yeah. And as you speak, it makes me wonder, this concept of our society says that an offence has occurred. And that the offence is somebody has gone outside of the relationship based on this concept of monogamy to begin with, which I find somewhat questionable. But anyway, there’s this offensive thing that happened. And the offensive thing is that somebody goes outside the relationship and has a sexual intimacy relationship with somebody else and that’s an issue.
But my thing that I’m concerned about is the weight is placed on the sexual aspect of it, not on the offensive actions that might have occurred before that led to separation, or the lack of communication. The ignoring of each other’s concerns, that’s where I really think, I think that the ‘affair’ and the sexual intimacy with somebody else is more of a symptom of something that’s much more offensive which is the lack of connection and communication within the relationship. I think that that is the most offensive thing that we need to put our focus on.
But instead, society says that the wrongdoing actually occurred in going out of the relationship and having sexual intimacy with somebody else. And I can see how that is something that can be offensive to people. But if we could put as much emphasis on the underlying issues that are going on and put as much energy as we put into looking at that aspect of an affair, if we can put as much energy into what’s going underlying in the relationship where there isn’t that connection, that communication, that discussion.
If we could actually go back to the underlying issue then we could actually get to a place where we would resolve this and actually get to a place where we could actually work on it more so than just focusing on the going outside the relationship and the contract. And there are also, obviously the offensive part is that two individuals or more had a contract in terms of what they were going to do. And then one person chose to go outside of that contract and not discuss it with them. That also is another issue that’s a problem.
But I think that there’s so many aspects of it that we don’t spend a lot of time focusing on. And we just focus on the sexual side of things.
Kimmery: Yeah. And I can see what you’re saying with that too. And one of the things that in just one session I recently had, I talk with a couple about that. And the person who was offended against, I said to them specifically that they’re going to have to also adjust how they see this because if they don’t look at it from a perspective of we need to work together to make this better. And the expectations that they had on their partner before the affair happened, if we can’t examine those then nothing will change.
And she must be willing to do the work, the offensive person was the male identifying person. And she must also be willing to do the work and put in the work in order to change her mindset and her thought patterns around what the relationship should be and the ways that she could show up differently in that relationship as well. So I totally and completely agree.
Sonia: Yeah, definitely. So the male identified and the female identified. And there’s a decent amount of women that are actually having affairs as well. So traditionally put the blame on men and think it’s the men that are running around, if you’re in a heterosexual type of relationship, but not necessarily. But I think that it is, that we do need to look and see what our – and this goes back to renewal in the new year. What are we willing to do as two individuals or more in a couple stretch, what are you willing to do for yourself and for the other individual?
What are you willing to cultivate? How do you want to improve this relationship? What do you want 2023 to look like? What do you want your relationship to look like by the end of the 2023? Are you willing to do the hard work? Are you willing to have the conversations? Do you have any advice in terms of one or two things that people could actually do to improve their relationships over the course of this year, so by the end of the year and may be in a better place?
Kimmery: Yes, for sure. We were just talking about with, what are you willing to do? You reminded me of one of the modules that I have in my relationship coaching program. And it’s clean slate, it’s wiping it clean. And whether the offence was an affair, whether the offence has been you haven’t communicated with me, we’ve drifted apart, those sorts of things. Are you willing to wipe the slate clean? Acknowledge and identify what’s happened and examine it and then decide that okay, we’re going to start completely over.
And really be willing to invest in the emotional energy that it takes to actually start over and not try and hold something over someone’s head as leverage in order to get them to do what you want them to do. And so that’s one of the things for sure. Are you willing to wipe the slate clean and start anew here in 2023? And being willing to do that is something that’s going to be really important. And then also the next part is, are you willing to have compassion on your partner?
Are you willing to be kind to your partner when they do make mistakes and when they do have missteps and things like that? Because that’s going to be a huge part of it as well. You have to know, your partner’s human. They’re not a robot, they’re not a machine, they can’t be programmed to do exactly what it is that you expect or want them to do. And so I think that that’s important as well, compassion. And definitely being willing to wipe the slate clean if you’re wanting to start anew and refresh in your relationship in 2023.
Sonia: I love that. I love that concept of wiping the slate clean. So from 2022, at the end of 2022 as we shift into 2023, wipe that slate clean, just like you wipe your ass, wipe the slate clean.
Kimmery: I mean I’m not surprised by that. Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all, and that’s fine.
Sonia: You deal with me every day. But basically just clean it up, get rid of all that shit. Start new and decide what you want this year to be like. Be willing to forgive. Be willing to forgive yourself as well. When we talk about wiping the slate clean, yes, we’re talking about your relationship and your partner but also what is that you need to forgive yourself for in the context of you and your life but also in the context of your partnership? You’re willing to wipe the slate clean for your partner, but also for yourself. Nobody’s perfect.
But if we’re coming from a place of shame and guilt, we don’t do as well in relationships either, so work on that. And then having the compassion for your partner and also having the compassion for yourself. And that’s okay, nobody is perfect. So can we have that compassion for ourselves and our partner? Can we wipe the slate clean? Okay, Diamonds, any last words, Dr. Kimmery?
Kimmery: No, this has been really good, I appreciate you having me on. This is a great discussion and good for us to be able to share about some of things that we’re doing and things like that too, so yeah.
Sonia: Yeah, alright. Well, Diamonds, have a great beginning of 2023. And of course I’m here for the next year and more, you can’t get rid of me that easily. Looks like Dr. Kimmery sometimes would like to get rid of me and she hasn’t been able to. I’m here for the long term. Okay, Diamonds, Dr. Sonia, Dr. Kimmery, we are out, okay, talk to you next week.
Hey, Diamonds, it’s Dr. Sonia, OYSN is starting in January of 2023. Will you be there? I only offer OYSN live once a year now. That time is now. I love you, I love this group and I want you to be part of it. Enrollment is now open for the next two weeks. And did I mention the bonuses for this group? First, we have Dr. Sonia’s favorite things giftbox which is full of fun toys, books, lube and even a special self-love journal from OYSN. That’s available for the first 20 women that join the group.
The second bonus, which is truly amazing, is that you get to be a founding member of Dr. Kimmery’s relationship coaching group. It’s like getting two programs in one. Honestly, you know, it just doesn’t get better than this. I know you want to join so let’s do this. Let’s start the new year with the new empowered sexual you. Imagine where you could be in 90 days. Yes, in three months it could be completely different. Your intimacy can be loving, connected, pleasurable, you get to decide. And you know I love to ask questions so here’s a question for you.
What do you want your sexual intimacy to look like in 10 or 20 years? What you think and what you do now determines your future intimacy. If you’re settling now, your intimacy, your sexual intimacy is likely to be non-existent in the future. You have no incentive to keep engaging in sexual intimacy if it’s not good, if it’s not empowering, if it’s not pleasurable. Do something now that your future self will thank you for. This is the best gift ever for yourself and for your relationships. It’s the gift that keeps on giving year, after year, after year.
You owe it to yourself to invest in your sexual intimacy now and forever. Doesn’t matter if you’re single, if you’re partnered, or if you’re in a, it’s a complicated situation, the OYSN program is for you. I’m personally inviting you to check out the intimate edition. The last cohort was on fire. Women in that group from age 35 to 65 were getting it done and on their own terms.
Couples who had not had sex in years found a new level of sexual fun and intimacy. Other women learned about their bodies and tapped into their pleasure zones. One Diamond learned about setting boundaries and focusing on her pleasure for the first time. Another Diamond got to be independent and changed up her entire life. OYSN is not just about sex, it’s about empowerment for women and, of course, pleasure.
Orientation week starts January 9th, come join an intimate group of women for 12 weeks and literally change your life. If you’re a woman who wants to enjoy all aspects of her life then this program is for you. It finally gets to be your time. So click on the link in the show notes or on my website, soniawrightmd.com and sign up for Own Your Sexuality Now, the intimate edition. I can’t wait to see you there, Diamonds, Dr. Sonia out.