The Strong MD | Episode 2

Unraveling the Knots: Saving Marriages with Kimberly Beam Holmes

Kimberly Beam Holmes is CEO of Marriage Helper International, known for its 70% success rate in saving marriages. Additionally, she hosts “It Starts With Attraction,” co-hosts “Relationship Radio,” and is pursuing her Ph.D. in psychology. As one of the leading creators on marriage-related topics, with 100k monthly podcast downloads and over 260k YouTube subscribers, she shares insights and strategies for building strong marriages and nurturing relationships that lead to robust communities. Off the microphone, Kimberly lives in Tennessee with her husband of 11 years and her two children adopted from India.

Published on
January 08, 2024

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Dr. Jaime Seeman: And welcome to today’s episode. I have an incredible guest to introduce you to. Her name is Kimberly Beam Holmes and she is the CEO of marriage Helper International, which has a 70% success rate in saving marriages. She also co hosts the relationship radio podcast, hosts, uh, the, it starts with Attraction podcast and is currently completing her phd in psychology. Kimberly lives in Tennessee with her husband of eleven years and her two children adopted from India. I hope you enjoy. Hi, Kimberly. So if you can just give everybody a little bit of your story and your background.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of those things like, wow, where do, uh, I’m, um, I get the honor and pleasure to work with this organization called Marriage Helper. And a lot of times people ask like, man, how did you get involved with such an interesting line of work? And I say, well, to really understand the story, we have to go back to about 1985, because it was in 1985 that actually the founder of marriage Helper, uh, his name is Dr. Joe Beam. And at that time, he was an incredibly successful speaker all around America. Uh, and he was married to a wonderful wife, Alice. They had two daughters. And, um, it was at that time that he actually ended up falling in love with another woman and divorcing his wife and leaving his kids and going to be with this other woman, thinking that the grass on the other side just looked so much greener. What ended up happening over the three years that they were divorced is he went from being an incredibly successful speaker and a businessman to losing everything, becoming homeless, actually living out of his car. He became an alcoholic, a drug addict, and almost died twice from overdosing on alcohol and on drugs. And he kind of woke up one day and realized, man, this is not the life that I thought I was going to have when I left my family. And even more than that, Jamie, he said, I miss the person I was and I miss my family, and I want to go back to who that was. And so ultimately, he ended up calling his ex wife and saying, will you take me back? And everyone in her life said, do not do it. Once a cheater, always a cheater. You can’t trust him again, none of those things. But at her heart, she said, at the core of who he is, I knew that he was a good person who had done a lot of bad things, but I believed that he deserved a second chance. And so that’s what they did. She, uh, took him back. They got remarried, learned how to fall in love again. And as a celebration of their second marriage to each other, they ended up having me as their reconciliation. And so, fast forward about 24 years, I was going through my master’s in marriage and family therapy, and I was having my practicum and clinical sessions with couples one on one. Um, and at the same time, I was working part time at marriage Helper because my parents had decided about ten years after they reconciled that they wanted to help couples never have to go through the pain of what they experienced and of what my two older sisters experienced during their divorce that I never had to experience, which is a crazy dynamic as well. Um, and so I was working part time at marriage Helper, going through my MFT degree, and I was seeing the amazing turnaround and success that clients were having in the three day workshops that we did, and also experiencing the struggle and frustration of working one on one with clients in the counseling aspect of things. And that’s when I really caught the vision of what marriage Helper could do and was married myself at the time, had gone through a really difficult first four years of our marriage and understood how important it was to have help for couples when they were going through hard times, because there’s not a lot of people out there willing to share behind the highlight reel of what goes on when marriages go through hard times. And so that’s when I caught the vision of what marriage helper could do and how we could help couples. And that’s how I became to be a bigger part of marriage helper. Uh, and that was twelve years ago now. So that’s a little bit about me, Jamie, and my family’s story and why I am where I am today.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: That’s incredible. That’s the first time I’ve heard that story, you guys. And that clearly is a reason why you’re so passionate about what you do.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Absolutely.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: I’m a physician. I’m happily married. My husband and I, uh, I guess I’ll call it fortunate. We met actually quite young, got married at the age of 23 before I even went to medical school. But there was people in our lives, uh, that used to say things like, well, people change doctors. It’s really hard. Good luck with that. It was almost like there was a lot of doubters in our relationship early on. So I’d love to speak to the uniqueness of physicians, but first, can you just talk about maybe just the background with marriages in our country and how often do we see success? Obviously, you have an entire business entity created to help people save their marriage. Um, can you just speak on that a little bit?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yes, absolutely. I’ll step back a little bit and just talk about the marriage and divorce rate in America, specifically over the past about 30, 40 years. Now, when people talk about there being a 50% divorce rate where that number comes from, and I’m speaking with physicians, so I’m sure there’s a statistics and logical side of what you all love to hear about. Um, where that number comes from is the country basically is the CDC that gathers the number of marriages that happen each year and the number of divorces that happen each year. And that’s what they divide into each other to calculate the divorce rate that we typically hear. And so the marriage rates started being calculated in about the early 1910s, 1920s in America. And if you were to look at it on a chart, then you can begin to see that there was, ah, at its height, which was right around right after World War II, I believe, is when marriages in the United States was at its height, and it was about 16 out of every thousand people in America were getting married. So according to the chart, that’s the height of marriage. And then we begin to see, over time, there has been a downward trend in the marriage rate in America to where now we are at about a six out of 1006 and a half out of 1000 marriage rate. So we can see that from eligible people. So 18 years and older, typically where that comes from, we’re at, ah, less than half of what we were when the marriage rate was at its highest. But even when it was at its average, which was about twelve or 14 marriages per thousand, where, I mean, people are just getting married at a lower rate. Now let’s look at the divorce rate reported by the CDC as well. Starting about in, uh, the 1970s, 1980s, we begin to see a huge spike in the divorce rates that were happening in America. And the reason for that is twofold. The first is, according to psychology, when we look at the era of marriage, kind of from the 1940s into the late 1960s, early 1970s, psychologists view that era of marriage as what they call the commitment based era. This was the era in which people made decisions to continue their relationship because it was what was best for the family unit. But when we moved into the 1970s and 1980s, psychologists now view that area as this shift into expressive individualism. And expressive individualism is basically, this is when society changed to begin to believe that I’m going to do whatever makes me happy in the moment. It’s also in this time we see the divorce rate spike at its highest. And it was also the introduction of the no fault divorce. And so we begin to see once there doesn’t have to actually be a quote unquote, reason for people to divorce. It begins to spike, and over time, we begin to see that, uh, I mean, it comes down a little bit after the 1980s, but over time it has stayed pretty stable and pretty stagnant. I believe it’s about eight out of every thousand, uh, people that have been getting divorced. And it may have gone down a little bit in the past couple of years, but about ten years ago, eight states also stopped reporting their divorce rates, one, uh, of those being California. So we don’t actually have a good number. All we have is what the CDC gives us to really understand that. Um, and so when people say, well, the divorce rate is going down, when you look at it from one perspective, you could say, yes, there’s less divorces happening per thousand people every year, but there’s also way less marriage happening overall. So it’s a really interesting time. And even when we just look qualitatively at, ah, people and not quantitatively, we see that 20 year olds, 30 year olds, right now, a lot of the people listening to this podcast coming out of medical school, looking forward at their life. A lot of times, especially 20 years ago, many people would have already been married at that age, but a lot of those people have experienced, especially now, they’ve experienced parents who have been divorced, the hurt and pain that divorce has caused. There’s a lot more hesitancy to even commit to a relationship long term, because the fear going into it is, I don’t want to be hurt the way my mom was, the way my dad was, the way I was as a kid. I don’t want to do that to my children. So we’re seeing right now, especially, there’s just a lot of shift in even just the idea of marriage inside of.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Our culture that’s so interesting. I guess I’ll be very vulnerable. So I came from a family. My parents have been married for, oh, gosh, 43 years now. And my husband came from a family, uh, where his parents separated, and eventually both, uh, had new partnerships. And it’s an interesting dynamic within our own relationship. I almost see that come out in my partner sometimes, that there is this level of insecurity, like, I don’t want to be left. There’s a different attachment there.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Absolutely.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Why do you think people are not getting married?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Well, it’s part of what you just talked about. Even when we go and think about attachment styles, which as a psychologist, that’s something that, well, I’m not yet a psychologist. I’m completing my phd in psychology right now, but when we look at counselors, when we look at psychology and all of those aspects of it, attachment styles has been something that’s been around since the 1940s, 1950s, is when it begun to be researched. Um, and really at that, what were we looking at? Psychology was looking at how children were their longitudinal relationship satisfaction based on the felt security that they had growing up in their home lives. Right. So when children started experiencing the divorce of their parents, when I did my master’s thesis, that was the whole topic of it, how does divorce affect children? And as one of the most shocking statistics that came out of my research of that study, and it was done at that time, at the largest longitudinal study of how divorce affects children, was that after one year of divorce, 25% of fathers would no longer have a relationship with their children. And after ten years of divorce, 50% of fathers no longer had a relationship with their children.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Wow.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Uh, I had to double check that statistic so many times to just think, can this even be right? And a lot of times it’s not because, and this isn’t to bash fathers at all. A lot of times it’s a mother who’s just still hurt and very angry and doesn’t want there to be communication and kind of keeps the children from the kids, which is not ideal. Many other times it’s because the father feels a lot of guilt and shame about it, and he kind of removes himself, or he gets remarried and he has another family. And so there’s a lot of different things that happen there. But the bottom line of what it is is that, uh, when you think about attachment theory, it’s kind of this spectrum of anxious and avoidant. But the ideal is that a person is in secure attachment, which means they aren’t scared that someone’s going to leave them. Um, but they also trust people enough to open up to them. And this is kind of the ideal that people for having long and satisfying relationships. But the way that we were parented, um, our home life, our first romantic relationship, and how it ended, can actually impact how much we trust the other person to be there for us, no matter what. And that’s at its core, what attachment is that I trust this other person is going to be here for me no matter what happens. So when there’s been a disruption in that from childhood, from a previous romantic relationship, then it can lead kind of on the spectrum of anxious. Like, I fear I’m going to be abandoned, and so I’m going to over communicate, I’m going to beg and plead for people to stay with me, I’m going to kind of over share about myself, because maybe if I share enough about me, you’ll love me and you won’t want to leave me. But on another spectrum of this is the avoidance style, which is, I don’t trust that you’re going to stay. So I’m going to shut down in order to protect myself from ever being hurt. I’m going to remove part of my trust and intimacy with you and block that off from you, because I don’t trust you’re going to stay long term. And there’s a spectrum. People can kind of gravitate back and forth on this and all of that. But to your original question, why do we think that is? I think it’s a lot of times because of people didn’t necessarily see their parents work through how to handle difficulties in marriage because they were either trying to protect their kids from it, or because the parents divorced and they never saw how to actually have healthy conflict and know that that’s okay and it can be normal. Research, um, we know from research, especially by Dr. John Gottman, it’s not how much a couple fights that indicates whether their marriage is good or actually, the more conflict, uh, many times the better. The less conflict is not as healthy. You want to be able to have the conflict and work through it. It’s how you get back together at the end of it, how you reconnect in a loving and healthy way after having conflict. That is the bigger indicator of how long lasting and satisfying your marriage will be. That was a long answer, Jamie, I.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Feel like I could pick your brain all day on all these. Interesting question. Is marriage really for everybody? Do you encounter individuals that maybe would just be better served not in a long term committed relationship? Or is it really for anybody that wants it?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: I don’t know that I’ve ever been asked that question.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: I’m just thinking, yeah, some people that don’t want children, so I guess that would be easy. Need a partner. But do you ever encounter people in marriage helper that you’re just like, yeah, this is just your personality type, you’re just m made for this.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Uh, the first answer I want to give to that question is, I don’t believe that marriage is what makes a person whole or not. So do I believe that everyone should be married? No, not necessarily. And there are many people who wish to be single or celibate or whatever for their whole entire life. And I believe that they can have just as much of a, uh, healthy and happy life in that if that’s what they will be happy with. I believe, however, that most people do want to feel unconditionally loved and seen, and to know that there’s always going to be someone there for them.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Mhm.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: I 100% believe that now. And I believe that because of just the brokenness of life and the world, no one is perfect. So there’s definitely hurdles that many people have to overcome based on previous trauma or just how they’re innately wired and ingrained. I mean, one of the things we do a lot of work in at marriage helper is, uh, personality, temperaments. And one of the things that we use is the disc profile to help couples understand each other better. And so it’s not necessarily that. It’s that marriage is going to make you healthy and whole. Although according to the research, people who are married do tend to have longer life, better immunity, higher earning power, um, less depression. Like, there’s a lot of benefits of marriage, but I believe that’s more so because those are excluding the people who wouldn’t have wanted to be married and are just kind of fine being single their entire life, which is a much lower subset of people. But I believe where the real harm comes in, Jamie, is that instead of, uh, realizing that, or let me say it this way, a lot of times people think there’s a perfect person out there for me or there’s a soulmate out there for me, and if I marry the wrong person, then I can just try again. And that’s where the hurt and destruction happens, because no one is perfect. Everyone marries a set of problems, which means that I am also a set of problems, right? Like, whoever we marry comes with baggage and comes with their own quirks and personality, temperaments and all of those things. And so whoever you marry, there’s going to be a set of problems. It’s just going to be different than the ones that you have now. And so at, uh, marriage helper, we believe that every marriage can be saved. It doesn’t necessarily mean every one of them will, but we believe every marriage can be saved. And we believe that nothing is unrecoverable. And a lot of it is just realizing that marriage takes work. And some marriages take a whole lot more work than others because we tend to be attracted to people who are different than us. And so it’s whether or not the couple, or at least one person in that marriage has the determination and commitment to say, I’m going to do what’s best for the future of this relationship. And that means that I might not be happy in the short term and I might be really frustrated and think my spouse is a total jerk in the short term. But if I can at least be willing to do the things that can build the foundation of great communication, of us wanting to be together, of emotional intimacy, trust, then that is going to be what sets the foundation for the future of the marriage to be the best possible. But unfortunately, and I believe this is more true in today’s culture than ever, we just tend to give up quicker. We see marriage as something that’s more, um, like a renter versus a buyer. A lot of people see it as like, uh, if this doesn’t work, I’ll just try something else. And when you rent a house, there’s no way that you care for it as well as when you’ve bought it and it’s yours. And so that’s what I believe we’re seeing in culture. It’s not so much that people don’t want to be married. Um, and maybe it might be that they feel like they don’t want to be married, but everyone I’ve talked to, it’s that I want to know that I’m going to be loved, that I’m going to be cared for. One way to put it is there’s a lot of people out there who are going to use you, but there’s not a lot of people out there who are going to truly love you through the hard times.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Mhm.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: How do we have more of those kinds of relationships where there’s love, commitment and bonding for a lifetime and not just whatever makes me happy in the moment?

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Absolutely. Maybe it’s social media, you probably have some insight to this, but it’s like we’re such a need it now kind of culture, like immediate results. And I think people don’t understand the work that it takes to build success in any area of your life. I live in kind of like the health and wellness space, like Amazon. People want results, like know, right. And they don’t know really what it takes to put into it. Okay, so I’ll make this parallel. I’m an obgyn, people are pregnant. It’s cute. You have all these baby showers, then they have this baby, and then you go home, and now the real work begins.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: That’s right.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Almost parallel that to you’re dating someone. It’s really fun, it’s exciting. Uh, it’s like easy to be turned on in the relationship. You get married now, you’re married, like now the real work begins at, uh, marriage helper when do couples, is there specific pit stops in a marriage? Specific years? How long? Or do you see people in marriage helper? Early, middle, late? I mean, when do marriages tend to fail?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, that’s a great question. And you’re right. Going back to the parenting analogy, we say that the two most important things in our lives are the two most important things that we’re never trained on or taught how to do, which is how to be married and how to be a parent. And so that’s really a huge part of it. When we look at the research, couples tend to wait six years after the first problems begin to happen in their marriage before they ever get help for them. Now, as a physician, many you and your listeners likely know, man, when our patients wait six years to come to us, after they start having blood sugar issues or pain in their knees or back or whatever, everything’s only gotten worse in those six years if you haven’t done anything to make it better. And so a lot of times, by the time a couple is willing to go for counseling or therapy or to a retreat or one of our workshops, many of them feel like it’s a last ditch effort because things have just begun to fall apart so much. Now, I said, that tends to happen six years after the problems begin. So, to your question, like, when do some of those first problems begin? Well, they say that marriage is a stressor, like marriage, divorce. There’s many things that we look at in life that is a stressful event. And so for my husband and I, for example, our first year of marriage was incredibly stressful. He, uh, was a pilot in the army. He was a helicopter pilot. And literally, the week after we got engaged, he got orders to South Korea. And so we had to decide then, am I going with him or am I not? And so I decided to go with him. So, uh, we got married in a month. I left my job, I left my family, everything I knew to move halfway across the world and become a military wife and couldn’t work. Like, I’m a very high driven person. And it was a whole lot of change at one time. And now I’m in a new culture. No friends, no car, no language, experience of korean, couldn’t get around. Um, and my husband was working 14 hours days, and he was in a really high stress job. Uh, so all of a sudden, everything in our life changed, and we had all of this stress hit us at once. And this didn’t happen to us. But other people, they tend, unfortunately, to have losses of parents or close friends or family. During their first couple of years of marriage or to have a baby. And typically, we will say that is the first crisis point that hits a marriage. Either starting a new job, having some major life change, or a life change like bringing a child, because that is when the baby changes in the marriage. It’s gone from being each other. And many times it’s typically kind of, uh, that wife, like, doting on the husband, doing everything for him. And then when the baby comes, is the first time the husband begins to realize, like, wait a minute. All the attention used to be on me, what’s going on at this point? So there’s a lot of those life examples or life situations that come up that can spur the marriage problems that begin. We look about six years after that, and that’s when we begin to see, it’s really in that seven to 15 year mark of being married that people tend to have their first marriage crisis. And I kind of put that in quotations for people, uh, watching. I don’t know if they’re watching the video or not, but I put those in quotations because the crisis started way before. We say at marriage helper all the time, your marriage didn’t get to where it is overnight, and you may have just found out that your spouse is having an affair, or that they’ve been hiding something, or you may have just found that out. But more the majority, 98% of the time, this is from a series of problems that you both have been dealing with over time that have culminated in this terrible thing that’s happening, which isn’t necessarily the fault of the person calling, like in the example of the affair, the affair that if my husband was having an affair, it’s not my fault if he was having an affair. But how can we step back and look at what was going on in your marriage that led to this disconnect, that led to this opportunity and temptation for them to even be willing to get into that. And we tend to see those begin to happen at the seven to 15 year mark, and then they tend to happen the second time, or many couples for the first time at the empty nest mark. Because again, it’s that first big life change. And now kids are out of the house, jobs are done, many people are entering into retirement. They look at each other and they say, who are you?

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Yeah, people change. People change over time. Okay, so, uh, somebody comes to marriage helper, what is, like, the first steps? I mean, for somebody listening right now, know, reflecting on their own relationship and marriage, and they’re, I want, before this is a complete dumpster fire before we’re at the six year mark, like Kimberly said, maybe we’re at the one year mark. What’s the first step? How do you start to unpack this? Yeah.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Well, especially if there are already problems or issues coming up in the marriage, then the first step that we would recommend people to do is to calm down. And what does that mean? That means typically, when we begin to really just think all the time about, man, I wish my spouse would do this differently. I wish they would do that differently. When we start to ruminate on those items is when we can begin to spiral even in our own mind about what really is going on in our marriage, and we can begin to paint a picture of what’s happening that may or may not be true. I was actually interviewing one of our team members yesterday who started as one of our clients, and I asked him, how did you originally find marriage helper? And he said, I actually found marriage helper because I was searching for how to get a divorce. But somehow I came across marriage helper. And I said, well, what even happened? And he said, well, my wife and I, we’d been married at 15 years at that point, and we were house flipping, and they didn’t have any kids. But he said, we had our regular day to day jobs, but then the house that we lived in, we would flip, and we just stopped talking about the things that we enjoyed doing together. We stopped connecting emotionally. We stopped doing the things for each other that evoked emotions that each of us enjoyed feeling. And it kind of just turned into this business relationship. And he said, his, uh, wife’s name is Jen. His name is Jared. And Jared said, my wife Jen, I would just get so angry at her, and I would just sit there and think about how she wasn’t being a good wife. And then when I would try to go on dates and ask her to go on dates, she would just say, no, I’m kind of tired. I’m just going to go to bed early. And they had stopped being intimate over time and so on and so forth. And actually, um, just as a side note, if we look at all the marriages in America, 33% of them are a low or no sex marriage, meaning, uh, they’re having sex with each other less than once a week for the year. So 52 times or less a year, which is its own huge problem that maybe we’ll talk about later and maybe not. But he was frustrated because of that. And so finally, on Valentine’s day, he ended up blowing up at her. And he said, you’re just not a good wife, and we’re not even having sex anymore, and I don’t want to be with you. But what had happened, and I stopped in that interview, and I said, at this point, was the problem what was going on in your marriage, or was the bigger problem? What was going on in your mind? And he said, the bigger problem was absolutely what was going on in my mind, because I would just sit there and ruminate and spiral and resent, and it changed the way I interacted with her. And that when we also look at the research, it’s when people begin to, in a way, rewrite history, when they begin to think only about the story. Yes. Like the negative things their spouses are doing to think about what life would be like if they had made a different choice. This is when the marriage can begin to devolve, and it’s actually the way that trust begins to break down, which is a whole rabbit hole I won’t go down right now. So, uh, that’s why we say the first step is to calm down. And a big part of that, calming down is better getting control of, uh, what we allow ourselves to think about, especially when it comes to our spouse.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Interesting. What is the best way for a partner to bring it up with the other spouse when they start to recognize these feelings? I mean, the partner is feeling the same way.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, I would always actually recommend that. Um, well, because let me back up and say this. Uh, my first year of marriage, which I alluded to is very stressful. And the first four years of my marriage was very difficult. And a lot of it was because, um, as I mentioned, my husband was working 1214 hours days, and I was home alone. And I’m a very extroverted personality. He’s a very introverted personality. So he would come home and he would just want some time he’d been with people. High stress job. He was a medevac pilot. So he would just say, kimberly, I just need time to unwind. What I heard when he said that was, I don’t love you. I don’t want to spend time with you.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Mhm.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: So I would push further. I would just start following him around the house or just start crying of m, like, how can you not want to spend time with me? How can you not want to be with me? I moved to korea, quit my job, left my life to be with you, and you can’t even spend time with me as soon as you get home from work. And this became the way that we would interact every single day. I mean, it was pretty much like clockwork. We knew what the fight was going to be before he walked in the door. And so I would approach it with, you need to change. Like, here’s how I’m unhappy, and here’s my laundry list of things, dear husband, that if you would change, then I would be happy again and everything would be great. And I can tell you that that tactic worked about as well as you think it might, a grand total of absolutely zero times. Uh, and the real truth of it was that I was unwilling to look at what I was doing that was pushing my husband away. And if we really look at the core of what makes great relationships and difficult relationships, it’s this principle that we talk about of push and pull. And the basic principle is when people do things that I don’t enjoy feeling or evoke emotions within me that I don’t enjoy feeling, it pushes me away from them. My husband coming home, just wanting to have some time alone, and me just berating him about spending time with me. He didn’t enjoy the way that I made him feel when I did that, and it pushed him further and further away. And so what’s the opposite of that? It’s like thinking about a magnet. When two opposite ends of a magnet are near each other, like, you can’t even put them together, they will only push apart. But then when you put the two that just can’t help but be attracted to each other, then you can’t keep them from being apart from each other. And that’s this principle of pull. When I can evoke emotions within another person that they enjoy feeling, then they’re going to want to be around me. And it wasn’t until I took a deep, hard look at me, and sure, there were a ton of things that my husband could have changed, but the truth of the matter is, I couldn’t control him. And as much as I tried to, it never would have worked. And if it did work, he would have resented it. It wasn’t until I looked at me and said, what can I do that would evoke emotions within him. He enjoyed feeling. And how could that help to help him pull closer to me? That’s when things begun to change. And so you asked the question, how do you approach this with your spouse? Well, I think the first way is just by doing a, uh, self awareness of what is my responsibility in this and what can I control. And the reason that even makes the conversation easier when you do finally bring things up with your spouse, is you’ve likely already done some internal mental work and actual work in the way that your behaviors are to where your spouse is probably beginning to see some sort of difference. And so it’s not going to be as, um, not defeating isn’t the word I’m looking for, but, like, blaming. They’re not going to feel quite like you’re blaming them. But then it comes to, hey, you know what? And I would first start it with a positive, hey, I’ve been really wanting to do more things that evoke emotions within you that you enjoy feeling. What are some of those things that I can do? And starting there, instead of it being, hey, I’m not happy, which that can be a conversation and maybe should be at some point. Um, but like, hey, let’s make an even better marriage than what we have, and what are some things that we can both do for each other that evoke those positive emotions? Tends to be a much better place to start, especially if there’s not a major crisis right in the middle of it. Like, you just found out your spouse had an affair or something like that. Um, that’s a better way to start.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Something that’s more proactive. It sounds like what you’re saying is like, doing a little bit of self discovery. Like, okay, what am I feeling? How am I showing up in this relationship? Are these real problems? Are these perceived? In my mind, I think that makes a lot of sense. So if you’ve kind of opened that conversation now with your partner, are there specific activities you can do? I mean, is it just talking it out? Um, how can you water the seed, essentially, once you’ve kind of planted it?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Another great question. Many times in marriages, there tends to be one spouse who is way more proactive in trying to get the marriage happy and healthy and to a good space. Uh, and there tends to be another spouse who’s like, why do you want to talk about feelings all the time? Aren’t things good? I kind of feel like you’re trying to pull me into something. And so it can be difficult, especially when there’s the one spouse who’s doing a lot of reading and learning and self awareness and things, um, because they, in some instances, become leaps and bounds ahead of understanding what needs to be done in order to have a healthy marriage. But a lot of times, then what that really, um, zealous spouse does is they want to try and teach their spouse all of the things that they should do. So they’ll start saying things like, you should really be doing more to evoke positive emotions than me or you should.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Really stop doing those things to evoke negative, more problems.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, exactly right. It sets off kind of the, I don’t like the word power balance, but in some ways, it’s like, why are you treating me like you’re superior to me in this? So what can a couple do in that instance? And this is where it’s, well, I’m going to give you one thing that you can begin to do that’s actually really easy and not intimidating at all, and then kind of the next step level. One of the things that we encourage our couples to do at marriage helper is tell, is, uh, use the power of story with each other. Because there’s a lot of times that we will make interpretations or judgments about our spouse of, like, why do they do things the way they do? Why are they so weird? And a lot of times it’s their personality or temperament, but a lot of times it’s because there’s something about their past or a way that they grew up or a story that’s happened in their life that has influenced the person that they’ve become today, because that’s really what we are. We’re a sum of the interpretation of our experiences that we’ve had. And more than that, when we begin to really be curious about each other and have a non ending curiosity about learning about the other person, that is a great way to build intimacy and ultimately trust with each other as well. And so use the power of story. So what can that look like? It can look as simple as every Saturday night, Sunday night after family dinner, hey, let’s just tell a story about our lives. It could be funny, it can be hard, it can be sad. Uh, let’s just tell a story to each other about something that happened and how it made us feel. And that’s the key part here. I’ve even heard about kind of getting just like a big mixing bowl and putting a ton of nouns on small sheets of paper, folding them up and putting them in the mixing bowl. And just like, you pull out that noun, it could be giraffe, Ferris wheel, um, travel. Like just something. And that becomes the word that can kind of prompt the story and using that as a way to just continue to connect and to build intimacy and be curious about each other. So that’s one way that couples can begin to just work on bettering their relationship and is really non intimidating to both spouses. But then, of course, there are the people who you really do need to learn how to be on the same page. And so having a shared vocabulary. Having a better understanding of just each other can be incredibly helpful, especially if your marriage is really, uh, going through some hard times. And so that is the benefit of going through something like a workshop or marriage coaching or counseling together with someone who can help you get on the same page. But it can be more difficult to get your spouse to engage in that if they feel like they’re going to be trapped, like if they feel like you’re just going to get them there in order to tell them you’re not happy with them. That’s typically why people don’t want to go, because they don’t want to hear one more time that you’re not happy or the things you want them to change. So if you can understand that aspect of it and figure out how to word that and ask your spouse to do those things with you in a positive way, they can have a much better outcome.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Interesting. It was resonating with me a little bit when you were talking about the first year of your marriage. So my husband and I got married just months before medical school started. Gosh, medical school starts and he is working as a police officer and he’s working night shift. Every first police officer coming right out of the academy, you’re like, yes, night shift. So here I am, spending all day in the classroom, long hours in the library, taking tests on Saturday, and then he’s working nights. We didn’t even have children, and it was like we were just passing in the halls in the morning. We never saw each other, like, the first several years of our marriage. And then even when we had our first child in medical school, it was like the same way. But sometimes I almost look back and say, it was great because it was a very stressful time for both of us. He’s starting his career in law enforcement. I’m starting medical school. And it was almost like we didn’t even have enough time together to create a problem. The time we got together was so quality because we hardly ever saw each other. Um, but for somebody listening, um, let’s kind of start at that beginning. Like, you are starting your career. You’re headed off to medical school. Um, let’s start with the scenario that you’re single, but you are very interested in a long term, committed relationship and a marriage down the road. When you are in this very demanding situation, how do you navigate the dating world? Like, who are you looking for in a partner in this situation?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah. So people tend to be most attracted to people or to others that they feel are different than them. It’s kind of that opposite attract. Right. And so, uh, for people who are in medical school or entering medical school, typically these people are going to be very intelligent, very smart, driven individuals. And it tends to be that those people can be attracted to one of two things, either other very highly driven individuals or the exact opposite of them, which is more laid back, steady personalities that are kind of more family, um, oriented, loyal. And it’s kind of that warm blanket where it’s like, oh, yes, I just need someone who’s going to be steady in my crazy life. And neither option is good or bad, but there’s just things to consider with both of those. And actually, gender can begin to play into this a little bit. So again, I mentioned earlier we use the disc profile. Um, and basically for disc, I can give it 1 minute. How to understand the disc profile. It’s two questions. Are you a very warm and friendly person or are you more warm and distant? And depending on how you answer that, you’re going to fall on one or the other half. And then the second question is, are you more relationship focused, like you care more about people, or do you care more about getting a task done? And based on, and, uh, answering yes or no to either of those puts you in a four quadrant model. So there’s the people who are cool and distant and task oriented. We call those people ds. They’re the dominance. Um, then there’s the people who are warm and friendly and very driven and very quick processors. And those are going to be the eyes, the influencers.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Um, I’m an I.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: You’re an I. You probably have some d in you, too. Um, and then there’s the s’s. The s’s are the steadies. So these are the people who are more cool. They’re still warm and friendly, but they’re very relationship focused. Uh, and they’re slower processors. Ds also. I didn’t say this, but ds are very fast processors. And then C’s are calculators or cautious people. So they’re very logical, they’re very analytical. Um, they’re very task oriented, and they’re very cool and distant. And so when we look at those things, we see that ds, the very dominant people, fast processors, um, task oriented, like to get stuff done, driven. They tend to be most attracted to S’s, the steadies, especially if it’s a d man, a dominant male and a steady woman. Culturally, that’s a very common connection. There’s just things to understand. Um, all of these can have great marriages, and there is no ideal connection or mate choice between all of these profiles. But the things to understand is, especially in conflict, that the dominant personality styles are going to be the ones to say, like, make a decision, do it now, what’s going on? And the s’s are going to feel like everything is connected to everything else. They’re going to want more family time, they’re going to want more security. Uh, they’re less likely to be risk takers. And so these are the things that you can begin seeing. Uh, we’re likely going to fight about these things in the future, and that’s fine. If you can at least respect each other and understand that’s coming to two highly dominant people who may be attracted and married to each other, they’re going to tend to fight more than other couples because both of them are very driven, very fast processors. Uh, they both want to be right, they don’t want to be taken advantage of. That’s, uh, some of the fears of them. And so again, none of these are right or wrong, but it’s just understanding. Like, when you’re in those first phases of falling in love, you don’t think about the things that you may fight about or might go wrong going forward in the future. But it’s just one of those things to consider and just to be aware of, like, hey, this may be, um, a thing in the future. And the other thing I would say here, especially for someone not yet married, they’re dating, they’re looking at who they should date. And especially in today’s culture, is it’s going back to that idea of finding someone who’s not just going to use you, but who’s really, I mean, not when you’re first dating, go around and look, but once you get in a relationship with someone, um, if it’s someone who’s like, nah, I don’t really want to commit, why don’t we keep our options open then? Is that really someone you want to commit to, pouring your heart into and your trust into for it to possibly be broken later? And I’ve had a couple of friends who, they’ve just gotten into situations where they’re like, well, I’m scared of losing him, but he wants me to do things this way or his way. And so I guess I’m just going to go along with it. And, uh, when that begins to happen, when you’re dating, don’t think that it’s just going to get easier or better when you’re married, there still needs to be equal respect, equal conversation, um, respectful communication. I mean, those things, if they begin to become red flags in the relationship, they’re going to still be red flags, uh, when you’re married, if not more so. But people typically marry the other person thinking they can change them, uh, or thinking that they’ll never change. And neither of those are true.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: I remember back when I was in medical training, I had a mentor of mine who was much older than me, and she was single, and she was still kind of dating, trying to find her life partner, had not had children. We were kind of, like, at two different places in our lives. I had been married a year or two at this time, but I remember this conversation happening, and there was people more my, um, age that were in medical school that were like, yeah, it’s weird to go out and date because I don’t want to tell people I’m in medical school because I’m afraid they’re just going to want to date me because I’m going to be a doctor. And then she was older in her career, and she would say the same thing. I went on this date with this guy, and she made up another career. Like, she wouldn’t even tell them that she was a transplant surgeon because it just sounded too intimidating to throw out there advice for women in particular, navigating this professional world and still finding a good life partner. Should you be honest up front? What do you say?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Well, I never think it’s a good idea to lie at any point, but I can also understand wanting to keep certain parts guarded, um, just for your own safety or different things like that. And so the people that you attract, there’s two points here that I believe are good guiding principles. The first one is like attracts like. And so there’s an importance of us working on ourselves, becoming mentally healthy, physically healthy, emotionally healthy, spiritually healthy, so that we don’t fall into kind of saying yes to whoever just because we’re lonely or because we’re looking to fill a void within us. Like, getting healthy personally first will help us, uh, to attract more of the kind of person that we would want and hope to attract. The second thing that I would say is the kind of fish that you get depends on the pond in which you fish. And so it’s definitely hard now. I have so many friends, and, I mean, I met my husband in college, but we had known each other as children, so I have not had to enter the dating scene as an older, 20, earlier 30 year old and try and figure out where do I even find these people? Um, and I understand it’s way different now than even when I was single. And so all of that is something to consider. But when you’re wanting to attract a certain person who shares your values and who shares your core beliefs and the kind of future that you want to have and who’s going to be on board with you, maybe being a more successful person or maybe the main breadwinner in the household, then you may not find that person at the local bar, and you may not even find that person on some of the dating apps. And every dating app kind of has its own culture as well. And so it’s keeping those things in mind and using those as kind of guiding posts of, so how am I going to work on me? And then where am I going to put myself out there in order to attract those people, even before going on that first date? And then even on that first date? Um, just saying things like, I work in medicine and kind of being broad, or I work in helping other people kind of in the medical field, I think we can tell the general truth about what we do without saying I do. A job that brings in a lot of money can be a wise move in the beginning when you’re just getting to know someone.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Yeah. Um, you brought up the dating apps. I’m really interested to hear your perspective. Um, I’ve had very close friends and family who have met their partners on Uh, my husband and I have been married 15 years now, and so I’m not even familiar with the dating apps or hookup apps. I guess I don’t even know what you want to call them these days. M what are your thoughts about these apps? Uh, I’ve heard so much about just this young generation and hookup culture, and we’ve talked about how people just want to give up so easy these days. What are your thoughts as your lens of working through marriage helper with these things?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, like you, I’ve had several friends who have found their now spouse on these dating apps, but it’s never been Tinder. It’s always been something a bit more. And it’s one of those things, both of them, that I’m thinking of off the top of my head. They knew who they were going into it, and so they were incredibly picky about the kind of people they had kind of set their own boundaries in their mind of, uh, what they would allow and what they wouldn’t allow and just how they would allow a person to treat them or what they would want a person to say to them before it became just a no. Go from their end. And it’s not that I think that they are bad. I actually think, actually taking a step back, I think that any two people can learn how to fall in love with each other because there’s a process to falling in love.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: There’s a show, it’s called love is blind. It’s such a good show.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, right. Exactly. Um, and it’s true, like, any two people can. It doesn’t mean every two people will, but any two people can. So it’s just another place where you meet someone, but you should still have the same. Actually, I think what dating apps do is they remove. And this is super fascinating. I heard on one of the podcasts that I listened to that. Um, and I don’t understand all this, but I’m going to say it because I thought it was super fascinating. Uh, there’s a lot of what used to be when people were dating before the dating apps. Like on a first date, when people first started to get to know each other, apparently there’s something in our olfactory receptors that can pick up on certain things from another person. Um, I believe the podcast I heard was talking about how we can pick up on pheromones that someone gives off when they’re lying. And this was like, Huberman lab podcast. Andrew Huberman. So I’m pretty sure it was true. This was like a weird thing. Um, and they were talking about how now that so many people meet online, you don’t have those initial kind of neurochemical, biological signals in our bodies that would warn us otherwise. And so we kind of get more intimate with people that we don’t know before we would have gotten that intimate with them if we had met them in person first. And so I think that’s something to consider. Watch how much you share before you meet someone and really use the first time you meet someone and trust your gut instinct. Especially as women, that gut instinct, we just have different parts of our brain that you probably understand some of this more than me, but we have different parts of our brain that feed into assessing things and making calculative decisions that give us that gut intuition. And so many times women will just say like, oh, but. And they’ll kind of write things off, and then a year later they’re like, I should have trusted. I should have trusted my gut. Trust your gut. There’s actually things happening in your body and in your biology that are trying to give you signals. So I would mention that part as well.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: It makes me think of this time I was in medical school. They used to have, uh, something called the science cafe, I think it was what it was called. Basically, everybody went and bought a beer, and you listened to some topic, and they had brought in this expert talking about attractiveness. And we watched this video where these women, um, would rate the attractiveness of these partners, and they showed them pictures, and then they had them smell the t shirts that these. I don’t know if they ran on a treadmill, I can’t remember, but they basically were saying that the women, there was a correlation with the immunohistocompatibility, um, like, basically the immune systems. There was exactly what you’re talking about. Um, and that’s so funny that you say that with social media and with these apps and things like that, it’s like this complete physical barrier of nature, I guess. And you’re totally right. I always say vibes don’t lie. Just like, listen, I agree with you, Jamie. Let’s go back to that dynamic of, uh, you said traditionally in most marriages, you have men that are more like this dominant, and then the women that are more. Was it s. Um. Let’s flip that script and talk about women being kind of the high earner, the high producer, the more dominant force in the marriage.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Absolutely.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: What does that bring up for people who may be struggling?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah. And I believe it’s a good. Again, this is a good thing. I believe that’s happening in culture. We’ve definitely made a positive move towards women. And, uh, it may be a bit ironic with two women on the podcast talking about that, but women really are doing more in their careers and becoming higher income earners, and there’s becoming more equality in that space, which is absolutely fantastic. That just wasn’t there more in the even 80s, um, for that. And so we’re now seeing that there’s a lot more of these dominant women, and, uh, they can be intimidating to men, but we probably aren’t going to end up being with some of those men that are too intimidated for that. But a lot of times, those dominant women are attracted to more of the steady man. So the one who’s more even keeled, the more who’s more laid back, the more who’s more relaxed, uh, more risk averse, because, again, these are the things that kind of. We feel like they balance us out. But culturally, this is difficult because men, and not even just culturally, but there is a cultural expectation that men are going to be the breadwinners, they’re going to be the income practitioners, the protectors, and all of those things. But, um, men are kind of driven in that way as well. Like, men want to feel like they are practitioners and protectors, and that’s part of who they are. And so some of the issues can come either culturally or within the relationship in this. When a man begins to feel like he isn’t as respected as his wife, or if his wife begins to disrespect him. And this can easily happen with a highly driven, fast processing woman who can begin to walk all over her husband. And who can begin to make all of the decisions because he’s a slower processor. And if she doesn’t realize he’s a slower processor, then she can just see him as weak, or she can see him as, uh, inferior. There’s a couple that came to our workshop a couple of years ago, and she was an incredibly high d woman, very driven. And he was this s personality. And, um, his mother had passed away, and he, in the middle of his grief. And as well as being an s, he’s already a slower processor. It takes him a longer time to make decisions. And he couldn’t make decisions about the funeral arrangements, uh, especially compared with the grief he was going through. And so for his wife, this was kind of like her last straw, where she was like, and you can’t even do this. I have to do everything for you. That’s how she treated him. I have to do everything for you. So she stepped in. She made all the funeral arrangements and resented him for it in the meantime. And that had happened a couple of years before, but it came up at the workshop of her saying, why do I have to be the one to make everything happen? And I’m the income practitioner, and I’m supposed to be the mother. And we can begin to take all of that on and begin to not recognize the attributions and contributions of husbands. That might be a different personality style than us. But the truth of the matter in that situation was, if she had just given her husband support and time, then he would have been able to prepare the funeral and make the decisions that he needed to make in that. But she didn’t know how to speak his language, and he didn’t know how to speak her language. And so it just continued to tear them further and further apart. And whether it’s a male or a female, that’s the d or the s. The other two we haven’t talked about is the I, who’s more of the spontaneous person, loves to have fun, kind of like life of the party, typically is pretty disorganized. Um, but is a great communicator, and people are magnetized to them.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: This is.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: This I personality, the influencer. And then a lot of times they’re married to the c’s, the calculators, the cautious people, the rule followers. Logical, analytical. Um, eyes tend to be very emotional, and c’s tend to be very logical and don’t like emotions. Uh, my husband is a c, even though I’m a d. My secondary is an I. And at home, I’m definitely more of an I. Um, and so the problems that can come in here is there’s going to be one spouse who wants to have the kumbaya. Let’s talk about our feelings. I want to connect with you. Let’s go have fun. Um, I don’t want to save our money. I want to go spend our money. That’s the way that an eye tends to operate. Whereas the c is going to be like, but there’s rules and there’s logic, and why aren’t we following it? And I don’t want to talk about feelings. All of the, um. So these are just the balances that we have to find. But the amazing thing, Jamie, is that when we can at least understand how our spouse is wired and when we can begin to realize this isn’t a flaw of who they are, it’s how they were innately made. Like, this is who they are, and there’s amazing things about their personality, temperament, and who they are, then we begin to see it as not something that is continuing to rip us apart, but it’s like the game plan and blueprint of how to understand the other person and then how to speak to them in a way that they understand. So there’s going to be s men, especially, who are going to have to learn to be more proactive and make some quicker decisions and to be more on top of things with their spouse and say, no, I can make that decision. They have to learn to speak that d language, like, very quick, very matter of fact, get to the point quick. They’re going to have to learn to do that at times. But there’s an onus on the person who’s the more driven person as well, to sometimes slow down and allow time for their processing spouse to process and to have the time to do that. So it’s the give and take of the relationship that becomes the game plan to have better communication and ultimately a better marriage.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Wow, that’s fascinating. Uh, it’s funny because as you talk, of course, I’m sitting here reflecting on my own relationship, and I’m like, oh, yes. Oh, my God.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: I see that.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Yeah. It’s so interesting. Uh, when you said your husband is a c, does he self identify as a c, or you have him pegged as a c?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: He’s taken the assessment. I know he’s a c, and that’s the other thing. And sometimes people can peg their spouse correctly, but it’s always best to have them take it and see the results yourself.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Yeah. Um, so I know one thing that can really strain marriages is finance and money. So, in this dynamic, whether it’s the husband or the wife who is a physician, they’re a high earner, they make m all the money. They’re the breadwinner, and their partner, uh, is a stay at home mom or dad. How can this dynamic, when it comes to finances, uh, be a problem? And how can couples address this?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Yeah, I will start by answering it by, uh, actually talking about one of the reasons for divorce. And it’s actually a fallacy, and it’s said a lot. But one of the myths about divorce is that a lot of divorces are because of financial issues, and they just can’t agree on finances. Financial fights and problems are a symptom of much deeper issues that are going on when we actually look at the reason that marriages fall apart. And I believe it can be extrapolated to any relationship. But there’s really three reasons that marriages fall apart, according to the research, and it’s because one or both people no longer feel liked, loved, or respected. That’s it. It’s one of those three reasons. Everything else is a symptom of one of those core issues. And so when we look at finances and really think about what do finances represent? It represents time. It represents your life. So if there’s one spouse, like, right now in my home, I am the primary income practitioner. My husband was in the military for seven years. He got out. He went into law enforcement for several years until we adopted our kids and brought them home from India. And when we brought them home, he was working nights, uh, and realized he was never with us. And so he quit. And ever since then, I went back to work, uh, about four months after we brought the kids home from India. And then he became the stay at home dad. And so for us in that situation, um, and we had many disagreements at times during that time about finances, but it was never really about the money. It was always about the, uh, it’s what we trade our life for is the money. And that’s kind of a very strong way to say, like, our time is the most valuable thing that we have. You, me, something. Yeah, exactly. It’s worth something. And so the job that we do, we spend 40, 60, 80 hours a week doing in order for the finances that come in. And so a lot of times people get stressed out about money because they begin seeing it as, like, the biggest form of disrespect. So if I’m bringing in the money and I feel like my spouse is just frivolously spending it on things, then what I’m feeling is, you don’t respect what I am committing my life to, what I’m giving my life to bring in for the family. And it’s one of the deeper forms of disrespect, because you begin to feel like, I can’t do more. I only have a limited amount of the resource of time, and if I can either find a m way to make more money or we can find a way to spend less money, but that’s the ultimate thing. I feel disrespected. Or it’s the spouse who stays home. On the flip side, it’s the spouse who stays home and says, but my life is worth something as well. And just because I’m not bringing finances into the family doesn’t mean that I don’t have valuable things that I need or that I want to pursue. But, uh, it’s the same basic premise. Like, I want my time to be valuable and worth something as well. And so when one spouse tries to control the money and especially control it or say things, I mean, I’ve heard this boils my blood when the working spouse will say, I get to make all the decisions and I can live my life the way that I want to because I bring in the money. No, you make a decision when you get married that whatever money comes in is for your family. It’s for all of you equally. It shouldn’t matter who brings it in. It’s the fact that it’s just a source of how to feed and fuel and reach goals for your family and things like that. But that doesn’t change the fact that we tend to put our identity into that and we can feel disrespected when we feel like it’s not being respected. So I believe your initial question was, like, finances. It’s something a lot of people fight about. Well, when we can get down to the bigger issue of, like, why are we fighting about money? It’s typically because money is either being used as a way to control the other person, or it’s being used as a way to shame the other person or somewhere in between. And so when we can just get clear on what we’re trying to accomplish overall and then work towards that as a team, instead of being on opposite sides of each other, come to the same side and work together, ensuring that neither person is controlled. No one feels ashamed. Both people feel respected. That’s the best way to work through financial problems.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Okay, I just thought of this question off the top of my head. I grew up in a household. My parents had a joint checking account. My husband and I have the same thing. Uh, exactly how you explained all the finances are like one thing. I have encountered other couples that have been married, and they have separate checking accounts, and I can’t wrap my mind around it. But is that a bad idea? Is that a good idea? Is just people doing different things, different ways? Have you ever encountered that?

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Oh, absolutely, I’ve encountered it. And it’s become a more common, it’s definitely become a more common thing.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Interesting.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: It is a very bad idea, and here’s why.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Because.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Uh, when you get married again, it’s going back to what we said at the beginning. We want to trust someone fully. We want to know that they’re going to be there for us no matter what. And so there’s a lot of opportunity to hide things, to do things that your spouse will never find out about when you don’t have full connected access to each other’s bank accounts. And so in some sense, it’s removed that temptation. But on a really deeper sense, when we look at what happens when people get married is they join their lives together, and that’s part of what makes marriage, um. Well, let me say it this way. One of the reasons now, as well, that many people get divorces easier is because they haven’t fully integrated their lives into each other to begin with. So, same reason I would never recommend a prenup. Why would you try and make an escape plan for your marriage when you’re committing till death do us part? Like, mentally, why even allow that to happen? Because then you’re going to view your marriage as something that there’s always an out for, and you’re going to treat it differently. It’s kind of the same with finances. We actually want, when we get married, to join our lives together as much as possible. At marriage helper, we call it, uh, the ropes. Like, these are the ropes that keep us together when things get hard. Because otherwise, if you make it easy to separate, then when things do get hard, then it’s going to be so much easier for you to just say, well, let’s just separate, or let’s just divorce. And you can make a quick decision that has long lasting negative implications where you would have actually had to slow that decision down if you had done these things like joining bank accounts, getting on the same mortgage, having kids together, uh, all of those things. These are the ropes that can keep you together when life gets hard. So you don’t end up making an in the moment decision, uh, to end things or to pause things that you ultimately later regret.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Yeah, that’s such good advice. That’s such good advice. This has been an incredible conversation about marriage, and, uh, there are so many more topics that we’re going to have to dive into. We’re going to have to talk know children. And I really would love to dive into the sexual aspect of relationships, too, because that’s an OBGYn. That’s something that I listen to all day long in my clinic. But for people listening, tell people where they can find marriage helper and the work that you do.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Kimberly, you can find us on We have some free resources, uh, including a mini course on there. We also have a very vibrant YouTube channel that you can go to at marriage helper, uh, as well as a podcast similar to. Well, not similar to this one, but it’s called relationship radio, and we talk more about these marriage issues. But, Jamie, it’s been fantastic speaking with you, and I love that you’re doing this show and have this as a resource for physicians and would absolutely love to dive in more to any of those topics. I’m sure you and I could talk for several hours over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine about some incredibly interesting things.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: I love it. Appreciate it. Thank you, Kimberly.

Kimberly Beam Holmes: Thank you, Jamie.

Dr. Jaime Seeman: Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Thanks to Kimberly for joining us today. Make sure you guys like and subscribe to this channel or wherever you listen to your podcast.