There is something about turning 40 that can drive a woman to take charge. We are going to discuss mid-life crises, husbands, divorce, and the overall feeling of being HAPPY today … on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: DR. RUTH STEVENS, ISSUES PARTICULAR TO WOMEN OVER 40
Guests: Dr. Ruth Stevens
Date: December 22, 2013
Frank: There’s something about turning 40 that can drive a woman to take charge. We’re going to discuss mid-life crises, husbands, divorce and the overall feeling of being happy today, on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. You can also download the podcast of this and other archive shows on iTunes or with your favorite podcast app.
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Today’s guest has counseled many women over the age of 40 and she’s found many of them to have the same concerns in common. The issues can be health-related, sex-related, divorce, mental health and any combination of these and others. She’s a board certified nutritional consultant and board certified holistic health practitioner and the owner of Naturally Yours LLC. She is Dr. Ruth Stevens. Welcome to the show.
Ruth: Good morning, sir. Thank you so much. Glad to be here.
Frank: Patti Labelle said it best. She said, “I’ve got a new attitude.” What’s up with the women over 40?
Ruth: You know, I don’t know if I would categorize it as an attitude. I think it’s just a phase of life basically and when you get to 40, that’s a milestone where you pretty much come into yourself. And someone being 40, actually almost 50, it definitely is an awakening when you get to that 40 year milestone in life. I think that’s what happens to a lot of women.
Frank: So, where were they before that? Before they hit 40, where were they?
Ruth: You know and we were-and I’m going to say, I’m going to go in that category with them-we were being wives and mothers and daughters and sisters and everything else to everyone else. We pretty much put ourselves on the backburner. Then, when you get to this point in life you realize, “Wait a second, these things are going to evolve,” and children will grow up, marriages will do whatever they’re going to do, whether they dissolve or stay together and then you’re left with yourself and you realize, “Wait a second, I didn’t evolve myself enough. I was too wrapped up in everyone else.”
Frank: Before I go further into what you just said, do you mind sharing your age, so we can put you in perspective?
Ruth: I do not. I’ll be 49 years old next month.
Frank: Got you. Do you fall in the category of wife, mother and daughter?
Ruth: I do, all of the above and then some.
Frank: Do you really think that you put-in terms of being a wife and a mother, did you put yourself on the backburner or did you define yourself as being a wife and a mother?
Ruth: I would honestly have to say in retrospect, I think I did put myself on the backburner and occasionally still do. Is don’t think some of these responsibilities of being a wife and a mother are ever going to end. That comes with the territory, so you have to put that in prospective when you sign on to do it. You’re going to be a mother forever, not necessarily married forever, hopefully, but definitely a mother forever. Certain things just come with the territory. But as individual you lose that when you take on these responsibilities, because you have demands that come along with these roles.
Frank: But why do you decide to fulfill those demands?
Ruth: Because it’s called self-preservation, it kicks in at a certain point and you realize, “You know what? I don’t feel like cooking. I don’t want to. I don’t want to do certain things that I was accustomed to doing in the role of a mother or a wife even and-” go ahead.
Frank: That sounds like why you decided to stop fulfilling those demands, but why did you decide to start fulfilling those demands in the first place? Why did you decide to play the role or the-let’s say, the wife that does not take care of herself and that’s the interpretation I’m making based on what I’ve heard you say thus far?
Ruth: Okay. I think for myself and I think for a lot of individuals that I’ve talked to, there’s this mindset that’s put out there by whomever, whether it’s television, family, friends, whatever, that this is what you’re supposed to do. It’s how it’s supposed to be, and then when reality kicks in you realize, “No, this isn’t really how it should be, because everything is individualized based on the circumstances,” but there’s that pressure and there’s that conditioning that “this is how it’s supposed to be.”
Frank: And when you find out that “this is how it’s supposed to be” and you decide to adhere to it, that seems like a form of self-preservation. You want to be looked at by the community as filling the role that you’ve been given, you want to fit into the social strata, paradigm based on what people are telling you, based on what your girlfriends are doing, based on what your sister’s doing and all of that kind of stuff. That seems like a form of self-preservation too.
Ruth: I don’t know if that would be self-preservation. I think the operative word itself, I think that would be more of peer-preservation or social-preservation, because you’re really not focusing on what you really want. These are other outside factors. But I understand what you’re saying and respect to that.
It could be, I think, in my mind a stretch as far as self-preservation, because you are, you’re trying to keep the peace, basically. That’s really what’s going on. You’re just trying to keep the peace and this is what everyone’s done. This is what your mother did and like you said, your sister and it’s like, “Okay, this is what you do.” But once again, when reality kicks in, it’s like, “No, this is not working. I have to personalize this and make it work for me and my situation.”
Frank: Now, what happens when you are 30 and you’ve got a husband that says, “No babe, you don’t have to cook, you don’t have to put the kids to bed, I’ll handle that. You enjoy your evening, enjoy your day, do what you want to do and we’ll tailor this to be what we want it to be now, before you turn 40.”
Frank: How does that work or have you seen that?
Ruth: Oh my good-you know what, I actually have seen that. I’ve seen that in 30’s and even 40’s and 50’s. I think when you walk into a situation where that communication is first and foremost and these guidelines-I’ll use that term-are established you have the husband that says everything that you just said. Now this woman understands, “Wait a second, I still have some me time, I still have this individuality that I’m going to be allowed to maintain even as I go through being a wife and mother and all these other phases of life.” This is something that a lot of people don’t get that offer.
I definitely didn’t get it. I didn’t get married until I was 30. So, my husband definitely did not say that to me, for sure. But, oh my God please, but you know some men do that, because again, they’ve been conditioned to function a certain way. Then, when women begin to go through these motions of dealing with a man like that, they still maintain that individuality and I think it really does set them up for a better phase of life as they get into the 40’s and 50’s.
Frank: Does the woman whose husband said that to her, does she feel any level of resentment at 40? But is it just a different type of resentment? Does she want to be tied down? Does she want to be told, “Get the kids in bed,” and that sort of thing?
Ruth: I think, again, that’s going to be an individual response. Most women would like the balance between. If you walk into the marriage, the situation, whatever the case may be, knowing that you are a wife and mother, you should just automatically know that there are certain responsibilities. You shouldn’t want him to do what I think are the traditional things a woman should do.
I was raised to cook, clean, take care of all these different things and I love doing them. I absolutely love doing all of my domestic duties. It’s when the demands are put on you and not appreciated, I think that’s when you start talking about resentment.
For that woman that gets that offer from the guy that says, “You know what sweetie, you can relax, I got this,” she’s going to appreciate him, because she gets to have her time. But a woman should still appreciate him doing, what I think, are the traditional things that a woman should do.
Frank: Okay, and what about sex? How does sex at 40 change or what’s going on then?
Ruth: Oh man, oh man. That’s a topic, anytime I open my mouth, man that word, ears just perk up and because it’s so involved, with sex as far as a woman is concerned, we’re talking physically, emotionally and the whole nine yards, things change so much. You really come into yourself. Of course I can speak personally and professionally, but I’ll just tap into personally-
Frank: Are you still married now?
Ruth: I am.
Ruth: It will be 19 years in May.
Frank: Got it, alright.
Ruth: As a realist, and people don’t understand this, and I’m very candid about marriage, you have to understand, everyday is not a good day. There are some days that I just want to kick my husband.
Frank: Oh, I understand.
Ruth: And I’m sure vice versa.
Frank: And some days I get kicked.
Ruth: Oh man, oh boy, oh boy. But you know, but that’s being a realist. But sex at 40 is amazing and believe it or not-next time, do a show as we go into 50’s, because it gets better.
Ruth: It really does. Oh my gosh, please–
Frank: And the 60’s?
Ruth: Oh, oh.
Frank: We’ll see.
Ruth: Sex is a natural part of life and when you know what you want and know what you don’t want, it makes a huge difference. But if you’re an individual that’s very comfortable with communicating and expressing that, then it makes it even better, because you walk into the game saying “Okay, look, this is what I like, this is how I want it, this is when I want it,” and now you’re free. There are no inhibitions; you’ve shared with the individual, because this is why a lot of couples have challenges sexually-related. They don’t really candidly say, “You know what, sweetie, I really do like oral sex,” and I think-can I say that on your show?
Ruth: I can talk adult language. I don’t talk in baby talk.
Frank: Well, I’m an adult.
Ruth: Okay, this is how we’re going to do this today, so when you say things-or this could be something not even that involved. It could be something as simple as, “I like being touched, I like being kissed, I like intimacy before we get into our sexual acts.” All these things have to be communicated and when you start getting into the late 30’s and the 40’s, you realize, “Okay, wait a second, I don’t like when he does this and I’m going to tell this guy, ‘Look, I don’t like this,'” because you really want to be satisfied. You know what your body needs at that point.
Frank: Since we’re doing real, I want to take you back a few decades.
Ruth: Oh, boy.
Frank: I want to know and feel free to say, “Pause, I don’t want to go there.” Maybe you have a daughter. Do you have a daughter or son?
Ruth: I have a daughter,who will be 15 next month and my son is 12.
Frank: If you care to share, how old were you when you first had sex?
Ruth: Llet me see. I was 16.
Ruth: I know. My God, my *(inaudible) 14:23.
Ruth: It is what it is.
Frank: Yes, we’re having adult talk.
Frank: So what were your thoughts about sex at 16 and your concepts around the pleasure of it all? So let’s say, 16, let’s say 20, 30 and 40. Let’s go there, if you can do it, if you can remember.
Ruth: If I can remember what were my concepts or my feelings?
Frank: Your feelings, what was pleasurable, what changed from the time you were 16 to the time you were 20 in terms of enjoying it, 20 to 30 and then 30 to 40?
Ruth: At 16 you really-let me backtrack here. I can go back a little bit further than that, because early on in life, I can say I’ve always been very in tune with myself and my sexuality, let’s put it that way. Just to try to clean things up. Knowing your body is something that a lot of people don’t do and taking the time to understand what feels go, so we’re talking about your own mutual satisfaction and understanding what it is to touch yourself. A lot of people don’t do that. So early on in life, that was something that was very comfortable for me.
Frank: Based on your relationship with your parents?
Frank: You would sneak in with your girlfriends, watching porn, what? How did you get there?
Ruth: With my mother, just with my mother. Very comfortable, my father died early in life, so it’s just my mother. I’m the youngest of five. I have two sisters and two brothers, but you know, we didn’t have that kind of dialogue with them, but my mother and I are very close, so I’ve always had those kinds of conversations with her.
Ruth: And so–
Frank: Let me hear a sentence or two from that conversation.
Ruth: From that conversation, I can remember asking my mother what sex was like, because this is a person that’s 79 now and was raised in the south. So at that time, you didn’t have these kinds of discussions at all. She would say to me, “You know what? I’m glad that you asked me these questions, because I didn’t have anyone to ask.”
She would just answer candidly, based on her experiences, whether she was emotionally hurt or the physical things as far as what took place in her body when she experienced being intimate for the first time. It was very candid and it gave me a balance, because when you talk to another 16 year old or even another 20 year old for that matter, they might not have had the background of someone that’s going to educate them properly and they’re just getting it from the TV and they’re going to say, “This is what happened,” and it’s like “That’s not reality.” Being able to have that conversation with my mother is very-and I still have those conversations with her today.
Frank: Nice, okay. Alright, 16 to 20?
Ruth: Sixteen to 20. Let’s see, that’s an interesting phase, because at that point, I dated someone for 12 years and that was that individual that I was intimate with just prior to marriage. From 16 to 20, I think you’re still-of course, in my mind at this point is on education but when you have a boyfriend, of course that can be very distracting. So yes, I was intimate with him, but it really, I think, is more of a quantity type as opposed to quality. I really wasn’t into, “Oh, I really want to cuddle and romance.”
You really don’t know these things, because you are still a child and there’s a maturity that you just don’t have and a appreciation you just don’t have. You’re still just trying to get homework done, you know? You have a boyfriend. Your friends know you have a boyfriend and its like, “Oh my God, she’s got a boyfriend and she’s a majorette.” I was a very popular girl in school, not one of these worldly girls, but very popular academically and just socially.
A lot of people knew me and it was always, “There’s Cookie.” That’s my nickname. And so, it was like that, but it was just a normal thing to have a boyfriend and to have sex.
Frank: Twenty to 30? What was the difference in terms of it being pleasurable? How did it get better at 30, if it got better at 30?
Ruth: I saw the evolution from 20 to 30. One of my attributes, I guess, and this is just the way God designed me, is I’m very charismatic and that’s–
Frank: And humble.
Ruth: Well, I didn’t create myself. I just try to maintain how I was created.
Frank: I’m just drawn that way. I don’t know what to tell you.
Ruth: I didn’t have that realization until my early 40’s and–
Frank: Uh-huh, okay.
Ruth: Which is interesting, in knowing this now and hindsight looking at 20’s and 30’s, I can see where there were so many individuals that were drawn to me for whatever reason. They were drawn to me, but intimately speaking, I could say I really began to get very selective as far as individuals.
I’ve always been selective, don’t get me wrong, but it really kicked into high gear-It’s like okay, “Look, I don’t like your voice, I don’t like your shoes, I don’t like-” you know. I began to get into physical attributes that were appealing. Now, this is now I’m coming into myself where things look good, feel good, sound good that are appealing to me and this to me is just a part of that whole sexual evolution.
Frank: Okay. Forty, how did it change when you turned 40?
Ruth: Oh man, now we’re talking.
Ruth: Here we go. Forty was just-it was like I became an adult and you get to a point where you’re so comfortable with your body-I am, and you can specifically say to someone, “I need you to touch me this way.” So you become the director basically of your own sexuality, and you produce and direct and the whole nine yards as far as what you need and what you want and that makes it really, really pleasurable on all levels. It really does.
Frank: Do you ever get directed and actually find something new and fun there? Is there ever something presented to you that you say “Hey, that worked. Okay, let’s do that 100 more times?
Ruth: Of course. You should always be open to being directed. It’s a give and take. Like the scenario, if you always want to direct, that’s not balanced. I’m always open to being directed. I think what most people do is, they become complacent in the movie and they want to do that same scene over and over, because they’re familiar with it.
They don’t have to do anything effort-wise and it’s like, “Yawn, we don’t want this,” and I think this is where you get into the older gentleman younger gentleman scenario. Your Cougar syndrome if you will, because an older gentleman is going to be more comfortable, complacent, content with just things as they’re flowing.
There’s some, now I don’t know, let me not categorize here, that are going to be more open to experimentation and things of that nature-and evolution, we’ll call it. But then, there are some that are very set in their ways and they don’t want to deviate and for a woman who’s evolving from a physical standpoint as well as emotional, she’s got to have that variety on all levels. And when you encounter someone younger, they’re still coming into themselves. They still have endurance; they still have all these things. You can mold them very easily. We’ll put it that way.
Frank: Got you.
Ruth: You’re just like, “Okay, do it this way, sweetie,” and they’re like, “Okay.” And then, an older gentleman might be like, “Well, you know I’m a little tired-”
Frank: Right, right.
Ruth: “Let’s just go with this.”
Frank: “I don’t want to do it that way, I’m going to sleep.”
Ruth: Right, you’re just like “Wow, really? Okay.” And that becomes a huge problem. That’s a huge problem and that’s going to carry over into other aspects of a relationship, because now you have resentment intimately. So, the next thing you know, you’re mad because he didn’t take the garbage out, because I found that usually when they’re complacent in one area, they’re complacent in many areas.
Frank: Okay. When women hit the 40 mark and they’re having these feelings of change, do you find them to be more interested in starting fresh or redefining their relationship that they’re in?
Ruth: I think both of those things are pretty much one and the same. I think it’s just two ends of a spectrum. If you’re talking about redefining, we’re still talking about creating a new reality. I think the mindset is, “Okay, I’ve seen how a certain scenario can play out and I really don’t like what I’ve contributed to this, so now I have to redefine a new scenario based on what I learned, what I’ve experienced and what I need going forward.” I think a lot of women come into that and go, “Okay, I need to redefine it,” so I think it’s the same scenario, quite honestly.
Frank: Let me ask the question again a little differently.
Frank: Do you find that they want to be with a new individual or stay with the same person and just have a new relationship with them?
Ruth: That’s going to vary. I think if there’s so much damage that has been done, I think sometimes you really can’t repair things. Sometimes it’s best for both parties just to say, “You know what? We’re better friends, but intimate partners.” That’s going to vary based on the individual, the scenario, whatever the case may be.
But if it’s an individual that says, “You know what? I just want a new person. Just have a new person,” there’s a maturity level that’s not there and you have to really question what that person’s intent was in the first place with hooking up with someone. But if we’re talking someone that’s been with someone for “x” amount of years and things have evolved to the point of decay, where they’re not communicating intimately, she’s not feeling him, he’s complacent, all these things and she’s tried and tried and she’s tired. She’s really just tapped out, then that person is going to be looking for comfort, release, happiness, fulfillment, whether the person is younger, older, whatever the case may be. They just want to be happy and the older you get, you pick and choose everything that you interact with and if it’s not an asset, it’s a liability and the older you become you don’t want liabilities.
Frank: Any insight into when it’s time to say, “Let’s just be friends. We’re better off as friends,” or “Let’s fix it,” or “Let’s-”
Ruth: “Let’s stick it out and suffer?”
Frank: Yeah, or “Let’s continue going and work on whatever our issues are.”
Ruth: I think, again, if the communication is there and it’s honest communication-honest and open, if that is always ongoing, if the two of you get to a point where you’re just like, “You know what? We’re just going along to get along, we’re both not happy-” Happiness is definitely something you want to be able to think of that person and just get giddy. It’s like, “Oh my God,” just almost like you’re a teenager. When you get to a point and you’re just like, “Oh, what’s up,” and you’re in a room and he’s in a room or text as opposed to call or you don’t do anything, you’ve got such a gap there, that it’s hard to bridge that gap and I think you have to really realistically look at it and go, “Alright, why are we continuing to do this? Are we just functioning,” because that’s what a lot of relationships do, they’re very functional. But emotionally, intimately, they’ve already tapped out a long time a long time ago.
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You’re listening to Frank Relationships; we’re talking with Dr. Ruth Stevens, holistic health practitioner about issues related to wellness and women over 40. Dr. Stevens, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your services.
Ruth: You can reach me here in Detroit, Michigan, directly. My office number is 313-897-7257 and you can also reach me by email always at email@example.com. I am also–
Frank: Could you spell that out for them?
Ruth: I can, it is; firstname.lastname@example.org. I am on Blog Talk Radio each and every Wednesday at 10 A.M., Eastern Standard Time as well as Twitter, same connect name-at; doctalkruth and Linkedin as well. I’m not on Facebook. I know. I get that so many times. “Why aren’t you on Facebook?” I can’t do that one. Got too many issues already and I’m good. I’m fine. I’m fine just where I’m at. Again, you can always reach me in my office at 313-897-7257.
Frank: Alright. Detroit, just on another note, folks like me-I’m in D.C., but for folks that are not near Detroit, we hear about the city and bankruptcy and going into bankruptcy and the disrepair and the tough situation. Is it as bad as the headlines say?
Ruth: It’s not good, let’s put it that way, but I think they’re always going to highlight the negative as opposed to the positive. There are definitely a lot of challenges, but I think not anymore than any other city, quite frankly. I think the chart is just being targeted right now, but there are so many other things good going on, but you’re not going to hear that.
Yep, there are a lot of challenges, financially. There are a lot of issues, there are a lot of issues with rentals and properties and just the disrepair of the city, but I think if you went to any major are, you would see similarities. Detroit has lot of potential.
I’ve only been in Detroit, since I’ve been married. I was raised in a suburb of Detroit, which is about 30 miles north of here in Auburn Hills.
Ruth: In coming to Detroit, it’s like, well you know, it’s different for sure, but they do have a lot of challenges. I think we’re going to survive.
Frank: Very nice. Alright, hormones, how would you say hormones have an affect on the 40 changes and metamorphoses?
Ruth: It’s interesting, because most women think that menopause kicks in, in their 40’s or even late 30’s, but menopause actually begins around the age 25 and goes to about 85. So, there’s a huge span there.
Ruth: You’re like, “Hey, alrighty then.” It’s a big span there and a lot of women don’t know this. There are different phases of menopause, so it becomes very active, of course, as you get chronologically older. Around that 40 year old mark, you begin to experience some of these changes. If you go into this phase in a very unhealthy manner, meaning you’ve got a poor diet, you’ve got health issues, whether they’re hypertension or diabetes, it’s going to exacerbate the hormonal imbalances even more. So, you go into it at a deficit.
Now, we’ve got hormones and we’re not just talking estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, we’re talking insulin, which is a hormone, thyroxin, all of these hormones are now out of whack and you’ve got this woman at physically, she might have a challenge, but now hormonally she’s got a challenge and then emotionally, that’s going to get spiked and then she’s like, “What is this? What is going on?” Some of the things hormonally, you just can’t handle, but the hormones are not going to drive you to be a little bit more reactionary, a little bit more sensitive, a little bit more impatient, because remember now, psychologically you’re coming into yourself. Now physically you’re having a hot flash and you’re just like, “Okay, this is not cool. I’m sick of the hot flash and I’m sick of him,” and so you’ve got–
Frank: Something’s got to give.
Ruth: Challenges. You’ve got some challenges going on and that’s what I really hear. Then, you start getting into the women that estrogen isn’t driving their menopause and so they go into the phase of they have a low libido and they have everything from virginity to vaginal dryness and they don’t anything to do with sex. And then, you have the other–
Frank: Is that natural for them? Is it natural for some people just not to be interested in sex or is something wrong?
Ruth: Something definitely is wrong.
Ruth: It’s wrong whether it’s a scar from early on in life or something physical going on. There’s definitely an imbalance there.
Ruth: And the other end of that spectrum is now you have a woman that’s driven by testosterone, so now she has a high libido.
Ruth: And then, she has just the opposite of the other individual. So now, she’s like, okay, “Hey dude, what’s going on,” because now remember your mate is like, “Oh, I’m good. I’m straight.” But her level is-she’s ready to go all day every day several times a day and he’s like, “Now, we just did it last month.” I’m so silly-and so that’s a problem, but I hear these things all the time and that’s a huge problem, because that now carries over into resentment, either from her or him and you’re going to have some issues.
Frank: I’m going to throw a few words or phrases at you and I want to get your general feedback.
Frank: Weight loss?
Ruth: Weight loss should be natural, should be something that’s consistent as far as weight maintenance. When you get to a point where you have got to lose weight, you’ve exceeded the limit at some point and you got to pull it back on track and with weight loss and relationships, it’s not fair to either party if she gains weight. H didn’t marry her that way. It’s not fair to him. And it’s not fair to her physically for herself to allow herself to go down that road that her health deteriorates. I think weight maintenance is very important.
Frank: Okay. What does that look like? What is weight maintenance?
Ruth: That’s a very specific thing, because it’s not what I say this typical, you’ve got to be the height-weight thing. I look at my patients and I want them to look healthy and I want everything internally to function as it should. Someone like myself, I’m five three and a half. I know I’m small glass of water, but the BMI chart wants me to weigh 120 lbs. The bottom portion of my body weighs 120 all of its own, so being a curvy woman-I’m not overweight or anything, but just being who I am, I don’t weigh 120 lbs. But I look healthy, I feel good, I work out. I do everything I need to do and I keep it tight.
You can’t go by the model that’s on TV or you can’t go by what someone on television is saying, “This is what you should look like at this age.” You have to go based on what you physically look like as far as healthy.
Frank: Got you. Sleep?
Ruth: Oh, my God. Wow, once you listen to any of my shows you know that sleep and I are very, very intimate and it’s so important. I think a lot of people don’t get enough and when they do get enough they don’t get quality sleep. It is huge. That’s when your body has time to repair itself and when you are sleep deprived, you are dysfunctional.
Most people don’t realize being sleep deprived is more dangerous than driving drunk. Your body is just not functioning, your brain isn’t oxygenated and you’re going to have some real challenges. When you go into chronic sleep deprivation, you are really now setting yourself up for being nocturnal and creating health issues.
Frank: Nocturnal, that means you’re up at night, basically.
Frank: How does that work into the sleep issue? That means you sleep in the day also, so how is that a health problem?
Ruth: It means they’re sleepy during the day, but if you’re going to become nocturnal, you’re staying up late and later and later, your body has three natural cycles, and a 24 hour period is just broken up into thirds and when you start sleeping in a cycle that you should be awake. Your body is still functioning how it was created, so you’re basically going against the grain and you’re forcing your body now to work when it should be resting and that’s a real stress on the body.
Frank: Okay, stress, caregiver stress?
Ruth: Wow, that is something. I think all of us have our daily dose of just your normal stress, whether it’s financial, children. I think we can function in our dysfunction of the day-to-day stresses: you’ve got to cook and that kind of stuff. But when we’re talking about chronic stress to the point of depression or illnesses now being created, this is where you have to tap into self-preservation and say, “Okay, this is not working,” because it starts out as stress, then it carries over into depression and then we start getting into health issues. Basically at the end of that day, it’s going to end in death.
Frank: How do you know when the stress is leading to illness or sickness or it’s just the flu?
Ruth: The flu–
Frank: I don’t mean to be facetious.
Ruth: No, no, I understand.
Ruth: That’s a very legitimate, good question, because a lot of people, what we do is, we ignore obvious signs. The flu, it doesn’t last for months. Stress will. If you had the flu in June, okay you had it for a couple of weeks, but now you’re still lingering with a cough or headache or stomachache and you’re thinking, “Oh I have the flu, I just still have some of these little residuals.” No, there’s something else going on particularly when you know that you’re unhappy and other aspects of your life. You have to be a realist and go, “Okay, my immune system is being compromised, because I’m not happy,” and that’s a real issue.
Frank: Pregnancy at 40?
Ruth: Hush up. Pregnancy, I think is a beautiful thing. It really is. But pregnancy at 40, that’s going to have challenges. I think if you’re ready for that and you’re prepared for it, that’s fine. Most women have already either had a child or they have already gotten themselves established career-wise. But then you have the population that hasn’t done a lot of things and they’re open to that. Okay, emotionally if you’re prepared go for it, but if you’re not, I would definitely say, “Think about it,” because you want to make sure you give that child the best that it deserves before you bring it here.
Physically, remember menopause kicked in at 25. Now, she can still conceive at 40, but now her body is also kind of shutting down. Now, we’ve got some risk factors going on and everything from her delivering multiples to having a child that might have health challenges. They’re greater as she becomes older and particularly if she’s not healthy going into that pregnancy.
Frank: How about unintended pregnancy at 40?
Ruth: Now there’s a challenge right there, because if it’s unintended, first of all, we have to go back to how that relationship is going, because there should have been a communication regarding birth control in the first place, particularly at 40. We’re not talking to a 16 year old.
The whole aspect of “Okay, we’re having unprotected sex, I’m still ovulating, we need to do something,” that conversation should have taken place with a partner. It didn’t, now we’ve got a baby in the mix, so now, it depends on the scenario. If he’s happy, okay that’s fine. If she’s happy, that’s fine, but if someone’s unhappy in that scenario, that’s going to be a problem, emotionally, physically and just across the board. And that energy is now going to be transferred into your unborn child. Now, we’re just going to have this energy being created all over again in another individual as they get older.
Ruth: That’s an issue if you clinically and necessarily have to have that procedure done, I’m always for making sure you preserve life. If you are an individual-and I have a lot of women that come to me and just say, “You know what? I’m tired of having this cycle. I’m just going to have a hysterectomy.” And I hear that a lot and I always forewarn them that once you remove this gland, which are your ovaries that secrete estrogen, that’s a hormone, so when one hormone is out of whack it throws all of the other ones out of whack and it’s going to force your body to work at a deficit. You’re going to kick yourself into menopause in a major way as well as other health issues. When estrogen is gone, now you’re putting yourself at heart risk for cardiovascular disease, because estrogen protects the heart.
A lot of women don’t look at it that way. They’re just thinking, “I’m not going to have a cycle,” but if you, medically, have to have a hysterectomy, fine. Don’t do it just because you’re tired of a cycle, because it’s going to end.
Frank: Okay. What are the lumps that develop in a woman’s uterus, many black women?
Frank: Fibroids, yes.
Ruth: Fibroids, yes. Fibroids, yeah. They can be benign or malignant, it depends on the individuals. If they’re benign, of course they’re not cancerous and if they’re malignant of course then we’ve got something going on cancer or otherwise. If we’re talking just a very benign fibroid, now we’re talking about everything from-usually it’s dietary that I deal with. Your body has accumulated a lot of waste in this area. Your synthetic hormones, pesticides, herbicides and it’s going to accumulate in an area that’s very vulnerable, because most foods are now injected with synthetic hormones and things of that nature. It’s going to hit that area.
It’s the same with guys. It’s going to hit you testicular-wise and so, you see an eight year old that’s having a cycle or an eight year old with breasts that are larger than mine and it’s like, “Wow, what’s up with that?” Now, we’re talking about issues as we start to take these things, so you really have to watch that.
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with Dr. Ruth Stevens, holistic health practitioner and we’re discussing issues related to wellness and women over 40. Dr. Stevens, one more time tell our listeners how they can find you and your services.
Ruth: You can reach me always at 313-897-7257. That’s here in my Detroit office and each and every Wednesday you can listen to me on Blog Talk Radio. That is 10:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time. And connect with me on Linkedin, at doctalkruth as well as on Twitter @doctalkruth.
Frank: You told me offline that you teach a class. Tell me about that class.
Ruth: I do. I teach seven different classes this past semester. It will be eight coming up in January and everything from diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cholesterol, anti-aging, Alzheimer’s, weight management and cancer prevention. These are my classes that I teach here at WC3 District in Detroit. That’s one of the community colleges.
I absolutely love doing that and there healthy lifestyle continuing *(inaudible) 46:05 department and it is great. I have a lot of fun, but my patients-it’s a 16 week full semester, so don’t think you’re coming in for an hour. I give my students exactly what I give my patients, because my patients are throughout the world. As far as Abu Dhabi believe it or not, I know. That impresses me when I think about that. I’m like, “For real?” But they’re everywhere. I love teaching, love educating. That is something that is just such a passion for me, for sure.
Frank: Compare and contrast western medicine with what you do.
Ruth: Western medicine, I think they’re coming into what I do a little bit more aggressively now, because they’re finding that more and more people don’t want so many invasive things. When I started this almost 20 years ago, I left a traditional Western background and–
Frank: What was that?
Ruth: I worked for a major hospital here in Detroit and I was having my child, my firstborn-I had a firstborn that died and when I was having my firstborn, my thinking was, “Well, you know what? I don’t want to work for anyone, I’ve attained this knowledge.” And then I also realized that the focus wasn’t on prevention. The focus was basically on, “We’ll wait for you to become sick and then we’ll just put bandages all over it,” and I didn’t care for that, because to me that wasn’t healthcare. That was sick care and I couldn’t understand that.
With Western medicine now in comparison with what I’m doing, the focus, unfortunately, is on, “If we can keep you sicker,” and I’m saying sicker, because you walk in sick. And so they’re going to keep you sicker, it’s profitable. I tell my patients and my students and anyone that I encounter is profitable, if you are sick, so therefore you need to be your own health advocate and take care of yourself, because there’s a pill for everything and that unfortunately is the underline of healthcare in a lot of areas.
There are a lot of great practitioners in institutions out there that don’t do that, but in the big picture of it all, if you don’t know what to do regarding your own health, no one else is going to take care of you properly. I was going to say, Western medicine, the focus is not on prevention and I think that they really have to be more aggressive about getting into that more and more.
And they’re doing it. You’re seeing more and more people like on TV shows, your Dr. Oz’s and things of that nature, that are telling people a lot of holistic things, natural things. But quite frankly, I hear people all the time when I’m doing a workshop, “Well, Dr. Oz said,” and I’m like, “You know what? Nothing personal, this man is a cardiologist, this is great, but Dr. Oz doesn’t know your patient history. He doesn’t know your lifestyle, so when you go home and try to do what Dr. Oz says and it fails, who’s to blame for this?”
Frank: It sounds as though you have a respect for Dr. Oz. What do you think of him?
Ruth: I have respect for anyone that has disciplined themselves to obtain a level of success and in their careers. Again, this man is a cardiologist, very established. I understand that, so I can respect from that standpoint. I have a challenge with now putting a professional career in conjunction with entertainment.
Frank; Uh-huh, okay.
Ruth: And I really have a huge challenge with that, because again, you have to be able to see someone one-on-one. When I treat a patient, it’s personalized care, it’s not cookie cutter. So, when you start giving things for ratings and for the shock effect, you’re going to run into issues, because there are people that really rely on, “Okay, this is what he said to do. I’m going to run out and do it.”
There’s a responsibility when you start giving out that kind of knowledge to make sure you do it wisely and you tell people, “Okay, this might not work for you, this is a very general statement,” and I have a real challenge with that.
Frank: Any advice on women and in their 40’s or about to turn 40 in creating a harmonious co-existence with the men in their lives?
Ruth: Oh goodness, you know, men are wonderful. I absolutely love men.
Frank: That’s good to know.
Ruth: Oh, for sure. You get a bad rap and it’s so unfair. I think women that are about to hit 40 really should put it in perspective and understand also that it takes two. If you haven’t evolved yourself and really been honest with yourself to know what you like and don’t like and want and need and desire, then don’t go to him and blame him for not giving it to you when you haven’t figured it out yourself. Then, if you can’t effectively communicate it with him, whose fault is that?
I think when you-whatever age, 40’s, 50’s, 20’s, you’ve got to create your own reality and realize you’re the author of your own book and stop looking for a man or even a job or money to fulfill you for those basic needs, which I think the most basic is, we just want to be loved. Women don’t want to say they need a man and they walk into the relationship pretending to be a man. That’s a bad thing, because if you walk into it, understand that there’s only one man in the relationship and it’s not you and he’s a real man, then I think you’re going to start off on the right road.
You go into it being vulnerable. You have to be this full disclosure, open book kind of individual and just say, “You know what? I’m not going to worry about my friend, what happened to her and what this relationship book told me to do. It said “not to call them when I want.” Don’t play those games. Just stop it. Do what feels comfortable to you, pay close attention and just communicate and be happy.
Frank: That’s powerful. What about working with other women?
Ruth: What about it? I have a mother, I have sisters, I have a daughter.
Frank: Getting along with other women. You know, sometimes women don’t want to deal women.
Ruth: We have challenges. We do. Again, I think that’s an individual issue.
Ruth: If you find that you can’t get along with another woman, then you have to begin to question your femininity, because you’re a woman. What is it about her that makes it so challenging for you to get along with and for you to not even allow yourself to say, “Okay, she’s got some issues, I can still treat her as an individual with respect.” And “No, we don’t have to go out to dinner and hang out, but I can say, ‘Hi, how are you doing,’ and leave it at that.”
But we get so petty. We get so picky. “I don’t like her, because she had on these shoes, her hair was this,” and it’s like, “For real? Is this where your level of development is?” And we get very petty, very, very picky like that, which is very unfortunate. I don’t have a problem getting along with anyone, because you know that everyone can be put in a separate box based on the relationship.
So, if you have a difficult person and you know they’re difficult, guess what? You interact with them on a minimal bases and you don’t even take it personally.
Ruth: So, if they’re petty, then let them be petty and just don’t deal with it. But I hear that a lot. “I don’t like women. I don’t like to work with women. I don’t do anything with women. I don’t have any female friends. They’re all male friends.” Well, what about your mother? What about your sister? What about your daughter? These are women, so what’s your level of respect for women in general and I think when you put it in that prospective, you’ll understand that we’re the mothers of civilization, so you should love women just in general for that fact alone. Everyone that walks on the face of the earth, had to come through us. So, there’s a respect that should be given even if you can’t get along with them everyday personality-wise. Just give them the respect as a human being as being someone that brought life to the earth.
Frank: Alright. You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with Dr. Ruth Stevens, holistic health practitioner. We’ve been discussing issues related to wellness and women over 40. Dr. Stevens, last time, how can our listeners find you and your services?
Ruth: Oh my, you can reach me here in my office at 313-897-7257. You can also listen to me each and every Wednesday at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Blog Talk Radio. And you can follow me on Twitter @doctalkruth. And also, you can reach me by email. I left that out the second time you asked me it. Doctalkruth@gmail.com and I’m also on LinkedIn.
Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed resentment, unintended pregnancies at 40 and hysterectomies. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had discussing holistic health and women over 40.
As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at: facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, my assistant producer, Anayza Stewart and my engineer, Jeff Newman. Keep rising. This is Frank Love.
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