When it comes to her marriage and career, leading Atlanta dentist and TV personality Dr. Heavenly Kimes means business. The medical maven has the husband, the kids and the success – all thanks to finding the perfect partner and her incredible work ethic. Heavenly met her husband, Dr. Damon Kimes, in medical school. “He was leaving class early, and I was coming to class late,” she recalls. It was love at first sight. “She was one of the cool ones and she had an amazing personality,” Damon shares. “I really gravitated toward her.” Three years later they tied the knot and began working on building their careers and family.
Today the happily married docs call Conyers, Georgia home, where they share 46-acres of land with their three beautiful children (two boys and a girl ages, 15, 11 and 7) and four dogs. Life’s good for the Mrs., who is the co-author of popular book series Wake Up…Live the Life You Love, host of a local TV show on business tips, a radio host and proud owner of four dental practices in metro Atlanta.
Juggling entrepreneurship, demanding medical careers and family keep the Kimes, both in their early 40s, quite busy, but they do it all with a smile. Find out why they say their bond with each other and God is all they need and how they make it work.
ESSENCE.com: What have you learned from 15 years of marriage?
DR. HEAVENLY KIMES: To always communicate and to pick and choose your battles. Some things you should just let ride. Both the woman and the man should submit. You have to make it work together.
DR. DAMON KIMES: I’ve learned a lot about myself through marriage. You learn about your strengths and weakness, the things you need to work on and how to truly be someone’s best friend. You have an unyielding and unrelenting friendship and love within a marriage.
ESSENCE.com: How do you balance your personal successes with your family life?
HEAVENLY: Life is about balance. Some women are all about career and some are all about staying home with their kids. I fit right in the middle. Initially, I had to work a lot harder, but now I’m able to balance my career and family a lot better. You have to know your priorities. For me, they are God and family and then my career.
DAMON: Everyone has their own definition of “making it work” and what normal is in their world. For Heavenly and I, a normal day is going out and pursuing our careers as CEOs of our companies. I’m used to her running her business, writing books and always doing something. I’ve grown accustomed to it. The thing about marriage is, you grow with each other. We started out as students just having fun in love and studying, but as time went on, we became parents and business owners and realized we have to create a nest egg for our children. We’ve grown to be very hard workers, and we’ve accepted that. Heavenly will never be a “stay at home wife” in the traditional sense, but I’m okay with that. She’s too much of an entrepreneur and a go-getter for that. We both have dreams and aspirations that we’re driven to go after. That’s just the way we are. But we make time every single day for our kids and to be available whenever they call.
ESSENCE.com: How has your love healed each other?
HEAVENLY: Before I met Damon, I was such a straightforward person that I never really thought about other people’s feelings. Damon has taught me to watch what I say, especially when it comes to business. And, his honesty and integrity inspire me. I’m a better person because of him. He makes sure I think before everything I do, and everything I do is well thought out and in order.
DAMON: I don’t know any woman on Heavenly’s level when it comes to being business savvy and having drive. I always felt compelled to do a little bit more because she’s so driven. It has rubbed off on me. Because of her, I was inspired to not just work as a double-board certified physician, but to also own my own company. I always want her to be proud of me. And, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. When she tells me that she’ s proud, that really means something.
ESSENCE.com: Since you’re both doctors, what would you say is the “prescription” for overcoming a rough patch in your marriage?
HEAVENLY: Everyone has rough times in his or her marriage. The only way to get through it is through prayer and communication. You have to give things time. Sometimes you have to try to not speak too much or overthink things. Know that you love about each other and that you’re on the same team, and because of it, you can work through any misunderstanding.
DAMON: Just have in your mind that certain things just aren’t an option. Whether you’re mad that day, or not, you have to be there. I’m not going anywhere. We’re together and we know we will always be together.
ESSENCE.com: Any last words of advice for young couples?
DAMON: We try to speak things into existence. Practice positive word affirmations.
HEAVENLY: We always speak positively over our lives and pray. It makes a difference.
Want more marriage prescriptions from the Kimes? Visit Dr. Heavenly’s blog.