Have you ever cheated on your wife?
How does she feel after being cheated on?
How can you get her trust back?
If you still love your partner, then it’s time to invest in yourself and start doing simple things consistently with leadership.
In this episode, Doug and Mo talk about what happens when you cheat in a relationship, and what you can do to rebuild trust in your marriage after an affair.
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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.
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Doug Holt 00:01
Hey guys, welcome to The Powerful Man Show where we help married businessmen save their marriages without having to talk about it, get unstuck and gain clarity in their lives. As I like to say, life is too short for average. I’m your host, Doug Holt. Now let’s get this started.
Mo Parks 00:19
Trust isn’t rebuilt by listening to the outside voices for one, and know that it’s going to take time. And those who haven’t experienced that betrayal and that loss, they don’t have the same perspective. Like I didn’t have the same perspective on what I thought would happen, what I would do in a relationship if that trust had been broken and violated in the way that it was. Like I would have told — younger me would have been like, get out. But then once it happens and it happens to you, you’re like, whoa, that’s different. Like it doesn’t feel as easy as that.
Doug Holt 00:50
Hey, guys. Welcome back to The Powerful Man Show. And I am so blessed, we are so blessed to have Mo parks back with us, back by popular demand. Mo, thanks so much for being here.
Mo Parks 01:02
Of course. Thanks for having me, Doug.
Doug Holt 01:06
Yeah. So, guys, we got your messages. A lot of you guys reached out after the last time Mo was on and asked for more, more Mo, more women’s perspective coming onto the show. So, we listened and here we have Mo again coming on. Now, full transparency, Mo has not been prepped for the questions I’m about to ask her. We wanted to do this off the cuff.
So, Mo, thank you for your bravery. It’s hard to go on to a show where you’re going to be interviewed and asked these questions from a woman’s perspective with absolutely zero prep work. But we wanted to give the guys kind of the off the cuff, your first reactions to this topic that we’re about to dive into. What’s your experience as a woman and kind of really give the listeners more of a in the trenches feel for it, if you will?
Mo Parks 01:55
Yeah. So, let me have them.
Doug Holt 01:58
All right. There we go. There we go. So, you can tell, guys. So, Mo, what I want to talk to you about is I was reached out by one of our coaches, and we were talking about a guy near and dear to our hearts. And what’s happening for this poor gentleman, which happens to a lot of guys, you know, he’s doing all the right things in his business, right? He’s going out there slaying the dragons, bringing home the money. And of course, as men, we think hey, as business owners especially, we work really hard and you know, work our tails off, we’ll get the love and respect at home that we want.
Now, this topic is going to be around trust. This individual happened to have — his wife has had multiple affairs. So, the question is how does trust get earned? How does it come back? And what I want to look at here for Mo is multiple angles. One, first of all, from a perspective of a woman, how is trust built in a marriage, in a relationship? Secondarily, when trust is broken, how does that feel from whether it be the man who breaks the trust, or the woman who breaks the trust?
Mo Parks 03:06
Okay. So, which question do you want me to answer first, how is trust built?
Doug Holt 03:11
Yeah, so yeah, once trust is broken in a marriage or relationship, how is it then rebuilt?
Mo Parks 03:19
Oh, okay. Yeah. So, I think a big piece of this is just remembering like, man, that’s really tough. Like, it’s really tough going through a situation where trust has been broken. And for those of you who experienced it, it’s really hard because it feels like everyone else around you is having a great relationship. Meanwhile, you’re hiding this giant betrayal that hurts. And coming back from that isn’t easy and it’s not quick, I’ll tell you that.
From my experience in trust being broken in very significant ways, in my own relationship, coming back from that, first of all, it feels like you never can, right after it happens. It feels — And there will be a lot of voices in your ears from the people who you do tell, it’ll be like you should just leave. You should get out and — or you should stay and you should be committed because you made these vows. Like, trust isn’t rebuilt by listening to the outside voices for one, and know that it’s going to take time. And those who haven’t experienced that betrayal and that loss, they don’t have the same perspective.
Like I didn’t have the same perspective on what I thought would happen and what I would do in a relationship if that trust had been broken and violated in the way that it was. Like I would have told — younger me would have been like, get out. But then once it happens, and it happens to you, you’re like, whoa, that’s different. Like it doesn’t feel as easy as that. And so, yeah, I think a big piece of healing from it is letting the emotions in and really seeing what they are. Like really letting — like holding them at face value after they’ve happened.
I feel betrayed. I feel hurt. I feel broken. I feel hopeless there. Like those emotions are reality and letting them in and like, evaluating your life from that perspective is important in the process of grieving and rebuilding trust. Because how are you going to get over something if you haven’t even looked it in the eye? And so, yeah, I think that’s definitely the first step is just like letting it be, like processing the situation and letting it sit. I can go into kind of like step two, step three, but I think that’s an important first step.
Doug Holt 05:33
I think you make a lot really good point there is, a lot of times when I see the guys go through this situation, and have had trust broken, and in relationships and business and you know, friendships, or what have you, we all have, it’s really important to take outside perspectives with a grain of salt. And what I mean by that is those people aren’t walking in your shoes. They’re not in your day to day of your relationship. They don’t know what’s really going on behind closed curtains, so to speak. And oftentimes, we don’t know what’s going on, right? When there’s an infidelity or trust being broken, there’s other pieces to the coin that we may not have seen at the time, right, until hindsight is 2020, as they say, and gives us that retrospective look.
And then another point I want to touch on that you make, because I think a lot of guys struggle with this is we think we should, right? And you said this very eloquently, like the younger me would have been like get out, run, don’t accept this. Whereas when you’re in that, it doesn’t feel that way. And so then there’s this juxtaposition of this is the way I think I should feel. And this is the way I’m feeling. Right? Now they’re in conflict with each other. And I think that conflict, Mo, in my experience as I’m just talking this out with you, that is where a lot of the rub is, so to speak, right? That’s where a lot of the tension within the trust really is. I see you take a big exhale. It’s this idea like, well, I should stand up for myself, leave… But right here, I’m feeling I want to be in this marriage, relationship, or whatever it is. I want to work on this and what have you. Is that right?
Mo Parks 07:15
Yeah, yeah. 100%. I think, as you’re saying that I was thinking like, what were my raw thoughts in that moment of conflict? And one way was like, you should be strong, you shouldn’t accept this. You should fight, you should — And then the other side of me is like, well, what if he could change? What if this is what we needed to experience to have growth? And then there’s shame from alternative cultures too, of have like, what would God want in this moment? Which can be really helpful or really hurtful, depending on your experience there.
And then it was like, well, then there’s what my parents think, or what would my siblings think if they knew I was staying with blah, blah, blah, because he did…? And all those voices, yeah, all the raw thoughts that I had, and the big one is am I being walked over? Like, am I just being a rug? Like, am I just being a rug to walk over? Yeah. Or I need to have more like — No, I should have grace here. I should, I should, I should, like I’m constantly living in the shoulds in that conflict of what I feel I should be doing versus what I am doing.
Doug Holt 08:28
Yeah. And they always say you should all over yourself, right? And that’s like the worst case to be. It’s an overused term, but it’s the truth. And when you’re, I think for a lot of guys, Mo and women probably the same, trust is the foundation of any marriage or any relationship, right, business or otherwise. But we’ll just — for this conversation, we’ll just stick to marriage or serious relationships. And so once that’s violated, and you feel that rub of like, okay, I shouldn’t be doing this, I should be doing that, but here I am. Well, let me back up for a second if I can.
So, the piece of advice I gave in talking to this person, I said, look, this is the first thing I ask all the guys, I ask all the guys the same question. Because when they come to me about how do I rebuild trust, divorce is on the table, leaving is on the table, right? And so they’re leaning that way and of course, they’re asking me, which is another man, right? But they’re asking for my advice, which always feels good for me. But they’re also thinking, hey, look, I should leave, right? Because there’s that should that’s there and they’re just re-emphasizing that portion.
And ask them one question. I go, first of all, it’s a yes or no question. There’s no story around this. Do you love your partner? Yes or no? If it’s no, then I’d say, look, get your affairs in order. It’s no, you need to get out, the bottom line. And I’ll support you in those efforts. But if it’s a yes, okay, next question is do you want this relationship to work? Yes or no? If that’s a no it’s again, it’s a different set of circumstances. It’s get out, get your affairs in order. And if it’s a yes, then it’s like, okay, now we can move forward. And we talk about moving forward until I give my idea of what I tell people.
I’d love to hear from your perspective, Mo, of when there’s — because when trust is broken, right, the scene that I’m feeling right now or setting is you have two people in a house is what I’m picturing. And they’re walking by each other, with resentment between them, and there’s an unspoken uneasiness about it that everybody else that is in that room can feel, tell, etc. They can fake it a little bit.
But you know. But in their own kitchen as they walk by each other, it’s almost like we talked about, it’s like roommates with a ring. Right? They’re roommates kind of trying to figure it out, kind of still resentful, mad or what have you at each other. But that loving feeling, right, all of that feels lost in the relationship. How do they rebuild that?
Mo Parks 10:52
Yeah, I think about that, like I could feel that as you were saying it like that room, and there’s two things to rebuild. So, identifying what is there to rebuild, like, what’s wrong? She’s feeling or the partner who was betrayed feels extreme hurt, and like, uncertainty and if he really likes or whoever likes who. And then there’s the partner who has betrayed, has extreme shame, and extreme confusion of like, do I want this cheating partner? Do I still want them? Am I willing to let them go? Because obviously, they’ve now entangled themselves with another person, it’s not as easy as saying I’m done. I want the relationship.
So, what needs to be healed, I think, is the first question. There’s shame in the person who betrayed, and confusion and then there’s extreme hurt and insecurity in the betrayed. And so what is the way back from that? Well, one, it’s you both doing your own work. Like, taking a time to just commit to working on what you want, because there’s no point in working on the relationship if the betrayed partner wants the affair partner and doesn’t want the marriage anymore. And then there’s one thing to say, can I come over this hurt from the partner who is betrayed. And so I think coming back from that, what I’ve seen it look like because I’ve worked with a lot of women who have been betrayed is them growing to say like, I’m enough in and of myself.
Like, I don’t need, like I don’t — Growing this like breaking of dependency on the other person, unhealthy dependency, like, what I see is a lot of women who’ve been broken or men who’ve been hurt by betrayal, is they need to heal this piece and then that’s connected their value to the relationship. Like I’m only as good as — I’m good if we’re good.
And so that’s a big piece that has to be broken because value has to be built by the individual. It doesn’t get — Like when you build your value, integrate it with another person, you have no control over it. If I — that is a part of marriage, obviously, where we like, give our partner some of that. But there is a piece in recovering the trust where you just need — the betrayed partner needs to become and know and grow in how do I know I’m enough, apart from everything else in this world? Like, I’m not defining myself and trying to find my fulfillment and everything in my partner, but I need to work on me.
And then the person who feels like this, I mean, in my opinion, and experience, the person who has betrayed that confusion and that like knowing, they have to decide to — In order to have trust and you want the relationship, the other affair partner has to be completely removed. Cut off all relationships, nothing like — Because, yeah, you have to build trust, and you can’t build trust if you have another person in the mix. And there has to be a serious like, come to Jesus moment for that person of like, how do you repair what you’ve broken? And what did you really want when you were seeking out the external affair? Like what were you really wanting there? And what kept you from meeting that on your own? Because it’s probably a legitimate need that’s being met, just got met in a really illegitimate way.
And so what is that legitimate need? Like listen to what you were really wanting there, and how do you figure out how to communicate that and meet that need in and of yourself, and express that to your partner. Like those — and that work needs to be done individually. Like you can’t continue to, like, try to intermingle on that, because it just creates more hurt. And yeah, in order to gain trust back, there just has to be a full disclosure of everything that happened, because it can’t be a rolling disclosure, where it’s like, well, this happened too. Oh, shoot, I forgot to tell her about that. Oh, well, this happened too, because that just breaks trust as well. I know I said a lot of things in there, so you summarized me well, the last time I spoke, but let me know.
Doug Holt 15:11
Yeah. No, you make a lot of great points. And there needs to be transparency, right? You can’t have trust in muddy waters, so to speak. And as we talked about The Powerful Man, imagine that you and your partner are separated by a pane of glass, right, that separates you guys. And every indiscretion every lie puts a little bit of mud, a sprinkle of mud on that glass. And that glass between you two over time gets murky and you can’t see each other.
So, the only way to clean that off, the best way is what we call the Clean Slate Method, right. The Clean Slate Method is like taking industrial Windex to that glass and wiping it all off. And men, you all have the power to do that. We teach that advanced version of that through the activation method. But besides that, you’ve got to start cleaning that glass off. You got to get all of those lies and indiscretions off the new table. And I know when my wife and I came through our dark times, we called it marriage 2.0. Okay, look, we’re starting over. We’re forming a new marriage here, we’re choosing something different, right? This is a line in the sand, we’re planting our flag, whatever analogy you want to use, and we’re moving forward there.
And when you look at this, something you didn’t say, but I’m going to add on to it if that’s okay, Mo, is when you have something that is as gross, so to speak, and gross being not ugly, but big. And that terminology happen in relationships such as an affair, such as cheating, whether it be physical or emotional, really, what you want to look at here is okay, one is there’s taking ownership that’s fair. Two, don’t beat yourself up, though, guys. Take ownership for your side of the street, but it’s not beating yourself up. Two is, and what you said essentially is making sure that you don’t have all of your value in your partner.
And what I mean by that is, and Mo, you touched on this really well, is what I don’t want to have is all of my validation of who I am as a man or in your case, a person. It could be a woman, but I’m going to talk to you, the guys here, who you are as a man, external of yourself. A lot of us have our identity as a business owner. I did for a long time, Mo. And so when that’s challenged, that’s a problem, right? I’m looking for everybody to say, Doug, you’re great at business, you’re great at marketing, you’re great at strategy, or whatever else it may be. I’m getting that validation of who I am and my identity external of myself. Right?
The same can be said, and it’s healthy, as you said, to do this to a certain degree, but getting validation from your partner. So, if Mo, you and I are in relationship, we’re friends, we work together, so we’re business partners, so to speak. But if I put all my validation into what Mo thinks of me as her business partner, right, as somebody who works together, then Mo’s and control. And Mo could have just a bad day and say something to me off kilter and I could take it the wrong way and I could shatter my whole day, right? I could shatter my whole personal perception of myself.
Said a different way, when you and your partner, so to speak, when the fair happens, that’s going to shatter all the things you think about yourself; who you are, as a man, who you are as a human, if you have your external validation. Now, if you’re grounded, and you’re very much — your cup is filled, and that’s one of the five territories we teach, which is self. If this area of self, the territory of self is on point, and your partner has an affair or what have you, it’s still going to hurt. Let’s just get real, it’s still going to hurt, it’s still going to cause problems. However, it’s not going to challenge your identity as strongly as a man, as a person as it would otherwise.
So, what Mo is saying and I 100% agree with you Mo is you got to take care of homebase, so to speak, which is you? Right? You got to take care of you and do your work, you’re grounded work on yourself. I always talk about it, Mo, as updating your software. I look to my side because my iPhone is sitting there right now, I’m like gosh, I update that software, it seems like every couple of months, there’s an update. And I hit it and it restarts and you’re updating the software. But when’s the last time you updated your software in your mind? When’s the last time you updated the software or your belief systems around a relationship? Right. Probably never, first of all. Secondarily, you should be doing that yearly if not more often, investing in courses, growth, things of that nature to allow you to update your software. I mean, it’s very, very critical to have that as a possibility too.
But by having ownership in yourself and doing the work, and then I’m going to touch on one more point, Mo and then I’ll — my coffee will wear off a little bit more. The third point you said is your partner needs to do their work too. It takes two to tango. You can do all the work on yourself and you should regardless if your partner doesn’t. But if you want to come back from something as major or gross as an infidelity, or a lack of trust, it can be stealing money, that’s a big one too that people go through, like within the relationship or lying about spending. What you need to do is both people need to do the work, individually and collectively as a couple. Once they’ve done their individual work, they come back together. And you need to do the work regardless, regardless if your partner does or not. But if you want to have a solid marriage and relationship both of you need to clean up your sides of the street.
One of the questions I got recently was, well, gosh, Doug, like, this is such a big thing I can’t possibly see coming back from this. Right? I love my wife, I want this marriage to work. Yes, I can see in some ways that I caused this infidelity or contributed to her wanting to stray. Okay. He wasn’t saying that he caused it but contributing to the factors, right; working too hard, being disconnected in the marriage, all the typical things that the wives complained about with their men. And he said, this is huge. This is a huge issue. I just don’t see how do I even get started rebuilding trust?
And of course, being a dad Mo, I came back with that classic data analogy, right? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And the way that I see this and I love to get your perspective, Mo is when rebuilding trust, it starts with micro things, micro steps of gaining that trust back. They’re not major grandiose shows of affection, shows of things to do. It’s consistency. It’s showing up consistency with micro deposits into the emotional relationship bank account that really makes the difference.
Mo Parks 21:47
Yeah. When I have experienced recovering from something like this, the big pieces that I wanted to see were consistency. They were connected to that consistency because consistency, it creates leadership. And the opposite of leadership is pretty much inconsistency — or being reactive, right? And so what I found is some of the steps that were taken, were — what were some of the little things? Well, the little things weren’t always like, oh, I went to therapy. I mean, yes, get help and get surrounded by other people who’ve been through your situation, 100%. That is a big way that people come back from affairs in the relationship is by surrounding themselves with community of other people who have made it and are on the other side of that.
But on the little things, it’s keeping the promises that you’ve made to yourself and letting her see that. I think that is a way where you really start to rebuild the trust. That can be anything from like, hey, I said I would go work out this morning and I did. Or I said I’d wake up this morning, and I did. Or I said I’d pick up my clothes before I went to bed and I did. Or you know anything with the kids like just showing consistency there. But another big way is rebuilding the ability to emotionally connect with your partner, like that — building a skill set. Not just like, oh, I asked her how her day went. That’s a basic. If you’re doing that, you’re hitting the bottom level of emotional intimacy, emotional security, emotional safety in a relationship. But creating consistency around really choosing to commit to the relationship, and dig in and learn that skill set is a big piece of this.
Doug Holt 23:38
It is. And the consistency is really interesting, as you said that came up for me Mo is this idea, especially if it’s multiple affairs or multiple breaks of trust. So, let’s say one’s an affair, one’s spending too much money or lying about it, one’s another affair, whatever it is, right, multiple occurrences. What happens for a lot of people is the person who gets caught, right, we’ll just call that person, the cheater, for lack of word, whether it’s money or whatever it is, eat too many cookies, who knows.
The cheater or the person that does that, typically has almost a rebound effect, in my experience, where they get caught, and they feel so much guilt and shame or remorse that they double down. Right? They try to do — Like you said, they go to the therapy, they do this, they do all of these things. They clean the house more, they show up great for a period of time.
Mo Parks 23:31
Doug Holt 23:31
And then it fades, and then it stops. Then the next thing you know you have another breaking of trust, and then they feel horrible again, and there’s guilt, and there’s shame and they tried to make it up. And there’s these grandiose gestures, but it’s not the consistency. And when you look at what we talked about as feminine energy versus masculine energy, the thing that feminine energy needs more than anything is consistency. Consistency to know it’s in a safe container, so feminine energy can run wild and free. I believe feminine energy is the most powerful energy we have that’s out there. But it needs the container to know that it’s safe to do so. You can’t have safety when it’s not consistent.
And I know Mo, from my experience, my wife used to tell me and I never got it. Well, I didn’t get it till much later. I’m a little slower, guys. It took me a while to figure this one out. But she would talk about not being — feeling safe, right, which never made sense. I’ve talked about this a lot in the podcast. I was like a decently sized guy, used to do martial arts, so you should feel safe, right? And that was my thought, it was all physical. But she was like, no. It’s like, you’re erratic. Like sometimes you come home and you’re stressed, you’re anxious and I was running multiple businesses at the time. And then sometimes you’re super chill, and you just want to hang out. And then sometimes you’re tired. She’s like, I don’t know which version of you I’m going to get. And I didn’t get where that caused so much disruption within her energy system. She would talk about, like, my nervous system is fried. And really just me showing up.
Now said this another way to relate to this topic, if there’s a lot of lying or cheating on either side, then there’s inconsistency. Right? Now your partner, if you guys listening to this, if you’re the one that is caught cheating, your partner probably feels, how do I trust them, there’s a lot of inconsistencies. As soon as he screws up, he’s like Prince Charming all of a sudden, but I know that Prince Charming is going to fade and end. And none of the guys that come into the program married dumb women, they just don’t. You guys all marry, I can guarantee your story is your wife is super strong. And she is.
And because she’s super strong and very smart she’s hip to your game, she’s hip to the pattern. She’s figured this out long before you did. Right? Now, if your wife is the one that’s having these series of things, you feel insecure, you don’t feel secure at what I call home base at home. Right? When you go home from work and everything, you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, you don’t know what’s going to be going on. You’re worried, she picks up her phone, who is she talking to? What’s going on? She walks out of the house, she seems upset, she seems happy, she sings, she started singing to a love song or a song about — a Beyonce song about sex or whatever else it is. You’re thinking, God is she talking about me, is she talking about the other guy? I don’t know. It’s that walking on eggshells that really is the issue.
And that’s where Mo was saying earlier, which I love this point is you have to do your inner work first. You know, men that go through the activation method, which is designed to help men save their marriage without having to talk about it, it’s one of the big things we work on with you guys, is how do I get home base you as solid as possible to be the lighthouse, to shine brightly like you used to, really. We just help you uncover the man you used to be so that when these things happen, or if they do happen, I hope they don’t happen to you. But if they do, you are solid, rooted and grounded, so you can be the leader, be the man that you know you are inside, and provide that stability for the woman you love, for the children that you love and for your family. That’s incredibly important.
Mo Parks 28:01
Yeah, I love what you said and giving that analogy of like, oh, she walks out the door. She’s got her phone, like I can feel that. And really what is the energy behind the anxiety of the man, you know, who that’s previously happened to? Well, she walked out of the house, is that because she doesn’t want to be around me? Or if she walked back into the house, is that because — She’s singing this love song, is that to me? This constant like insecurity that guys develop from that is warranted because she’s had an affair. But it’s also — she can sense that. And basically what you’re doing is defining yourself by her every move and making it about you and personalizing it. Like she’s just singing a song. Just let her sing the song. And I think there’s the sense of wanting to define yourself.
Again, if you’re feeling really anxious around every move that your wife makes, it’s probably because you’re wanting to get some sort of approval that she’s not giving you or you’re wanting to get some sort of fulfillment that she’s not giving you. So, just stop, reflect on that, give that to yourself, move on, be suave, and that’s when she starts to see like, oh, he’s not moved by me. Like, it’s not on me to tell him how great of a guy he is. Because that’s the last thing she wants, after holding this emotional weight is to have to be the one who’s giving him the approval that he’s enough. Like that, find that in and of yourself because that alone will destroy a relationship regardless of trust issues, regardless of affairs like everything else.
But another thing you hit on was that multiple affairs versus the versus the singular, and I think that’s a bit of a different story. I don’t know if you want to go into that here. But yeah, I would handle — [crosstalk] the way you rebuild trust [inaudible 00:09:45] Go ahead.
Doug Holt 29:47
Yeah. Well, let’s touch on that briefly here. I’m conscious of your time as well, Mo but let’s touch on that briefly. How do you feel the difference between the single affair or infraction on trust, or maybe don’t feel there’s a difference between a fair or you do feel there’s a difference between an affair and somebody taking money, like spending too much and hiding it, which a lot of people do. Right? A violation of trust is what I’m saying. [crosstalk] But either way, let’s talk about the multiple affairs as an example, and then I’d love to know if you think there’s a big difference between the types of violation of trust.
Mo Parks 30:25
Yeah. So, when I consider — Yeah. Okay. So, this falls within affair, I would say, people persistently using pornography, hidden lies or people persistently having affairs, that’s a different — I’d say that’s a different thing than someone who had one isolated event. Reason is because that’s a constant seeking for something. Like, that’s a — this particular need isn’t met, so I’m finding that need met outside of the relationship, whether that — and what I would advise for that particular person is something different.
And the reason I see it so differently is because it’s multiple betrays of trust. And if you’re rebuilding the trust in between those, you’re completely destroying it and you are proving yourself to be not a trustworthy person. Like you have a pattern, you have a character. And so the way I would advise someone to separate from that person, would be different than the individual. But yeah, I’m curious what you have to say about that because I feel like you see that a bit more than I do. Maybe not.
Doug Holt 31:30
Yeah, I mean just have more reps, right? I’ve talked to tens of thousands of business leaders. And before The Powerful Man, as you know Mo, I coached women as well. So, I get the benefit of those different perspectives. Yeah. So, the way — when I look at something that’s a multiple offense, now I’m looking at a pattern. Okay. It’s not a one off thing. So, what I want to know here is what is the cause of this pattern? Or said another way, what is the root of the pattern, really? Where’s this really coming from? And to your point, this could be a character issue. And if it’s a character issue, it’s something totally different here. Now we’re talking about something totally different. Right? Because it’s hard to change one’s character.
It’s hard to — as one very wise woman told me, a zebra doesn’t change its stripes. Right? You can put paint on it but it washes off. So, what she was alluding to is like a character thing is not trainable. At The Powerful Man, when we’re looking for people to work with us on our mission to help men worldwide, one of the first thing we look at are character traits, right? You can teach skills, you can’t teach character, right? You either have it or you don’t, you have integrity or you don’t. And yeah, people can change. And I’m with that, people can definitely change. But generally speaking, a pattern could be a character issue, or it could be what’s the real source of this.
So, the analogy I overuse, and I’m going to use it again, and people have all heard me do this, is if I walk out my front door, Mo, and I cut my arm on a nail, right? There’s a nail hanging out and I’m like, oh, crap, right? And I put a bandaid on it, stop the bleeding, makes sense. Next day, I get up, taking the kids to school, I walk out, crap, cut my arm again, put a bandaid on it. And that is the way that most people go through life. Let’s use the nail as this problem, me hitting up the band aid being the pattern. Now what we get to do and what we do as coaches is we go, hey, man. Go put the band aids away, go to the toolbox and get a friggin’ pair of pliers and rip that nail out. Yeah, it’s going to be harder at first, but you’re going to be able to walk out that door without cutting yourself.
And unfortunately, in our society, what most of us do, men and women, is we develop scars, to make it easier to hit that nail. So, eventually the nail doesn’t hurt as much. It doesn’t cut us every time, but it cuts us a lot and we become numb to the pain. But that pain is still there. We have just become psychologically numb to it and we’ve scarred over it. And that scarring is what causes a lot of us to shut down. We shut down our emotions, we shut down who we are, we shut down as people, you know, who we let in. I can tell you with a degree of certainty, you listening to this, my guess is you let people in just enough to make them feel and think they know you. But you don’t let them really in, not deeply in. You let them in just enough.
Now if I can say that with confidence that you’re listening to this feel this way, that you let people in so they feel like they know you, they feel like they get you, but you don’t let them in deeply, that means the people you think you know are doing the same thing. And that’s — until you develop these real, real, relationships, and that’s why we have the Brotherhood, over 100 men who let you in and let you be seen. It’s because they go through the Alpha Reset, right, Mo? And that’s something that just rips the veil off. I mean talk about pliers. That just rips that nail out quickly and permanently so, you know, it puts like a steel barrier, so no nails can get in. But you need to have that coming in there.
So, you need to develop what is the pattern, what is the pattern for repeat cheating? Is it a character issue, to your point, Mo? If it’s not, great. What’s the issue? What’s the real issue? Or is it unmet needs, is it a childhood trauma that hasn’t been dealt with? There’s so many things that could come up here. No, do not ever make excuses for the other person, though. Right? If my partner cheats, I’m not going to make excuses for them and take that on as my burden. I’ll own my side of the street. Hey, could I have done something different?
But then I’m going to invest in me, making myself better. Because the worst case than that, I’m selfish, Mo. The worst case than that is my stock rises, I become a better man. If I’m with my wife and partner, I’m a better husband for her. And if we part ways because this does end up being a character thing, I’m a better partner for the next person. I’m a better father, for my children, I’m a better man for this world and this community. So, there’s no loss there. But she needs to do her work in this case, or vice versa. And we get to see what this pattern is really about. And then what I want my partner to do is double down on addressing this pattern. What’s the core issue here? Otherwise, we’re not moving forward.
Mo Parks 36:15
Nope. I was just about to say that. Yeah, I think that you can know the difference, because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the people who fake recovering from this, and I’ve seen the people who really do recover from this. And the biggest difference is, is the ones who don’t do all the talking, but the ones who actually like dig in and do the work, and you can see them doing it. And they’re actively coming to you owning their side of the street. If your partner is not doing that, don’t be deceived in thinking that they’re doing the work. They could be going to a therapist, they could be even just doing everything in their head. But when you ask them, yeah, but how’s your heart, and they have nothing to say, they’re not doing the work. Like, that is the biggest thing that I would love for people to hear who are waiting for their spouses who have had affairs to change is they’re not really doing the work if they’re not addressing the childhood problems, or the traumas or the pieces of their story that they’re trying to avoid. If they’re not bringing them to light, they’re not doing the work. I think that is the biggest mistake that I see tons of people make. They’re waiting for someone who’s not going to change.
Doug Holt 37:22
Yeah. What comes up for me here is this idea, like so right now a lot — for those listening, a lot of the men in the Brotherhood, in the inner circle, not all, are going through an inquiry on their relationship with alcohol. Right? A lot of guys are saying, hey, look, I’m just going to check it out, see what my relationship with alcohol really is. Right? And it’s not from a point of anybody’s judgment at all. Some guys may have one drink a week, some guys are drinking seven drinks a night, right? Like, they’re all over the board and guys a lot of guys are like, “Hey, let’s just check this out. Let’s just see what it is.”
And people are finding really interesting things. Everything from, “Oh, it doesn’t affect me at all.” Like I don’t have a negative relationship with alcohol, drinking or not drinking, take it, leave it. And some people are like, “Oh, crap, quitting for three days is tough,” and whatever is going on. And one of the things that when I was talking to some of the guys about this, I was leading that group was there’s a big difference from somebody who comes up to you and you say, “Hey, do you want to drink?” and they say, “You know what, I haven’t had a drink in 36 days.” Right? That’s one response.
Versus someone who comes up to you and says, “Hey, do you want a drink?” and they say, “Oh, I don’t drink.” Two different things. The first person, I haven’t had a drink in 36 days, right, regardless of both of them haven’t had a drink, they’re really saying, I still have the door open. I have the door cracked a little bit because day 37 maybe I do have a drink or day 600 I may have a drink. Whatever it is, the option is still on the table. The second person who maybe also hasn’t had a drink in 36 days, says, “Oh, I just don’t drink.” That’s an identity play, and to your point character. That person has identified as somebody who doesn’t drink.
Now the same thing can be said about an affair. Right? You know, I just don’t cheat or I don’t have affairs is a big difference for someone who says, yeah, I haven’t had an affair or talked to another woman or used porn, if you want to use that one, transparently, I don’t have a problem with it. But use porn with some relationships it’s a deal breaker. I haven’t used porn in 37 days, or whatever it is, versus someone who’s like I no longer use porn. Just don’t. There’s a difference in the level of commitment that’s in that speech and that languaging. And those are the kinds of things that you want to look for is, is that person committed or is this a season for them?
Mo Parks 39:47
It’s a great question. I love that.
Doug Holt 39:51
It’s all in the languaging and how we present ourselves. And also guys, whatever you’re in, you got to look at your languaging. So, as we wrap this up, Mo, one of the things I want to leave the guys with, if that’s okay is, guys, if you find yourself in this situation, whether you — Well, first of all, if you’ve been cheated on, the question I ask you is, do you love her? Yes or no? If the answer is no, go get your shit in order, go get your affairs in order, go see a lawyer, family law, whatever you want to call it. It’s time to leave, okay? You owe it to her, you owe it to yourself. If you say yes, which is probably why you’re still here, then I’m going to ask you another question, do you want this relationship to work? The answer is probably yes. I’ll give you the cheat sheet here, guys. Right?
If it is, the first thing you get to do is work on yourself, the absolute first thing. The second thing you do is you draw a line in the sand and you get a clear boundary set on what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. Now, I realize that you feel that that’s already been talked about, should be obvious. Clearly, it’s not, clearly it’s not. Right? This is where you get to double down on working on yourself, and put a boundary where your partner works on herself. Okay. But regardless, your stock gets to rise, your stock only rises when you invest in yourself. Money, time. So, capital and time are the investments we’re talking about here, guys. It doesn’t have to be the activation method, right? That’s the program that we run where thousands of business leaders have been through and have achieved success. But do something, do something regardless, right, and do something to invest in yourself.
And to Mo’s point, we look at this, where is that consistency? If you have been the one who’s been the cheater, it’s your turn to step up, be the lighthouse and be consistent. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak, right? Show up and show up with your actions consistently, regularly, and with leadership. You change your identity and that’s the way your wife’s going to feel safe. And she’s going to feel it, guys. It’s not just your actions, she’s going to feel it. She is going to know the difference when you are actually doing the work versus you saying you’re going to do the work. Mo, any final thoughts for these guys?
Mo Parks 42:08
No. The only thing that came to mind was when you have done, if you are the cheater and you have done the work, and you’re committing to the relationship, and you’ve done everything, make sure that you’ve forgiven yourself.
Doug Holt 42:22
Oh. Very well said. Big point. Well, Mo, as always, thank you for being here. I know the guys love it and that’s why we got so many responses. So, guys, a lot of you guys have reached out to have a conversation with Mo. If you are interested in having that conversation to see if the activation method, which is a proven methodology that helps you take your marriage from disconnection, and feeling like a roommate with a ring to something where your wife’s looking at you with love and admiration again, where you guys can come together as a true power couple that you knew that you could always be, go ahead and email email@example.com, that’s VIP, like very important person @thepowerfulman.com. Just say I want to talk to Mo.
What they’re going to do is have you probably fill out a short application process, right. Mo is a busy woman. She is also, not only is she one of our top advisors where she’s guiding men, hundreds and hundreds of men, whether this is the right path for them, or giving them a suggestion and an insight on something else, she’s also a wife, she’s also a mother, she’s also so many other things in her life. So, she’s very busy. So, guys, please only inquire if you’re really serious about talking to Mo about what’s best for you. But it’s simple. On your mobile device, pick it up right now, open Gmail, open Outlook, open whatever you use, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And say I want to talk to Mo, put your name, your phone number, and somebody will set you up with that conversation. As always men, what we say, in the moment of insight, and take massive action. We’ll see you next time on the Powerful Man Show.