Does your wife feel distant?
Do you find yourself needing external validation from her?
If your wife is backing away it might be because you’re coming off as needy. You need to stop expecting something in return and start loving yourself first so you can re-attract her in the right way.
In this episode, we’re sharing reasons why your wife backs away from you and what you can do to be an Alpha who is grounded and confident.
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Doug Holt: Welcome back, Tim, to another episode of The Powerful Man show.
Tim Matthews: Good to be here with you, Master Dougie Fresh. How are you?
Doug Holt: I’m doing great. I’m excited. I’m doing a training coming up here in a little bit. Always excited when I get to coach the men live. It’s one of the highlights of my day.
Tim Matthews: I mean, you do a great job with it. The guys always get great results, we get great feedback, it fills your cup. It’s a win all round. So I’m happy that you get to do that.
Doug Holt: I am as well. Well, Tim, the topic for today is one that I’ve gotten a lot lately when I’ve done my Ask me anything, the AMA’s that I’ve been doing in the private Facebook group that we have. And it’s: what do I do when she backs away? Like, what do I do when my wife recoils? What do I do when she’s backing off of me? What would you say to these guys?
Tim Matthews: I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is the context of it, in which situation. Because there’s various… For me, I’m thinking about some of the guys we work with. If they were to come to me and say this, what advice would I give them? It’d be different depending on the situation, right? Both the situation, and also what led to her backing away. Because in some instances, I’d probably leave it, because it could be a good thing to do, let the situation calm down. At the same time, it could also make it worse as well. So yeah, I’ll throw the ball back to your court, because I imagine you have more of an idea of the actual context or a way you want to take this.
Doug Holt: No, I don’t have an idea of the exact context. But you know, again, kind of looking at the macro, when I coach the men, what typically happens, over time, the relationship, the marriage has started to erode, and it starts to get complacent and boring. And what the guy starts to notice is, his wife becomes a little more snarky, and they become more distanced. The bedroom becomes more of a desert.
We always talk about at The Powerful Man, he starts to notice that his wife is a roommate with a ring, more like a roommate – and not the cool roommate, but more like a roommate who’s nagging and, and telling him what to do. So, then the guy starts to come forward more, he starts to approach more. He’s trying to win her back, win her love back, win her attention and appreciation back.
The man, at this point, is starting to feel a little bit more like a paycheck, a stranger in his own home. And he wants to get his wife back. He wants to have more sex and intimacy for sure. But really, what he’s looking for is just the love, respect and admiration back in his wife’s eyes. And so, as he starts to move forward and pursue her, she recoils and backs away. He may walk up to give her a big hug first thing in the morning, and she kind of just sits there like a dead fish, so to speak.
I’ve heard guys describe it that way, like a dead fish, where her arms are just dangling by their sides, and she’s not really responding to his affection by any means. So, he tries more and more, and pursues more and more. So, when I talk about this scenario, or a scenario like this, oftentimes, what I like to describe to the guys is the cat idea. Cat theory is what I call it. So, you know, my father has a cat.
And so, when I go to visit him, the cat is almost always just laying on this couch, the way cats do. So, there’s two ways I can do it. So, I walk in the house. Now, if see the cat and I run over the cat really quickly because I want to be with it, I want to hold it and pet it. What does the cat do? Immediately, the cat’s going to jump up and book it out of that room, probably hide under a table or something.
Now, what most men do is – that cat is their wife. They go walk in the door and they try to smother the cat. The cat, their wife, runs into the other room. And the guy is just like what my kids do. So, my kids are in this situation, they go to my dad’s house, they run around chasing the cat for the first hour, the cat goes under the table, the kids run after the cat, because they want to pet the cat. They’re not trying to scare it, they just want to pet this cat because we don’t have a cat in our house.
So then, they run around, the cat will run to the bathroom. My kid, a two-year-old, running with little chubby legs, chasing this cat into the bathroom. Then you see the cat dart out of the bathroom, and it’s hiding now under the bed. And my kids are going after and chasing the cat. Needless to say, they never catch the cat. Now, again, guys, in this analogy, you are my two-year-old with the chubby legs, and the cat is your wife, and you keep pursuing.
Now, here’s what I do. And it works every time when I want to pet a cat. I walk into the room, notice the cat and ignore it, completely ignore the cat. Maybe I’ll start to walk towards it to pet it. And if it moves, then I just ignore it and leave it alone. Nine times, if not 10 times out of 10, that cat ends up on my lap purring. And it’s the same thing in your marriage. when you are pursuing so heavily and getting rejected so much. you start to put up this needy energy of this two-year-old chasing the cat.
Like, this needy ‘I gotta have you, cat’. And your wife runs away, it’s repelled by this needy energy. You are in a beta mode at this point. And your wife is looking for an alpha, she’s looking for someone to step up to her. Now, when you ignore her – and when I say ignore, right, you don’t do that, per se, I’m just using this as an analogy. But when you back off, back away a little bit, and you stand in your power while you’re doing this, you don’t do this from a place of neediness, you do it from a place of love and respect for yourself, your wife will start coming around more. There’s a lot of other things that you can do here, but I’ll let you address some of the other nuances, Tim.
Tim Matthews: Yeah, you’re spot on. When you started to describe the scenario, the first thing that came to my mind was neediness. Right? When you continue to pursue her, and it comes from that place of neediness, I mean, it’s just not attractive at all. Not just to her, but the chances are that that is also then showing up in other areas of your life as well, like in a business deal, or a meeting, because typically how you do one thing is how you do everything.
So, likely, other people are going to be feeling it from you as well. And you’re not going to like it either, because it’s going to feel needy to you too. It’s going to feel desperate to you too. And oftentimes in that scenario, for the guys, they are looking for their wives to fulfill a need for them that they’re not fulfilling themselves. So, typically, with the guys we work with, when they’re in this scenario, their cup is empty.
Their bank account, emotional bank account, if you will, is completely overdrawn. And they just don’t feel good. They don’t have any practices. When I say practices, they don’t have any routines in their life, whereby they’re taking care of themselves. And they’re filling up their cup. And therefore when they go and chase their wife or the cat, they’re looking for the interaction with the cat or with the wife to be the thing that gives them that little hit of dopamine, or that little hit of pleasure, or whatever it is.
And then, typically, the trap that a lot of the guys often fall into is when the wife then rejects them, they start to blame the wife. And quite frankly, it can come across as immature. It can even increase the desperation, that neediness. Whereas the flip side of this is when the men understand the game that’s at play here, and they can understand their own role that they’re playing, and how it contributes towards it, and they’re able to begin filling their cup by doing things for themselves, and that bank balance begins to rise steadily, bit by bit, it’s so much easier to walk into that room and ignore the cup.
It’s so much easier to then communicate something you are willing to settle for. So, let’s say you feel like a paycheck, like you described in the beginning Doug, and for the guys we work with, as they tend to make that transition from chasing the cat and letting the cat come to them, one of the things that has become very clear is what they’re unwilling to accept. And they don’t explain that from a place of reaction. they don’t fall into DEER and do that.
It’s from a very calm, grounded, clear place of, hey, this is who I am, this is what I want, and here’s why. And if you don’t want to provide that it’s completely fine by me, but either way, I am going to have this thing met. So, I’m heading in that direction, I’d love for you to come with me, but I totally get it if you don’t want to go. I’m gonna go anyway. Kind of like your story with Alaska.
And usually, in that scenario, throughout that process, instead of walking into the room and being ignored, they often walk into the room and the wife begins to walk up to them, and begins to ask them questions and take interest in them, and so on. And, you know, it’s not rocket science, to be honest. I mean, this is typically the thing that probably attracted her to you in the first place. Because you typically will have had these things about you.
And for most guys, they just lose their way. As they get into business, and they provide financially and kids come along, they just forget, they just stop doing some of the things that will work. And partly it is because they didn’t really know what was working in the beginning. And you know, hormones are at play, and there’s newness, and there’s mystery, and all that stuff as well.
However, again, when you understand what’s at play, you can harness these things in your favor. And that’s one of the reasons why The Activation Method and the other processes we give the guys work so well, for the guys that choose to apply it. So, just understand the game that is at play, and just play the game by the rules, and you’ll be in a great position.
Doug Holt: Yeah, that’s a great point. And in the next podcast, guys, we’re gonna talk about how you can get your wife to want you again. But here, what I want you to do is take inventory, right? Take inventory on where you’re being the two-year-old with the chubby legs, where you’re being my toddler chasing the cat, right? And a lot of guys, once they start to understand these concepts, they come back and they’re like, ‘Oh, man, Doug, you know, I didn’t realize how much I was doing that. I didn’t realize how much I was chasing.’
And here’s why this happens, why we’re dedicating a whole podcast on this, guys. When you are searching for things external to you for validation, it shows me and the people you’re around, AKA your wife, that you don’t value yourself. You don’t know who you are as a man. Right? You don’t trust yourself as a man. Now, if you don’t trust yourself, how can I or your wife trust you? Right?
When the rubber hits the road and shit gets tough, how do I know you’re going to show up? Or which version of you is going to show up? Now, I know if I would have heard this when I was Doug 1.0, this would have pissed me off to hear it. I mean, like, what do you mean? I show up every time. I’m the guy you can count on. Right? You gotta move, I’ll show up and help you move your house. You know, if there’s a fight and your safety’s in danger, I’ll jump in and help you out.
I’m not looking to fight, but I’ll be there to defend you. No matter what those cases are, I’ll be there. However, what I didn’t realize with my marriage was, I was looking for external validation for my wife to show me that I was a good husband, to show me that I was being a good man. I was getting it everywhere else, so I didn’t need it, but I needed it from her. And when I needed it from her, I no longer controlled the frame. I became needy.
And being needy is like, bear spray to a bear. Right? It’s repellent to a woman, especially your woman. She wants to be seen, heard and desired. And it’s hard to be- you know, being desired versus being needed. It’s very different. Right? And especially guys, if you have kids, your wife is tired of being needed. That needy energy, she gets that all day from the kids. She doesn’t want that from her man. She wants her man to desire her but not need her.
And this is the takeaway – the backing away really helps out. You want to be the person who walks into the room, acknowledges the cat, and does your thing, right? Do whatever it is you want to do. Sit down, read a book, you know, whatever it is. Don’t sedate yourself. Right? Don’t just go into your phone, or turn on the game. Do something that fills your cup, and let her observe. And eventually the cat will come to you and purr on your lap.
And that’s the key here. But if you come with that needy energy, that’s where the repellent comes in. She can feel that before you come into the room. We talk to women all the time and they will tell you, your presence is felt before you get into the door. I talk to guys all the time, they say that their wives will comment, and they’ll know if it’s a bad day at work while the guy’s in the car driving home, before he comes in. ‘I didn’t believe her at first. But now I see it.’
It’s because your woman could feel your energy, she can feel it. I don’t- look at the science behind it, we can talk about that. But whatever it is, it happens. And what you want to do is, you want to come in with- the only need that you have is the need for yourself. Or the need to fulfill yourself, fill your cup up. Doesn’t mean to be a jerk. Don’t just go into your phone and pretend that you don’t care.
You truly have to find that centeredness inside of you in order to achieve this with any great effect. Right? You just do. So I’m going to use that analogy. Again, you wake up in the morning, you go to give your wife a hug, and she gives you the dead fish. Just hug her for you. Say ‘I love you’, smile, laugh, walk away. And all too often guys just feel rejected. And a woman can feel that feeling of rejection that you have, and the sorrow, and that pain that you’re going through.
You don’t know what’s going on inside of her. Just hug her because you want to hug her. Don’t hug her as a transactional thing, where you’re expecting to get something in return. And that’s where a lot of guys fall short.
Tim Matthews: The dead fish, so funny.
Doug Holt: A lot of guys mentioned the dead fish. They talked about it like, it’s like a dead fish. You have your wife and she doesn’t move her arms. Or she limply hugs me. And this is where, as a guy, you just can’t be transactional, right? You can’t be expecting something in return. Because look, guys, if you go to hug your wife and you’re expecting her to hug you back, that becomes a transactional thing. And we don’t want to do that.
Tim Matthews: No, no, no. Again, it’s the same thing. Your wife feels your energy. So if you’re doing something that’s transactional, and creating covert contracts, essentially, then she’ll feel that from you. You will bring it up, and you will bring it up at the wrong time, in the wrong way. And when you do bring it up at the wrong time in the wrong way, that can then erode the trust as well. Right? So all the time you were doing it for that reason? Okay, I see.
So, to get to your point, I think you made a great one. If you want to hug her, hug her for you. But again, you’ve got to do it for you, not to get anything in return. Not to get a kind of certain reaction from her, not to have her make you feel complete, not to have her accept you and validate you. Whatever it may be, right? Because the likelihood is- just remember the man that you were when you guys first met.
Who was that guy? How did he carry himself? Before kids, before work. How were you in those early interactions with your wife? You’re playful. You’re a bit cocky. You were jokey, having fun. How did it go? Because what you were doing back then worked. And the likelihood is that guy exists, he’s still inside of you. You just forgot to flex that muscle. And the time is now. If this is resonating with you, the time is now for you to shake off the dust, get back in the gym, and remember what it feels like to walk in that room feeling full, being able to walk into that room and ignore the cat, rather than walk into that room and feel the urge, the need to go near the cat, just so you can feel some goodness.
You don’t need that when you live from the inside out. And that’s the big shift here. A lot of the men that come to us in The Activation Method live from the outside. And the shift they make is to live from the inside out. And when you’re doing that with your Alpha Rise and Shine, Alpha Decompression, putting your needs first just a different path to walk. We talk about the path of power, the path of force. This is the path of power.
So, if this has resonated with you guys, at the moment of insight Like Mr. Dougie Fresh always says- he’s experiencing a couple of technical difficulties right now. If you can see him on YouTube. At the moment of insight, take massive action. I mean, Doug has shared some amazing advice with you there. So, if it resonates, if it lands, don’t be the chubby two-year-old chasing the cat. Don’t be that guy or girl. Instead, be the man that attracted your wife in the first place. The confident, clear, powerful man, that she knows that you are and she sees you as. That’s what frustrates her when you become needy and desperate, Because that isn’t the man she married.