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How To Navigate The Holidays

Episode #596

Are you reminiscing about your past holidays?

How do you typically spend your time with your family during this season?

It can be challenging during this time of year but it’s an excellent opportunity to connect with your loved ones. Stop being reactive when your wife is frustrated and be a lighthouse that will guide the family.

In this episode, Jake and Doug talk about why your partner might be thinking about divorce and what you can do to prepare for the holidays so you can create more lasting memories with your family.

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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: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Powerful Man Show. And I am joined by no other than Jake. Jake, great to have you here, brother.

Jake: The one and only. Glad to be here, Doug. It’s always fun to connect on a podcast with you. How’s it going?

Doug Holt: I’m doing great, man. I’m excited to get to talk to you. Every time that we do a podcast together, or that you’re on here, it always gets great reviews. For guys that aren’t familiar, Jake is one of our advisors. And not only that, but Jake has been through the program. Jake, you’re married, you’ve got kids, you’re a businessman, so you check all the boxes of the guys that are listening to this, and that’s why I think, when you’re on the show, guys get so much out of it.

Jake: Yeah. You bet. It’s always good to get on and riff with you, Doug. I love having these conversations, I love talking about this stuff, big ideas. Man, I used to be a big sports guy and talk about that all the time. What I realized is, there’s more deep stuff that we can talk about. And outside of an arena like this, the container that we have inside The Powerful Man, this stuff doesn’t get talked about. So, I love connecting with you, with other guys that I talk to. Man, it’s just such a joy for me to be able to connect in that way, and just go deep on some things. Love it, absolutely.

Doug Holt: I do too. And it’s interesting, when we talk about going deep and connecting, you know, here we are at the beginning of the holidays, coming up. So, a lot of guys who are gonna be listening to this, it’ll be the beginning of December for most men. And you know, regardless of your religious orientation, the holidays are upon us. And a lot of times the holidays can cause a lot of problems for guys, Jake.

Jake: Yeah. You bet. It’s been coming up a lot for us. There’s a lot- I mean, Thanksgiving just passed, and I heard some pretty tough stuff over the last several days of guys I personally know, and guys I’ve talked to. The big thing that I like to share with guys this time of year is, remember. These things are gonna get remembered once you go through them. You’re either gonna show up, and in a great way connect with your family, your kids, or you’re not. And that’s the choice that we get to make. So, for the next 3, 5, 10 years, these are gonna be memories that you’re gonna have. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, they get remembered. So, you get to just decide how you wanna show up. I think it’s important to talk about.

Doug Holt: Yeah, I think it is too. And just yesterday, my wife and I were walking around our house, and we were looking at we have tons of pictures, like 50 pictures on our walls. And they’re memories. And not only do you see the smiles, but you also know if they’re genuine smiles or not, right? You can tell what was going on in our marriage when that picture was taken. I think a lot of guys forget that if they’re in a tough place in their marriage, or their business or anything else, those memories are gonna come flooding back when they look at the pictures.

Jake: Yeah. That’s funny. We have a free Facebook group. If you’re listening to the podcast right now, go check it out, it’s super-good, lots of cool guys to connect with in there, always just dumping massive value into everybody there, because we wanna help as many people as we can. And a free Facebook group is a great way to do that. But I just dropped a little training in there today about my wife, turning my wife from – I love her to death, and she can probably hear me right now – turning her from this – you know, she was being kind of a Grinch – into this sexy, playful feminine elf, just the other day. Because what’s going on right now, I don’t know if your wife is the same way, I know mine certainly gets this way.

We’ve got Friendsgiving coming up Saturday, this week, and we’re inviting a bunch of people in, she’s cleaning. She’s a superhero when it comes to this stuff, not like me. But she’s in it, man. She wants to make the house really nice and inviting, and just really perfect for everybody coming over. And I love that about her. I love that she does that for us. But me, I’m trying to hide out. I had volleyball on Tuesday night, I maybe stayed extra for some extra games afterwards, and I could just tell that she would real- I knew it was gonna happen. She often does this when we go on vacation or holidays, she gets kinda stressed, overwhelmed.

And we’ve got three kids, and it’s totally reasonable, but I know that in these moments, I’ve gotta show up. I’ve gotta step up for her. Not just to clean the bathroom, but to show up for her emotionally, and that’s at a deeper level. So, this memory for her isn’t one where she was stressed for the days leading up to it, she was stressed all day cooking on the day of the event, and then it goes by, and she’s like, ‘I had a great time. I’ll always have a good time.’ But I don’t want that for her. I want her and the kids, everybody, just really connect through these times.

Doug Holt: Well, that’s the important thing, man. That’s the difference between being a DEER and a WOLF, as we talk about at The Powerful Man. So guys, if you’re new to the show, DEER is an acronym that we use for defend, excuse, explain, react. It’s what a lot of us guys do, especially during the holidays. Our wife, our partner might be stressed out and anxious about in-laws coming over, friends, whatever it may be. And she might say something to you. And if you react, and you snap, and you start explaining and defending your actions, you’re just gonna go down this rabbithole of pain, and causing more and more fights between you guys, which is gonna cause distance. We’ve all been in that dinner party or whatever, where you can tell the host, the couple that’s there, they’ve been fighting. You can feel it. It’s palpable in the air. You don’t wanna go near them. So, what you want to do is be a wolf, which is another acronym that we use, which is wise, open, loving and fierce, which is what you’re going towards.

Jake: Yeah. You bet. And being with the team for so long, it’s one of the things we talk about a lot behind the scenes, but all the way from you and Tim, all the way to us in different departments. We always talk about ‘live it out’. We live out the principles. We’re using the Alpha Rise and Shine, we’re doing the decompression. We’re using the hidden motives technique. That was the big thing for me to get my wife out of this place where she was in. I love it. It’s powerful. Guess what? My wife knows about the hidden motives technique, your wife knows about it too, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. The reason that it works is because, at a base level, we’re all just human beings. It’s not complicated, it’s not difficult. This isn’t rocket science.

Really what people, humans in generally, especially women and my wife wants to feel like she’s seen, and heard, and understood. So, if I fall into DEER mode, and she’s frustrated about the house not being clean, and I say, ‘babe, I just got back from volleyball, can you just chill out? I just need a shower really quick. I’ll clean the damn toilets.’ Guess what, it’s not what she wants to hear. It’s never about the cleaning. There’s always a thing, and then there’s the thing. You come home from work, your wife is holding a bag of trash. She says, ‘Doug, you never do the things that you say you’re gonna do. Get this filthy trash out of here now. And if you wanna go and attack the trash and think that’s the real problem, well, you’re a sorry sucker, because that’s not what it’s about. You really wanna connect with your wife, find out what’s going on deeper than that. And that’s what the hidden motives technique is all about, getting below the surface, and making your partner and your kids feel like they’re seen, heard, and understood. And if you can do that, it’s a superpower. It’s like cheat codes.

Doug Holt: It is, man. And this is why in the Activation Method, which is our flagship program guys go through, guys can turn their marriage around in a matter of weeks, literally two weeks. And it’s because of these techniques that you learn. They’re tools, we just weren’t taught them as guys. I was never taught it. And when you learn it, you’re like, wow, this is magic. In fact, I was talking to one of our guys, who you would know, and we were talking about a business situation, because the men we work with are businessmen. And he had two employees that were going at each other, as guys tend to do. And what he ended up doing was using the hidden motives technique with these two guys individually to bring them back together. Because it’s a relationship technique, really. And as men, we can use that with our wives, especially during the holidays, or with our in-laws, or with our extended family. Because people get so stressed during this time. And that’s how you become the lighthouse guiding everybody around you, and truly stepping into the lead role.

Jake: You bet. I can share how I use it. We talk about the principles, and you’ve heard this stuff before, the five love languages, I know how to do all this stuff. But there’s more to it. And you have to practice this stuff. When I first started using HMT, I wasn’t using it well. But the more and more you try, you practice, you get feedback on it, you’ll get better. It’s like a muscle. But for me, when my wife is feeling really frustrated and stressed out, I see it as an opportunity to connect with my wife. I don’t see it as an opportunity to go and hide, and walk on eggshells. I know that this is gonna be an opportunity for me to either really mess things up, or really connect with my wife on a deep level, and show her that I’m her lighthouse, and I can make her feel seen, heard and understood.

So, what I did the other night – she was frustrated, I heard her getting- she’s great with our kids, so patient all the time. So, when I hear her raise her voice even a little bit, I can tell that she’s bothered. And I heard that, so I knew I needed to step in. So, it was after volleyball that night, and I just sat down on the end of the couch. I always try to get my body in a position where it’s not head-to-head. It’s really combative if you do that. So, I’m just leaning out, inviting her to come my way, body language stuff. And I brought the subject up. Babe, I feel like you’re frustrated a little bit. Everything okay? And she said, ‘no, I’m not frustrated, it’s not about that. I just wanna have the house really clean. This was a great idea for me, to just deep clean the house.’ And I’m seeing right through that. My wife is frustrated. And even she’s going to the surface-level thing. And I’m like, babe, that’s not it. I know my wife. It goes deeper than that. And we just worked through that. And I asked her some questions, and I said, babe, I get it, I know how frustrating it is for you when you’ve got a lot of this. I appreciate how much you’ve been putting into this, and I love how the house felt when I came in, and you got everything set up for Christmas. I appreciate that about you so much, and the hard work you’ve put in. And finally she came around, and it doesn’t take long. Within minutes, she was like, ‘you know what? I am frustrated. It’s just been so much. And the kids and everything, and I’ve been doing all this…’

That’s what she needed to hear. I knew what it was underneath the surface. So, I went and took a shower. This is why I love the HMT and why it’s so powerful. I went and took a shower, I came back out, and now all of a sudden, instead of storming around the house, really frustrated, she was laying on the bed and she was playful. And we were flirty with each other, and she was light and airy. It was just a switch, as easy as I could have turned on a lightswitch in the bedroom, she was just different. And what a gift that is for her and for me, and for the kids too. Everybody around us. And we get to carry that memory with us for years, instead of what could have been a fight. There’s a really thin line there. So, that was me going through the HMT with my wife the other night. Super cool, super fun.

Doug Holt: I love it, man. What guys don’t realize is our tagline, how to save your marriage without talking about it. Guys, you don’t have to sit down and have the talk. The HMT allows you to just switch that feminine energy. Because feminine energy can just switch on a dime, right? It’s very flowy. And when it’s guided correctly, it allows you to completely change the relationship in the conversation with your wife, even without knowing about it, even without her wanting to be involved in it. Your wife didn’t ask you to sit down and talk. You just took the lead, used the HMT, and completely shifted her energy. Which obviously changed her, which makes you feel good, but it also changes you. The whole outcome of the evening is night and day from what it could have been.

Jake: Some people who listen to this, I wonder if sometimes people think this is mind control or manipulation, some sort of negative connotation with it. And you may think that. We can call it manipulation if we want to. But at the end of the day, would my wife rather I just have a fight with her, or just be a schmuck stuck in the mud, and not have this, to be able to shift her in that way and make her feel good? I mean, this is a deep level that she shifted. I’m betting my wife and every wife across the world would rather we do that. With good intention. This is not a- I’m gonna do this so we can have sex. It’s not that at all. You gotta have good intentions. If this is phony, it’s fraudulent, guess what? She’s gonna sniff that out. You’ve got to care about the people in your life. If you’re using the HMT, which is really powerful, you’ve gotta really care about who they are. Not what you want, but what it is that they’re feeling. And that’s all it takes, it’s not that hard. You gotta have that feeling behind it, or else, women, they’re human congruence-detecting machines. They’ll feel that. They’re way more in tune with their emotions than we are, us knuckle-dragging cavemen.

Doug Holt: Well, you know, it’s no more manipulative than saying thank you to show gratitude. You say thank you because you want that person to feel like you’re grateful for whatever they did. That’s no more manipulative than me using the HMT. and guys, I would imagine, if you’re listening to this right now, you could be thinking, ‘that’s good for Doug, but it won’t work with my wife, because our relationship is so far gone.’ And first of all, I understand how you can feel that way, and I would really encourage you to go to the results page at TPM, where you can see hundreds of men who have used that particular technique, as well as the other parts of the triadic connection we teach, that have gotten results just like you’re looking for. Because all of us can do that. It’s a skill.

And you and I were talking about something, and I was telling you I’m not a handyman, I just didn’t grow up learning those kinds of things. I was never taught the skills on how to refinish a house, or remodel a bathroom, whereas some of my friends were. They grew up with fathers and people in their lives that taught them these skills, they went into construction and they’re amazing at it. I was just never taught the skill, just as most men listening to this. You were never taught the skill of how to be successful in a marriage, especially as a businessman, because it’s much harder. And once you have those tools and techniques, you start to realize, this isn’t that difficult either. You just need guidance. And the Activation Method, they way I’m thinking about this, it’s almost like having a master carpenter next to you, teaching you exactly what you need to do if you need to frame a wall. They know the little nuances of how to do it faster, how to do it cleaner, how to make it look better if you’re working on drywall, or whatever it is that you’re not gonna learn from an audiobook or a podcast like this, or a YouTube course. It’s just not gonna be as good. And if you have that master carpenter next to you, that coach, that allows you to hit success much faster.

Jake: You bet. This is so huge, this is a universal principle. This is not something that I made up, it just is a thing. I mean, ego is a big thing that gets in the way of- just having a big ego and realizing, like, hey, I’m perfect, I don’t need coaching, I don’t need a master carpenter, any of that – ego is the fastest way to slam the door on your growth. Anybody listening to this is somebody that’s interested in growing and getting better, and I bet that your egos aren’t getting in the way of this, but at times it can come into play. So, if you’re just able to just shelf the ego, come in and just learn a little bit from some guys that have taken thousands of people through this, getting results – like we have on our client results page. I mean, it’s just undeniable how many people make that shift really quickly.

One of the client testimonials that’s in there, I just remember, is a guy that I knew from the program. When you were saying earlier, ‘I don’t know if it would work for me because we’re in such a bad situation’, I’d counter that by just saying, look, if you’ve been out of the gym for a while and you start doing that, look how quickly you lose weight, and look how quickly you feel, and how quickly people around you notice. We hear that a lot. ‘You look different. Did you get new clothes? New haircut? You’re different.’ One specific example was of a dad that was coaching his kid’s baseball team, and was really reactive, very DEER mode.

And even with the kids on the field. Nothing against the guy that was doing that, maybe that was the way he was taught. Maybe that was the way that he was brought up, and he thought that was the best way. But as soon as he stopped being so reactive on the baseball diamond with those kids, his wife noticed. We saw screenshots that he sent us. ‘I can’t believe the way you were handling the boys today on the field. It was sexy, the way you were handling them.’ Maybe he was in a really bad place before, but it’s just an immediate shift that she’ll notice, and then you’ll feel it. And once you feel good, you can give her the things that she needs, she’ll give you more of the things that you need, and instead of this downward spiral that so many guys are inside of, you create a positive feedback loop. It goes up and up. And it’s just magic.

Doug Holt:  I agree. And look, we’re not trying to push the AM program on you. We have a free Facebook group, we do over 600 episodes of this podcast. We’re on every social media channel giving out free info to help you guys. We just know it works. When you look around the holidays, which are coming up, what mode are you gonna be in? Are you gonna be reacting, snapping, short, and deciding ‘screw this, I’m just gonna pour another drink and watch football and wait until the holidays are over, and then I’ll be able to do something’, thus missing another opportunity to connect with your wife, and connect with your kids and your loved ones.

We just don’t want you to miss that. I’ve been there. I’ve been in that situation where the holidays start coming around, and my wife and I are not doing well. And I’m like, I don’t even wanna freaking be here. But you have to physically be there? So, what do we do? We check out mentally. And you do that in a lot of ways. You watch sports, have a couple extra beers, pour yourself a cocktail or whatever else it may be, or go hang out with other family members to avoid wherever your partner is. And that just bubbles up inside of you, and it comes out in the worst ways. It never comes out in a healthy way unless you address it.

Jake: I know a lot of times on the podcast we’re really encouraging, but if it’s okay, I’m gonna be real with everybody listening to this right now. There’s a thing called divorce day, and it is a very real phenomenon. It’s not a phenomenon, it’s a statistic. The first Monday in January, after the holidays, is the number one day when divorces are filed. And what’s also true is that 7 out of 10 divorces are filed by women. We’ve got podcasts on divorce day, you can listen to more about this.

Doug Holt: I’ve just read a new study that was out. It was the American Society of Sociology or something. If your wife has a college education or higher, it’s no longer 7 out of 10, it’s 9 out of 10 divorces. 90% likelihood that it’s the woman files for divorce if she has a college or greater degree. I read that a couple of weeks ago because I was working on a piece to help the guys out, and it blew my mind.

Jake:    That’s so heavy. And the reason I’m getting more serious about this is that we’re gonna go through these holiday, all of us are. Some people that are out there right now, you’re wife is thinking about divorce. She’s thinking about walking into an attorney’s office to turn in the papers. That’s gonna happen for several of us. So, you have to understand, the good thing in all of this is that women make and unmake decisions all the time. Show up in the next 30 days, maybe she changed her mind. Maybe she can unpack her bags. Maybe you’re just planting the seeds of doubt in her mind that leaving you is a good idea if that’s what’s on her mind right now. And it doesn’t start with her. She’ on a path, if this is true for you and your family, and you can feel it coming, it’s not anything that she’s gonna do to change her mind, it’s gonna be how you show up for her, for the kids, for yourself, that’s gonna make her change her mind, and you guys keep your relationship for the next Christmas, and the next one. I wish that for everybody out there.

Doug Holt: I do too. I get emotional when I talk to people about it. In fact, I had a good buddy of mine who I was talking to two days ago, I guy I grew up with. He was calling to check in, just shooting the shit. And you know me, I was just like, hey, man, how’s marriage going? And he was like, ‘I’ll shoot you a text’. And he wanted to shoot me a text because he didn’t wanna talk about it where he was. And we’re close enough that he would open up to me. And I was like, look, man, this is- I know the stats here. We talk to guys all the time. When a woman is deciding upon divorce, she’s made that decision a while ago. She’s just waiting for the holidays to go through, she doesn’t wanna disrupt the kids or anything else. She’s already made that exit. And you and I hear it so much, that guys wait until it’s too late to take action. They say they’re gonna change, they say they’re gonna do this or that.

But their wife just hasn’t seen them actually go all in. And guys, she’s gonna test you. And you don’t have to do the TPM program, you don’t have to do the AM. Say you go to another something. She’s going to test you and push back. She’s gonna try and stop you from doing it to see if you’re really serious. She doesn’t really wanna stop you, she’s just really just testing to see if you’re really serious, or if it’s just you running your mouth. And as guys, we do that. We make these promises with the best of intentions, and life gets in the way. And as business owners, man, you have all kinds of things. Employee issues. Stressors are coming up. And you think you’ll just do it next week, but next week doesn’t come, and it gets too late.

And guys, we literally hear this story from men all the time. And we just don’t want you to do it. So, whether you join the AM, whether you do another program, whether you go into the Facebook group and see Jake’s amazing training, just do something, and do something immediately. Jake, I love having you on. You always have so much wisdom to bring. Thank you so much for what you do, for the men that you talk to, for the value you provide in the free Facebook group. Just absolutely awesome. And guys, if you just have a question like, is this right for me – Jake is one of the guys you get to talk to. Jake is, as you could tell, easy to speak with.

And he’s just gonna let you know, in your particular situation, whether it’s worthwhile, whether it’s worth investing your time, money, and everything else into a program like the AM, or whether you should be doing something else. Jake is extremely versed, he’s been through the program, he’s a businessman, married, with kids, just like you guys. So, hop on a quick call with him, and just find out if this is the right fit for you. And to do that, all you have to do is go over to thepowerfulman.com. There’s a get started button. There’s a short application. There’s a few qualifiers. We don’t work with everybody. We’re looking for a very specific type of guy that we choose to work with, because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can get results for that guy. And you can get onto Jake’s calendar and have a phone call with him. There’s no obligation, just a quick call. So, Jake, thanks again, man, for everything that you do.

Jake:    You bet. Thanks, Doug.