How to Navigate Unmet Expectations

Episode #27

In this episode, Tim and Doug share valuable tips on navigating unmet expectations.

Tim shares a story of one of his men in the Alpha Reset brotherhood and how the relationship of this man and his wife turned sour for 2 years due to unidentified and unmet expectations. 

Oftentimes, unmet expectations are results of uncommunicated, unidentified, or hidden expectations or an expectation without possibilities.

To navigate unmet expectations, it should be communicated clearly and calmly. Navigating unmet expectations also means being able to think outside the box for possibilities or alternatives instead of expecting an exact black or white outcome.

If you’re expecting change, do not expect a drastic one, open up the possibilities to allow the time it takes for change to happen.

If there are no possibilities within your expectation then you are setting yourself up for a guaranteed disappointment. Clear and good communication is crucial in navigating unmet expectations.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The 2 things that cause the most stress in a relationship
  • The importance of clear communication in a relationship
  • The difference between Expectations and Possibilities
  • The importance of having a support group


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Episode Transcript

Tim Matthews  0:02  

In terms of expectations and making sure that everyone’s on the same page. Communication and making sure you communicate clearly and off-site expectations are met. It’s an exciting journey to get to that point requires you to communicate in a very calm manner and conscious manner.

Doug Holt  0:24  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Tim, how’s it going, brother? 

Tim Matthews  0:35  

Fantastic. You know what? We should have a sound by when you introduce me. There are loads of fans that go, “Yeah!”

Doug Holt  0:40  

Yeah, one of those artificial ones because that’s what it has to be.

Tim Matthews  0:45  

Yeah. Just came into my mind as you will say. “Tim, how are you, brother? “The Powerful Man” Matters” I was like, “Wow, it sounds so cool.”

Doug Holt  0:53  

I love it, man. I love it. Yeah, we get the guys from The Brotherhood to come in and cheer you on during these sessions. Because it would be very fitting, very fitting. I don’t want to give you too many compliments, though; we are guys, after all.

Tim Matthews  1:06  

Yeah, that’d be awesome.

Doug Holt  1:09  

So Tim, will we before we hit record, you told me a really interesting story about a conversation you had recently. Why don’t you kick this one off for us?

Tim Matthews  1:19  

It’ll be my pleasure. So I have just come off a conversation with one of the wives of one of the men in The Brotherhood, and she sent us a message a couple of days ago, that she sent a message in saying that she was quite disappointed and frustrated. The husband does arrive back from The Alpha Reset. He hasn’t changed is what she was believing in and seeing and thinking. She was very frustrated because she thought The Alpha Reset and The Activation Method would be this transformational experience. And let me say transformational, she said, she was very pleased with the results that he got in the first stages. And she pinned all of our hopes on the three days and The Alpha Reset being the catalyst for change, and it was going to arrive back and be this new man. However, he came back and then was repeating some of the old patterns. And then she was frustrated to hear that he joined The Brotherhood because naturally, quite rightly, as he should be. If she’s seen the same behaviors, Then why the hell would you then continue? It just doesn’t make sense. Anyway, I jumped on the phone with this lovely woman because I wanted to understand more about what was going on. Now you and I often talk or don’t we will coach and team, often talk about, and even say this to the guys, “If I was to go to your wife and ask her what her version of the story is, what would she say?”. Sometimes, the guys like to think that they can share all this one side, one version of the story, and get the impression that sometimes they either want or expect or hope that we are just going to back them up. We’re not just going to do that. I’m going to sell the wife down the river. 

Doug Holt  3:20  


Tim Matthews  3:22  

No. So this is where this gets interesting. Again, I reached out to this amazing woman, and I got on the phone with her. And I wanted to know what this particular guy was doing. It turns out when he got back from The Alpha Reset, and he was going on his phone until late. One of the biggest breakthroughs for him and his relationship with his wife in the early stages of The Activation Method was that about 6 pm-7 pm when he arrived home from work, they both put their phone in a drawer. Awesome. They got to connect. Yet, for whatever reason, that’s fallen by the wayside. She shared that with me, and then she shared that he was still speaking to her and the kids being quite short-tempered. And that was one of the main things that came up for us at The Alpha Reset. The conversation got cut short so that I could jump back on the phone with her again. Today, actually, and again, we just had an amazing conversation. I shared with her everything that came up for a husband, and obviously, he was happy for me to share this with what came up for a husband at The Alpha Reset. And what came out of it is that he’s just such a loving guy. This guy runs a scaffolding business. So to put it into context. I think it was one of the guys from the brother who was a volunteer and he works in construction. He was saying you do not pick a fight with a scaffolder. You do not fight with a scaffolder; they’re notoriously hard. And so it gives a little bit of context to the persona that this particular guy has been brought with him. For me to then share with his wife that he broke down in tears at The Alpha Reset sharing how he is just such a loving guy, and he’s so positive, but he’s just lost it over the past 10 or 15 years. he’s become quite negative and angry, and for him to see and realize and accept all this because to a appoints, he didn’t want to be in the room at all. And that’s fine, but when someone’s uncomfortable, it is fidgety. And he was looking around, scratching his head when the guys were going through the exercises; he just wanted to be out of that. But credit to him for staying in the room, staying focused and stuck with it. Right? Right at the end of day 2, that’s when he finally had his release. Then day three, his vision was all around the lifestyle with his wife and kids. Now saying, I want to go on holiday and have the option that if I want to stay in the week, I can be awesome. So then, to get this email from his beautiful wife, I was quite shocked. I’m like, “Wow, this guy is just planned out on day three, how he’s going to structure his business to have more time with you and the kids. Where’s the disconnect here?”. And it turns out the both of those guys, when he came out of The Alpha Reset, weren’t communicating in a way that was conducive to these guys managing the expectations. She said I feel a bit unfair now because my expectations of him were too high. Because I shared that look, change takes time. And now these, these first ten weeks of The Activation Method and The Alpha Reset, have got him moving. It always gets the guys going; you get some unchained. And it’s a great process. And it’s the beginning. Because after that, they can start to build because now they see and realize, actually who they are. And for this guy, in particular, he realized he had been holding on to anger, released that, and accepted what he wanted. And again, the conversation with his wife today ended with her just being over the moon; she was like, “Wow, that’s what he wants for us?!”. And I shared with her his commitments for the next 90 days, which are all around her and the kids. He was also messaging me last night, and I said look because he reached out saying that, again, is mirroring what his wife said in the email. And I said, “Look, she has every right to be annoyed with you. She has every right not to trust you. For the past two years. You’ve not been a nice guy. So she has every right you’ve not the expectations haven’t been identified as a result. They’ve not been met; they’ve been mismanaged”. So the reason why I bring this up for you is that I know you navigate this well in your marriage. And you guys have done a ton of work on this. And the reason I bring it up for the benefit of listeners is that for this particular coupler so in love. So in love, she was in tears by the end of the phone call, tears of joy and relief and happiness. They’re so in love. One thing of unmet expectations or mismanaged expectations and the peace of communication is if they’re committed, and we saw today my conversation with her change everything.

Doug Holt  8:48  

Oh, absolutely. And I know who you’re talking about, and such great people, right? In coaching these men throughout the years, Tim, what we’ve learned, and couples, in general, working with them and seeing their success. The two things that cause the most stress right in a relationship are unmet expectations and good communication or poor communication. Right? That’s when things go awry. Of course, you got money and all these things that people talk about, but those are the two big ones. And when we have something that we expect, we expect in this case, and she’s expecting this big change which this guy had, by the way, he had a complete 180. However, it looks too little too late, right? He’s still got some old patterns. He’s working through this. As we always say, it’s not a quick fix. Anybody that sells a quick fix immediately turns around and runs the other way. So it’s the unmet expectation that comes through if he’s been a jerk, and guys listening to this if you’ve been a jerk in your relationship for 2,4,6,10 years, you can’t expect your partner to all of a sudden. Take your change that you’ve made, you’ve made a drastic change, you’ve lost weight, you’re nicer, all of a sudden, you’re taken out, what have you, the proof is in the pudding, right? You need to make that time up. If you’ve been a jerk for two years, you got to be a nice guy for three years. You get to make up for a lost time to prove who you are. And so, the feminine spirit comes in and will test the masculine energy to make sure that it’s true, right? Can I trust this new you? And we talked about expectations. What happens most of the time, and it sounds like it happened in this case, Tim is the expectation itself hasn’t been communicated. I expect you to do XYZ; that’s not been communicated. So he or she has this hidden expectation of what will happen that she probably didn’t communicate with her husband. Her husband has this expectation, “Hey, I’ve changed my ways, mostly. So see me how I am now”. But he hasn’t communicated that either. And now you have two people with expectations of a situation, and we have an expectation. Let’s remember, and we’ve talked about this in previous podcasts. And for those listening, I encourage you to go back and re-listen to the ones we’ve talked about with expectation because they’re so powerful. But when you have an expectation, that’s a yes or no situation, black or white. It’s one way or the other. Right? There’s no “and” it’s an “or” situation. Did he change? Or is he the same? Right? There’s no possibility and an expectation, which is also an issue that’s there. So she doesn’t communicate the anticipation; he doesn’t communicate his expectation. Now you have two individuals in love with hidden expectations, black and white, of the way things should be, and the other person should act. Yet no one communicates, no one talks about it. So you’re setting yourself up for almost guaranteed disappointment. Right? The real other alternative is what about the possibility, right? The option, the “and” situation? What if he does change, and she looks for those little changes because I also know from talking to you about this offline that she noticed a ton of changes this man went through, right, these little things. Right away, she was like, “Wow, I’m on board.” If I’m not mistaken, I hope I can speak freely, or I’ll just talk about other couples in general. Often, one couple got one, maybe even two feet out the door. And when they start to see and focus on the changes the “and” the possibility that brings the marriage and relationship back together, but we are looking for all of a sudden, this radical change and you’re looking for the wrong, you’re going to find the wrong, you’re going to hit that telephone pole. And especially when expectations aren’t communicated, you’re setting your partner up for complete failure, Tim, and it just never works out. 

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Tim Matthews  13:53  

Yeah, I think that’s what happened to the citizens because she said, I feel bad now at the end of the course. I feel like I had unfair expectations of him. And I said, Well, it just is what it is. Don’t you stop beating yourself up now? It’s, it’s a great lesson. And when it comes through the door tonight, maybe you want to share that with him. Perhaps you want to apologize, and who knows, maybe that’ll open up a conversation he’ll apologize to. Now I think the big thing that came out of our discussion, mine and hers, is the expectations piece. I said I shared with her that look, and this will take time, there’s going to be bumps in the road. As long as we all go into the same place, which we are, you said what you want is the lifestyle. And so you’re able to have the freedom with her husband and with your kids. And he wants that too. So we’re on the same page you both want. The same thing was as a coach and staff and a coaching team. And the men or the men in The Brotherhood are all clear on that, and I’m going to help you there too. So as long as we’re all committed to going to the same place. There are going to be bumps in the road; they just are. And now, as long as you both have the right support around you, and you committed to going to the same place, and you love one another, then we can navigate those bumps very differently. I think for her that because she was just so hungry to be in the relationship with her husband and have him be the man she knows he’s capable of being. It’s almost like that hunger turned into a last-ditch attempt that these three days we’re going to change and save their marriage completely. But we all know that it never happens that way, does it what happens after those three days. As you said, if you’ve been a jerk for two years, get to be a nice guy for three. And in communicating that with her, I think it well, you could just she even said no, she was so relieved. I feel better now. Ah, in her mind, she should know thought things, should be a certain way. And now we’ve changed expectations and opened up, opened up new possibilities. And the great thing about this as well, this is what I love about what happens here. Doug will send us an email at the end of every week with a summary of their relationship. What’s great about that is that as we have been in communication with her home, now I’ve told her husband as well, I’ve been in communication with his wife. And he already knows, of course, but I have said to him that the conclusion of that conversation, that’s the great thing about this is it’s not like, he can then go off and be a certain guy and BS husband or father, but then show up to the calls with those, and tell us a different story. Because everyone’s going to be in the picture here, it’s important to make sure that these two are very clearly in love and that individuals can thrive together. Sometimes he’s crazy because sometimes the wives say, I’m going to tell author, I’m going to tell him, I want to speak now I’m going to tell, they kind of threaten, the husband, with the coaches, which is excellent, because in terms of expectations, and making sure that everyone’s on the same page. So everyone can be happy together, it’s so key to then have that container in which you’re going to be held to that higher standard too because at the end of the day, communication and making sure you communicate tariffs expectations are met, it’s an interesting journey to get to that point, it requires you to be able to communicate in a very calm manner. And be able to communicate in a very conscious manner so you’re not attacking the other person, not trying to prove you’re right and they’re wrong. Just being grounded, being calm, taking on a ship, understanding the feminine energy as well, like you were saying they’re going to test you, it’s going to be tested, it’s going to test the masculine to make sure it can stand firm and stand strong. It takes time; you always say about going to the gym and getting your reps in. Same thing here; there are going to be times when you do not communicate in the way that you would like to have is conducive. As long as you then are aware of that and adjust, you’ll get there.

Doug Holt  18:41  

Beautifully said. So Tim, was to summarize the topic here of you navigating unmet expectations. When I think about the takeaways here for the men and women listening to this, the biggest thing here is twofold. One is realizing when you have expectations versus possibilities, right? And again, the difference is an expectation is black and white. I expect him to show up to our meetings on time. If Tim doesn’t show up to our meetings, I get upset. If he does, everything’s fine. Whereas the possibility, like yeah, Tim’s we have a meeting, Tim will show up. It’s all good. Then if Tim doesn’t show up late, I’m like, maybe he got caught up in traffic. He was talking to his girl. He’s working with the guys. We’re still good. And then we could have communication about it. Right? This is our relationship, which is kind of like a marriage of sorts. And so there’s no anger there. There’s no unmet expectation because it’s a possibility. So, step one recognizes when you have an expectation and decide right then, of course, if you want to change that, but the second part of that is the communication of that action. Dictation, right? So if I say, “Tim, I expect you to be on time because it’s really important to me, and I expect you to show up right on time,” you then have the power to say, “Cool, Doug, I’m going to do that” or “No, I got things going on. So that’s too much pressure” or what have you. Now we can have a dialogue and communication. And that’s how you get past these upsets. And these upsets in relationships, especially romantic relationships, carry over, right, because they break out into a fight. My expectation isn’t met. Now, I’m angry because you’ve disrespected me somehow, even though it wasn’t communicated. And now you have this couple, and it’s going to be mad at each other for days, if not weeks. And in between, you’re going to have other expectations that aren’t met. They’re going to get stacked upon each other. And that’s how we get into these situations. 

Tim Matthews  20:50  

Completely. So well said, and again, it’s a journey, isn’t it? We’re still on the journey; we’ll always be on the journey. Always be on the journey. As you were sharing that, Doug, I was thinking about times that this has happened with Amelia, and I’m very grateful for the awareness of having the fantastic support that you and other people around me have. But I think for me, the biggest wound for me is to navigate all I expect that I feel like I am judged or I don’t feel good enough. It always comes down to me; it’s still like I’m not being heard, or my opinion doesn’t matter. There are many different forms of symptoms that can come up, but it always comes back to that one call or wound, if you will, of not feeling good enough. that then makes me want to if I’m not aware of that means that my communication from that point then becomes very reactionary. And that does not help in navigating my expectations. Like you just said, that never feels like an argument and a fight because both effectively, both people are fine to be seen and heard. So it is so yeah, you said it so well.

Doug Holt  22:30  

Well, On that note, that’s a wrap for us today, guys. So we will see you again for the next episode. And guys, when you get a chance here, it helps us out a lot when we appreciate you sharing this with other men as you build your tribe. But if you could also leave a comment or review wherever you’re finding this episode. We much appreciate that that allows other men like you to join in the conversation with us. Until the next episode for Tim and I, we will see you next time. 

See you, guys.


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