Is This Worth Saving?

Episode #567

Are you wondering if you should save the marriage or not?

Do you still love your wife?

If you still love each other, then you can save the marriage before it’s too late. Choose to be a better man for yourself without expecting anything from her.

In this episode, we’re sharing how to know if your marriage is worth saving and what you can do to win her heart again by showing her that you’ve changed.


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Doug Holt  00:00

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 with my co-host Tim, The Powerful Man Matthews. Now let’s get this started. Hey, guys, welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. Tim, how are you doing, Brother?

Tim Matthews  00:31

I’m doing okay. I’m doing okay.

Doug Holt  00:34

Are you doing okay? I’m doing okay, as well. It’s my anniversary today. So I was going to take this week off. I know, you probably don’t recall it. But a couple of times, I had mentioned in our team meetings I wouldn’t work this week. It’s my wife’s birthday this week. It’s our anniversary. And here we are, I love doing this for the men. It’s a lot of fun. Got a lot, as you said in the previous podcast, there’s just so much going on in the movement. And I get hyped about it. And something that came up for me. I was thinking about this.  Last night, my wife and I did this epic hike, just a big mountain hike. And in my backpack, I had a bottle of champagne and two camping metal tumblers with me. And as we sat on this overlook, overlooking because I live in the National Forest, I looked at these beautiful majestic mountains on this overlook (which is a fire lookout tower) and popped a cork of champagne. And we’re just celebrating, right? We’re happier than we’ve been probably in nine years. And it got me to reflect on it.

Because the question that we get asked a lot at The Powerful Man is, is it worth saving? Is my marriage worth working on?  And I think it’s really interesting. And it’s special timing for me because I’ve shared publicly that my wife and I went through a tough time. And at one point in our marriage, very early on, right? I didn’t know if it was worth working on. I had this exact same question going through my head, and I’ve talked about it. And I distinctly remember, so my wife and I separated, right? I took off, and I went down to San Diego, California. I had a house on the beach, and I remember running on the sand and going for a run. And you know, that kind of cool crisp wave air as it hits the water sitting there hits the water, and it sprayed on me. And I remember thinking, “is this worth working on?” have I done all the necessary things for this?”. And I came to the same conclusion. And you know, as I’m sitting there with my wife, today or last night, on this overlook, I am so glad I did.  And what I decided there, Tim was, look, if we still love each other, then it’s worth working on. And I started asking myself some very deliberate questions on the beach that day. I sat down in the sand, you know, still a great view of San Diego, and I started asking myself a couple of questions. 

One is Do I still love her? Yes or no? And this is what I asked the guys today. Right? Do you still love your wife? And if the answer is yes, then I say it is worth working on, assuming she’s willing to work on it too. Right? It doesn’t mean she has to do the work today. But do you still want to do the work yourself? Because that’s number two. Right? So question number two is I said, Am I the absolute best version of myself? The answer was no. Right? Am I always the best? Now? Honestly, I wasn’t.  So then I thought about it for a little while… If I’m not being the best version of myself, how can I expect my wife to be the best version of herself? And why don’t I go all in and do everything I can for 60 days? 30 to 60 days, and make sure I’m consistently the best version of Doug I could be. Show my wife not only for her but for myself, right? That’s where I started doing that for myself. And I chose to go into it without worrying about her making any changes. And then Tim, I’m so glad I made that decision. 

That’s what I did. I went all in on working on Doug, all in on working on myself. I didn’t ask my wife to do anything. But I’ll tell you what, she noticed a huge shift in me. Right? And when I started making those changes, guess who else made changes later on? My wife.  Now hindsight being 2020, I know this is nothing new to you, Tim, or for guys that have been listening to this podcast for the last few years, is when the man shows up as the man that his wife has already seen him be… In other words, your wife knows who you can be as a man, so when we don’t show up fully, she’s let down. When we show up as that powerful man or the WOLF who’s Wise, Open, Loving, and Fierce… What tends to happen is the woman starts to follow the lead. Right? She starts to work on herself afterward. Because what happens in her psychology is she says, okay, he’s willing to put in the work. He’s not only just saying it, right? Because how many times as guys do we say, Oh, I’m going to do that tomorrow. Oh, I’m going to start that diet. Oh, you know what, honey, don’t you know, don’t give me any potatoes. I’m doing carnivore, paleo, whatever it may be. Only for a week later, we’re down in a pizza and some beer, right? And that’s just diet alone. So she’s heard this all before and wants to see action. 

And this hit me hard, Tim, because, you know, here I am, nine years later, on this overlook, with this woman who’s looking at me, with the same eyes, if not more intense that she looked at me when she said “I do,” when we got married, the smile, the love, I got a picture, and I’ll show it to the guys on the Facebook group. There’s a picture of her, and the sun is coming down to the clouds behind her. And you can see the sun’s rays. And you can just see how radiant and happy she is. I didn’t take her to a fancy dinner; we didn’t go on a huge cruise or on a Caribbean vacation. We went on a hike. A simple hike brought a bottle of champagne. It was a nice bottle, but nothing big, and my wife was on cloud nine. And the reason she was is that I put in the work that nine years ago. And we’re here today.

So if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re in the situation, trying to figure out if it’s worth saving, if it is worth working on, or said another way, the question I had for myself was, “if she’s not doing the work, why should I?.. Especially if I don’t know if it’s going to work out anyway.”. Right? “Why don’t I put this effort into finding another woman?” I was thinking. But instead, if there’s love there, and if you still have work to do yourself, invest in yourself with that time. Because I can’t imagine my life if I had filed for divorce or if my wife and we would have separated. And me knowing that I didn’t put the work in, how that would feel today, nine years later, if we were divorced, I would always be wondering, what if? What if I did? You know, put the work? And what if I did step up? And to me, that’s got to be the biggest pain point for many guys.

Tim Matthews  07:14

Yeah, I mean, luckily for us, we work with guys that choose to do what you did, you know, we get to see that side of it. We get to see which guys choose to go all in on themselves. The guys choose to take responsibility and ownership for their side of the street and do the work on it. And it’s fantastic. Because, nine times out of 10, we know the result that produces, especially when there’s love still there, and especially when the guys drop the stubbornness that often gets in the way in the beginning, right?  We often hear, “Well, no, why should I do it? She should do it.” “I’ve already tried,” “I’ve done this,” “I’ve done that.” Usually, what guys don’t understand as well as the things that they’ve tried, if they have done them from a place of transaction, such as “okay, I’m gonna do this, and then I expect you to do that,” is creating covert contracts with their wife. These contracts say that you just do something to get something in return. But you don’t communicate that to the other person, so they don’t know about it.  A covert contract is an unwritten agreement, a contract you make in your mind.

And it’s interesting because we spoke to a man joining The Activation Method yesterday, and that was his exact thing. He said he’d inconsistently put in all this effort over the previous few years. He had made some effort, but didn’t see what he wanted in return, then tried again, but didn’t see what he wanted from his wife and stopped. And we could see he’s had this inconsistency with his efforts. So to his wife, she thinks, ‘hang on a minute, he’s only going to do this and act this way when he gets what he wants. He isn’t doing it for the right reason’, which is an important distinction. As you said, Doug, you’re doing it for you. Not for Erin; you’re doing it for yourself because you realize that you get to change to be a better man for yourself first and foremost. So you can better lead your life regardless of whether she’s there. And naturally, that’s a very attractive place for a woman to be as well. Because naturally, if a man sets a direction, takes the course of action, and goes there, regardless, people typically don’t want to be left out, right? They think, ‘Hey, what’s going on over there?’ Curiosity starts to peak. So you’ve got to be doing it for the right reasons. There cannot be any covert contracts. And you’ve got to be only doing it for the right reasons. Typically, consistency is far easier because consistency doesn’t become an issue.

Doug Holt  10:01

No, it doesn’t at all. So guys, if you find yourself in this situation, right? And you’re wondering, hey, look, is this worth saving? Right? I’m going to invite you to do what I did. And fast forward to today, where we’ve had 1000s of other men do this; first and foremost, ask yourself this question…’ Do I love her?’ Yes, or No, I don’t want to hear the story. She’s had an affair; you’ve had an affair? You know, whatever it may be, just yes or no? And if the answer is yes, then it’s worth working on.  And what I mean by that is you get to set some clear boundaries. So if, for example, your wife is still having an affair, in other words, she’s still sleeping with another guy, you get to draw a line in the sand. You have to protect your own health and mental health for your own sanity. You can’t put up with that. It’s just not fair. However, maybe she’s had an affair. Maybe she hasn’t. If she stopped, you still love her; the answer is yes, it is worth working on. But you have to double down on yourself and your growth. You just have to. Actions speak louder than words.

We’ve said this many times in the podcast. You guys have all heard this before.  What’s the definition of Hell? Well, the definition of Hell is meeting the man you could have been. And, as Tim said, we’re lucky to meet and work with so many men who have invested in themselves and are turning themselves around. And on the flip side of that, we also get to talk to many guys who have left it till it’s too late. And they have a lot of regrets, so we get to talk to the guys who said, ‘Screw this, I’m not going to do it unless she does it.’, And ‘I don’t know if it’s worth it.’ We then get the call a year or two later, saying, ‘I wish I would have done it. Now it’s too late.’. Now a couple of those guys’ credits are going through the program because the patterns are repeating themselves, and in their second, third, or fourth marriage, it doesn’t go away.  And that’s what you get to understand was another decision I made.

I’ve talked about this before, and I knew whatever baggage I was carrying, or whatever fault I may have had personally within my marriage, I was just going to take that into the next relationship.  I was smart enough to know that even though I thought I was pretty close to perfect, it was all her fault, right? You know, but I knew that if I just left and went with another woman, the pattern would repeat itself differently, in a different light, right? And so that’s where you also get to realize, guys, that when you invest in yourself, whether it be time, money, or some other resource when you invest in yourself, you can only get exponential gains. No one can ever take that away from you, and your stock continues to rise. You can take that new knowledge, practices, and behavior into the next month, year, and decade and continue to invest in yourself and grow.  I mean, you guys that listen to this, most of you are Business Owners or Executives; you know that learning a new skill only makes you better. That it only makes you better as a leader, better as a man, and better as a Business Owner. And the same thing applies to marriage. We’re just never taught these skills. So it’s not our fault.

Tim Matthews  13:22

Yeah, very true. Very true. Well said.

Doug Holt  13:26

So Tim, what would you advise a guy sitting there and thinking, ‘man, I don’t know, my wife, you know, she just needs to be the one to make these changes. I’m doing all the work here.’. What would you have him do?

Tim Matthews  13:42

I think all you’ve said is spot on. First, sit down and ask yourself, do you still love her? If the answer is yes, and she’s willing to work on it as well, I mean, look, even if she isn’t willing to work on it…We’ve had so many situations where the wife has said, ‘Nope, not interested.’ We’ve had situations where they’ve been going through a divorce, and the wife has moved out. Where they’ve not been together for a year…  I could list many different scenarios where it would appear she isn’t willing to work on it. But as soon as the guy becomes committed. This means you determine that the answer is yes; you still love her and are committed to working on it. As soon as that happens, and you stop being a victim, wishing that she would change because obviously, that’s easier, everything changed. 

It’s easier to point the blame, so look at your shortcomings. Answer that question, sit down, and look where you did not step up to the line. Ask yourself, what does your side of the street look like? You could write down all your complaints about your wife and then look at how you do them. Maybe it’s that she’s messy or that she complains or that she’s negative, or whatever it may be? And then have a look at how you do those exact things. Because I think it’s very important that we commit to this. So, what do you get to do? How do you get to clean up your side of the street? 

The easiest and fastest path is The Activation Method, but if you don’t want to do that, that’s fine. Get clear on where you’re at. Then, you get to set your course of action and go there without expecting any reaction, response, or anything from your wife. You’re not doing this for her. You’re doing it for you.  So I’d also write down the reasons why you must change for you. Why must you change right now, for you? And then from there, obviously, you can get moving. You want to get your Alpha Rise and Shine in place. You want to get your Alpha Decompression in place because they will be your cornerstones. These two things are going to help you start and finish strong. But I think the biggest thing is to get clear on your commitment because that’s something she has seen lacking from you in many ways over the years. And I think as soon as she sees the commitment and consistency, a lot of things can come from the curiosity, the intrigue, the desire, everything that often goes hand in hand with relationship healing.

Doug Holt  16:41

Yeah, guys. So you know, one thing that you get to realize here, for guys that are in this situation where you feel like your wife’s moved on, you know, because a lot of guys find themselves in this situation where she’s moved on physically and found another man or moved out of the house, or moved on emotionally where she ignores you and all you guys do is argue, is you get to remember that she once loved you, right? Probably passionately. And she looked at you with love, respect, and admiration.  The cool thing is you can get that back. But it starts with you doing the work on yourself. Right? So if you’re ever feeling stuck and unclear, this is a sign that you’re deactivated. That’s exactly why we have The Activation Method. Whatever you do…do something, and take decisive action. Do what I did at that beach, physically and metaphorically, where I drew a line in the sand. And I made massive moves and changes. I didn’t have The Powerful Man. It didn’t exist back then. So I had to do it the hard way. You guys have the opportunity to use a proven methodology.  Heck, we’ve got over 600 podcasts. We have about 600 podcasts on here, just shy of it, that you can delve through. Now, it’s not as good as getting coaching. But you’re going to get some helpful information. I’m going to encourage you to do that. Maybe it’s not the right time for you to join The Activation Method. Maybe you don’t have the resources. But there’s tons of free stuff that Tim and I and the rest of the coaches and team are putting out regularly.  We’re doing Live Q&As, completely free. We’re doing specialized groups, completely free. There are things that you can do if you want to shorten the gap of time, right? If you want to get there faster, that’s when you do The Activation Method. It’s a proven technique that’s worked for 1000s of other men. You know, I just I’m passionate about this. Again, it’s my anniversary today, guys. I’m coming on here because I love you guys. I want the best for you. As I always say, I can’t do the push-ups for you. Just like you know, some of you guys are in great shape. You can’t do the push-ups for me. But you can want it for me. And you can encourage me, and I’m encouraging you to take massive action, guys.  Remember, I am in your corner. Guys, please, as we always say, Take massive action, and we’ll see you next time. 

All right, guys, that’s a wrap for this episode. But as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. You see, there are two types of men that listen to a podcast like this, those that go on from one podcast or show to another just hoping things are going to change only to realize that they’re going to be in the same place month after month, year after year. You see, I was this guy, so I completely get it. He may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man who listens to a show just like this. And this is a guy who takes massive action so they can shorten the learning curve, compress time and get results to be the WOLF. See Wolf is an acronym for Wise Open, Loving, and Fierce. Now ask yourself which am I and just be honest with yourself there, and there’s no judgment on my end, but if you’re ready to move from deactivated DEER mode, which is Defend Excuse Explain React, to activated WOLF mode, again, that’s Wise Open, Loving and Fierce then go over to and go there now.


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