Marriage Myth: Happy Wife, Happy Life

Episode #740

Have you ever found yourself compromising your own happiness and identity to ensure your partner’s contentment?
Do you believe that the notion of “happy wife, happy life” holds true in modern relationships, or does it lead to an imbalance of power and a loss of authenticity between partners?
You see, it’s essential to maintain your own happiness and sense of self while also nurturing your relationship. When we give too much of ourselves to please someone else, we can end up losing sight of who we are and what truly makes us happy.
It’s crucial to strike a balance between meeting your partner’s needs and fulfilling your own desires. So, how do you navigate this delicate balance? How do you ensure that both you and your partner are content and fulfilled in the relationship?
In this episode, we’ll explore the complexities of maintaining a strong sense of self within a relationship, the importance of setting healthy boundaries, and the significance of mutual respect.
We’ll uncover practical strategies to prioritize your own happiness while fostering a deep and meaningful connection with your partner. We will also learn the keys to building a strong and fulfilling relationship based on authenticity, mutual understanding, and shared respect.

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Doug Holt  00:00

Hey, guys, welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. Today we want to talk about yet another marriage myth, and I want to know if it’s fact or fiction, guys. Although saying it’s a marriage myth kind of presets the tone, and this is one I heard a lot when I got married, and I’m sure you guys have, too. Happy wife, happy life by your laughs and giggles.

Tim Matthews  01:02


Arthur Magoulianiti  01:04

Hell no.

Doug Holt  01:07

Hell no. Explain more.

Arthur Magoulianiti  01:08

Wow. Well, it t’s going to be a bit of a discussion here. If we live our lives trying to make someone else happy, in that process, we really make ourselves unhappy. I’m simplifying terms here, but that’s what it is. If we are aiming just to get one person to a state of happiness, then we probably are giving up what makes us happy. Number one, we are going way beyond into the other person’s camp. We can never make anybody else happy. So straight away, we trying to achieve something that we can’t possibly do. That person needs to find happiness within themselves in order to be truly happy. So we’re just chasing the wrong objective and something that we can never really attain.

Doug Holt  01:59

Love it. Love it. I’ll also add on to that. I mean, I think all of us want our wives to be happy.

Arthur Magoulianiti  02:05


Doug Holt  02:06

Right? But the equation is missing some elements. It’s not happy wife equals happy life. There’s a lot of things that come in there, and when guys operate from that, and I know for me, when I operated from that portion of happy wife equals happy life, I fell into the quote, nice guy realm. How do I make her happy? How do I do that? Okay.

And I’ve told this story a lot, too. As I remember, my wife and I were going through our crap. I was running multiple companies. I was still playing soccer competitively. My version of competitively anyway. I was involved in the Rotary Club. I was doing all these things, and I took a half day came back to our house, put on a pot of coffee, cranked the music up, and cleaned the flipping house because it was one of her pet peeves that the house wasn’t clean enough and it wasn’t that I was making the house dirty. We were making the house dirty, and I cleaned the house. I mean, it looked good.

And I remember her walking in the door. It did. I remember walking the door and her going, oh, you didn’t clean the oven. And I about lost my shit. Right? And that was because I was so focused on the external validation of her being happy equated to me being a good man, her being happy equated to me being a great husband, those kinds of things. I didn’t realize that whatever I did had nothing to do with her level of happiness. Now, of course I could affect it. Things I do, my energy, all of these things are contributing factors. But you could do all the right things. And there could be other external or internal factors happening to her, excluded of you, that could cause her not to be happy. Right? So that’s a losing formula.

Tim Matthews  03:43

Reminds me of the podcast that we did a long time ago. Don’t ruffle any feathers. This idea that you just want to keep the peace and to your point, make other people happy and you just lose yourself in it. Right? And that pissed her off anyway, right? Because we said it on a podcast a couple of episodes ago, she marries the man that she knows you’re capable of being, or she sees the man you’re capable of being.

So for you to then take this approach of, I’m just going to please you because then I have a good life, that just frustrates her because she doesn’t want to be with a guy that’s flaccid and has no backbone and doesn’t have an opinion and doesn’t know what he likes and just agrees and is subservient. I mean, it’s not great to be around guys like that, be in business or in a relationship, and quite honestly, you don’t trust guys like that because, you know there’s something going on. Hang on a minute. This guy seems to agree with everyone. This guy’s a bit of a chameleon. He likes him. He likes that. It’s just a bit odd.

Doug Holt  04:51

We don’t know where they stand.

Tim Matthews  04:52

Exactly. That’s my point.

Doug Holt  04:54

I get it. That’s what I’m saying.

Arthur Magoulianiti  04:56

Yeah. So imagine living with a guy like that. It does not equate to a happy life. Be it for her, be it for you, be it for the family. You’ve got to be willing to ruffle some feathers, embrace a little bit of disagreement with some curiosity, too, to understand one another, but at the same time, know what you want. So know who you are, know what you want, and take a stand for that.

Doug Holt  05:20

Well, there’s that theory, right when you look into the nice guy syndrome. We’ve done a bunch of podcasts on that, and guys should go back and listen to those or watch those if you’re not familiar with it. But it’s the idea that a woman will naturally do shit tests. And why does she do them? Well, they’re unconscious, usually, and she does them because if her man can’t stand up to her, how the heck is he going to stand up to the guy down the street or the other situation? He’s not going to be able to, because she knows how strong she is and she’s strong, but physiologically, men tend to be stronger. We have more testosterone. We’re just built differently biologically.

So if I can’t stand up to my wife, how the heck am I going to defend her? How the heck am I going to be able to stand up for myself or for her in a situation that’s critical? So that equates to her not being safe. And if she’s not safe, I can sure as h*** tell you she’s not happy.

Tim Matthews  06:12

Big time.

Arthur Magoulianiti  06:14

Now, I want to turn this conversation around a little bit, because there is an element to the truth that if partners aren’t happy in a relationship, then life is not great.

Doug Holt  06:21

Of course.

Arthur Magoulianiti  06:22

And when you have an unhappy partner, we said you can’t make her happy. But if someone is unhappy, then that really brings down the rest of the areas, of the five areas that we talk about. And so, although all of us said, like it’s a myth, there is an element of truth that both parties have to be happy in order to have.

Tim Matthews  06:41

A distinction, though, right?

Doug Holt  06:43

Well, yeah, and I’m going to jump in here — [Crosstalk]. It’s only part of the equation is –- [Crosstalk]

Arthur Magoulianiti  06:50

I love that.

Doug Holt  06:52

You need happy husband plus happy wife, equals happy life.

Tim Matthews  06:56


 Arthur Magoulianiti  06:57


Tim Matthews  06:58

Of the relationship.

Doug Holt  06:59


Arthur Magoulianiti  06:59

To have happy. Yeah.

Arthur Magoulianiti  07:00


Doug Holt  07:01

Yeah. What can you affect? Well, you can’t affect your wife’s happiness. You can contribute to it. You can’t affect it. You can only affect yours. And so when men turn inward and they learn how to affect their own happiness and yet still make their wife feel seen, heard, and desired, it creates a pathway for her. And then you control yourself, that bleeds over and allows her a space to be happier. And with the men that we work with. And I’m going to guess the men that listen to this, they are naturally more masculine in nature. They may have lost it in the house, but by nature, they’re more masculine. And when they show up as a masculine man, which, by the way, is respectful, you know, [inaudible 0:07:39]

Tim Matthews  07:40

You need to be careful.

Doug Holt  07:41

So many caveats. When they show up as a masculine man, it allows her to be feminine. And I think a lot — femininity, I think, is more powerful than masculinity. But when she can be in her feminine, it allows her to be more natural in her element, allows the man to be more masculine, natural in his element. That creates an easier pathway towards happiness.

Tim Matthews  08:00

The whole idea of I love you, but I don’t like you right now. I love you, but I’m going to say some things that you might not like in service of you, me, the relationship. Right? Again refueling those feathers versus I love you. So I’m going to be subservient to you, and I’m going to tell you what you want to hear. And it may not be the truth, but I think you might like that is not a recipe for happiness for anybody.

Arthur Magoulianiti  08:25

Yeah. It goes to something we were talking about earlier on. And it was like, some guys are in a relationship and they feel like they are not equal partners. Right?

Doug Holt  08:33


Arthur Magoulianiti  08:33

And so they play themselves down in order to not upset, and you said it, ruffle the feathers of their partner so that they can, and it’s a good guy syndrome, a nice guy syndrome, should I say. But they don’t feel like they’re equal partners. And it’s crazy because then they always sort of apologetically asking for what they want.

Tim Matthews  08:53

Well, why don’t they feel like they’re equal partners?

Doug Holt  08:56

Why don’t they feel like they’re equal partners? Because they’ve given up power in the marriage and the relationship. And so when their wife is shit tested them, they’ve thought of being a real test or a real complaint, and they feel like they’re not good enough. They’re not showing up as a good enough husband, good enough father, all of these things. And therefore, their wife has to take the dominant role in the relationship.

Tim Matthews  09:16

Got it.

Doug Holt  09:17

And then they become subservient because they don’t want to ruffle the feathers. Like, if I wait and I don’t open my mouth and I just do what she says – [Crosstalk] then things will be okay. Then things will be okay. And then that leads to no polarity, which leads to a sexless marriage, essentially. Right? Yeah. And neither person’s happy. Right? Let’s just call what it is. Neither person’s happy. And this happens, and then they have this juxtaposition of being the man in business and then outside the door, and as soon as they put their hand on the doorknob and they turn that handle and they open the door, they become subservient to the wife.

And the wife doesn’t want another child, adult child. She doesn’t want a dog in the house. That isn’t as good as a dog. Right? Do you know what I’m saying? That someone just does whatever she says. And to some degree, people want somebody like that that to help them out. But there’s rules to the game. There’s ways of doing it where you can show up as a man that contributes to the house, contributes to part of the workload, watching the kids doing the laundry or whatever. You agree with your partner, but it’s not doing it subservient to you. And example, you’ll hear. Sometimes guys will say, hey, I want to go out with the guys. And the wife will say, no, I want to do this, this, and this. But then she’ll go out with the girls, right?

That’s a very different situation. Like, wait a minute. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, so to speak. Or what’s good for the gander should be good for the goose. There gets to be agreements made within the relationship. And all too often, guys put themselves down or put themselves back just to make her happy and not upset. Case in point, we were having a conversation outside about dinner tonight and things like that, and that’s what was going through my head. And it’s like, okay, at what point are you giving in your wants and needs? And what point are you being respectful to your partner’s desires? Right? And you get to juggle. This is a dance.

Tim Matthews  11:12

Yeah. That is a dance.

Doug Holt  11:13

Yeah, it’s a dance.

Tim Matthews  11:14

The point is, there’s a mutual respect there, right? There’s a mutual appreciation of one another and respect of one another. So there’s give and take, whereas a guy just saying, oh, I’ll stay home, and then the woman always going out, or vice versa, that’s just not going to work.

Arthur Magoulianiti  11:30

And the irony is this, that she fell in love with a guy that was doing stuff that made him happy, all right? And then direction had. Direction did things that filled his tanks. So he was happy, he was satisfied, he was fulfilled. Then they met, and suddenly he starts shifting to make her happy. And stops doing all of the stuff that made him who he was that she fell in love with.

Doug Holt  11:52

And that’s why he gets to become reactivated there. We, that’s why we have The Activation Method, right? So men can become reactivated into the marriage. And that’s why, to Tim’s point, in previous podcasts, we hear so many guys whose wives encourage them to go to our events because they come back more fulfilled. They come back as the men they used to. That’s not the men they used to be, but an element of that. They’re the men they used to be. The mojo with the wisdom and knowledge.

Tim Matthews  12:18

Back, like the man that she desires. She sees is there. There’s nothing more frustrating than her seeing his potential and him either not seeing it or not wanting to activate it. Those women get excited about the possibility of this guy coming back because they’ve got an idea of what they’re going to get.

Doug Holt  12:38

Yeah, it’s very true. And so when you think about this whole myth of happy wife, happy life, it doesn’t play out for anybody.

Tim Matthews  12:46

No, I think about the guys. How many posts we’ve seen in workplace, the workplace is obviously for those that don’t know the community, the private community, for all the men in the movement and of the men that I’ve seen posting and sharing since returning from Banff, there’s a good percentage of them that have been woken up in the middle of the night by their wife for bagels. Constantly, time and time again. Guys that have been greeted with banners and balloons.

Doug Holt  13:12

That was really cool. Shaken Bay.

Tim Matthews  13:15

Yeah, there’s a few of them barefoot. It’s been awesome to see.

Arthur Magoulianiti  13:19

And why. What was the theme for Banff?

Doug Holt  13:22


Arthur Magoulianiti  13:23

So they shifted the energy and bang?

Doug Holt  13:25

Yeah. And it’s really incredible. And guys, if you don’t know what Tim means by bagels, you can figure it out. It’s something that turned it started. I don’t know how that, I know how it started. But men in our community call – [Crosstalk] bagels. Yeah. So it happens a lot. And it’s because the man’s doing something exciting. It’s mysterious. We talked about this in another podcast. If your wife loves you, she wants the best version of you. And sometimes she doesn’t know how to express that. Sometimes she doesn’t know. She can feel left out, left behind. And she’s going to react and she’s going to give shit tests. And they got to remember that a shit test is a manufactured complaint and it’s how you handle it. It’s using. What we teach is the Hidden Motives Technique , using that, like an Aikido master, to defend and deflect those. And that turns that into intimacy oftentimes.

And when you can do that effectively, your wife’s going to respect you more, she’s going to admire you more. And that’s a turn on. That is a big turn on. Women want a man that they can respect and admire. Right? A strong leader in their home doesn’t just mean physically strong. Some women like physically strong, some women don’t. But they all want a strong male presence in their home, for their children and for themselves. And you can provide that for them. And it’s really just a shift.

Arthur Magoulianiti  14:42

Yeah. She doesn’t want a yes man.

Doug Holt  14:45

No, not at all. So let’s leave these guys with. We’ll do what we’ve been doing. Let’s do three takeaways that these guys can apply to your day. So, guys, I’m going to ask you that if we’re going to give you three takeaways, you got to take some action. And I want to see some of that action either posted in our private community for our alumni, but we also have a private community on Facebook for men that aren’t in the movement, who aren’t alumni.

I should say they’re in the movement, but they haven’t gone through The Activation Method, which is our premier flagship course. So post that, we want to hear from you guys. It helps inspire us when we take this time to record these for you guys. Tim, I’ll start with you. Give me one.

Tim Matthews  15:24

One actionable item. Just take ownership. If you’ve listened to this and it’s resonated, then where in your life are you being subservient or a nice guy in order to make your wife’s life easier? Be a people pleaser to her. Right? But also, where else are you doing it outside of the relationship? Because the likelihood is, if you’re doing it in the relationship, there’ll be places outside of the relationship you’re doing it as well.

So draw those parallels. Look at how this is showing up in your life, and then you can begin to actually deconstruct it and get in tune with what your truth is in those moments and begin to speak up. And on top of that, we give the guys at Alpha Rise & Shine. It’s a Morning Routine that gets them very in tune with themselves. And once you’re in tune with yourself, it’s much easier for you to understand what your truth is and be connected to how it feels to speak and embody your truth, which then makes it easier throughout that day to say yes or no to something, right? For it to mean something to you.

So whether for you as a listener, it’s the ARS, because you’re part of the community, or whether it’s breath work or journaling or something, but do something each morning, each day to get in tune with your truth. What’s a yes and no? And begin to start speaking it and really owning it.

Arthur Magoulianiti  16:51

Yeah, awesome. And just to extend on that, you got to be happy. So you got to do stuff that fills your tanks, focus on you, your lone time, doing things that you love, doing things that you might have done ages ago that you stopped doing in order to please her or to have more time for her. Go back to that. What was it that you really enjoyed, that inspired you, that made you excited, that you loved, and start doing that again?

Doug Holt  17:15

Love it. Both of those, I’ll throw the third one is become reactivated. And what I mean by that is come back to what your point is. Become more the man you used to be, when you had that core of yourself, who you are as a man. When you look yourself in the mirror and you look in your eyes, who do you see? And for a lot of men, they don’t like what they see. Or it seems like blankness is what I hear from a lot of guys. When I look at my eyes, I see blankness staring back at me. Reactivate. Find out who that man is, whatever way you want to reactivate, do that. But usually it’s something that’s going to be dramatic, that’s going to rip you your shell off. You’re going to have to shed your skin.

Whatever society has put on you, whatever your family has put on you, you have put on yourself. We want to rip that away and reveal the true you. And from that point, you can do the things that you love. You can take ownership and clean up your side of the street. Do not seek external validation. Seek internal validation that, along with a happy wife, equals a happy life.

Gentlemen, as we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action. And until next time, have a great week, and we’ll see you on The Powerful Man Show.

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 and realizing 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. You may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man, a second man that 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 one 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, and React to activated WOLF, Wise, Open, Loving and Fierce, then go over to thepowerfulman.com/grow. And go there now. In fact, I’ll make it super easy for you. I will even put the link right in the description here so you can just click it and go over there now to learn more. Guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go from deactivated to activated, because like I said, life is too short for average and I’ll see you on the next episode!