Close this search box.

The Curse of the Power Couple

Episode #325

You don’t become a successful business leader without you and your wife being considered as a “power couple”. 

But is there really power in your relationship? Do you feel like a powerful couple?

If you have problems in your marriage that you can’t figure out, you’ll feel embarrassed and ashamed that you are not what people think you are. You can’t talk to anyone about it because everyone puts you up on a pedestal…everyone knows who you are. Everyone sees you as a power couple, with respect and admiration.

But you know the truth.

In a relationship, if you know what you can be and it’s not what you are – that’s what eats you up inside. Invest and work on yourself first. As you change, your wife will change with you. You can become a power couple from the inside out.

It doesn’t have to look perfect, but it will be real.

In this episode, we are going to talk about the curse of the power couple, how to deal with it, and what it means to be a true power couple.


Hungry for more?

Head over to our https://www.thepowerfulman.com/the-alpha-reset/ page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

Also, listen on:



Episode Transcript

Tim Matthews  0:00  

Everybody knows who we are. We are known as a power couple who respect the standard, and I’m not saying that from an egotistical sense. It’s just what people tell us. And I feel embarrassed that I can’t figure out what’s the problem in a marriage and can’t talk to anyone about it because everyone looks at it like a power couple. Because everyone puts us on the pedestal and kind of a shed, I feel like an imposter.

Doug Holt  0:28  

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 Matthews  0:42  

Yeah, I am very well. Do you know what magic I’ve been doing? You see the gratitude practice. You know it, but yeah, I’ve been doing the daily gratitude practice, but I think my 18 days now, 17 days it’s been great it’s 

 been really good reconnecting me to i didn’t realize it’s something I used to do a lot of. To be honest, just by default, just by feeling grateful. It sounds obvious, and yeah, it’s been great just to get back to those roots. If you will, I enjoyed it.

Doug Holt  1:24  

Yeah, well, I’m grateful for the guys taking the time to listen to this and better themselves and their families. Thank you so much for those of you that have sent in messages have reached out via Facebook, LinkedIn.

Tim Matthews  1:40  


Doug Holt  1:41  

Yeah, and I just really have taken the time to share your experience with this podcast and the things that you’ve taken away. A shout out to our alumni, a lot of our alumni who have been through the program continue to listen to this. So hope you guys are all doing well. It’s very grateful to be in this position that after struggling in my marriage and trying to find a way, and as you said, Tim combined our coaches spending millions of dollars trying to figure it out. We get to a point where we’re able to help these guys. So very grateful for that.

Tim Matthews  2:14  

Yeah, me too. Me too. So what we’re talking about, guys, um, I spoke with the amazing man last week, and he shared something right at the end of our call that struck. Accordingly, it’s usually not until the guys in The Brotherhood and have been working with us for a while that this is supposed to come out usually. Because it just dealt with the problems of folks in the beginning, right. I said, Tim, do you know what? I live in a small town. Because the church we’ve got one of the biggest businesses in the town. Everybody knows who we are. We are known as a power couple. People look at models and us a lot of themselves and their behavior on us. Hey, what is Jones doing? And we’re really, in a lot of respects, that kind of standard. And I’m not saying that from an egotistical sense. It’s just what people tell us. And I feel embarrassed. That can’t figure out this problem in my marriage. If you look at my life, if you look at how I live on paper, the business I have, the home I’m in, the car I drive, the wife I’ve got, the business we’ve built together, I can solve problems. I just can’t solve this one, and the thing about this is as well. I can’t talk to anyone about it because everyone looks at us like a power couple. Because everyone puts us on the pedestal, and I am kind of ashamed, and I feel like an imposter. And I admire this guy’s honesty. And he then went on to share about other things he was then doing to cope with that. So I’m curious, Doug, you used to live in Santa Barbara, a very wealthy area, yonder personal training studio. And typically, by nature, personal trading tends to be the kind of relationship where people tell you things. Incredible people just used to tell me so many different things. I’m curious, did you hear stories like this ever, ever come up with the people you’d work with are set another way as well. What’s your experience with this? Because you’ve been around a lot of people that I imagine could be considered power couples. 

Doug Holt  4:49  

Oh, yeah. 

Tim Matthews  4:51  

Yourself and Erin? So yeah, I’m curious. 

Doug Holt  4:55  

Yeah. Well, I mean, I live this firsthand. So in Santa BarbaraI had three companies. So I did have a wellness studio, a personal training studio and a very high-end one. We cater to wealthy people charging 80 to $300 an hour and selling 48 sessions and a package. So we’re talking, not inexpensive. And I don’t say that to impress anybody but to impress upon you that the people who came to us were very serious. Also had the affluence to be able to afford training, and all most of them self made. So they’d gone up the ladder, and we’re successful business people. My wife and I were in the Rotary Club, so I did all of these things. I was in awe. It’s kind of like Vistage. So Vistage is an executive kind of mastermind group. I was asked to be in Vistage, I declined Vistage, but I was in another one that was started called ProVisors. I was an improviser, and I wasn’t even another kind of networking business group that was started just in that area. It was supposed to kind of be the elite of the elite advisors. So I also had a consulting company that I was running, marketing made mostly. So I share that all with you. Because my wife and I were looked at like that, are both happy when they get married, are both happy. They’re super fit, athletic, big in the community, philanthropically, and young, but at the same time, we’re relatively young, right. But at the same time, behind closed doors, it wasn’t perfect. My wife and I loved each other. Otherwise, we would have left. We just couldn’t figure it out. Like we’d done personal development, we listened to audiobooks, we did therapy and counseling, it just didn’t work. Just plain did not work. And what happened for me, Tim, or for us, is my wife stopped going to events, right? So hey, we’ve got a rotary dinner. Hmm, she wasn’t interested, or I wasn’t interested in going to an event with her. As you know, to be fair, my wife was well known, but she wasn’t one in the business community. She’s more known as my wife, honestly. And that’s not a degrading thing. She just didn’t start her own company. And I started several, and I used to run a magazine in Santa Barbara, as well. So we just stopped going to events together and started getting further and further apart. But people didn’t notice, and it was kind of like, there’s always an excuse. Oh, where’s your wife? Ah, yeah, she’s got this thing going on, and then you just change the subject and go through it. I felt like a fraud. I know, she did do, and you just didn’t feel complete. And then to your other point, just to add on to this, my experience in this training studio means, people will tell you anything when you’re torturing right, so anything to get out of doing exercises. So they would; it was kind of like counseling for them. And this was super common. There was a guy that I’m thinking of right now, the top of my head, and he was an extremely successful attorney and also gave us a give him away right away if I tell you all the businesses he was involved in. Still, he was involved in other businesses and was very public-facing right, politically and otherwise. So and his wife was a very beautiful woman. You would notice, or you would take a second look, if not a third or fourth if you saw her. They were the perfect couple, like the power couple, politically, financially, all of these things, on the brink of divorce. I mean, I knew that they were going through hard times. I knew they weren’t having sex. I was training her, and I was training him. So I knew both of them. Neither of them knew this. But both of them were telling me everything, right. My job is not to share any of it, just trying to help them out. But it was a really interesting thing. So point being, I can tell you story after story. It’s just so common. And the guys that we attracted, The Powerful Man, I can go through those guys. They’re successful business leaders, and you don’t become a successful businessman and a leader in your community without being considered a power couple, right? People will automatically consider you and your wife as a power couple to some degree, usually speaking. Unless even if the woman’s a stay-at-home mom, they’re just going to see that dynamic, and they’re going to pick up on your energy as a man.

Tim Matthews  9:23  

Yeah, and as you were talking, I’m thinking back to the guys we’ve worked with. It almost becomes a curse, isn’t it? It can either work well. It’s two extremes either works well for you being known as a power couple because, by default, people think certain things about you, and you care what they think there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. But you care what people think that’s part of the perception and what drives the power couple. Into being in the position, they’re in the right held in high esteem, which also becomes a curse because that then becomes the bind. Well, what will they think? Well, if the truth comes out if we were to split up, or it came out that, you know, we weren’t having sex, or we were arguing, or she was having an affair, or I was having an affair, then what?

Doug Holt  10:20  

Well, there’s a couple of things here. If I can jump in here, one is that happens all the time. And it’s a huge shock to everybody, right? And it’s kind of almost like the pastor who turns out to be involved in an infamous scandal. And the reason this is is that you assumed you have an image of what the pastor is. Just like it said, another way, Dennis Rodman basketball player here in us back in the day, or Charles Barkley, another basketball player, if they go out and they’re partying, and they get arrested, or something happens, you just go, Ah, that’s just Dennis, because you assume that’s your image of them. But as a power couple, you’re putting out into the world a different image. And when that image is, what your real life is contradictory to your image, that’s where you have problems. But that’s not the worst part, Tim, in my opinion. Now we can go back and explore that deeper if you want. The worst part for me was knowing what it could be. That was the worst part. I knew that we could be this real power couple. I knew my wife, and I could be better than the power couple that everybody thought we were right. I knew that. But we weren’t. And that’s what friggin killed me.

Tim Matthews  11:36  


Doug Holt  11:37  

It killed me because I couldn’t figure it out. It was embarrassing. But I wanted it right. I wanted my wife to look at me with that admiration she used to, and then we lost that little glimmer, that sparkle in her eye, the respect. And I wanted it so hard. I tried everything. I’ve tried being the nice guy. I was the textbook. Okay. All right. She’s not happy this is not working. Alright, I’m going to do laundry, I’m going to fold the clothes, she’s going to come home. Yeah, you go out with your girlfriend, and I clean the whole friggin house, put my headphones on, and jam to this. And then I’ll take her out to dinner. And we’ll do all these things to get somewhere, right. And that’s what I missed as I was doing it to get something in return. And I was just this classic, nice guy, and my tank would be empty. Right? I don’t know if any of the guys listening; this can relate to it. But sometimes I was running three companies. It’s a lot, right? It’s a lot of staff, it’s a lot of you know, I’m making decisions all the time that affect not only my life but the livelihood of the people. And then, coming from that place, I’m depleted. I’m tired. And so my wife gets the least of me, not the most of me at the end of the day. And if I’m expecting her, then to refill my cup, so to speak, to refill who I am. I’m setting us up for failure. Because she’s, she’s not getting the best. And now, my wife and I are both expecting the other person to fill us up. And I know what it could be. It’s like seeing something, it’d be like, going to a four Michelin star restaurant or even a Michelin star restaurant, whatever. Right? Going to a great restaurant and having a meal goes to Holy cow. And I’ve done this. This is what food can taste like and service, right? And the whole ambiance and everything that’s going on here, the wine pairings. This is what it could be like. And then the rest of your life, all you get is a vanilla protein shake. Right? You’re like, wait a minute, or that rubber chicken, right? You’ve already seen it. We talked about this at The Alpha Reset. Right when guys go through The Alpha Reset. And they have that transfer. I’m talking about that pivotal transformational change. There’s a certain time it’s done every time it’s done on purpose. All of our courses and systems are very strategic in the way we turn the dials. Every time we say, guys, one of two things is going to happen. Because you can’t unsee what you’ve just seen, you just can’t. It’s a truth for you. You’ve uncovered something about yourself that you can never unsee, and the worst part is if the man you can be. The man that you are, and you go the opposite direction. It’ll kill you inside. And that’s the same thing with being a power couple. 

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing? Like there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it. I get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using. We’ve included 10 case studies, ten men, just like you, who have found the solution and found that way on their path. But we want to share that with you go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus right away. Now let’s get back to the show. 

I’m guessing this guy; I don’t know who this gentleman is, but I’m guessing what’s killing him inside is what he knows that they could be. Of course, he doesn’t want anybody finding out that he’s a fraud, and all that he can deal with that the problem is going to have is if you can’t find a way around this, right? And if he’s not able to make the shift, because he’s always going to wonder what if, right, I know we’ve had this before? I’m assuming he has. And why can’t we get this back again?

Tim Matthews  15:43  

Yeah, that’s the thing for him. He’s feeling embarrassed and ashamed. There are two things, and I feel embarrassed that I can’t figure this out. And I feel ashamed that we are not who everyone thinks that we are, right? And in his dynamic in this particular power couple, his wife isn’t going to tolerate it; she has made that very clear. Because part of the power couple is a woman is very strong, she’s independent, she knows what she wants, just like the guy. And typically, in the power couple dynamics as well, it takes even, I want to say it, even Scrum, the arts, it’s not the right thing, but it takes a strong man to be able to hold that space for a strong woman, right? Obvious. So for him, he knows that he wants to have that edge. He knows that he wants the man that his wife wanted and needed him to be. Because, as he said, they’ve had it before. So not only is the shame for him because he’s not living up to how other people perceive them today. For him, the shame also comes from the fact that, as he said, he’s been that guy before he isn’t being it now. So much. So is forcing him into one of two places, you can either sit and do nothing, which will end him doing nothing because of that in that place. His wife’s going to do something, and his wife’s going; it’s already set in. So I’m not going to stump this. His wife’s going to take some kind of action. Or he’s the one that takes control of the situation. Hey, no, I refuse to stay in this position. That accelerates and changes. And by default, as he then goes to take control of the situation and change it, he then starts to live up to his self-image and the image that everybody else around him has of him. He might not be the ideal perfect vision or scenario, but he’s on the path, which is good enough.

Doug Holt  17:55  

Yeah, 100%, man, I mean, it. Look, it’s going through this in a way myself right now, and I’ve shared this on the podcast before, but with my second child, I gained weight, right. And I don’t know why to keep using these analogies. I think they’re good for guys to go through. But now, the part that killed me wasn’t gaining the weight. The part that killed me was knowing how to fit I’ve been and how to fit I can be. Right? They always say the definition of hell is meeting the man you could have been right. And I agree with that—100%. So now I’m working out six days a week. I’m loving it. I feel great. Aesthetically, am I where I want to be? No, and that’s okay. I’m cool with it. Because I know my progression, right? I’m older. I’m okay with that, too. But I’m getting back. I’m stronger in a lot of areas than I’ve ever been. So the point being is your it’s not going to be perfect. It doesn’t have to look like perfect guys at all. If we’re talking about the power couple idea in your relationship, the difference is if you know what it can be. And it’s not. That’s what eats you up. And what I found out, Tim, so going back to my story, let’s bring this back to me. What I found back to my story was original. It was all my wife. It was all her stuff, right? I was still in the Rotary Club. I was still in probate. I was still in this thing. I was everybody. Doug, we’re going to have to be hiring me as a consultant. I was younger than everybody. Right? And I was doing well. But if she, I mean, come on, she didn’t own a business. She didn’t do this and do that. All of these stories and excuses, and everybody loved her. But if they knew what she was really like, they wouldn’t feel great at home, right? And I was becoming more and more grumpy, etc., etc. And when I became resentful of that, but the truth is, the truth is, it wasn’t until I figured out that I had to work on myself that anything changed. When I invested in myself, right? Time, money, resources, and a paradigm switch. We talked about this a little bit in our last podcast of the Ideal Husband. Guys, if you haven’t listened to that, go back and get the worksheet, make sure you do it. But it wasn’t until I made that paradigm switch. That was like, Okay, I have to invest in me first, invest all of that time, capital, resources, energy into Doug, and get optics around that, that it wasn’t till then that things started to switch. And here’s the crazy part. As I changed, guess who else changed?

Tim Matthews  20:45  

Your wife

Doug Holt  20:46  

my wife, my wife, all of a sudden, she was loving. All of a sudden, she was nice. All these things that people saw inside of her. I saw her being with me. Right? Ah, I get it. And we became that power couple. Now we became the power couple in a different dynamic than we did previously. It looked different. But it was friggin awesome. And it still is today. It’s great. It’s perfect. No, it’s perfectly imperfect. Right? There’s still challenges that we’ve been up against. But the way that we handled and moved through them is like leaving butter out on your table overnight in a warm house. And going through, it just cuts right through, and we cut through things so quickly, effortlessly. Whereas before, as a power couple, you know, when we’re fighting, it felt like someone gave me a spoon with a frozen thing of butter. And I’m just trying to muscle it won’t work.

Tim Matthews  21:44  

Yeah, it’s a great analogy. And you hit the nail on the head, hey, when I started to change, and you’ve got us in the power couple if you are at a power couple, and you’re listening to this, what I commend about this guy who I spoke with last week, he accepted the fact that he had to change, they’d gone from thinking they had it all figured out for bid on the pedestal, everyone put him on. And inevitably fed his ego a bit and felt good, everyone looked to his cancer for advice, and so on. Going from that to accepting, hey, things are not where they should be or where they could be. And you know what? I don’t have all the answers here. I want to get back to basics. I want to get back to doing what got me here in the first place. Let’s take responsibility for growing instead of grown in business. I want to grow up personally. I recommended this man because it isn’t such a big thing to accept your employer’s pedestal to say, You know what? No. I must change—such curiosity.

Doug Holt  22:55  

Yeah. So this guy joined the program. Yeah. So I look forward to talking to this guy. Because again, as I said, I’ve been there, totally get a lot of the guys in The Brotherhood. I’m sure listening to this can attest as well to being good company. Cool, when we get off the mic up to let me know what his name is. And maybe I can reach out to him as well. Yep. Well, good to see him in there. So Tim, as we always like to do, we like to give the guys a couple of takeaways here. What are a couple of takeaways or key points or things that they can do right now? To if they find themselves in this position.

Tim Matthews  23:28  

I think you come clean with yourself, and I think you need to clean with them around you. Just come clean with yourself and set the Hey, this isn’t where it could be. And I’m going to take myself off the pedestal that other people have put me on, I’m going to humble myself and get back into work mode and learning mode, I’m going to learn on myself and focus on myself rather, and apply the same level of commitment that I use in business to succeed so well, they’re here because this guy knows he’s got the mindset and I’m sure in terms of takeaways, you guys listen to this show. You’ve got the mindset, you’ve got the personality and the character you committed, guys. So if you didn’t point nine in the direction of the relationship by taking responsibility for it, chances are all of a sudden, your wife is going to turn from an ice queen and stop melting like butter. Like Doug said, so well.

Doug Holt  24:32  

Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll leave one more thing if I can hear Tim. And guys, you’ve heard me talk about this a lot. If you go back, I mentioned again on the podcast I did with a TPM advisor, Ryan Peach, to choose your heart. Right? That’s something I realized, and I talked about that a lot. Because it rings so true to me, and my soul chooses your heart. I remember being thought of as a power couple but knowing behind closed doors. That was freaking hard, man. It was really hard to realize what it could be, but it wasn’t a freaking hard time in my marriage and a hard time in my life. Right felt like a fraud that was hard—working on myself. Also hard. Here’s the difference. One hard got me nowhere, right the heart of realizing that people thought we were a power couple, my wife and I were not doing well. Or that was tough. There was no benefit that right there’s no reward for the heart of working on myself and being honest with me and all these other things that I found in this transformational journey I went on. That was tough, really hard, to the difference is what was on the other side of that was a huge reward. And I think that’s not talked about enough, Tim. And I think the guys need to realize, the guys, friggin choose your hard, choose the one you’re going to go after and go after it and be accepted, you’re not going to do anything going to sit on the fence in limbo. I’ll do this later. I’ll do it some other time. Cool. That’s your choice. You’ve chosen your hard work for yourself. And I’m not just talking about listening to another audiobook if you’re going to do the deep dive work and work on yourself. That’s another kind of hard, but there’s a reward there. That’s an investment in you, just like investing in your business. So I’ll leave it there. Gentlemen, gentlemen, as always right, go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus every month. We’re going to be putting up new training there for you guys. It is a new bonus that we are doing every month. So if you don’t get over there and get it, you’re going to lose out on what it is. I’ll announce what the new bonuses are coming soon. But by the time this airs, it’ll be up there. I can promise you that. And make sure you do it. And as always, always take some action, right. If you have any insights here, write them down. But more importantly, put them on your calendar and take some action. You get to choose your heart. And maybe that heart is taking action, or the heart is staying exactly where you want. Gentlemen, always have an amazing week, and we’ll see you next time.