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The Dynamic At Play With Power & Control

Episode #673

What is the biggest issue in a relationship?

What is the idea of cover contracts in marriage?

Power play in relationships can be unhealthy and lead to issues like resentment, lack of trust, and emotional distress. Recognize any power imbalances or manipulative behaviors that may arise and step up.

In this episode, we’ll talk about signs of power playing in marriage and what you can do to address power imbalances in order to promote a healthier relationship dynamic.

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Doug Holt  00:01

Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of  The Powerful Man Show. So happy to be here with you guys. Tim, always great to be with you too, brother. Yeah, I can’t believe by the time this comes out. It only be a few more weeks to you touch ground in the States and are at the new TPM ranch, ranch and retreat center.

Tim Matthews  01:06

I’m so excited. It’s gonna be incredible.

Doug Holt  01:09

Yeah, really will.

Tim Matthews  01:10

I appreciate all the hard work you’ve put into that. Andasi, and Colton too. Those guys have been working their asses off as well at the ranch getting it prepared. And yeah, it’s gonna be amazing.

Doug Holt  01:23

Yeah, they sure have. They’re there right now actually getting stuff done. They, you know, they really want this to be the best experience for you for the other. The whole entire team if you guys didn’t listen to the last episode we talked about or we shared that we’re flying our entire team out there we do once a year team bonding. And we’ll be doing this at the ranch and some about 12 guys that we’ve worked with over the years are also coming out and just an amazing group of guys. I’m smiling, just thinking about seeing those guys and giving each of them a big bear hug. The jokes have already started.

Any group of men get together right especially great men that these men are. The jokes are bound to happen in the lightheartedness and the fun and we’ll have some serious conversations. There’ll be some coaching Tim you and I’ll be leading some coaching Marcus Haynesworth might be stepping into, you know, these guys are coming through there, we want the ability with, you know, first of all Brotherhood, two with our appreciation and gratitude, and three, which is some insights, right, so they can keep going the directions that they want to go, these men are consistently up leveling, year after year after year.

Speaking of relationships, Tim, I want to talk about one of the top three biggest issues or biggest problems in marriages or any relationship. This could be in business too, as you look at it, and one of the biggest ones and I Googled it right before we hit just to make sure I got this one, right. But I see it play out a lot. And I’ve seen it played out in my own marriage. I’ve seen it play on other relationships I’ve been in I’ve certainly seen this play out a lot in business is this issue of using power and control, or using power and control to manipulate a relationship? And so that’s what I want to throw on the table today.

Tim Matthews  03:01

Huh? Let’s do it.

Doug Holt  03:04

So the way this looks, I’m going to use marriage mostly, but I’ll also switch back and forth to business guys because we’re all business leaders here on this podcast. Guys that listen to this show or watch us on YouTube. By the way, if you don’t see this on YouTube, love for you to go over to YouTube, hit subscribe. We’re really going to be putting more and more content besides just this show onto YouTube so you can watch us in HD or 4K on your smart TV.

Now, when we talk about this, a lot of things happen in a relationship when somebody feels out of control or they feel that they are losing a grip, right? They feel like they’re not getting the respect, the admiration they deserve if they feel that things aren’t being reciprocated. That’s one for me, that’s really big. Oftentimes what they’ll do is they’ll try to claw for control and for power. Now, this happens in marriages. I know in my wife years ago, when we were going through our valley, our dark times, one of the things that I did when it was really bad and it looked like we were going to get a divorce, I started to claw for control and power over our financial situation. Control and power over the way our house was run.

I went that route to do so and a lot of guys do. Guys will start hiding money. They’ll stop talking about money or they’ll use their business. Since they’re business leaders, they’ll have more leverage of what goes on through there and they’ll keep their wives in the dark. This also can happen in other areas in business at times. I’ve seen this happen time and time again where I’ve been working with a CEO of a company or a president or somebody at a high level and in a partnership or somewhere else in the firm or the board of directors. What happens when they feel disrespected or they feel that they’re not being appreciated to the level they need to? They start to claw for power. They start to get control.

Now maybe it can start off with just not releasing information or files and instead of saying hey, I’ll share that with you, they say I’ll just get you the answers because they don’t want to share the information because they don’t want to empower the other person. Now this can also go on with marriage, right? A lot of guys out there don’t want to empower their wives to make financial decisions, so they take control of the finances instead.

This happens in business. A business partner might not want to empower the other partner with financial control. So they’ll say, hey, I’ll just take care of that for you. When really there’s an undertone of control that’s there, they’re not willing to give up that control. So Tim, what are you seeing happening to some of the guys that we’re working with? Some of the guys you see in our movement going through when it looks at this thing of one of the biggest destroyers of a marriage or relationship for that matter, is using power and control.

Tim Matthews  05:44

Yeah, I can definitely see it play out in different scenarios. Something else that comes to mind for me when I think about this, think about the men, is the idea of COVID contracts, which I guess is totally different. Maybe not, but I see the men do that a lot, right? Which is in essence is a way that they’ll claw for control and for power. But they’ll typically do it in a very subversive way. It won’t be very direct and it’ll usually be as a result of them feeling resentment or making up a story or whatever it may be. Right?

Just essentially not speaking up and just being honest and real. And as a result, that’s when they begin to claw and also they get a bit paranoid. Why is she texting that guy? Why shouldn’t a phone well, not why is she texting that guy, but why shouldn’t a phone more? Right? And they start to make up stories and oftentimes it doesn’t go anywhere, actually isn’t true. Rather, the story doesn’t go anywhere. Sometimes it does because of the need for power and control. It pushes the wife away. So yeah, that’s the biggest thing that comes to mind for me when you talk about this in relation to the guys.

Doug Holt  07:09

Yes, it’s really interesting when you think about that. And covert contracts do play in here. It’s these expectations. But with power and control, the way that I see it playing out often when I talk to the guys is, first of all, they don’t see it. Right? Power and control is something that most people don’t see coming. Like guys don’t consciously say, well, I’m going to take power and control back, now you can do this physically. Some guys get physically abusive, right? Or sexually abusive. But we’re not talking about that here. We’re talking about it in a different sense. And it’s not until somebody they trust brings it to the light oftentimes that the men that I talk to realize that that’s what they’re doing. That’s what they’re actually taking part. They don’t want to give up control of a particular thing.

So you’ll see this in business a lot. Maybe it’s a department or maybe it’s a department head or somebody who wants to maintain control of what they’re doing, wants to make the decisions and they’ll put the illusion that other people have a choice or have a decision, when really they don’t. They really don’t have an option here. And in marriages, you see this mostly with men. When marriages aren’t working, around money, around finance, that’s the one I see it the most. Now, women will do the same thing around the kids or maybe the house, right? And so that’s where the struggle becomes, traditionally. Traditionally, the women will want to take power and control of the choices with the children vacations and things. And men being a nice guy might back down to that.

But if a guy thinks the marriage is not going to work, oftentimes he’ll pull the strings and hide things around finances, around the business, not letting his wife see behind the curtain. So an example, I was talking to a guy and his take home, what he brought home to the family was 15K a month, very respectable. It’s a great salary to bring home and what have you. But what his wife didn’t know is he had twice that or more sitting in his business bank account that he was also spending without telling her. He wanted to control that money. So instead of bringing in, let’s just call it 30k a month into the home, into the joint bank account that she could see he was bringing in 15K, making her budget. They don’t spend as much money.

Don’t do this. We don’t have enough money to do these trips or whatever else it was. Meanwhile, he was hoarding money on the side because things weren’t going well. And maybe he wanted to spend money somewhere or he didn’t trust her. And when I posed it to him, Tim, that, hey, this is a power play here. This is not fair. This is not a partnership. It’s okay if you guys agree that you’re going to do this and what have you and move money. And there are some circumstances when this could be a good thing. It wasn’t in this case. This case was purely a power play.

At first, he fought me on it. He fought me on well, no, Doug, I’m not doing that. I need to keep money in the business. But forgetting, of course, Tim, that you and I have been business coaches for a long time and business owners for a long time. So we can smell the bullshit from a mile away when it comes to this. And after working with thousands of men, you just know. You’re like, hey, look, you don’t need to keep this cash flow into business. You’re spending it anyway. The thing is, you’re criticizing your wife for going to the spa, yet you are spending this money behind her back for business golfing, business trips, buying those things that you want to buy yourself. And this is purely a power play.

Tim Matthews  10:34

It’s very easy for them to fall into the trap, right? Because one, especially if they’ve grown up in a household where they’ve seen the dad do something similar with the mum. My dad used to do this all the time with my mum. Control things. Big, big one on control. As a result, power too, mainly around finances, but there’d be other crossover, too. Kind of clothes that she’d wear and where they’d go and all sorts. So there was a lot of it, actually.

So, yeah, it just can be normalized. I’ve done so much to just be the total opposite. Not the not the total opposite to the point where it’s unconscious, but consciously not be that way with Amelia. But, yeah, for a lot of the guys that come to us, it can be easy to fall into that trap if you’ve grown up in that environment as well, because one, if it’s been the norm, it’s been normalized and it’s kind of common as well. I think it can be common for a lot of guys.

Doug Holt  11:35

It’s very common.

Tim Matthews  11:36

Yeah. So it isn’t necessarily seen that way as well. Right?

Doug Holt  11:39

Well, it’s super common. But you also got to remember that over 50% of marriages end in divorce and the other 50 that stay married, how many of them are happy, how many of them are successful, how many of them are thriving? It’s a low percentage, sadly. Right? And to your point, it doesn’t have to be around finances. Power and Control can be around putting the other person down, isolating them from friends, because you’re trying to control what they do, you’re trying to control their actions. These are all ways that people, women do it to men, too.

But these are ways and relationships that can cause big problems. In business, it can be the same thing. Business, you can see people being political or backstabbing and making sure someone doesn’t rise to the ranks or back channel talk and gossip. It’s another way that you can look at control. They want to be the person, oh, make sure all communication goes through me for my department. Right? That’s a control thing. We’ve experienced this at the powerful man. I have personally, where I’ve seen department heads say, hey, don’t go talking to the people in my department. All communication should go through me. That’s a control and power issue. Right? And that’s something you can see right away.

Now, there are times when that can be legitimate, but in my experience in business, mostly it’s a power and control. Right? I need to be the gatekeeper, therefore I feel significant. And that can become a big issue within any organization, but also any family. It can become a big issue within a family that you can see that happening. And when you’re isolating your wife or you’re doing this or she’s isolating you and you’re being manipulated through power control, it becomes a big issue. And that’s why it’s one of the most biggest cause of destruction within any relationship, whether it be a marriage or an intimate relationship or a business relationship.

Tim Matthews  13:24

Yeah, it’s huge.

Doug Holt  13:28

Yeah. So, guys, what you want to do is you want to look at here is where are you grasping for control or power within your marriage? And what that tells me when I see somebody doing that or any relationship, so when I see somebody trying to do it with me, I realize it comes from a place of insecurity. It’s coming from a place of where that person’s not secure with themselves, their tank, so to speak, or their cup is not full. And I was talking to a guy recently, Tim, and I was asking him what his wife thought about something he was doing. And he said, oh, she doesn’t know. Like, really? This is a big deal, this thing you’re doing. And this guy was traveling for a specific reason, do a specific thing. That was a big, big deal. He’s like, yeah, she didn’t ask.

So it’s not a lie if I omit it? No, you told us you’re traveling. They’re lies of a mission, but it’s also a way to manipulate and control, right? And you want to look at where this might be playing out in your life, guys. Now, if you’re on the other side of this, the receiving end of this, you get to realize that this other person is scared. It’s fear. It’s a fear based response. Power and control is fear based, not power. It’s not true power. True power is standing within yourself and being secure and planted like a root. We call it like the lighthouse, right? You’re secure regardless of the storm, the light always stays on. That’s true power. We look at power and control. Really what we’re talking about is someone who doesn’t feel significant, they feel less than, and therefore they’re grasping on for something to hold them tight.

Now, it could be a money is an easy one for most business guys to manipulate because they’re in the control of the money in the marriage and the relationship. In traditional senses, that happens to you talking about your father, Tim, about maybe putting down your mom, about her clothes or something else, or being mean and manipulative. There’s one thing to joke, as my wife always says, hey, I love jokes, just not when they’re condescending and mean spirited, you know. And I grew up in a house where that’s just the way everybody talk to each other. So it’s a learned behavior as well. But also you realize and you learn is when you’re doing this, guys, it’s really showing the world or somebody who is grounded how insecure you really are.

Tim Matthews  15:40

All comes from insecurity, complete insecurity.

Doug Holt  15:43

100%. So gentlemen, my challenge for you, it’s going to be a short episode because my challenge for you is really to dig deep where in your relationships, business, personal, romantic, are you searching for power and control. Now, if you find it, don’t judge yourself, that’s okay. Most of us do it consciously, unconsciously, et cetera. But just realize that’s really a signal for yourself that something is missing within sight of you. Something inside of you is not working well. You’re feeling less than in that moment. And that’s okay. It’s human nature. We all feel less than from time to time. Even Tim The Powerful Matthews, I would guess, from time to time, although be it rare, can feel less than in his darkest moments. But when you’re seeing that, look at it and just smile at yourself. And then I’m going to invite you to surrender.

Let go of that feeling for power and control. Let go of that need. Just surrender and let things go. The path of surrender is much easier than the path of force, guys. It’s not do have be. It’s be do have gentle reminder for the men that have been through our program. Be do have. Gentlemen, as we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action. If this is resonating with you and you’re seeing your marriage crumbling around you, or at least there seems to be a dynamic of power and control. And you want to know how hundreds and hundreds of men this year alone have saved their marriage, have got the love and respect and admiration back in their wife’s eyes, and have actually turned things around in their relationships.

Then I’m going to invite you, if you haven’t already, go over to thepowerfulman.com, that’s thepowerfulman.com and find out if the activation method is a good fit for you. Best way to do it, jump on a short 15 minutes phone call with one of our advisors. They’ll just let you know if it’s a good fit and the conversation can continue. Just want to make sure you’re in a secure spot. Our advisors get really busy. They have a lot of love and compassion for what we do here at the Powerful Man. But you got to get on that call. You got to get on that call to find it, to find out if it’s a good fit for you. Till next time, guys. Have an amazing day and we’ll see you next time.