The Four Horsemen Of A Relationship

Episode #317

What are the four things that you need to eliminate in your relationship to make sure it won’t end?

1. CRITICISM – the attack on someone’s character. When you’re criticizing, you’re actually insulting that person’s character. When you criticize your wife, she will either shut down or attack you. The same goes for when your wife criticizes you, you either shut down or attack her because you get hurt and offended.

2. CONTEMPT – the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. Contempt takes criticism further, to where we actively mock, belittle, or show genuine ugliness towards our partner.

3. DEFENSIVENESS – Sometimes we get defensive when we are accused unfairly. More often, however, it’s something we fall into when we didn’t do something we were supposed to and we feel guilty. We make excuses. Or we shift the blame onto someone else.

4. ??? – Listen and find out!

In this episode, you will learn about the Four Horsemen in a relationship and how you can avoid them to make your relationship last long.


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

You are always in your world. It bothers me that you don’t think of anybody else. That’s a character flaw. And when that criticism comes out to attack again in our character, our ego immediately kicks in, you’ll go in, you’ll start defending yourself, and you’ll get upset right away. And when we use this one of the four horsemen relationships, do you know what’s happening with this criticism in this communication style? It’s shutting down the other person. So if you’re saying this to your wife, if you’re criticizing her, she’s gonna shut down and or attack you. Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I’m your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim, “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Gentlemen, we have an exciting episode to come in for you. But before we get into the four horsemen, talking about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, just the four horsemen, some exciting things are going on within the movement that has been great to see. And, Tim, it’s great to see, you know, the guys coming in. And then the ability for some of the men that have reached out to us off just looking for one on one, coaching, and one on one guidance and advice coming through. So that’s been fun to see coming in the pipeline. As we just know, we do our best to help more and more men along their journey.

Tim Matthews  1:20  

I love it. I love it. It’s so much value that’s being created. Thank you guys for tuning into this. I really, I was thinking this morning, I appreciate the opportunity to do this. Years ago, I would have loved to be in this position. It has been able to share and support the man and see the results that they get. I did intend to send a Voxer out to the team just saying thank you for being here. But obviously, Vox is not working. But anyway. Yeah, it got me thinking about the guys that listen to the show. Thank you for listening and giving feedback. We know we’re on the right track, and it allows us to keep going. I’m proud of what we’re doing and the results the men get, and the guys reaching out. It’s just such a great thing. I enjoy it.

Doug Holt  2:17  

It’s awesome. An honor to be here and seeing all the progress these guys are making. Shout out to the guys in the inner circle. We’re going to be like putting on an event for them, specifically a VIP event. We’ll be able to pull that off. It’s COVID. The inner circle is a higher-end mastermind group for guys that have already graduated from The Activation Method. And so it looks like we’re gonna be like getting those guys together in April, which I’m excited about, as things start to open up. But Tim, I want to talk today about the four horsemen and not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as you’ve probably heard, like, from the biblical tales. In movies, you know, you have this image of these four kinds of ghostly creatures with hoods on. Riding these horses is as death follows them. And, but this is similar. We’re gonna talk about the four horsemen in a relationship. And the things that we’re going to talk about today are such that Dr. Gottman, who came up with these, can predict with a 90% accuracy that these four horsemen show up in a relationship. They aren’t mitigated, they aren’t, you don’t get rid of them, that relationship will end. That’s amazing. There are not many things in life that you can predict with 90% accuracy. I mean, I was thinking about this as I was jumping in the shower, before getting ready to jump on with you, I was like, Man, what are the things that you know, besides myself, other things outside of me, that I can predict with a 90% accuracy. I couldn’t come up with many. So with that, you can either.

Tim Matthews  3:56  

There’s nothing to add to that point, right?

Doug Holt  4:00  

We’re showing off our preparation skills. Because you’re like, what are we talking about? So, guys, I’m also going to let you know, at the end of this episode, if you stick around, I’m going to give you access to a worksheet that you can work through to get some insight into this. So stick around to the end. I’ll tell you exactly how you can get the worksheet. So this is almost like going to be a podcast episode that will be almost like a mini-workshop. And so for guys that have been in the Facebook group for a while, you’ve seen some videos that I put out about this topic, but I wanted to expand this out a little bit more. So again, let’s go back to the four horsemen and Dr. Gottman’s research. So it’s amazing. So imagine 90% accuracy. This is like having a crystal ball in your relationship. So this could be relationships, obviously, your marriage, which is what we’re going to use as an example here today, but also relationships to your kids, co-workers, friends, any relationship you have you want to watch out for these four horsemen, but for most of our audience which is married businessmen, they’re going to see this in their marriage, right? That’s the clearest path and the path that we get the most triggers in, right that when I say trigger, something that’s gonna set you off, I upset you. It’s almost like lighting a match right next to a fire that’s already burning with gasoline. So let’s talk about these four horsemen today, how they show up, and kind of, you know, an idea of what the antidote is, or the antidote could be on these so you guys don’t have to fall into those. So the first one is criticism. Right? And criticism, when you think about what you think about when you think of criticism, Tim, as it relates to communication and relationship?

Tim Matthews  5:42  

Negativity and gratefulness? Complaining, less so complaining, complaining. Yeah, the things that stand out?

Doug Holt  5:57  

Yeah, and so when we talk about criticism related to the four horsemen, criticism typically attacks someone’s character. And in my experience in my relationships, and then but also looking working with a guy, it often is an absolute, you always XYZ, you never XYZ, etc. What’s going on, and it’s the character’s attack, that’s the biggest issue here. And we’re looking at things that are being criticized, something like, you’re always thinking about yourself, you never think about everyone else. That could be something that you could say, or you could hear, you could be receiving this attack, attacking the character of the person what I’m saying there in that example, if you are always, in your world, you never think of anybody else. That’s a character flaw. And when that criticism comes out to attack again, our ego immediately kicks in and wants to defend ourselves in our character. Right, we go immediately into defensiveness, we usually actually go into contempt, but you’ll go in, you’ll start defending yourself, and you’ll get upset right away. And when we use this one of the four horsemen relationships in this communication style, what’s happening with this criticism is that it’s shutting down the other person. So if you’re saying this to your wife, if you’re criticizing her, she’s gonna shut down and or attack you. And we’ll talk about that because it leads into the other four horsemen, that are the other three, excuse me, they’re coming in. And it doesn’t pave the way for good communication.

Tim Matthews  7:41  

Yeah, I can see that. Especially if you’re not honoring your side of the agreement, let’s say, for me to be specific here. Often the men we speak with’re in this place where they’re blaming the wife. She doesn’t do this. She does that. And I get it. We’ve all been there. And it’s interesting, because if they were to look around, okay, well, what are you showing? What are you doing? And when we criticize, often the other person can easily point at things that the person who’s criticizing also isn’t doing as well. So it’s a mix. It can make it a lot worse because you can come across as quite ignorant and maybe a little bit arrogant to a degree.

Doug Holt  8:33  

Oh, absolutely. We criticize that you’re putting that other person you’re making them. You’re almost like assaulting them, like verbally assaulting their character, and they become the victim, which makes you the perpetrator. So now they’re looking at you like you’re the perpetrator. Now they’re feeling like the victim. And this leads to a downward spiral. Could you imagine if Amelia or Erin, my wife, for me, comes in and says, You never think of anybody else? You’d only think about yourself, do you ever think anybody’s like, Oh, that’s a good point. Yeah. Thanks so much for sharing that insight. That never happens unless you’re joking, Unless you’re coming back with a joke.

Tim Matthews  9:20  

So I was gonna say, what’s the line here between a criticism and a shit test? Although I was thinking about this, I guess the difference is where it comes from?

Doug Holt  9:30  

A completely the energy behind it. Right? But there also can be ways I should say, there are ways of recognizing a shit test and seeing, and that’s not the part of this conversation per se, cuz that’s a whole nother issue. But you can kill this by using one of the antidotes. Right. We talked about the antidotes in the Facebook group. A little bit in the worksheets, but more in the Facebook group. What’s the antidote to criticism? How do you do this? How do you change this around and do it? And I’m gonna give a secret here on how you do that in a little bit. But to see if this is a shit test if Amelia comes back and says you’re selfish, you’re going through this, you could let it bounce off of you,  and that is an antidote, being a powerful man and standing in your power. When you’re activated, you know, you’ve gone to The Activation Method and done the work to be activated. It doesn’t bother you as much. But if you’re using this, and I think many men will self-identify with some of these examples, when you’re using this in your relationship. And your wife is an activated or your partner, it’s going to set her off, and it’s going to be a downward spiral. And she’s using it on you. Usually, what I see with relationships can be used in the bedroom and the boardroom. And that’s important because this criticism happens at work, and there’s the difference between guys being guys and joking around. 

You and I take riffs on each other all the time, but it’s good-spirited. But some people do this in the work environment as well, especially people who are crappy leaders, essentially. But you can do this with other people in your work environment and still have the same effect. It usually escalates. And what I’ve seen is when one partner is criticizing the other, it tends to go both ways. Eventually, the criticism starts to happen in the workplace and at home. Backtalk starts to happen. If I feel, you know, my wife feels like she can’t criticize me because the power was dynamic. She may criticize me in front of the kids when I’m not there, or in front of her friends or other things. So there is that the problem with criticism. It’s a problem with all the four horsemen is they escalate. They escalate if you don’t use the antidote And the antidote for them. So I’m not sure if we’re gonna get the antidotes in this podcast, but because I want to make sure we get through all the four horsemen so you guys can recognize, but guys, just so you know, when you want the antidote, you want to get out of this. There are the answers we have available for you. And it’s a free Facebook group that we’re running right now that you can go ahead and grab those in there.

Tim Matthews  12:12  

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean, just thinking that in that situation, right now, without knowing the antidotes, it seems to me like there are three options, you will be facing criticism, you either rise to it, which depending on how you do it could make it worse, you either back down. And again, depending on how you do it, you become a bit bitter, which makes it worse. Oh, all, you’re able to stand your ground and stay neutral. But even still, if it persists, you can only stand your ground for so long before you start to fall into the trap of just allowing something and losing your boundaries and, along with its respect. 

Doug Holt  13:05  

Yeah, and I think the important thing to distinguish here is the difference between criticism and a complaint. Right criticism is an attack on character, not a complaint. And a complaint when you’re doing it really, you own your side of the street. You can complain, you could say something like, gosh, you know, you didn’t grab my jacket. I wish you would because you know, I thought I needed it because I was too cold. I’m talking about me. It’s a little. It’s not the greatest example in the world. But I’m trying to distinguish between what a complaint could be versus a criticism. I think what’s important is, the greater the frequency of these criticisms, the faster they’re going to escalate. And what they escalate with and happen at greater frequency and intensity. What does that lead to? Contempt, which is our second horseman.

Tim Matthews  13:54  

Right, I spoke with a guy last I spoke to a lot of guys last week. And the wives sustained, you know, wishing just manners. So what does that mean? It was better when you were at work with more care, and you just got to work off some cutting things, like putting things so isn’t necessarily find courage is a criticism. But yeah, at least the second one…a contempt because then the guys I’m speaking to at least, and like, well, what do I do with that? What does that mean? Okay, well, I’ll try to model by, you know, doing the dishes and finishing work early, but that’s not again. It’s not what you want and makes it worse because it means guys last minute. I’m doing the dishes. I’m doing the other, and it’s not working. And the second part of contempt, 

Doug Holt  14:48  

Which is you know, she is expressing contempt here. Contempt is being mean. It’s various sarcasm versions and not the funny joking sarcasm, you know, as we might talk about, but it’s ridicule. It’s name-calling. Like we say, you bet you need a man up. You’re saying, hey, you’re a pussy. Right? In a most modern way.

Tim Matthews  15:06  

Boy, you’re another kid. Yeah. All kids here. Yes. We said, Okay, yeah, it is a fourth.

Doug Holt  15:13  

There you go, your child. It can also just be body language, right? with contempt, eye-rolling as the most popular one that we see as men from the women, you’re having a conversation with your wife, or anybody but your wife, and she rolls her eyes. I mean, that just could set you off. Like, oh my gosh, right? Because that’s content. Right? Does she have contentment for you or that situation that you’re in? And this is the second one. We go to criticism, and we get criticized. And then it goes to contentment, right? These go down in order. And that’s the fascinating thing that Dr. Gottman figured out, again, 90% accuracy. If you see these four horsemen showing up in a relationship and don’t get resolved, the relationships are over 90%. In that case, I want to drive that home because it blows my mind that he’s able to predict this with that level of accuracy. Come in here.

Tim Matthews  16:04  

And these are stages of escalation, right?

Doug Holt  16:08  

They do go yes, they escalate. They can all happen in one conversation. And that can happen right away. But as you said, In the example, you gave about this guy, this gentleman you were talking to, I mean, what criticism of contempt right away, right? It’s all in the same sentence in the same delivery.

Tim Matthews  16:25  

Yeah, for him. Again, I’m just thinking of this one guy in particular, although this resonates with God, a lot of men in London we’ve spoken to in the past. When she’s not getting a response from the man, she’s not getting the response that she wants, at least. And you know, the guy kind of wants to be told well what to do. And you know, the woman doesn’t necessarily always know what she wants him to do, and that’s fine. But the second stage of contempt that it escalates to, for a lot of the guys that I speak to at least, is that they’re stuck in this place where she is making cheese and is not complaining. When the first Monday was the first horsemen ducking criticism, she’s making criticisms, which started complaints a lot of the time, and the guys didn’t necessarily hear them. You know how I’m doing all the right things; they don’t hear them. And for this one guy, before we jumped on, he’d been escalated over about a year or so to the point of contempt.

Doug Holt  17:30  

Yeah, and contentment is bad. Like many the guys on here who have done it, you know, read the news, or the research has been in the news all over that when you have contentment, studies show that you have a weakened immune system. And this is why you see couples that are not doing well together. They’re getting sick more often. And when they get sick more often, obviously your energy’s down, things are down, it tightens the relationship. And the four horsemen start attacking. They’re just coming at you with velocity. And it’s amazing. We talk about the mind-body connection and how these things work. Well, here we are, we’re only on the second horseman, and your immune system is already going down, guys, right? You know if this is where the triad of connection wipes these things away, I mean, we’ll talk, we’ll talk about antidotes for each of these four horsemen. But if you want something that’s going to be like a broad sword swiping and just chopping the heads off, all four try to connect right away. We’ve seen it work time and time again, going through. So I’m giving an example of what some guys might say, maybe me possibly it previously. I call it Doug 1.0. But what some guys might say in this situation, that I’ll come across as contentment that they might not realize, right, they might not realize they’re saying it. An example is a man who comes home after a long day, right? have meetings all day. You know, you’re slaying IT staff issues, whatever it is, you’re stressed, you’ve had a long friggin day, you come into the house, your wife comes up to you, she walks by the kind of in a huff, right. 

And she goes, I’ve been with these kids all day, you know, give me a break up with the kids all day. I’ve been at work dealing with vendors, with clients with staff, you’re your stay-at-home mom, and we have a babysitter and a housekeeper. What are you doing? You sit on the couch all day you have time to nap when the kids aren’t here? You know, what do you want to be just a trophy wife, and the guy walks away. That’s an example. Right? Because we’re attacking there. We’re doing name-calling, going through this ridicule, and name-calling happens so often, and men don’t realize they’re doing it right away. It’s kind of you to know, when someone says, This is my problem, this is what’s going on for me, and you’re like, give me a break. That’s nothing compared to my problems. That’s so often most societies hear people talk like that all the time. And this is where you’re getting into contempt. And it causes a ton of problems in the relationship, and You know, and it’s Dr. Gottman said content is the single greatest predictor of divorce. So it’s got to be, it’s got to be eliminated, got to be eliminated. I’ll give you guys a secret antidote for this one. It’s gratefulness and appreciation. So, a gratitude practice which we teach in advanced one, it’s cool, too. I’m not sure if you saw this in our private community for the alumni. But a lot of the alumni are going through led by what we call the accountability assassin lead jack, a gratefulness practice. They’re doing a challenge right now. I think they’re doing a 30 or 60-day challenge on just different variations of gratefulness and appreciation practices. And everybody’s bringing to the table what they’ve learned through The Powerful Man and other resources. The guys see phenomenal results. 

This is one reason you know that you want to have a great appreciation practice and a gratefulness practice, not only internally in your day. If you guys are doing the Alpha Rise & Shine, you’re already killing it. You’re doing the decompression at the end of the day, and you got it. But you also want to do this with your partner. And again, since most of our listeners or listeners are business leaders, you want this to be your staff to guys. And we’re going to use marriage as the primary example here. But these four horsemen show up in any relationship, right and with anything, and it’s just one of the reasons I appreciate you so much, Tim. You want to throw out there time and time again, guys, and show appreciation and show gratefulness which I know can be difficult when things are rough. When things are rough, that could be tough. I was talking to a guy that’s in our community in our Facebook community. And he watched one of the videos that I put out there on this. He’s like, Doug, honestly, man, right now, I can’t think of anything to be grateful, appreciative of my wife, nothing. So I get that, you know, I’ve been there, man. I’ve been there when things are that bad. They’re like, do I need to go on the dark web and hire somebody? They’re like, so bad. You’re looking for, you know, a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Going through there. And I asked him, I said, Look, I’m going. Do you have kids? He said, Yeah, I have three kids. They are amazing. I go great. Do you appreciate your wife for bringing those? It’s the same woman you’re married to? And he’s like, Yeah, yes. Yeah, she did, mom. Yeah. You know what? She’s a great mom. Just shitty. My wife’s not gonna go. No, no, stop there. You just said she’s a great mom. How appreciative should you be about her taking care of your kids while you’re out? Doing what you’re doing? Your shit, right? Right. That’s one. Just stick with that; you don’t need to right now. Stick with that. And be in that space of appreciation there and maybe share it with her and see what her reaction is. From a heart-centered place. Because if you don’t guess what happens, Tim

Tim Matthews  22:58  

Horsemen, come in and swipe you down.

Doug Holt  23:01  

They do, they do. Horseman number three shows up. Right. Horseman three shows up in defensiveness. Right, the third horseman to show up in the arena is defensiveness. And don’t we all get it? Right. This is where a lot of guys fall into the Mr. Nice Guy trap. Right, you start defending your actions. You start defending yourself. An example could be, you know, Amelia can come up to you, Tim, as an example, or Erin comes to me and says, Hey, I noticed that the trash bins aren’t out. I’ve been taken out. You said you’re going to do it this morning. And you respond. Well, geez, don’t you know, I’m so busy. That, you know, I know you walked by him. You saw that they hadn’t been taken out? Why didn’t you take them out? I’m busy doing so many other things. Right, that level of defensiveness really starts to escalate fights in a relationship and happens all the time. And is a key thing with defensiveness. If you recognize and all of you should, the key thing, guys, is we all do defensiveness. If you recognize that, you can get defensive. This is going to suck, and it’s gonna sting. You are switching from the power roll to the victim mode. 

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In that example, I’m saying I’m a victim. I don’t have enough time. Right? The antidote to this is, and it’s been written about, it’s popular right now. Popular and pop culture is taking Extreme Ownership right. Jocko Willink wrote a book about Extreme Ownership. Many people, you take you, we’ve been saying this for years, you own your side of the street. Right? The same conversation happens. Amelia walks up to you, Tim. She says, Hey, I noticed it, you know, you said you’re gonna take the trash out this morning, you know, here it is at 7 pm. And the trash isn’t out. And then Tim, you could come back with something very eloquent, just saying, you know, I got caught up doing some other stuff in your code? Correct. I’ll go. I can go ahead and take those out now, or I can get those later. Right, you’re taking ownership of it. You’re just taking ownership of the action. So remember, again, for the eighth time, 90% accuracy that these horsemen show up, and you don’t use the antidote solution, your relationships are gonna be over. So defensiveness is a great one. And if defensiveness escalates, because what happens when you defend yourself, Amelia, your wife, you guys are listening to this your wife, she starts defending herself. And then you defend yourself again. And then you start making your case. It’s like a bad court case. You were going back and forth like a bad ping pong match. The ball keeps getting volleyed back. And again, it escalates. And if it escalates enough, it goes to what can be some men’s number one, which is the last of the four horsemen, stonewalling.

Tim Matthews  26:40  


Doug Holt  26:43  

Yep. It’s a big one. You know, I used to do this. This is the way I thought this was the right thing to do. When it cuz you know, I was raised, that you never hit a woman. You never yell at a woman. You treat women with respect and dignity. And to me, part of that was instead of getting angry, I just withdrew. I left the situation, the interaction I shut down. Now I could have physically left, which I used to do when I was dating relationships. I just walked out the friggin door. Just get up, go out and walk out. But what happens a lot of times is this guy is emotionally checked out.

Tim Matthews  27:24  

I’ll call work, phone, or food.

Doug Holt  27:30  

Yeah, or we just check out like actually in the conversation we mentally go somewhere else.

Tim Matthews  27:36  

Oh, yeah. Energy’s got to go somewhere. Inevitably it’s not like you check out, and you’re gonna you’re at home. All these contentments there and everything else he to deal with it you’re gonna This is where many guys will just like I said a moment ago and find avenues that are not healthy destructive. Because then it reminds me of the five agonies as well, right. If you start going through those, which feed into this, they’re like the horsemen’s outcomes. It sounds like to me it’s a tough spot to be because then the shame stocks, and you want to isolate yourself, and again, you know, it’s fantasizing about other women. All sorts. Slippery slope.

Doug Holt  28:25  

Yep. It is. And you know, what I would do I remember Erin, my wife telling me this, this is before we got married, maybe right after I can’t remember. But I remember her stopping me and telling me like we’re having one of those Heart Heart-type conversations. And this was one of those eye-opening holy shit moments for me. And I’ve shared this before on the podcast, but she said to me, I would rather you hit me. Then shut down on me. I was like, What are you talking about? You rather I hit you. Like, ridiculous. Like one is like she knew I would never hit her. And I wouldn’t. But she’s like. It’s more emotionally abusive to a woman or me than to be physically to be mental to be stonewalled. Because I need that, I crave the attachment, the connection, and you deny when you Stonewall me, you deny me that connection. I’d rather you just hit me and then have that connection.

Tim Matthews  29:28  

It’s kind of like women fight, connect men fight to win, right? And then when men betray and apply the logical lens that serves them well in business for the woman in the relationship and wonder, Well, why doesn’t it work doesn’t work because she’s wanting the connection like Erin’s talking about?

Doug Holt  29:47  

Yeah, it’s crazy. But it happens because those four horsemen were in my marriage early on, and that’s why we almost divorced. Right? Those four horsemen were there, and we were like both of us on both sides. All right, I was doing it. She was doing it. We didn’t know we didn’t have the triadic connection at the time, where we didn’t have the tools to do any better. We loved each other. Right? I thought being a nicer guy was the answer, which didn’t work, because we all know, completely deactivated me, right going through there. And then the four horsemen will keep showing up regardless of how either of us acted or showed up in our relationship. And until we figured out the antidotes to these, it just caused so much stress. And I remember thinking of being in the office and just contentment, right, building inside of me, because I was so upset about all the things that she was not doing right. Same thing for her. And these four horsemen on the word or relationship.

Tim Matthews  30:48  

Hmm. It sounds like another word for contentment is resentment is something.

Doug Holt  30:56  

You can Yeah, content, but content. We think about contaminants. You’re doing it to insult somebody. And then based on content, and that builds up resentment. Mm-hmm. Right. And so that comes on. So let’s talk about let’s go, let’s do kind of a quick review of the four horsemen, and I’ll give an antidote for each of them. And then you know, we’ll jump in and share anything we want to based on that. Does that sound like a good plan?

Tim Matthews  31:25  

Yeah, let’s do it.

Doug Holt  31:26  

Cool. Awesome. So the first one, again, is criticism. Right? You’re criticizing the person you’re attacking their character coming through. And so the best thing to do is use positive if statements, right? You talk about what you want, you know, I want this, I desire this. Right? That’s a great way of doing it. I want a beer delivered to me on the couch. Whatever your I joke a lot, but whatever you’re going to criticize somebody about, change it and talk about and express what’s coming up for you as an individually called feelings. But if you don’t want to call them feelings, say what’s occurring for you in the eye form that has nothing to do with the other person. That’s how you can bypass criticism. Let’s say you went down to contentment, right? We’ve already talked about the antidote here. Remember, contentment is, as you just said, cinsault, you’re verbally assaulting the person. And the thing is, is to build a relationship. If you’re a business, you can call it culture and your family of appreciation. Right, it’s the biggest thing you can do. It’s the antidote. And the antidote, you know, puts out this poison, right? It takes that for the second horseman out of the picture. And the more you do it, and if you do that, usually you don’t even get the third one. But let’s say you do. Remember, the third horseman is defensiveness, right? That’s defending your position, you’re defending blame, or you feel that you’re being attacked. And we already talked about this antidote, which is taking responsibility—taking ownership. Now ownership works. Do not take ownership of things you don’t need to take ownership of. Stand Your Ground, have your boundaries, but take ownership and take ownership as you need to. And if that builds up, the fourth we got here from the fourth horseman is stonewalling. Right, you’re withdrawing. You’re withdrawing to avoid conflict, disapproval. Anything that doesn’t feel good. And the way to do this, and I learned this as well, and then I’ll give you a pro tip on this as well, is, you say, hey, look, Tim, I need to take a break right now. And we’ll come back to this conversation. Later. I need to go for a walk, and I need to do push-ups, or what have you. Now, the pro tip with this is to give yourself. 

Tim Matthews  33:54  

Go do push-ups.

Doug Holt  33:55  

What’s that? 

Tim Matthews  33:56  

Go do push-ups. It’s gonna go book a Red Room. I’ll be back soon.

Doug Holt  34:01  

You’ve seen me do push-ups on team meetings at times when I’ve gotten upset. So, you know, I gotta move the energy, right? I got the testosterones. In me, it’s running on the piste. You know, I can use either stone wall, or I can drop down during the meeting and do ten push-ups or whatever, pop back up. All right, I feel better. And continue the conversation. And that’s a great thing. One of the great things about this is why many alumni want to be involved with the movement afterward because they have these skill sets. You know, we can go head to head and have complete disagreements. But we always come to a great endpoint. Sometimes we have to do push-ups. Sometimes we talk about it. So we know we go through if you think about this, Tim, we go through these four horsemen within the movement. And at the same time, we use these antidotes consciously or unconsciously. But here’s the pro-tip with this guy. If you’re going to tell your wife or anybody for that matter, Hey, I need to take a break. I need to go for a walk. Tell them when you’re going to continue the conversation. So, look, I need to take a walk, we can have this conversation, we’ll continue this conversation in two hours. We’ll continue this conversation tomorrow, teens conversation on Saturday. And make time for that. Honor your word, honor your commitments. But close the loop. If you don’t close the loop, you can leave the woman in that same state of the stone line, right? There’s not much difference as you need to go for a walk, she’s feeling that withdrawal if you let her know that that’s going to be closed, that loop is going to be closed at a specific time, she can rest back into her femininity, right, she can go back into her femininity. You are leading. You’re leading the paradigm. You’re leading the situation. 

And she can choose to follow. It’s a compelling frame to own. So make sure you give her the end date, or in time when you’re going to do that. But if anything, guys, what I’m going to encourage you to do is look at these four horsemen gotta get the worksheet. We put up a three to the four-page workbook that goes over these four horsemen and things. And guys, if you want that, it’s free. But it together just for you guys to go through, you need to go to the Facebook group and raise your hand, there’s a post in there, or you can post one of the advisors so our advisors, just in case you guys don’t know, are all alumni, the guys that have gone through the program, guys just like you that want to stick around and help out we call them advisors because all they do is advise. And one of them will get you the workbook. Just let them know, go ahead and put four equestrians in a post and say I want the workbook, Franco Ben Lee, someone that guys will reach out to you and help you out there. And they’ll make sure you get that, but get that workbook. And as always, guys, you know, you got to do the work. Gotta do the work. There are two kinds of hearts here. It’s hard to be in a crappy relationship. It’s hard to do the work to get out of a crappy relationship. Which hard do you want? It’s gonna be hard either way. Pick your heart. I can tell you. It’s much better. I’ve been in both. The hard getting out of a crappy relationship is not that hard. And it’s much, much better because you get a better result.

Tim Matthews  37:22  

Take some responsibility, though. Right, which I know is one of the antidotes reminds me of some of the stuff I did this morning. And it was designing one of the trade-ins this morning. For the guys in the brothers who are taking them through how to get your needs met, we asked him for it. Great. And one hour on the third installment of this, and part of it is around. Well, this is around, you know, taking a stand for the relationship, and how do you do it? How do you maintain that boundary, and introduce them to the concept of triggers and what’s going on and how to be aware of what’s going on with you and making chaos out of the street and now to communicate in a very calm, firm, consistent way, which by default is leadership? As you said, what it does is creates something that makes the relationship muscle you a safe place to land. And it doesn’t mean that things come up in a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t get triggered. We all get triggered. But when you’re able to recognize that it is all about you, it’s never about the other person. It’s all about you. And you start taking ownership of that and getting curious about Okay, cool. Well, I’m feeling pissed right now. So, you know, it’s there are times when it’s not a good time to talk about things like you said, Doug, you know, imagine your traffic light system. Ideally, you’d stay in the green. For most of the time. So you know, you can adventure into the amber or the yellow, whatever you guys call it. In the UK, we call it amber, and you’re going to venture into the amber. And ideally, you’d catch yourself there, right? Or you’d catch yourself on the border between green and amber. But you will go to reg to from time to time. So point being is back to your point. 

Yeah, if you want to do push-ups, go for a walk, give it time, finish the conversation, do it, and when you’re on that walk, reflect, okay, well, what is it here? What am I feeling, and what has been triggered? I’m going to go through the entire process, but it’s a compelling place to be because then when you can go back into the relationship and then share what you’ve discovered about yourself, right? You know, let’s say that you go back in and you walk into the door, and you go to Amelia and say, I’ve been thinking about this, and I want to take responsibility for my part in this. I’m sorry that you feel like a bum bum bum bum bum, and whatever I might then share to explain how I’m feeling, I realized that honestly, I was scared. I felt like I’d let you down. I felt like I couldn’t handle a businessman, you know, dealing with having a great relationship. And now that’s Scared me to feel like I was failing. It hurt. I took it out on you. And I’m sorry for that, you know, whatever it is right. For example, but you get the gist. Now there’s a saying the first one to be vulnerable wins an awesome race to be in the race to be vulnerable. Imagine being in that kind of race is going to nullify these horsemen. And if they continue to show up, and you’re doing this side, you’re operating in this way, then you’ve got a choice to make, you know, because if you choose to continue to tolerate that, it is your choice. The point is, when you’ve been calm and collected and taken responsibility, then at least you know that you’re doing the best you can. Right. So it’s a great place to be, you know, taking ownership, in my opinion, doesn’t mean that you become ashamed of what you’ve done. But it’s very empowering, very empowering, to be out of that place of being a victim.

Doug Holt  41:13  

Well, you’re in the driver’s seat, right. And that’s where all of us men want to be, especially leaders. You want to be driving things forward, sometimes you get confused and lost. And, and that’s why a lot of guys fall into these traps. They’re not sure what to do. And to your point, what you were saying is, you get to be the leader, as you know, as you go through one camera, turn off or turn the other one on. And you get to be the leader in that situation. 

Tim Matthews  41:44  

That’s what these guys are not doing. Then, you know, the small majority of guys we speak with choose not to go forward with the program. Now I have total respect for them and their choices. And there’s a commonality between them. And the commonality is a lack of responsibility. That was taking, and I share this wisdom. Now I’m not talking about in the back here. It’s not a judgment, and it’s an observation they can choose to accept or not. It’s an observation that I see embarrassment from working with 1000s and 1000s of these calls. We know what works, we see patterns, we know it doesn’t work, see patterns, don’t have a crystal ball. But you see patterns. When you see that a guy isn’t taking responsibility, that’s been part of the relationship’s problem. He’s become a nice guy. He’s done what his wife is asking him to do. But she’s saying things like, hey, I want you to listen to me, I want you to get me, and he’s there, put his phone away and, you know, paying attention and listening and trying to solve the problem. But obviously, that isn’t what she wants. She wants the connection. We’re not buyers. He’s like, well, I’m trying everything I’m working on and provided, you know, I’m leaving a cache and you know, why isn’t it working? Just I’ll become more of a nice guy. He doesn’t work because secretly, then behind the back, he’s watching porn fantasizes about other women. Again, it’s a lack of facing the horsemen and taking responsibility and doing the work and choosing the heart that is the destructive heart. Now there are two hearts right one is very destructive one is constructive. You know, he’s both of him. Both can be painful ones can be painful for longer and have bigger consequences. And again, this guy is just a friend of mine because it was right before we jumped on. In the past month, he’s lost six pounds. He’s not. He’s not been trained to lose. Where is just lost through stress, sleepless nights? What’s changed, she used to love me. She used to want to have sex with me. Now she doesn’t have been trying all these things. I can’t, you know, and it’s exactly what we’re sharing with these horsemen. But yeah, responsibility is huge. I would put responsibility as number one, to be honest. Because until you take in responsibility, it’s difficult to give appreciation, in my opinion, without really taking responsibility. Because with the responsibility, become aware, right? Well, what’s going on? 

Doug Holt  44:28  

Yeah, but we’re talking about I think we’re talking about two different things here. The Four Horsemen come in an escalation of a disagreement, where I agree with you that taking responsibility is the first thing every man should do. The four horsemen are a different subject, everything coming through there, but you’re spot on. Yeah, you guys got to take responsibility, you know, and really step into it, step on it, and go through.

Tim Matthews  44:54  

Especially seeing the horsemen and wow, painted a very clear Symptoms a very clear list with antidotes as well,

Doug Holt  45:05  

Crystal clear and a 90% predictability that you’re going to end up in divorce relationships over. Right? The relationship is over with 90% accuracy if you don’t take action. And that’s why it’s, you know, the work we do is so important to me. You know, because this also crosses over. And we because we go into all five territories, self-health, wealth, relationships, and business. But for this relationship piece, you know, this is critical. And so really trying to connect is, to me, the ultimate antidote for this situation.

Tim Matthews  45:39  

Yeah, I love to see that. I agree.

Doug Holt  45:43  

As we wrap up here, gentlemen, we’re going to encourage you to get the workbook to go over to the phrase Facebook group looks for if you’re not in there already. It’s The Powerful Man Facebook group, pretty easy to find. See a beautiful picture of Tim and Arthur on there. I’m also on there. And some of the other coaches, you’ll see them in their great conversations with great guys like you. And if you want that workbook, go in there. It’s the easiest way for me to get it to you. And raise your hand if, for some reason, you’re not on Facebook, or what have you. Go ahead and email support at The Powerful Man calm, and tell them you want the four horsemen workbook. And Doug promised that they would get it to you, and I’ll make sure that they do, and they’ll make sure that it gets out to you right away. And again, guys, if you’re new to this show, we recommend you go over also and get the cheat sheet right. So a reignite cheat sheet helps you reignite your relationship. Just get a little taste of things that can happen. And that’s over at ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus. That’s ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus. And as always, gentlemen, if you’ve been with us for a little while, we’d love for you to leave a review. But more importantly, we want you to take action. Take these concepts, share them, and take action to start getting results in your life right away. Gentlemen, that’s a wrap for us here at The Powerful Man show. We’ll see you next time.


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