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Two Signs That Your Relationship Isn’t Going To Work

Episode #699

What are the two main reasons why relationships break down?

The main two reasons why relationships break down are unmet expectations and thwarted communication. Unmet expectations occur when there is a mismatch between what one person expects from the relationship and what the other person is willing or able to give. This can lead to resentment, anger, and eventually, the end of the relationship. Thwarted communication occurs when one or both partners are unable or unwilling to communicate their needs and wants to each other. This can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and a lack of trust.

On the other hand, relationships succeed when there are clear expectations that are usually met and open lines of communication. This means that both partners know what the other person expects from the relationship and are able to communicate their needs and wants in a clear and honest way. This allows for conflict resolution and helps to keep the relationship strong.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the two main reasons why relationships break down and how to improve communication in your relationships.

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Tim Matthews  00:22

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show with my co-host, King Arthur Magoulianiti.

Arthur Magoulianiti 00:50

Hello. How are you doing?

Tim Matthews  00:52

All right. Over there, you look like you’re struggling with something.

Arthur Magoulianiti 00:55

No, just getting my notebook here out of the way.

Tim Matthews  00:59

Okay, nice. You’re one of 50 notebooks that are all full of journaling from the past few years all stacked in the corner.

Arthur Magoulianiti 01:05

Yeah, yeah, yeah. All those random thoughts and ideas.

Tim Matthews  01:10

I love how you’ve got the journal from Cuba over your left-hand shoulder.

Arthur Magoulianiti 01:14

Yeah, it wasn’t planned. I was just lining up all the black books there. And that one, just put that on top. There it is.

Tim Matthews  01:22

Nice. Fantastic. So for those of you that don’t know, I mean, you may have heard King Arthur on some of the previous podcasts. So Mr. King Arthur partners with Mr. Dougie Fresh and I on various programs in TPM. And he’s also one of the master coaches within the brotherhood. He has been with the movement now for about coming up six years, I’d say. Yeah, we’ve had a lot of fun adventure over that time frame, a lot of growth, which has been awesome.

So he’s played a massive part in the movement, and the way the movement is today. Works primarily in the Brotherhood with the guys that are in year two and above, really, guys that have been with us for a few years, in fact, and delivers a lot of Master classes as well to the men. So for those of you that don’t know, the Master class is something that we put on for the men in the Brotherhood. They’re essentially a four week, usually three to four week series where every month we dive into a different topic within that Masterclass.

The last one was led by Mr. Mark Smith. He’s one of our great coaches. The next one I’m leading starting next week on how to build a world class sales team. And there’s been all sorts. There’s been the Powerful Father, there’s been boundaries, sexual mastery. Arthur is very much involved in helping put those together. So let’s just dive into this one. So yesterday, Arthur, you was on the inner circle. Call with me. And I lead that every Wednesday. Inner Circle is our high end Mastermind with we limit it to about ten men. Well, not about we limit it to ten men. Usually invest anywhere from around 85k to be in there for the year. It’s a really great bunch of guys.

But anyway, yesterday, what we do, what we did yesterday, rather, is take them in through a training every week, we like to take them through a training or a hot seat, as well as their accountability and breakthrough. And the question, the topic that we brought up with the men yesterday was what are the main two reasons why a relationship breaks down? This could be a work relationship, an intimate relationship, even a relationship with your kids, assuming your kids are of a certain age. And I asked the men, why do you think the relationships break down? What are the reasons? And they threw some really great ideas out there. Lack of trust, absence of communication, a lack of polarity. What were some of the other ones they threw out there? Do you remember? There’s about six or seven of them.

Arthur Magoulianiti 04:00

Yeah, I don’t recall what else they said, trust.

Tim Matthews  04:04

Yeah, trust. Came up a couple of times. Anyway, there was this list of six or seven things, and some of them were close, most of them weren’t. And basically, if a relationship is breaking down, there are usually two main reasons why that is. And these two reasons are unmet expectations and thwarted communication. Because typically in that scenario, you have expectations that are not met and the inability to talk about it, right?

So that if you imagine there’s a piece of glass between you and the other person, the other person is on the other side. Every time something goes unsaid or unfelt, imagine you’re flicking a piece of mud on that glass. Probably heard us talk about this before. Over time, if that mud isn’t cleaned off, which would usually happen through an honest conversation, really, then that mud is going to build up and before long, you’re not going to be able to see the other person that’s behind that glass. I mean, they’re still there. They’re still the same person, but your view of them is very much clouded. And you can’t see them, you can’t see their qualities. You can’t see the things that you really fell in love with in the first place or the things you valued in them in the beginning.

And the terrible thing about that is, if that relationship was to end, let’s say it’s an intimate relationship, the likelihood is that person would leave and somebody else would get the best of them because they can see them through the glass, because there is no mud on the glass in that new relationship. So this is where a lot of resentment builds in. This is where we’ve spoken on other podcasts about the four horsemen of the divorce, right?

And contempt is one of them, stonewalling is another. And that’s all the things that can tend to happen when you have unmet expectations. And maybe that’s because the expectations haven’t been clearly communicated. Maybe you haven’t done a good job of knowing what you want, or maybe you’ve communicated it in a lackluster, uncertain way, right? A lot of what we say to people, 80% of communication is nonverbal, right?

So how we say something, body language, tonality, all the other things that feed into that are very important. So if you haven’t done a good job of clearly communicating what you want and need to set an expectation and you haven’t got their agreement in that, of course you’re going to get unmet expectations. And then at the same time, if you don’t have the ability, for whatever reason that may be, maybe it’s the lack of tools, maybe it’s a lack of confidence, maybe it’s the state of the relationship. If there’s no ability to have open communication, so thwarted communication, in essence, that’s just going to get worse.

So if we were to flip this on its head, what are the two reasons, the main two reasons why a relationship would succeed? That is because of clear expectations that are usually met and open lines of communication. Clear expectations that are usually met and open lines of communication. Because if you have clear expectations, even if they are not met, if you have open lines of communication and you’re able to have an honest and open conversation with the other person, express your frustration or dissatisfaction, the fact that this expectation hasn’t been met, hear out the other person as to why it hasn’t been met.

And maybe there’s just a misunderstanding.  Maybe this person has been doing their best and they thought they were meeting it, but they were just a little bit off. But if you’re able to have that open communication, it keeps that mud off the glass. And if you’re able to have that open communication quickly, it keeps that mud off the glass and you can course correct and eventually you’ll have your expectations met.

So as we were sharing this with the inner circle, many yesterday, we dived a little bit deeper in the training with those guys, talked through scenarios with the staff, with the partners, the wives, various different scenarios. What I love about those guys, they went away and applied it immediately. Right? We received some messages into the voice channel Voxer Chat that we have with them called the Wolverines. It’s an amazing channel that these guys posting every day, sharing their wins around bagels or making ice cream with the family or touring their ranch or whatever it may be. It’s awesome, but they’re sharing wins. These guys immediately took massive action. That’s what it’s like being in the circle. I love it!

So anyway, Arthur, I want to bring you in at this point because you shared some great insights yesterday as well. Let’s just share those with the listeners in the hope that let’s say this is resonating with them. Okay? They’re in a position where there’s mud on the glass. They’re struggling to remember why they’re in a relationship with this person, whether it’s, the wife or whoever it may be, can’t see them clearly. And there is an experience of unmet expectations and thwarted communication. What advice would you give to somebody who’s listening to this right now, who’s in that position and wants to be able to improve the relationship?

Arthur Magoulianiti 08:48

Yeah, I think it all starts off with getting really clear. Clarity is power, as we say, and it’s getting really clear on what it is that you’re expecting of the other. Often we have these expectations of somebody we don’t communicate that they obviously fail to meet up with it. And then we have this resentment building up. And so us getting really clear up front, what is it that I want, what is it that I desire?

And getting a cleared list of that because then you can communicate that having that clarity is the first step. I’ve often heard people talk about expectations as premeditated resentments. Premeditated resentments because you throw it out there, you don’t communicate it properly. You throw it out there and as I said, it doesn’t get fulfilled and then you get resentful.

So number one is get clear what it is that you want, that you want from this relationship, because then you can obviously communicate a lot clearer. But then obviously, you got to sit down and have that chat with your partner. And the other key thing here is you want to have the chat with the partner. Not about this is what I want, because it becomes about what I want, what you want. And it becomes a bit of a battle between you guys.

You want to have a central theme. And that central theme is how do we create the best relationship here? How do we create the best relationship? How do we need to show up in order to create this best relationship? And then you guys come up with some sort of mutually agreed parameters that would create the perfect relationship or an ideal relationship for you guys. Yes. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship.

But if you guys have an agreement on what you guys believe would be the ideal relationship for you guys, what the vision for that is getting clear on that vision, then you can work backwards from that and say, okay, in order for us to do that, this is how we need to show up. And then you have your plan, in essence. Then you have the agreements that you both agree, not because the one wants it or the other, but because it’s in the best interests of that relationship.

So now you have that standard, and then it’s just a matter of holding each other accountable to that standard. Yes, that’s where things can get a bit eraser at times, especially in moments of, you know, heated moments and moments where someone’s stressed. So there is a way, in a manner of discussing that when that boundary is messed up. And we’ll talk about that now, but yeah, I mean that’s the process. Get clear, obviously, focus on the mutual win, not my win, and then have that agreement set and clear so that there’s no misinterpretation and it’s completely clear on what it is that you both expect.

Tim Matthews  11:46

Beautiful point! Reminds me of one of the points the guys made yesterday on the call. I won’t say his name, he’s booked onto the Alpha Reset in August. I know that he will have a nickname the back of that, we can then use that. But yeah, he did this exact thing with his wife, right, and actually received a boxer from him this morning, Arthur, I’d got it this morning but he’d sent it yesterday and he’s in Central Time, I’m in the UK, so he’s 6 hours behind me and he’s like, Tim, Tim, I’ve got to share a win with you. So I just got a call from what say his wife’s name, but just got a call from my wife and I was supposed to meet her for lunch but I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it.

And she said, hey, why don’t we skip lunch and why don’t you come home, we’ll have some lunchtime bagels. Which for those of you that don’t know, bagels is a word that the guys use in the movement for, let’s just say some intimate connection. We’ll leave it at that. Let the imagination work. Go wild on that one. But he was blown away. He’s like, afternoon bagels, I’ve not had that in so long. All the work I’m doing is just paying off. I’m being consistent. Yeah, it is. But the way in which he’s showing up is leading to it. And this is one of the things he did.

He sat down with his wife, made some clear agreements, got clear on what they both wanted, what would make them connect to one another, what would make them disconnect from one another and then what do they want within the relationship? And then in doing so, he did a fantastic job of creating a very safe space for his wife. His wife was very worried that if they said what they want in the relationship that she was going to fail in meeting that and when she failed in meeting that, that he was then going to come down hard on her with the accountability and he promised her that he wouldn’t. He reiterated it several times that hey look babe, we’re going to fail at this, we’re going to get it wrong.

But the point here is we get clear on what’s important for the relationship and we make it about the relationship. The relationship is a third entity that remains sacred. And the thing with this guys, when you’re able to do this and you make it about the relationship, you don’t make it about the other person. It alleviates and relieves the pressure from the other person. It’s not you versus them. It’s about, hey, I’m not going to allow you to talk to me that way because we agreed that in our relationship, we speak to another in a respectful manner that’s really important to you. And I value our relationship more than allowing you to speak to me in this way right now.

So I’m going to take a stand right now for us, for our relationship because our relationship is important to me, and I’m going to hold what we committed to as the sacred and stay true to it, versus you will not speak to me that way. I will not be it’s a different place to come from. I butchered the example a little bit, but you get the point, right? And that’s exactly what this guy has been doing, just making it about the relationship. And as a result, his wife has felt led his wife has felt clear. She clearly knows where she stands, where he stands. She’s felt seen and heard. He’s been consistent with it, and it’s resulting in this great level of connection for those two.

Arthur Magoulianiti 14:49

And what I loved about that whole example was they made it really fun. It wasn’t this seriousness, this black and white, we got to do this because that just takes you out of it straight away, you know. It’s the wrong kind of energy. But they brought a playfulness to this. I think they actually drew a bunch of circles. Yeah. It was a craft exercise, you know.

Tim Matthews  15:13

It was a craft exercise because she loves crafts.

Arthur Magoulianiti 15:16

Well, there you go. Okay.

Tim Matthews  15:17

Purposeful, right? It made it very light and fun.

Arthur Magoulianiti 15:18

So yeah. So you guys gets us really in our heads, out of our bodies, tongue tied, don’t know what to say. But when we bring fun to it, then makes it a lot easier and you’ll go a lot further with it. So, yeah, enjoy the process and yeah, you want to get on the good side as well. You want, you know, both people in a great state to have this game, but the results will be all worth it.

Tim Matthews  15:48

Yeah. So another topic that came up yesterday, leading on from this was, hey, well, what if I’m doing this? What if I’ve clearly communicated expectations and there are open lines of communication and the expectations are still not being met. We’re using the example of family members because these are people you may not choose to cut out of your life. Right? So you’re going to be in a relationship with them.

But at the same time, if you choose to maintain the same level of expectation and you’re constantly talking to them about how your expectations are not being met and how it’s not okay and so on and so forth, that just results in a lot of stress and frustration for you. Right? Because it’s the same thing. You’ve still got to met expectations. It can be frustrating. So what we’re sharing with the men, the idea of what can this person and what can this relationship realistically be for me, because sometimes in this process, we can expect something from somebody that they’re just not able to do or to give or to be right.

This could be in a work relationship, a lot of the guys in the movement use EOS. When you use EOS, part of what you do each quarter is you go through each C and you go, GWC. Does this person get it? Do they want it? Do they have the capacity? Now, in terms of this scenario, they may want it and they may have the capacity, but they just may not get it, right? They just may not get it, or they don’t have the capacity.

And that could be true of, like, let’s say a sibling. You love your sibling. I’ve had a similar experience with my sister wanting my relationship to be a certain way with her. And I’ve just come to accept and realize that it’s not going to be that way. There’s things going on there for her, and that’s okay. And I’ve done certain things and tried certain things and had certain conversations and held a certain space.

And it resulted for a long time in a lot of frustration for me because I was willing it and wanting it to be something different. Until I realized, until I asked myself, in fact, hey, what can this relationship realistically be for me? What can she realistically be for me? What can I realistically expect from her? She’s saying one thing, her actions are showing me another thing. Let’s go by her actions, not by what she tells me, because her telling me just creates hope, right? Let’s go by her actions. And I’m going to lower my expectation, which I did.

And as a result, my level of stress and frustration was drastically reduced. I actually got a message from her a few weeks ago just saying, hey, sorry I’ve not been in touch. Feel like I’ve been a bad sister. It’s been however long, four, five, six weeks. She’s an older sister, so I think she carries a little bit of a burden of being an older sister, wanting to be a good sister and all that stuff. I just respond, hey, look, it’s okay. You don’t have anything to apologize for. I don’t have any expectation. It’s completely fine, great to hear from you.

And I’ve just come to accept, okay, realistically, this relationship, I will always be there for her. She will always be there for me. And when we speak, it’s always nice that’s it, when accepted, that’s the reality of our relationship. And as far as it’s going to go, it was a lot more enjoyable when I had interactions versus my expectation of wanting to be something bigger, greater. If she had a message of me saying, hey, sorry for being about a bad sister, I’ve not spoken to you for a few I’d be like, yeah, do you know what?

You should have contacted me. It has been frustrating, but I didn’t. Different place to come from, and it’s a really important point. As we were sharing this with the men yesterday, they could see where in their life they had been expecting things from people who just couldn’t provide it. Whether it was from people at work that they had in certain positions, whether it was from people in their life. It’s like a light bulb went off. Oh, I get it. That person is that person. They are not going to change. This is who they can realistically be. Therefore, in that relationship, I’m going to choose to have it in my life, but I’m going to choose to lower my expectation of it and basically put it into a different box.

Arthur Magoulianiti 19:32

Yeah, I love that way of looking at things. I think often we can expect things from others who just simply can’t provide it in the way we want it. And then expecting them to change is really unfair. You’re not accepting that person for who they are, which can get pretty difficult if that’s your partner, because then you got a bigger decision to make because it comes down to personal standards as well. You know, what are you willing to accept and what are you not willing to accept?

And if the other person has different standards, well, then there’s going to be a mismatch and then the situation arises. I love the other perspective of, you know, using your example, Tim. This would work perfectly in that scenario, is trading your expectations for appreciation instead of like, you know, I expect this of this person, this person. It’s really focusing on what can I appreciate from this person? Because often if we get caught up in what we missing, then we all spot what we’re missing. But if you start looking for appreciation, you’re going to find a lot more things to appreciate about that person. And that may be all the switch that you need to change your perspective and focus.

Tim Matthews  20:45

Beautiful. So guys, you heard it from the King himself. No, not Elvis, King Arthur Magoulianiti. Nietzsche. Thank you, brother. It’s been awesome. I’m sure the listeners are going to take a lot from this. So guys, like we said, the two main breakdowns in a relationship unmet expectations, thwarted communication. The flip side of that, the two keys to success, clear expectations and open lines of communication. And obviously, you’ve heard it from the King himself. You’ve got some advice here on what you can do if you’re struggling with this.

If you want to hear more about how we help men just like you fix a marriage without talking about it, or even business owners level up their life with a lot more passion and purpose and power, if you will, you could always head over to thepowerfulman.com/results. You’ll see a whole lot of case studies there, see if it’s for you. If it’s not, no worries. If it is, great. Get in touch. And as Dougie Fresh always likes to say, at the moment of insight, take massive action. Thanks for being with us, guys. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man Show.