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Why Both Couples Need To Put In The Work

Episode #725

Are you and your partner both on the path of personal growth within your relationship?

Are you ready to take your relationship to new heights by embracing change and development together?

For many couples, the dynamics of growth and transformation play a pivotal role. The ideal scenario is when both partners actively participate in personal growth, rising together to strengthen their bond. However, challenges can arise when one partner advances while the other remains stagnant, leading to potential conflicts.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the importance of mutual growth within relationships, the delicate balance of supporting one another’s ambitions, and the power of bringing newfound enthusiasm back to your partnership.

Join us as we explore the dynamics of personal growth, shared aspirations, and how to maintain a healthy, evolving relationship.

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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

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Doug Holt  00:01

Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. Today we’re going to talk about the fact that you both have to do the work. So, Tim, this is something that comes up time and time again with men that reach out to us, men that within the movement. And my wife, who coaches women, she hears this all the time from women, and I think even more so than men in it came up in this Alpha Reset in some degrees because it tends to happen, is that women tend to do more work than men, generally speaking.

So when a woman has a problem, she goes and finds a solution immediately and has no embarrassment about asking for help, where guys typically wait till it gets so bad that the house is on fire before they even raise their hand or even start to investigate getting help.

Tim Matthews  00:51

Yeah. I was thinking about to Erin what she said when the guys got to do something very special with her, ask her some questions and just awesome. Just seeing her in that space, sharing a wisdom and a magic with those guys. But, yeah, it’s usually the women. Right? But at the same time, for the guys that we’re dealing with, the common complaint is the inverse, actually, isn’t it? For the guys in the movement?

Doug Holt  01:19

Yeah, it can be. So there’s two things, two points I want to get off right off the bat. One, if you’re listening to this and you’re on the fence about joining a program, doesn’t have to be the Powerful Man, but joining a program, odds are your wife is already off the fence and has already done work.

Tim Matthews  01:36


Doug Holt  01:37

Behind the scenes or in front? I know my wife was doing work when our relationship was bad. Behind the scenes. Right? In other words, the way that she operates is she doesn’t do it in front of me. She doesn’t tell me about it.

Tim Matthews  01:51

Amelia’s the same.

Doug Holt  01:52

Yeah, most women are. We had a guy at The Alpha Reset this time, and his wife ended up leaving him, leaving him for another man. And the reason one of the parts was is his wife went and started doing work with a female coach for quite a while, and out of that coaching, she realized she wanted to be with a man that was doing work, to be in his power, essentially, my words, not his, going through there. So this happens a lot.

So, guys, if you’re listening to this, odds are your wife is already doing something. It just may not be showing up on your credit card bills right now. And women are tricky, man. They can hide things a lot better than us guys. So that’s first and foremost the second part. The flip side of this is for men that are in the program listening to this. Right?

Men that are in the program that are growing their women need to do the work, and we always say that men come into the program, there’s usually one of four outcomes that happen. Right? So first one is the guy goes into the program. He rises to meet his wife, who’s already been doing the work, and they sail off in the sunset. Right? That’s the ideal. Two, he rises because he’s doing the work. She tries to pull him down, which ends up destroying the relationship.

Third one, he rises up, and then she chooses to rise up to meet him. They sail off in the sunset also. Great. The fourth one, he rises up and realizes how horrible of a person she is and doesn’t want to put up with it, and he leaves the relationship. So let’s look at the two where they’re both rising, right? That’s where we want to be. Either the man’s rising up to meet the woman’s growth in the marriage relationship, or he rises and leads her to rise.

Now, most of the time for the guys we talk to, Tim, he’s doing the work, and he’s rising, and he grows beyond his wife, beyond his partner, and she’s still criticizing him about the things that he needs to do to change. What advice would you give that man in that?

Tim Matthews  04:02

Oh, she’s still criticizing him about what he needs to do to change.

Doug Holt  04:07

But she’s not doing the work herself.

Tim Matthews  04:09

Yeah. Wow. So I’m going to think of a particular guy because it’s just going to be easier for me. Obviously, I’ll maintain anonymity with this. This guy is an amazing man. He’s been in the movement for a few years, and he invests in his growth in a major way. And quite frankly, the environment that he’s in, I just don’t know how he’s in the environment that he’s in, because I imagine the man that he could be if he was in a different environment, and he would saw. He would saw and he sees glimpses of what this could be from his wife at times, and in those moments, he saws for that day or two or 12 hours, however long it lasts.

So he is putting in the work. He meticulously, maintains his routines. He has gone from never working out and been laughed at, quite frankly, and been laughed out of gyms in the past, to completing Spartan races, to hitting over, I think, a 220 pound bench press, which was a major feat for him. Right?

So he’s really put in the work over the past few years, and he continues to do so. He’s attended pretty much every brotherhood trip that we’ve had, and he’s just an amazing man. Everyone says the same thing about this guy, how great of a guy he is. He’d do anything for you. But at the same time, he is choosing to be in a situation with his wife where she’s choosing not to do the work. And that’s fine. She has a choice too. Just like he’s choosing to do it, she has a choice. She can choose not to do it. She’s totally entitled to that opinion. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s fine.

However, if she’s continuing to criticize him for not doing the work, whatever it may be, and he’s the one that’s continuing to step up, the first piece of advice I would give him is remind him, really, that you get what you tolerate. Because he is often frustrated by the fact that his wife isn’t doing the work, wants her to do the work. Has tried many different approaches to get her to do the work, from criticism to not saying anything at all, to just leading the way. He’s tried everything. His wife just isn’t going to do it. She just isn’t going to do it. I think that’s the second piece of advice I’d give him is just get realistic with who she can be.

Doug Holt  06:54

Not who she can be, but who she is.

Tim Matthews  06:56

Who she is. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, who she is. Great point. Just be realistic with who she is and what this relationship can realistically be. And what this relationship can realistically be is what it is today. So you either get to make peace with that and just live in it and settle and just face a reality that this is what it’s going to be like, which isn’t a great position to be in. Not because you should grow, because I’m not saying that it’s a very toxic environment in this particular instance and he’s staying there, the kids and out of love and all that stuff.

At the same time, there’s a totally different side to that story as well. So just be realistic. She’s not going to change. And that’s okay. She’s entitled to that. So would you marry her again? This person that you are in a relationship with right now, knowing what you know about them now, today, not even would you marry them again, would you date them again? If the answer is no, then I think it’s very telling.

Doug Holt  08:07

Yes. Without going down the rabbit hole of this particular person relationship, which I think I know who you’re talking about. But for the most guys that are out there listening to this, they’re dying for their wives to do the work. One is they there’s two reasons, right? One is they want to fix their wives. Two is the other reason, which is a more genuine reason, in my opinion, is they want their wives to get the help that they need. They’re two very different ones, though. They can be mixed, right? Not everybody’s altruistic out there just wanting their wife to be happy. They wanted to be happy and do those things that they wanted to change, right?

As we go through it, that’s one of the most interesting things to me about The Alpha Reset, is how many of the men come into The Alpha Reset with all these things they want their wives to change. They leave The Alpha Reset  going, the totally different perspective, let’s just say that. But what I’ve known is for my own life. So when Aaron and I, my wife, when we were going through our pit of despair, our dark times, so much so that I left for a little bit, we wouldn’t have gotten back together if she wasn’t doing the work as well. There’s no way, no way that we would have gotten together. And today we still do the work. We still grow together.

And that’s why I think our relationship is so solid. We have our problems, of course, and at the same time, but those problems can go quickly. Like fights that used to last three weeks, last 30 seconds, maybe a day. But a day is super rare for us to be out of alignment, it has to be a big issue. It’s typically around her family would be the only thing because it really pulls on her heartstrings, but that’s it.

And it’s because she does the work. She’s continuously doing the work. She’ll share little Instagram things or TikToks or whatever with me. Usually around parenting, usually they’re jokes, but sometimes there’s something I can tell, there’s a little hint of something that she wants us as a couple or me to work on, and that’s fine. But I’ll also look at the books she’s reading, and there are books on developing, being a better woman, a better wife, and things of that nature, better mother. So there are things that she’s developing and working on.

And the thing that we get to get as men is if we’re not growing, we’re dying. Just is. You want to have a growth element in your life. Either you’re learning more about business, right? We’re business guys. So that’s growth, personal development growth, relationship growth, learning about relationships. And there’s also growth on the other side of that, which is your wife needs to be growing, too, and how can you help her?

So here’s a question for you, Tim. You got a guy we had this this week, guys. Tim, you know, he’s changed. He sees the light. Things are good. Let’s just imagine he’s on the path, we talk about this thing called One Destination, Two Paths. We’ve done podcasts about it, guys, so you can look it up if you want to. This guy’s on the path, and he’s like, how do I help my wife find growth?

Tim Matthews  11:26

First thing that comes to my mind is, does she want it?

Doug Holt  11:28

Let’s assume she does.

Tim Matthews  11:30

Okay, perfect. So she does want it.

Doug Holt  11:33

Or at least interested.

Tim Matthews  11:35

Okay, perfect. So how do I help my wife find growth? So I’d continue to lead by example personally, and I would get curious, get into a world we’ve spoken about this before, right? And ask questions, try and understand where or how, what the ways in which she wants to grow, and just give suggestions. I definitely wouldn’t solve the problem and rush in there with, do this, do that, do the other, and I may give some subtle hints and some subtle direction and see how it lands for her, and then, depending on how it lands, maybe give some more clearer hints and maybe even suggest we do something together. It just depends on the way she wants to grow.

But it’d be very mindful to continue to create an environment for her where she feels very supported, because I think a lot of guys, when their wives get to this point, it can be a big deal for the wife to say, hey, I want to grow. Yeah, it can be a really big deal, especially if the guy’s been growing, because that’s just their world, right?

Amelia said it to me tons of times, this is your world. You speak about this stuff all the time. I don’t. So for her, when she ever tells me she wants to explore or grow in this particular area, it’s a big deal for her. She’s not come from the kind of family or isn’t the kind of person where they have openly expressed emotion. Great family, amazing people! I get on with them really well. I love them dearly. I love their dynamic. I admire it in many ways, and at the same time, from an affection standpoint or whatever, it’s alien to her.

So if she comes to me and says she wants to grow, I got to be very careful how I handle that. So I continue to provide an environment for her where she can continue to explore it safely and praise her and encourage her and invite her and just take it easy and not rush in and get too excited because, yes, she’s going to grow. Obviously, I love growth, so if there’s an opportunity there, I’m going to get excited. But I got to make sure I don’t put that excitement onto her because it’ll be overwhelming for her, right?

Doug Holt  13:47

Yeah, no, it definitely would. I love the caveat about how great her family is in case they listen to this, smart man. And I know you do believe they’re great, which is awesome. Yeah, I think I would handle it well, let me just tell you how I would handle it. In a situation is the first thing I would do is I would take my wife out on a date.

Tim Matthews  14:11


Doug Holt  14:12

Make it someplace that’s fun. The way I would do is order a bottle of wine, just make it easy. And then I’d ask her in which ways she’d like to grow, assuming she’s already told me she’s interested. If she hasn’t and she broached that subject, then what I would do is first lead with how I’m growing and where I want to grow, and then ask her, what about you? Then as she starts to tell me about her growth, we also get to remember that people grow in different ways, right?

Tim Matthews  14:40


Doug Holt  14:41

Some people are into personal development, business development. Some people grow by learning about how to garden or whatever else their interests might be. So I’ll ask her, in which ways is she looking to grow? And let’s just say she wants to grow in the area of marriage or relationship. Okay, that’s fascinating. What about that interests you? What areas do you feel that you’re interested in growing in?

And I would continue to ask questions as if I was a reporter. That’s what I tell the guys all the time, is be a reporter. Reporters don’t get frazzled reporters. They could be interviewing a serial killer, and they don’t get emotional about the interview, at least during it. Tend not to.

Tim Matthews  15:21

Great point.

Doug Holt  15:22

So keep your emotions at bay and just get excited and get curious. Get into their world. Like, really? Oh, cool. You want to be a better. Yo gosh, that’s amazing. What else? What about that really interests you? Okay, what about that interests you, really? Get into her world now. Once I’ve gotten into her world and I understand, then I would ask her, like, do you have any ideas of where you want to do that or how you want to do that? Odds are she might have a couple of ideas, but maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she says, hey, I just don’t know. Say it’s relationship. I don’t know who the best coach to work with would be or the program.

 Yeah, if you want, I can tap my network. There’s a bunch of guys in The Brotherhood, just an example that have worked with coaches or what have you, with their wives. I can throw up a post and just ask. They don’t need to know anything about you specifically, but I can just ask for you and see what comes back. Now I’m contributing to her dream of growth. Now I’m just getting in there. But I’ve also asked for permission in a way, and led.

So I’ve led rather than, oh, gee, can I help you? I’ve said, hey, I have this network of guys. So the guys in The Brotherhood, for those who don’t know, there’s a lot of guys in there that are friggin amazing, and I don’t think there’s anything you can’t get done without that within that network.

Tim Matthews  16:33

No way.

Doug Holt  16:34

High level, dudes. We’ve got people in countries anyway, there’s a lot of stories that talk about, so and that’s what I would do. And then I would put it out there for or if I knew somebody like, oh, yeah, you know what? Frank’s wife works with the coach. You should talk to her. Or I can talk to Frank for you. Would you like me to do that again, getting permission? She might say yes, and then I would always follow up with excitement. I think it’s so cool what you’re doing. I’m working on this, you’re working on that. That’s really cool. And then continue on to a different conversation. Don’t belabor the point.

Tim Matthews  17:06

Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, I love what you’re saying there. You’ve hit so many key points on the head. Yeah. Awesome.

Doug Holt  17:13

Yeah. And then just remember, if your wife doesn’t want to grow at some point, if she’s not growing at all, truly, and you’re struggling and you’re growing, you’re going to hit a point where it’s going to be a problem big time.

Tim Matthews  17:25

Big time. Especially if she shows no interest in your growth as well. That’s going to create an issue at some point, especially if she then becomes critical of your growth, too, if she’s not willing, if she’s not ready to grow. But she’s interested in your growth and she’s supporting you with your growth, and she’s asking you questions about your growth, and maybe she’s even learning through osmosis, like you’re going to the gym and all of a sudden she starts to work out again or you do something and she starts to do it too. So she’s kind of following your lead. Awesome. Great.

She’s still growing. Right? But conversely, if you’re growing, it’s something you’re very passionate about and she’s trying to pull you down. That isn’t going to end well.

Doug Holt  18:11

Yeah. No, no, not at all. It’s not going to end well for anybody.

Tim Matthews  18:13

No way. Regardless of whether you fall down well for you went well for her, the family, or if you keep rising, she keeps doing it. There’s no good scenario there if she’s critical of your growth.

Doug Holt  18:25

Yeah. Before we cut this off, I want to add one more thing that guys can do, because I’ve seen guys do this really well, is they’re growing and learning, and then they bring that excitement into the relationship, like, oh, babe, I’ve learned this new thing. I was doing The Activation Method, and they taught me this new thing called the Alpha Rise & Shine. Are you open to hearing about it?

And then now you get permission and then share it with her with excitement. Not that she has to do it, but your excitement for it. And it could be a master class or anything else you’re learning, and that can pave the way for conversations and or a lot of the guys wives do a version of the ARS, the Alpha Rise & Shine, which is the Morning Routine. We teach these guys with them and talk about a way of getting closer. It’s friggin amazing.

Tim Matthews  19:14

I love that. Yeah. It reminds me of when Amelia and I were working with an intimacy coach years ago. I can’t remember how we got onto the topic of me going into the mountains for a night or two nights, whatever it may have been, and I said I felt guilty about that. Well, I’ve been working. I should have time with Amelia, and she was obviously there next to me, and they both said something to me that makes so much sense now, but at the time I was like, oh, really? Said, look, as long as you make sure that Amelia’s taken care of before you leave, whatever that may be, make sure she’s got whatever she needs and there’s nothing undone. And you can go into the mountains, like with her having peace of mind and you enjoy it. She wants you to bring that fullness back to the relationship and back to her.

And Amelia’s nodding her head and yep, yep and went on this big dialogue about how much enjoyment she gets from me being excited about something and bringing that passion back. Whereas if I dim my light when I do something and I feel guilty when I’m doing something and I don’t bring that passion back, then she’s like, well, what was the point in that? You’ve just had time away from me, from nothing. At least if you’ve had time away, it’s serving us.

Doug Holt  20:28

I’m so guilty of that so many times, man. So guilty of it.

Tim Matthews  20:32

Yeah, I used to do it a lot.

Doug Holt  20:33

Yeah, that’s a good one for me. I’m going to have to go back and watch this episode again. I fall into it all the time. And the dimming the light thing is definitely something I’ve worked a lot on and I’m still working on myself.

Tim Matthews  20:46

Yeah, me too. Me too. Because obviously we get to go to amazing places with the guys as well. I’ve got to make sure I choose to make sure I’m also doing things with Amelia as well, because when I’m not doing things with her and just doing things for me and she doesn’t get to do anything. She loves van. Yeah, exactly. So as long as I’m doing stuff there as well and prioritizing our relationship, then she loves to see me going away and taking these trips because I always come back better. Right? But your point? The ARS. Bringing it back. Alpha, rise and shine. Bringing it back. I have learned something with that excitement. It reminds me of the episode we recorded a few episodes ago about been an interesting guy having things going on in your life so that it brings more passion to the relationship. It’s another same thing.

Doug Holt  21:36

It is. It is.  Awesome. Well, takeaways for me, besides for myself, but for the guys, I think here is one, if you’re not growing, you’re dying yourself. Two, chances are your wife is doing growth behind the scenes. Three, that if she’s not and you are growing, that’s going to create a problem.

Tim Matthews  21:56

If she’s critical.

Doug Holt  21:57

If she’s critical. And the fourth one is hey, how to address it, where we presented a formula for the guys on how to address this the way I would do it anyway on a date night. That was great and going through there. Anything else you want to add?

Tim Matthews  22:13

No, in fact, yeah, just emphasizing that point about bringing the excitement back. I think it’s a really important one.

Doug Holt  22:18

Yeah, I like that one, too. Awesome. A lot of nuggets, as always say, gentlemen, in the moment of insight, take massive action. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man Show.