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Why Busy Being Busy Is Not Only Killing Your Marriage But Also Your Life – A Woman’s POV

Episode #569

Are you too busy to enjoy your marriage?

What happens when you’re prioritizing things that don’t matter?

Your partner might be distancing herself from you because she feels like you’re roommates. Figure out your priorities and align your actions with what makes you fulfilled in life.

In this episode, Doug and Mo talk about a woman’s perspective on how being too busy affects you and what to do to rekindle the passion in your marriage.


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Doug Holt  00:01

Hey guys, welcome to The Powerful Man Show, where we help married businessmen save their marriages without having to talk about it, get unstuck, and gain clarity in their lives. As I like to say, life is too short for average. I’m your host, Doug Holt. Now let’s get this started.

A woman’s perspective with Mo Parks.

Hey, guys, thanks so much for being here. As you can tell, Tim is gone, and we are so blessed to have a special guest visiting us again by popular demand. Mo Parks! Mo, thanks so much for being with us.

Mo Parks

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Doug Holt 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, we get phenomenal feedback every time we have you on the show. And for those guys that don’t know, you need to go back and listen to the other podcasts that Mo is on. Simply go to thepowerfulman.com/podcast and just search for Mo, and you’ll see all the ones there. Now Mo’s got a unique place within the movement of The Powerful Man. She is one of our head advisors, so as you’re coming through the ranks if you’re interested in The Powerful Man as an opportunity to save your marriage, Mo is one of the people that you get a chance to talk to, to see if it’s a good fit for you. Now, not only is she an experienced coach, but she’s also an experienced advisor, and your husband, Mo, has been through the program as well. You are married with kids, so you have a woman’s perspective on every single angle that these guys want to hear about. So thanks again for being here.

Mo Parks  02:13

Yeah, of course. Thanks for that intro. That was very nice.

Doug Holt  02:15

Well, it’s very true. I could go on and on about you, but we only have so much time. So we’ll jump right into it. Because the topic that you brought to the table I thought was fantastic. And you know, guys, if you’re listening to this, imagine having the opportunity of talking to hundreds upon hundreds of married business leaders each and every week; that’s the seat that Mo gets to sit in. And she spends hours with these men trying to help them navigate the dark tunnel they’re in, in their marriage and personal lives, because we have men that come in for all reasons. So Mo’s got a unique perspective, she gets to see it all. And a lot of you guys open up to Mo, so she said, ‘hey, look, there’s something I’m seeing as a commonality for many of these guys. And I want to help them out.’ And that’s why we’re here today.

Mo Parks  03:04

Yeah, yeah. So one of the things that I hear most often in the business owner world is ‘man, it’s so busy, or ‘I’m so busy, or like ‘I’m hurrying from thing to thing’ as though those things own them. Instead of it being a choice they’ve made. That’s the biggest difference I see in this world where hurry is self-inflicted. It’s not something that comes upon you, and it’s a reason that a lot of guys don’t end up continuing with us. They’ll say, ‘I have a lot going on and I ask them, ‘well, what’s your priority? What’s most important? Because when you look at hurry, you know, it’s because we prioritize things a certain way.’ So, yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that and seen a lot of guys just coming in and out and unfortunately feeling very sad and helpless and in very helpless situations, but feeling, even more, the waves and winds of busyness in their lives.

Doug Holt  04:05

Yeah, you know, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I just had a conversation with one of our one-on-one clients. And he was talking about how busy he was. And I asked him a simple question. I said, ‘How many hours do you have in a day?’ So he goes, ‘Well, Doug 24’, you can tell he’s getting frustrated because, you know, these are rhetorical questions. I say, ‘Okay, great. How many days in a week? Do you have seven?’ And then I say, ‘So you have the same amount of time everybody else does. So what you’re doing is prioritizing other things over what you’re saying that you want so badly in your life.’, and it hit him like a ton of bricks. Mo, it really all of a sudden opened his eyes to the reality that this is a choice, not something that’s forced upon him.

Mo Parks  04:47

Yeah, yeah, I see. Like, for instance, a guy the other day was in the car on the way somewhere, and we specifically ask guys to try to be present because this is something that’s really important, and it’s the most important thing right now. And it’s a small thing, right? I’m just driving to pick up a kid; I have kids. And the same amount of kids as him. And, you know, he is complaining, ‘well, I’m running this business, but I also have this, this and this, my wife’s running a business. She has this, this, and this. And we’re just roommates at this point, like, we’re a functional roommate system.’ And I asked him, ‘Is it possible that hurry and busyness have just taken over as the consumption of your lives?’ And he was, you know, a little resistant? And he said, ‘yeah’. People are too busy to live emotionally healthy, they’re too busy to live a healthy marriage, they’re too busy to live spiritually rich and vibrant lives as they do, and they find that they busy themselves with the things that don’t matter. And they end up in the positions that they’re in.

Doug Holt  05:50

They really do. And then when the marriage isn’t working, in particular, for men and women business owners, they double down on what gives them that feeling of confidence, which is usually their business, and they start creating side projects. So many of our men have got successful companies. And as soon as they slow down a little bit because things start to improve, they either start a new company, start a new side project, or something else, and then they once again get themselves in this hustle mode.

Mo Parks  06:21

Yeah, it’s almost as though the silence becomes too hard. Like it’s too hard to be silent. So let’s just busy ourselves with the next thing. And as a woman, when I see my man busying himself with the wrong things, I step away and pull back because it’s like, you seem to be avoiding something. And that feels not safe. To me, that feels scary. That feels like I don’t want to follow your leadership because you’re leading our lives to the things that don’t seem to matter as much.

Great example, in this season, fantasy football, a literal nonexisting world that men spend 1000s of hours on and busy their lives with for something that’s not even real. I love you, fantasy, and I’m not a football hater. And I’m not a hater on men doing the things they love; go for it. But there can be overkill and busyness created because you’re putting busyness into the wrong thing.

Doug Holt  07:22

Yeah, I agree. When you think about it, the one thing I like to talk about with the guys is the rocking chair test, which I’m sure you’re familiar with. But for those that are newer to this show, the rocking chair test is simply imagining yourself, you know, in your later years, let’s just say 85, right, a random number, and you’re sitting on your porch, and you’re in your rocking chair sipping your lemonade, or bourbon or whatever else it may be, and you’re reflecting on your life. Are you happy and proud that you spent extra time managing a fake football team? Right? Now I get that you’re the GM, the coach, the owner, the manager, etc. Or another thought, are you super proud of all the hours you put in at the office? Or are you proud of the time that you spent with your wife with your kids, the time that you’ve invested in rekindling the passion in your relationship with the one person that, at one time or another, now I get the things might be different feeling right now, but at one time you thought this was the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? How much time for that is on your calendar? Are you investing in that? Or are you just busy being busy?

Mo Parks  08:35

Yeah, you will get a man’s calendar and see his priorities. I mean, the same way, if you look at a checkbook, you see a guy’s priorities, like you can see what is important to someone by those measures because that, you know, time is restricted, we do have a certain amount of hours. So there’s something to say: I think busyness has a choice. And then there’s a cultural aspect to it as well. Like, culture says busyness is good, but what if we grew up in a culture where that wasn’t the case? You know, our view of success wouldn’t be so much in busyness and the overload and putting more stuff on your schedule so that you have more things to achieve. And unfortunately, relationships and love are painfully time-consuming. I’d say that love and hurry very rarely can coexist. And that’s what I see, at least from my observation of talking to like 1000s of men at this point. Because I’ve been here a full year of talking to guys, it’s a lot of guys each month knowing different guys’ stories and different things. There’s always this element to the conversations. It’s always there, this sense of hurry and busyness and feeling of value from doing certain work. And so yeah, it’s really interesting to look at that nine-year relationship from that dynamic.

Doug Holt  10:03

Yeah, well, I can tell you as a man, as a business owner, myself, as a serial entrepreneur, there’s always this feeling of, ‘I just gotta crush this one project, then I’ll have time, right? Then as I get to the precipice, the end of that project, one or two more are on my plate. I’m like, okay, cool, cool. I’ll take a breather for a day. And then I’m going to crush the next one because I have even more time in the future to do things. And the great equalizer for anybody that’s got young kids, is I go into my house because I work from home by choice, I go into my house, I have a two-year-old daughter that’s sitting there, and she does not get that Daddy’s gotta go to work, she does not get the there’s going to be a future time to play. It’s playtime now, right? And that resets you for being present. And I think as men, we can look at that. We’re getting our significance in our lives from our work, especially when our marriage isn’t working as well as we’d like to. So we hide out rather than do the difficult thing, which is work on our marriage, because we just, you know, guys, don’t know what to do, but we understand how to conquer in business. So we just go there instead and hope things get better.

Mo Parks  11:14

Yeah, I think if most people look at their lives objectively and think about, like, how do I want to be fulfilled, they would not feel fulfilled by essentially letting their life pass by them instead of living it. Because that’s what happens, right? With busyness, we don’t end up living our lives, and that’s a painful sting to know that I’m a slave to something; it means I am not controlling it. I’m not free. If I am subject to my busyness, I belong to the waves in the whims of my schedule. And I hate that, like, I don’t know about you, but that pisses me off. I hate feeling like something else deceived me and tricked me into making me believe that something else was more valuable than what I believe is valuable.

Doug Holt  12:03

I am with you; before we hit record, you told me a story about somebody else we work with, and they missed a meeting with me. And I’m like, I’m not going to meet with you again. Because I will put it on my schedule and if you do not show up and respect my time, we said this kind of tongue in cheek, but at the same time, you know, from coaching so many men and from doing this for so long for myself, I see how that can take over how other people can take over your calendar, how other people’s priorities can take over your needs. And one thing that’s congruent with the men that go through our program is what they learn about themselves, which was that when they put themselves as a priority, they put their development and personal growth as a priority. Everything else becomes easier.

I even had a conversation with a guy you know and discussed this previously. So I’m trying not to out him because he’s such a great guy, but he was his own dilemma. Now he’s been in the program. So we started him off with The Activation Method, which, as you know Mo, is our flagship program, then he moved on to the Brotherhood because he was doing well. When he called me up, he said, Doug, I could retire now. Like, I don’t know what to do. He’s like, my dilemma now is a 180. Like, I have so much free time that I’m making more money than I ever have. My relationship is better than ever. I have more sex than I ever have. Like, that was his now problem. And we both started laughing at it when the realization came, you know, of what was going on for him because he’s slowed down and allowed things to catch up to him.

You know, as Tim always says, and I liked this thing that Tim adds on, what if your dreams and goals were trying to catch you and you just needed to slow down and allow yourself to receive them?

Mo Parks  14:37

I think that’s very poignant, yes. I also think you can’t address busyness and hurry without addressing the giant cultural demon of this thing. Technology has lulled us into this idea that we must be doing something at all times. I can tell you that when my husband went to the Alpha Reset, they take your phones there, and he came back and didn’t want his phone anymore. He had said, ‘It doesn’t produce in my life where I want to be, not to say phones are bad. Tech isn’t bad; it’s a gift and has its benefits. And, there is this giant thing that’s continually grabbing your attention and has algorithms in it to grab your attention more and more by the things that you look at.’ He called it a cultural demon; I shouldn’t say it’s a giant. For me, it was just a strong word. But, you know, the ability to never stop keeps increasing with our phones.

Doug Holt  15:46

I agree. 100%. But we don’t take away guys’ phones; just so you know, the guys volunteer to give them up. It’s a small nuance but a very important one. I want to ensure everybody understands the Alpha Reset is like Fight Club. We don’t talk about it. So publicly, but we don’t take anything away from them whatsoever. There are zero requirements at an Alpha Reset. But anyway, we’re digressing a little bit. I just want to clear up that small point.

So when you’re talking to these men, they’re calling up, and they’re interested in The Powerful Man, they’re interested in our program, The Activation Method most likely, and what are they saying to you around this topic? And could you give us three things they could do today to counter it?

Mo Parks  16:38

They’re saying things like, ‘I’m busier now than I ever have been.’

Doug Holt  16:53

So what I want to do is like, you know, you’re, you get the chance, a guy listening to this right now doesn’t talk about this with his friends, so he only knows what goes on in his world. I know you hear this all the time, every day. But give us some examples of what is going on in that man’s mind. Because you said earlier that guys don’t continue on, I think you meant that guys don’t decide to do the Activation Method program today because they’re so busy in their schedule that they’re going to wait until a later day to do it. So, what are the guys saying is happening in their daily lives? I want other guys to go ‘wait a minute. Oh, it’s not just me.’ Also, what are some things that you advise them they could do to mitigate that issue?

Mo Parks  17:37

Yeah, so there are three main things guys say to make them busy: kids, work, and tech. Those three things hold a guy’s attention and are where they spend most of their day. Granted, we are talking to business owners, so tech is a big piece of that, and I get it. Many of them have enrolled their children in a bunch of activities that make them now busy night after night, leaving no time for their spouses. These are usually kid-oriented things that they don’t, you know, want to be at, but they do it because they think it’s good for the kids or they want their kids to succeed. But other guys are literally in meetings 24/7, and I catch them in the one-hour break they have taken, and they cut the call short because there are so many things going on. It’s just meeting after meeting, opportunity after opportunity, and in between that they’re just driving to go to these places.

And you know these are guys whose relationships aren’t doing well. They’re either being told at the door greeted with negativity and anger, or they’re being, you know, greeted with completely withdrawn and shut down women and women who are saying things like, ‘you’re never here.’ or ‘I feel like I don’t know you anymore.’ They’re being greeted with ‘I love you, but I’m not in love with you.’ because in love comes with time. Other women say, ‘You have no time for us.’ ‘You’re never here.’ That’s what I’m hearing when I talk to these men.

Many men say that when they say they’re busy, that’s typically the feedback the women give them. The biggest one is ‘I feel like I don’t even know you.’ Because that’s a relationship, to know someone is to say I like and relate with that person. Do you know that guy over there? Yes, I know them versus I’m an acquaintance with him.

Doug Holt  20:11

I love what you’re saying, and I want to drive this home because I know myself as a guy. You know, Doug, when I was going through problems with my wife, I would have heard part of what you’re saying but not fully gotten it. And so I want to drive this home for the guys so they can understand.

So, guys, I was at an event one time. I’ll never remember the number. So every time I tell a story, it’s gonna be a different number, but you guys will get the idea. There are about 5000 people or so, mostly women. And the speaker said, ‘Hey, has anybody ever felt their life was threatened?’ And a lot of people stand up, right? They then say, ‘Has anybody felt their life was threatened the last month?’ And 98% of the guys sat down, and almost all the women were still standing up. Have you ever feared for your life was the question, and they kept going down in timing. They said, ‘How about last week?’ Only a handful sat down. And so you’re now looking at the sea of women, 1000s of women standing up who say they feared for their life within the last week. And then they said, ‘What about the last 24 hours?’, now mind you were at this conference in a dedicated hotel, right? And still, a sea of women remain standing that they had feared for their life.

And part of what your wife is telling you when she says, ‘I don’t even know you anymore.’, is she is now living in the house with a stranger. And she is emotionally scared. Right? And this was something that hit me one time, though, with my wife. I’ve always been raised with that kind of classic belief, which I think is good: you never hit a woman, right? So, my wife once told me that she was scared of me. And it threw me off as a man because I was just like, what? How could you possibly be scared of me, as I would never hurt you? And what she was talking about was that I was emotionally hurting her. And my wife even said, I would rather you hit me than us have this relationship where we feel like strangers.

So I just want to again throw that to you that as a man, to understand that the woman that I married even though, you know, at times, she wasn’t my favorite person, you know, during the battles that we had, but the idea that she was scared, that hit me. And I want the other guys to understand that the woman that you are, you claim you’re working your ass off for busting your butt, you feel like a paycheck, she’s scared of you because you’re not connecting with her. And spending time because you’re too busy being busy. So anyway, I just wanted to interject there.

Mo Parks  22:42

I’m glad you said that because I hear it so frequently that sometimes I forget it, but I say that to every guy I speak to. Yes, there is this sense of not feeling emotionally safe. And they almost always respond with ‘well, I’m not hurting her.’ and I have to explain that emotionally, it’s so different than physically. Those are two different levels that you have to master.

Doug Holt  23:04

If you want to create leadership, which you do, as a man, you need to be a leader and what you’re saying, what I hear you say is if you’re not a leader of your calendar, you’re not a leader of your time, then you’re not going to be a leader at home, and guess what? Your wife knows it. Right? She’s picking up a lot more than you think she is. And it’s hard for anybody to respect you. Because what I tell the guys, I want to know if you find this true, is we train people how to treat us. And if you’ve trained your staff or anybody else to come to you with every fire, you’re the guy who can take care of it. Almost every business owner listening to this has said at one time or another that I can out hustle anybody; I can pull myself up by my bootstraps. I’ve worked with 10s of 1000s of guys at this point. We all have the same friggin story. I had it too, right? If that’s the case, you’ve trained people to do that. And you also have trained your wife to act the way that she is. And this comes from your own leadership. Guys, if you want to know how to get on the other side of this, if you are a business owner or a C-suite executive, and you want to get on a call with Mp to find out what her tips are on how you can get to the other side of this because your marriage isn’t working, Mo how can they get a hold of you?

Mo Parks  24:25

Yeah, so you can reach out to just go to our website to thepowerfulman.com, and as you fill out the form and write your name and everything, what you can do is just write a note on one of the explanations to say you listened to this podcast and want to talk a bit more about the details.

Doug Holt  24:44

And I’ll make it even easier for you guys if you want to, and I hope it’s okay with you; email VIP@thepowerfulman.com. Mo is very busy helping guys, and she does an amazing job. So Mo, from the bottom of my heart and for the hundreds and hundreds of men, their wives, and their children that you have saved through this program, I just wanted to thank you, and thank you so much for being so selfish with your time and sharing your wisdom with us today.

Mo Parks  25:24

Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that. Thanks for everything you do.

Doug Holt  25:27

Absolutely. Well, gentlemen, as we always say in the moment of insight, which most giving you a lot today, take massive action. Remember, we’re in your corner.