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Why Doesn’t She See That I’ve Changed

Episode #723

Have you ever felt frustrated when your efforts to become a better person aren’t immediately recognized by others, especially, your wife?

Do you find it challenging to maintain authenticity and avoid seeking external validation during personal growth?

If so, this podcast episode explores these common dilemmas and offers valuable insights on how to approach such situations.

Discover why expecting instant recognition can lead to disappointment and how to navigate the complexities of relationships as you evolve into a more empowered version of yourself.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the challenges many face when striving for personal growth and how authenticity plays a crucial role.

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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 an actual issue that we see a lot of men have. So, Tim, I’ll just throw this at you. So here’s the scenario. I get a message from a guy, and I get the same message all the time. I know you do. Is he has changed. I mean, he has opened his eyes. He’s unplugged from the Matrix. This man has had revelations unlike any other. He is a changed man forever.

And now it’s been two days, and why doesn’t his wife see that he’s changed? So scenario, I’ll break it down for the listener. I know you know this already, so sometimes it’s hard to discuss something that we know so intimately well, but we get this question a lot. Don’t get the question. This scenario a lot.

So the scenario is something like this. A man comes through The Activation Method, right, which is a proven program that helps men get activated, especially in their marriage. And all of a sudden, he sees why his marriage is passionateless, why it’s sexless, why his wife may or may not have had an affair or whatever else is going on. He sees what’s going on. He understands how to change it. He gets it. He’s like, cool. I got it. I’ve got complete clarity. And a lot of men describe it as almost like a born again experience. He’s had that, and he’s like, boom, cool. Got it. And he shows up at home, and it’s amazing. And after two or three days, if his wife is not responding, as if this new change is going to last forever, he gets disillusioned. Why doesn’t she understand?

I just want to sit her down and talk to her about where our marriage needs to go. I don’t understand why she gives me pushback back. What would you say in this situation?

Tim Matthews  02:19

Why should she understand? We see it time and time again, right, with the guys.

Doug Holt  02:25


Tim Matthews  02:26

And the guys that have been here at this reset, for example, they were all witness to what happened. Very difficult to put into words what happened, even for those guys that were witness to it, for you and I. It’s kind of hard to put it into words, and obviously part of what we do is encourage the guys, or support the guys, really, on how to reintegrate when they go home.

And one of the things that we say to them is not to speak it up like, what? And they’re ready to go home and walk into the door and say, I’m a changed man. I realize my mistakes and whatever it may be, and just proclaim. And that’s the last thing they want to do because it’s going to alienate her further, and you are likely going to set yourself up for failure.

So instead, we remind them to play it down and share a little bit. Obviously, share as much as you feel comfortable sharing, but just play it down, because your wife, their wife hasn’t been privy to what’s gone on. She doesn’t know what you’ve been through. She doesn’t know the way you’ve shown up. She doesn’t know what you’ve experienced. And it’s going to take time, naturally, for her to trust these changes. They’re going to be strange at first. She’s going to test them. Are they real? Can I trust this? What’s this new version of you, if you will? And there’s been decades where these guys have been behaved in a different way, and you got decades of evidence on one side versus two days on the other, it’s going to question things, right? Naturally, I mean, I would. Wouldn’t you? I would.

Doug Holt  04:14

Yeah. It reminds me of a guy that I was working with, and he was doing everything right, quote right for, I think it was like, two, two and a half weeks, and then all of a sudden, he blew up. He blew up, yelled, he got pissed, went right back into kind of his old ways, if you will, and his wife got upset, and they got distant again. I asked him,

I said, how was that two weeks? He’s like, oh, they were amazing. I was finally at that verge of intimacy with my wife again, and they hadn’t been intimate for, I think, four years. So things were going amazing. The house was good, the kids were good, and everything else. I’m like, So what happened? He’s like, I just got frustrated. I’ve been this guy. I’ve been doing all the things, the right things, validating her, checking the boxes, working out, doing the things, taking care of myself. And then she’s not responding. I’m not having sex, Doug.

I was like, okay. One, you’re doing it for an outcome. That’s not authentic, that’s manipulative, so she can smell that a mile away, and anybody can. But two, I asked him, I go, okay, so previously you told me you were a dick. In the past, how long have you been a dick He’s like, oh, man, like, ten plus years. He goes on and on about how much of a jerk he was, not getting the irony of what I’m really asking him, which I know you do, is, okay, cool.

You’re telling me for over a decade you’ve been a jerk to your wife and a jerk in general. In two weeks, you’re a good guy, and then you blow up again. So she’s got 10+ years of evidence you’re a jerk. Two weeks of evidence that you can be the man that she knows you could be, and yet now you’re upset that she’s not all of a sudden falling over you. Give me a break, man.

But the problem is, a lot of guys think this way. They think that this is the key. They think that just by showing up as this authentic man, or I guess in his case, inauthentic, but as this Powerful Man, when they show up as a Powerful Man, their wife’s going to respond. And what I find Tim is typically what happens is when the man shows up as the Powerful Man, the woman gets super excited and scared.

And the reason she gets scared is all of a sudden you’re showing up as the man she’s always wanted you to be. She’s always known you to be the man that you’ve always wanted to be. And then she thinks, well, crap, if I open my heart up to him again, he’s going to hurt me again. And I’m not willing to open up my heart because I don’t want to get hurt again. So she keeps her heart closed. In fact, she might close it even more.

Tim Matthews  06:49

Big time. Yeah, we often talk about that wall that the woman’s built up to protect herself. She starts to take it down. Then when he has that reaction, after two weeks, she builds it back up higher than it was before because it’s just another reminder that she can’t trust him. Especially, look, women are smart. They can tell if we’re doing it for an outcome. They can tell. I mean, we like to think that we’ve got it all figured out and we’re super sly and we never let it go, that we are actually wanting to get laid or whatever it may be.

But whenever in my experience, whenever I come from that place, I don’t hide it very well. I like to think I do, but I don’t hide it very well. And I know a lot of the guys in the movement say something similar as well, and the women tell from a mile off to your point, it’s got to be authentic. The change has to be authentic. It has to be real. It has to be for the guy, right?

If the guy is wanting to make the change in order to see a reaction, his wife, he’s coming from the wrong place. He needs to do it for him because he wants to change, because he wants to be a better father, a better man, a better leader, a better husband, whatever it may be. And that’s something from within. It’s not something that comes in response to external conditions or when business is going well, then, yeah, I’ll be a good leader, or when the relationship is going well, oh, well, I’ll be a good husband. It’s like, well, no, you get to do it because you get to change because you want to do it. You see the need doesn’t mean everyone in your environment is always going to be there by your side and appreciate it or respond well to it, but that’s okay because you’re doing it for you. You know the reasons. And equally, you also know whether you’re changing or not.

If you do it for things outside of yourself, there’ll also be people that will doubt it from time to time, and that’s fair and fine, like we’re speaking about with the wife. And if you then begin to doubt it because you’re looking for that external validation or whatever it may be, you’re on the wrong path.

Doug Holt  08:44

Yeah, you’re definitely on the wrong path, because when you do it for external validation, what you’re telling me is it’s temporary, but you haven’t changed. You’re telling me that this is an act, and you’re testing the waters to see how other people respond, therefore the other people have control over you.

Tim Matthews  09:00

Exactly. Yeah.

Doug Holt  09:02

When people have control over you, you are not being a Powerful Man at all. You’re basically being a puppet. Right? Molded. We had a guy come in here, was interesting. We said, I’m coming in here as a ball of clay. My life’s not working. Mold me. And your analogy in a previous podcast, much better. He was more like a rock, and we chipped away everything that wasn’t him. Right? To reveal the real him. Now use the David Michelangelo analogy. But that’s really what it’s about.

And so for this guy that sent me a message earlier today about, hey, I’m home. I want to sit down with my wife and have a deep conversation about, you know, how our marriage is going to change and everything that’s fine and good if you want to do it one time. But you can’t repeatedly do it as if you’re wanting her to change, because now you’re looking for external validation. You’re actually not slipping into it, and you really just got to show up as your authentic self.

So the advice I gave him, I said, look, you can vent to me. You can talk to me about this. Don’t talk to her about it for 30 consecutive days. Show up as this authentic man that you are, that I’ve known you to be, was the man that we saw on day three, as an example, show up as that man for 30 consecutive days and no one else.

And after that, if you still have this question, you and I can have a dialogue about it because I can guarantee we’re not going to have that dialogue because one of two things is going to happen. One, his wife’s checked out, and that’s just the way it is. And she’s moved on. And he needs to move on, which is something that’s a question in his marriage. Step two, or the second option, I should say, or scenario is that he’s going to show up consistently for 30 days. She’s going to realize it’s the real him, and then she’s going to melt into him.

Tim Matthews  10:47

Great advice. I love that. Yeah. He’s got to do it for him.

Doug Holt  10:51


Tim Matthews  10:52

Right. He just has there’s no way around it. And like you said yeah. It’s going to either reveal something in the relationship, which is great, because he needs to know the truth. Right? But he’s only going to get the truth by, like you said, him being consistent. And I’m really curious to see what he does over these 30 days.

Doug Holt  11:13

I am, too.

Tim Matthews  11:14

Yeah, I’m sure you do, but I’m curious, do you think he’ll be consistent for those 30 days?

Doug Holt 11:23


Tim Matthews  11:24

Okay. Why?

Doug Holt  11:25

I think he will fall into old patterns. I think he’ll stumble. Right? Which is acceptable. And I told him, like, hey, you’re going to stumble or you may stumble. And if you do, just laugh about it. You’re learning. Right Because oftentimes we make these paradigm shifts. He’s got 40 years of evidence of this old identity, this old baggage that was put upon him. Right?

And this rediscovering who he is. It’s not fake. It’s just really who he is. He’s also got society, everybody around him. He’s at the top of the pole in his business and everything else he does in his community. He’s a leader. So everybody around him has been trained to respond to him in the old way he is. So they’re going to show up in relation to him as the old version of him. So it’s going to take some time for them to relate to this new version of him.

So I think it’ll throw him back a little bit. I think he’ll do a good job. I think he’s got us in his corner, which is huge. I’ll be giving him breadcrumbs. I think what will happen is his wife will surrender into him. She will realize that this is here to stay and that he is a work in progress. But this is what he’s working towards.

And 80% of the time, he’ll be in his power, which will allow him to effectively, one, be more in relationship with his kids, two, better relationship with himself. Three, his wife’s going to see it. His business is going to see it. So he’s going to win in the mean we’re in his corner. It’s like a fighter having the best trainers in your corner possible. The trainers don’t guarantee the win in the fight, but if you’re in a fight…

Tim Matthews  13:02

It helps. Right.

Doug Holt  13:03

Yeah. I was watching UFC last night and the people in the corner giving advice. You can see which ones were listening to their corners. When they listen to the corners, they win. They tend to win. So I think he will. Again, when you’re going through a change, especially in something that’s so intimate like a marriage, it can be difficult to make that change instantly and be consistent with it. When you’re faced with the world pointing a mirror back at you, at the old you.

Tim Matthews  13:33

Yeah, I was just thinking that. I was going to ask you, do you think as he returns back home, not just to his home, but his location to work and so forth, do you think he is going to get to reset or redefine how any of those relationships work for him?

Doug Holt  13:47

Yeah, absolutely. He’s already beginning to do it through the trainings and stuff that we’ve done. So it really is a matter. What takes is, in my experience, is you’re butting against paradigms. And so he’ll butt against a paradigm where someone knows him as the old version of himself. And when he shows up consistently, their understanding of how to relate to him will change.

Tim Matthews  14:13


Doug Holt  14:14

And since if he’s strong in who he is, which he’ll be, because we’re working on it, his paradigm will be the stronger one. And so that paradigm will win.

Tim Matthews  14:24

Goes back to what we spoke about on a couple of episodes ago, about boundaries. Once you’ve communicated those expectations, I think it was work life balance. We were talking about a similar thing. Right? If he’s changed, he’s going to get to reset and redefine how some of those relationships work for him and in the process, just hold firm to it.

Doug Holt  14:47

Yeah. I mean, you talk about it really well when you talk about boundaries and you’ve done a whole master class that revolves around this subject. And when you’re working with guys and the situation comes up where they’re talking about business or whatever else it may be, where they’re now showing up the more powerful version of themselves, but they’ve fallen back into an old role. Right? Like they used to be. A lot of times it happens with family, family gatherings. You fall back into who your siblings think you used to be, et cetera, what advice do you give them?

Tim Matthews  15:18

Not everyone can go where you’re going. It’s tough, but it’s true. Not everyone can go where you’re going. That’s one of the things I say to the guys. But that doesn’t always necessarily go down that well because they love these people. They want to be around them. So the piece of advice is getting clear on what this person or what this relationship can realistically be for you. Right? Because typically in the past, the guys will have been trying to mold themselves or mold the relationship into something or someone that they or it isn’t.

And it creates frustration for them. Right? Because their expectations are continually unmet. Because the other person just isn’t open or willing to even trying to change anything. Right? It’s different if there’s a conversation somebody’s trying, but there isn’t. So therefore, the way that they get to relieve the stress and the frustration is by lowering their expectations. One of the guys said it here, right? The way that he now spends a really good time with his father is realizing that the relationship he has with his father is a two out of ten, his dad’s a two out of ten. That’s only the level of depth that his dad can go to.

So instead of being frustrated with his dad for not being able to go to an eight or a nine, he’s just started to be at peace and have appreciation for the two out of ten that he gets from his dad. So that’s the other part of it as well with these guys as they get to shift and get back into the previous relationships, not previous, but they step back into the relationships that they’ve been in since they’ve changed.

But again, I go back to that point that everyone can go where you’re going because it is challenging to realize that because they can. And if you choose to dim your light, there’s only one loser there. I mean, nobody wins. In fact, not only you, but nobody wins. And by these guys choosing to shine their light brightly and unapologetically, which I get sounds cliché, it doesn’t mean ego, doesn’t mean bravado, but it just means really shining the light. It’s going to be polarizing. That’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing because they’re going to attract more of the right people to them, be it in business or wherever, and they’re going to repel the wrong people.

And as a result, things will become easier, life becomes easier because everyone knows where they stand. And the guys then get people on board with them that want to run with them and sprint with them versus weigh them down. Or the guys then have other men in their life that get involved in great conversations with them, that can have clean fun with them, that can do whatever it may be that lifts them up. They just begin to play at a different level.

Doug Holt  18:16

Absolutely. Well said. So for a man listening to this, what are a couple of action steps you can give him coming out of this conversation?

Tim Matthews  18:24

I’m going to stick with those two. I’d love to hear yours as well. But yeah, the two that come to mind for me would be just where do you get to consider and face the truth that not everybody can go where you’re going? Where are you holding on to those relationships or people that just are never going to go where you’re going? And what do you get to do in those instances? Do you get to let them go or do you get to change your expectations of what they can be or what the relationship can be? But yeah, I’m curious what yours are?

Doug Holt  18:56

I don’t know if they’re takeaways or at least action steps, but the one thing I would throw to the table, to a man listening to this right now, is, are you being authentically you for you? So if you’re being authentically, you, you’re just who you are, right? And almost unapologetically, in my opinion. But if you are doing it for validation through somebody else, then you’re actually not being you. You’re being somebody to get something, which is called being manipulative. And when you’re being manipulative, that’s a low vibration, if you want to call it. You’re basically an ass hole, in my opinion. Not a purpose, usually, but you’re being a jerk, and you’re not doing it for the right reasons. And people, I think, can smell it a mile away.

Now, they might not smell it the first time, they might not pick up it the second time, but eventually they pick up the fact that you’re not doing it for the right reasons. And I think that comes across.

Tim Matthews  19:52

Yeah, big time.

Doug Holt  19:54

Gentlemen, as we always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man Show.

All right, guys, that’s a wrap for this episode. But as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. You see, there are two types of men that listen to a podcast like this, those that go on from one podcast or show to another just hoping things are going to change and realizing that they’re going to be in the same place month after month, year after year.

You see, I was this guy so I completely get it. You may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man, a second man that listens to a show just like this. And this is a guy who takes massive action so they can shorten the learning curve, compress time, and get RESULTS to be the WOLF. See, WOLF is an acronym for Wise, Open, Loving, and Fierce.

Now ask yourself, which one am I? And just be honest with yourself there. And there’s no judgment on my end. But if you’re ready to move from deactivated DEER mode, which is Defend, Excuse, Explain, and React to activated WOLF, Wise, Open, Loving and Fierce, then go over to thepowerfulman.com/grow. And go there now. In fact, I’ll make it super easy for you. I will even put the link right in the description here so you can just click it and go over there now to learn more. Guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go from deactivated to activated, because like I said, life is too short for average and I’ll see you on the next episode!