Why Financial Transparency In Your Relationship Is Important

Episode #727

Are you struggling with financial transparency in your relationship?

Are you avoiding discussions about money, which might be impacting your connection with your partner?

In this insightful episode of the Powerful Man Show, Doug and Tim address the importance of open and honest conversations about your finances within your relationship.

In this episode, you’ll learn valuable strategies to improve financial transparency, set mutual goals, and hold regular meetings to align your financial future with your personal and relationship aspirations.

Discover how addressing your money mindset can lead to greater intimacy and overall well-being in your marriage. Don’t let financial secrecy hold you back from experiencing a thriving, abundant partnership.

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Doug Holt  00:00

Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Powerful Man Show. Today we’re going to talk about finances and partnership. And so I know this sounds like a boring topic, but I think it’s going to be really interesting and we’ll see where it leads.

So, Tim, what I want to talk about today is something that came up with one of the guys I was chatting with, and there was a reason he was bringing this up to me. So he’s going through a tough time in his marriage right now, and it’s kind of one of those situations where it’s like, this may not work out to give you some backstory without telling you who this guy is. And you’ve heard this from 100 guys at this point, if not a thousand, but came to the powerful man, successful businessman, and his marriage was struggling.

Now, his wife had identified the marriage, had been struggling for several years and took him a long time to actually take action. So we have so many guys that listen to the show or watch us on YouTube or wherever they get this, and oftentimes they’ll watch for a year or so and not take action until it’s too late or almost too late.

So this guy, it’s in the almost too late stage. His wife has been asking him to do this work for a very long time. He’s just starting to take action. And now he’s at the point of like, he approached me. He’s like, Doug, there’s only two people in the world that know this, but my net worth is X. And it was a significant chunk of change. Self-made man, made his own money, made his business, and he’s like, I’m starting to get worried. Starting to get worried about what I should do.

So I worked really hard for this. As he was saying to me, as you’re relating to me and in working really hard for this, the reality is she’s going to take half. If this doesn’t work out, what should I do? What would you say to him? And I’ll tell you what I said.

Tim Matthews  02:36

Yeah. The things that he’s — well, the thing that’s coming to mind for me, for this guy, I wonder how much more money he could make and how much easier he could make it and how much quicker he could make it if things in his personal life were going well. Whether that’s with his wife or without his wife, I don’t know. But in my experience, because we’ve seen guys who have gone through divorce in the movement, and on either side of it, their business performance just takes off. Right? Because now they’ve stopped holding back. It’s in the back of their mind, they are holding back because of this very reason.

Well, I don’t want to play all out in case she takes half. So now they stopped holding back. And also, at the same time, they don’t have this stress and worry of what’s going on at home. They end up typically making more money faster, easier. Some guys also still do that. Remain married and fix it. It works both ways. The point is the stress is gone. Right?

So to this guy in particular, that’s the first thought that comes to mind. For me, it clearly isn’t serving him to continue to live in fear of. What if she takes half because it’s costing him so much. Right? Although there may be a monetary figure there. I get it. It sucks. He’s worked hard. It’s a tough pill to swallow. And at the same time, it just seems like it isn’t working for him to just continue to operate how he’s operating.

Doug Holt  04:04

Yeah, you bring a good point. Two things. One is when the men go through the program and they save their marriage. If they don’t hold back, their businesses skyrocket, unfortunately, and we’ll talk about this later, is most men, their wives don’t have financial transparency. They don’t know what’s going on. We’ll talk about that in a second.

But getting back to this subject, because a lot of guys have this question. I did, my wife and I were going through our problems. I was thinking, okay, we might get divorced, and I’ve got multiple companies, and what should I be doing to protect myself, right? Protect all that I’ve built. And then we’ll get into the financial transparency.

Second, so what I told them is, first of all, if you think you’re going down this path, first of all, I’m not a financial advisor, I’m not a legal advisor, none of that stuff. But what I can tell them is a lot of men do go see somebody, go see a lawyer or solicitor, depending on where you live, go see a lawyer and talk to a professional about what this looks like because there’s the hope aspect of it, right?

He wants his marriage to work out. I want it to work out for him. But we don’t know what his wife wants to do. And she’s giving him signals that she wants out. And by signals she’s telling them that this is the way she’s leaning. And so without being, well, just don’t be naive. Right? Is basically what it comes down to go see a professional who deals with this all the time and have a conversation. So at least you know what your options are.

What I see a lot of guys do is bury their head in the sand big time, or they start trying to hide money, which is only going to be discoverable, right, depending. There’s ways, transparently, there’s ways guys have shared with us that they can hide money and not be discovered in court or they put things in trusts or whatever there is, there are strategies to do. So the only way you can find this out is to talk to a lawyer. And this is such a taboo topic because you’re not supposed to think this way in our society, right?

But to him, I was like, look, his wife happened to have some troubles, let’s just say that, which were alarming and could be alarming to the safety of his kids. And so we encounter this from time to time, right? Yes. Just as some guys run into trouble, whether it be a psychosis, drugs, alcohol, whatever it may be, that could jeopardize the family. And I was like, protect your kids, if anything else, and don’t look at this from trying to get one up on her. But how can you protect yourself? What’s a smart, logical strategy? And a family lawyer, divorce attorney is going to know what that is or at least is going to be able to point you in the right direction.

Tim Matthews  06:44

Yeah, for sure. I can think of several guys that I’ve worked with as well who have been naive and not wanted to face the reality of the situation, right? So one guy in particular, he saw it as defeat. If I go and speak to the lawyer, then it’s really over. It’s like, hang on a minute. No, it’s not really over. But right now, you’re making up all these stories around what you think could happen, and you’re using those stories as a way to keep fighting for this marriage because you’re worried that whatever’s going to happen with the finances of those stories, what’s actually true, and he didn’t know what was true.

So to your point, he had to go and speak to a professional, and he avoided it for a very long time. Then when he actually did it and realized, oh, I’ve actually got this right. I’ve got that right. I can do this, I can do the other. He had options, right? And those options relieved a hell of a lot of stress for him, and therefore it enabled him to be able to go into conversations with his wife from a very different place. He wasn’t trying to just rescue the situation because he didn’t want to lose half of his net worth. Instead, he was aware of what could happen, and it lessened the neediness, essentially. Yeah.

Doug Holt  08:01

And that’s what it is. I think, guys think. Well, I think two things. I think one is if I go talk to a lawyer, I’m cheating on my wife, I’m cheating on the marriage, I’m being unfaithful. And what we find is, after guys who do go through a divorce, is their wives have already talked to lawyers a long time ago. Yeah. The women are much more strategic, and they take action because their girlfriends tell them to and they just do it. The guys are usually the ones that wait and sometimes wait too long.

The other thing I told him, this particular guy is to get out of his scarcity mindset. It’s just money, too. If she takes half of it, you’re going to make it all back because your set point is back up here. So your set point might be a take home of $10 million, might be a take home of 100,000, might be a take home of 50,000. Whatever it is for you, you’re going to get that again. You’re going to make that again.

So get out of the scarcity mindset. Just like in business, if you had a marketing problem, let’s say your business relies on traffic coming for a particular marketing channel. Let’s just call it LinkedIn. Right? You’re B2B. You do LinkedIn, you need LinkedIn ads. You go talk to an expert, so you get the information, so you understand what your options are for LinkedIn advertising. Why wouldn’t you talk to an expert to see what your other options are? Doesn’t mean you have to execute upon them, but at least you learn what they are.

Tim Matthews  09:24

Yeah, and I think you make a great point. They’re coming from scarcity, right? Which is holding them back in business in many ways. Like we’re saying before, they don’t want to play all out in case she does take half of it. But that’s story, it may not even be true. So you’re holding yourself back and you have been doing for however long X number of years it’s been going on.

And to your point. Yeah, not only is your set point, your set point, it’s a high one. You’ve got your network, you’ve got your skills and your knowledge, you’ve got the position in the industry, you’re going to make that money. The likelihood is you’re going to make that money back and more in a fraction of the time it took you to make it in the beginning.

Doug Holt  10:03

Yeah. Which is completely true. And that’s why nobody can take your knowledge, right? Nobody can take your knowledge and your experience away from you. They can take money assets away and that’s why growth to me is so important. If everything crumbles for me financially, I already have the skill sets on how to build a business scale, a business marketing, sales, what have you.

And then also what I found was interesting and I asked this question because I see this even more often with men than that is the idea that the women don’t know anything about the finances, where the bank accounts are, where the money is kept, where money comes from, where the investments are. They’re almost completely financially illiterate. But that is not always the woman’s fault. Partially the women. Hey ladies, you got to take responsibility as well. But it’s the man that does this out of a place of control.

Tim Matthews  10:52

Yeah, I mean I’ve seen my dad do that with my mum her entire life. It’s crazy. She’s just become institutionalized and she’s mid to late 60s now. But yeah, she’d not have a clue. And the story my dad has told my mum is that if you left me or if we were to separate, you would have nothing, which is complete rubbish. And she kind of knows it is, but she’s never spoken to anybody so she has stories that she has going on, but she doesn’t have a clue how much money they have. My dad gives her money each week.

Doug Holt  11:31

An allowance.

Tim Matthews  11:32


Doug Holt  11:32


Tim Matthews  11:33

And he’s been the same allowance for a decade. So the thing she’s been able to buy with that, which is like 25 pounds a week.

Doug Holt  11:42


Tim Matthews  11:44

It’s nuts. It’s crazy.

Doug Holt  11:45

That is crazy.

Tim Matthews  11:46

The story used to be, oh, well, you’re working, so you don’t need money. What are you going to spend it on? Which is control? Anyway, right? Now she’s retired. It stayed the same. It’s like less than one cup of coffee a day she can go and buy. It’s nuts.

Doug Holt  12:04

Yeah. It’s far less than one cup of coffee. Yeah. And that’s where it comes from. And then the logic brain of me says, why would you want to be with somebody who’s only with you out of survival? Right?

Tim Matthews  12:15


Doug Holt  12:16

That’s not love. That’s not partnership at all. And that’s what most people really want. Your dad, I’m going to imagine, is scared that he’s going to be left alone and he’s using this as some kind of manipulative tactic. And men do this all the time. Men do this all the time. Or is that a frustration or embarrassment that they don’t understand the finances, especially investments. I see that quite a bit, too. And they don’t want to admit it or that they’ve made some big mistakes going through it, or she’s not responsible with money, so I’ll just keep it for her and give her the money when she needs it.

Tim Matthews  12:49

Yeah, that’s the common one. She’s not responsible. She can’t handle it. She doesn’t care.

Doug Holt  12:54


Tim Matthews  12:55

I mean, she wants to be included. Right?

Doug Holt  12:57

Yeah. Look, I’m going to interrupt you for a second, but the thing that’s common across the men that we work with, and maybe not the guys watching this right now, some of these guys may not fit in this because if they don’t work with us, maybe it’s different. So I can only speak for the thousands of men that come through our programs is they marry strong women.

Tim Matthews  13:15


Doug Holt  13:16

And smart women, and maybe not as smart as them, but most likely they just might be in a position where they’re upset at them, so they’re not showing up their best way. It’s not that the woman’s not responsible, it’s that they haven’t formed agreements. They haven’t formed agreements around money.

So to me, it first starts with transparency. Hey, here’s where we are. So if you expect your wife to want to have headbanging sex with you, want to be intimate with you, share the deepest parts of her soul rather than sharing it with another man. Right? So do you want her to share. She’s going to share her soul with somebody. Could be a girlfriend, could be her parents, could be another guy on Instagram, Facebook or whatever. We’ve seen it all. Or it could be you. Could be her husband. Do you want her to share it with you? The guys probably all nodding their heads. Great. But you’re not willing to share financial information? Come on, man. It’s a two way street.

Tim Matthews  14:10

Big time.

Doug Holt  14:11

It’s a two way street. You’re holding back it. You’re expecting her not to hold back on something far more intimate than money. Right? And so I think that causes a lot of problems. So the first thing is transparency. Second thing is setting mutual goals and agreements. Why are we in this relationship together? What is money to us now? It could be. Sounds like your mom had her own bank account from the money that she was making. Your dad might have had his own. Okay. I don’t know. Maybe that’s a mutual agreement. Maybe you guys combine money into one pot, maybe you do allowances.

There’s all kinds of different ways to work money. But the key here is having a mutual agreement on how you’re going to do it and how you’re going to move forward. So transparency is number one. Two are mutual agreements. I’ll give you a third and then I’ll pass the mic to you. A third thing is having regular meetings on how that money is going to be spent. Right?

So the way I love this, I don’t know if I got this from Dave Ramsey or somebody, but every dollar has a vote towards the lifestyle you want to live. Like every dollar has a vote. This is also something I use when I’m coaching guys, is they’ll tell me what their values are. So I’m working with a guy who’s a multimillionaire, yet he doesn’t want to spend money on a personal trainer. You’re telling me where your value is. You’re telling me what you value.

You spend more money on a dinner out at night than you would in a whole month of personal training this guy. Right? So what are you valuing yet? Your health is eroding. So it’s really an interesting thing to consider. So have that meeting and decide where your dollars are going to go.

Tim Matthews  15:43

Yeah, I love that. That’s some great points. I’m just thinking about money mindset. It’s a different topic for these guys. But there’s such a lack mentality that can go hand in hand with being in this position of play not to lose, essentially. And guys like to think they can compartmentalize and say, no, I’m playing to win in business, but I’m playing not to lose at home in my marriage. It’s like, come on. I mean, you may be doing well in business, but I said it to a guy a couple of weeks ago. He runs a company that’s scaled into a billion dollars. There’s a few hundred employees there. This guy’s had a successful life on paper.

And I said to him, hey, look, you’re playing at about 50% of what you’re capable of. And he’s a smart guy. See, it resonated with him. And he could see where I was coming from, and he just come to The Alpha Reset. Now he gets it. He’s like, I get what you mean now. So even though it may look good, there’s no way. If you are in a position where there’s arguments and disconnect in your marriage, you are avoiding addressing them. You are hiding money, you are not taking care of your health. There’s no way you’re playing to win in business, but playing to lose in all those other areas, nowhere.

Doug Holt  17:08

Yeah, it’s entirely correct. And so we look at transparency of money. The way I look at it is you’re coming from a complete scarcity mindset. That’s such a cliché coaching type term, or woo woo term of scarcity. But it’s true. You’re hiding stuff, and that’s taking some of your mind space. Some of your bandwidth is spent on hiding things. And if that was spent on innovation instead, you wouldn’t have to worry about hiding money because you’d be making so much more.

Tim Matthews  17:38

It reminds me of one of the guys in the movement. Anyway, he kept encountering money issues in his business.

Doug Holt  17:49


Tim Matthews  17:50

So when we dug into it and we asked him how much time he spends on creation, he barely spends any time on creation. So it’s like creation is the complete opposite and solution to SKSE, right? Because you’re so focused on what you’re creating and moving forward, and you’ve got that energy of knowing and the certainty and so on. But he was so focused on holding on to what he had, and because he was then ashamed of what he had, because he didn’t feel like it was enough, he then didn’t want to tell the truth. To your point, transparency, didn’t want to tell the truth to his wife and to everybody else, but equally wasn’t going out there and creating what he wanted either. It was just a crazy position for him to be in. And he could see it, too.

Doug Holt  18:31

Yeah, that reminds me. So the last company, and, you know, this company that I was CEO with when I was a consultant for them. First thing I did is I went in there and I went over their books, went over their finances, and you get rid of erroneous expenses and stuff. And I sat down with the owner, the founder of the company, and he said, oh, we need to find more money. We need to find more money. I go, no, we need to make more money. You don’t need to cut more. He wanted to cut salaries of employees and do all of these crazy things that would have hurt his company and not been beneficial to its growth.

When we talked about changing that paradigm of, oh, we’ll just make more money, the company doubled its revenue in six months. So it’s annual revenue. So that’s what you want to look at within side of your house. You have to get your house in order, though. So like I did with this company and any good CEO would do is you want to look at what are your financial habits now, right? But you got to be transparent with your wife.

When I do this with most men, Tim and I have them sit down and look at their finances. So we’ll go through them, which a lot of guys, that’s one of those taboo topics of money. Right? But a lot of guys will sit down there and go through their finances with them. It’s not because they’re dumb, it’s just they haven’t done it. And we’ll look at it and what they find is, and they’ll complain, my wife spends all the money. She’s doing this, she’s buying this, she’s buying that.

And then we sit down with them and we go, okay, let’s just go through your finances. We can set a plan and yada, yada, yada. We’ve done master courses, in fact, in Morocco, our whole thing. We flew everybody to Morocco. We had a compound in Morocco, which was amazing, in Marrakesh. And we went over money mindset for three days. Absolutely phenomenal event. But one of the things that we find out through that, because we had the guys do this there is they’re the ones that are spending the money.

Tim Matthews  20:16


Doug Holt  20:17

And the reason they’re looking at their wife and pointing the finger at her is because really, it’s reflecting back on them.

Tim Matthews  20:21

Yes, big time.

Doug Holt  20:23

So you want to get transparent. You want to set that meeting so you have joint goals and you’re going to have disagreements. And that’s okay. Go back to the previous podcast about critical, difficult conversations. Make it chill. Make it relaxed. When you have this conversation, come up with your agreements and hold those boundaries. You need to put them on the refrigerator or wherever else, do it, because you can revisit those. We’ve done podcasts about that. When your boundaries are crossed, what to do, you guys can look it up.

And then once you have that, you got to start having normal meetings. Yes. Think of them like an L ten or a board meeting or whatever else you want to. Think of it as in business, but don’t make it business like, I made that mistake. I made that mistake showing up with Excel spreadsheets and everything. And my wife was just. They never worked out.

Tim Matthews  21:14


Doug Holt  21:15

Now when I make it light hearted, sometimes a glass of wine or something, my wife’s more into it, and I make it fun. I’m like, okay, we have this chunk of change, so to speak. What do you want to do with it? What can we do with it? And a lot of times my wife is like, I’m not sure. Well, and I always have a plan. Here’s where I think it should go, and I have a case for it and what have you. And I’ve studied finance and investing a lot more than my wife has, but she trusts my knowledge, but I need to be grounded for her to trust me.

Tim Matthews  21:49

Yeah, big time. And what you’ll find is, as you are transparent around money, that will open you up to be more transparent about other things. It just paves away for a much better connection. Way more intimacy, way more.

Doug Holt  22:03

Yeah, without a doubt. There’s a lot of people, and I’m one of them, that believe that intimacy and money are closely tied together. And if your intimacy is lacking in your marriage, I’m curious how transparent you’re being with your finances. They tend to go hand in hand. I don’t know why, but I see it time and time again. And I’ve heard other people who run organizations similar to ours also talk about this, them saying it. So it’s really interesting to see those two things correlate. And when men are hiding money, they’re usually hiding other things, too.

Tim Matthews  22:34

Big time.

Doug Holt  22:35

It’s usually not just the money.

Tim Matthews  22:37

Yeah, because a lot of guys confuse their net worth with the self-worth…

Doug Holt  22:41


Tim Matthews  22:42

As well. Right? So they’re dying to protect it in the hope that they’re going to be able to salvage some remnants of them feeling better about themselves as well, and they’re just totally focused on the wrong thing.

Doug Holt  22:52

Yeah, it’s absolutely crazy. And I was talking to another guy who, his net worth is over 40 million, let’s just say that. And he was talking, but hey, he’s like, you know, what? I’m starting to have some dark thoughts, some suicidal thoughts, and I was talking to him about it, but yet he’s not willing to spend any of his net worth on doing the things he knows would better himself and his health and his mental health and his life. He’d rather die. Kill him. Theoretically, he’s told me, he’s like, Doug, I’m not going to do it. Just first time I’ve ever had these dark thoughts. And what is occurring for me during this conversation, first is to make sure he’s okay. Second though, is, wow, your mindset is so attached to this number that you would actually rather kill yourself, lose the money. Right? Because you don’t take it with you, then spend the money and be alive.

Tim Matthews  23:50

Yeah, it’s this mask, right? Yeah, it’s just nuts. I’d rather have this thing up here that looks really good and makes me appear to be someone I’m not, essentially. Than risk having that thing even be jeopardized and keep myself actually down here.

Doug Holt  24:06


Tim Matthews  24:07

Because that’s what people see of me.

Doug Holt  24:10

Yes. Absolutely crazy and ludicrous. So what are a couple of takeaways guys can do if they’re finding themselves in this position where they haven’t been transparent about finances or for some reason it’s not talked about around the house?

Tim Matthews  24:22

If it’s not talked about around the house, I think you get to introduce the conversation. You get to begin the conversation a very light hearted way. Many ways you could do that. One, for instance, that you were saying is talk about your goals. Right? Hey, where do we want to be over the next 12 to 24 months? What experiences do we want to have? What does that mean for how much money we need in each pot, for example, how long do we want to work? When do we want to retire, whatever it may be?

You could start the conversation broader and bring it in a little bit. But just start the conversation and start the conversation in a very light and fun way, talking about goals and aspirations and such. And that could then pave the way for bringing that down to how much money, like I said, is required in what pot, for what it may be. And then that can pave the way for having more regular meetings, discussions about the progress of those things.

I think one other thing I’d add when talking about the goals and the desires is to ask one other why it’s important to you. Because when you guys overspend, which you will, when the budget goes a little bit, array, which it will, it’s inevitable. If you can bring it back to why those things are important to you guys as well, what they provide you both with, individually and collectively. You don’t make it about the money. You make it about you guys as a couple and as individuals. And the money is just a vehicle at the end of the day to help you guys achieve and experience certain things. And the less you can get into you versus her or that kind of fight, the easier it’s going to be.

Doug Holt  26:06

There’s no doubt about it. So, guys, when you take away from this, what you want to be doing is looking at where this transparency, or lack of transparency shows up within you. And if you’re not being transparent with money or you’re hiding money to control, to your point, Tim, like your father, then what’s it really worth? What’s it really worth? That relationship you’re doing?

This is a chance for you to let go and let go of control and actually see where the chips actually really fall in doing so. If you’re in a situation where divorce is imminent, talk to a professional. But otherwise, for the rest of you guys, what I would suggest you do is actually have transparent conversations around finances, set your goals and actually move forward. Get out of scarcity and into abundance. As we say in the moment of insight, take massive action. We’ll see you next time. 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!