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You Can’t Move Forward Until You Understand Attachment

Episode #840

Are you struggling to figure out why the same patterns keep showing up in your relationships?

In this episode, we are joined by a men’s coach and Doug’s brother-in-law, Casey, to dive deep into attachment theory. We explore how the bonds we form in our early years (ages 0-4) can profoundly impact our adult behaviors and relationships.

Casey shares insights from his mentor, Dewey Freeman, about the essential needs for touch, movement, and nurturance. He explains how unmet needs in these areas can lead to addiction and other coping mechanisms.

We talk about the common struggles men face in their marriages, especially around bids for connection and intimacy, and how these early attachment patterns play out in adult life. You’ll learn practical strategies to break free from these cycles, build healthier connections, and ultimately create a legacy of secure attachment for your children.

Don’t miss this enlightening conversation that could transform your understanding of yourself and your relationships. Tune in now!

Hungry for more?

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  0:00  

My wife’s on the couch, she’s gone Instagram and I just, she doesn’t want to be around or what have you. I just told him like, he know what the solution is. And he’s like, Well, now I’ve been this has been going on for a year now or something. What’s the programming that’s going on that causes you to do this? I go, Well, what do you deal with? What happens? Well, I just walk away. You know? Why don’t you just be more interested in Instagram? Now, you know, yeah, now are you gonna break this generational pattern? Yeah. Are you just gonna pass it on to your kids?

Everyone, welcome back to another episode of the TPM Show. Today, I am joined by a very special guest, and you guys do not want to miss us. So stick to the end. today. We have a men’s coach, world renowned and also my brother in law, Casey Desharnais. Casey, thanks for being here, brother. 

Casey Desharnais  0:57  

What’s up, Doug, thanks for having me, man. 

Doug Holt  0:59  

Yeah. Yeah, it’s always great to have you in town, man. 

Casey Desharnais  1:01  

Yep. I love the conversations we always seem to get into. 

Doug Holt  1:04  

Yep, absolutely. And you’ve been working with men for a very long time in the men’s work that you’ve been doing. And what we were talking about before we hit record was about attachments. Let’s talk a little bit about that. 

Casey Desharnais  1:14 

Yeah, it’s been something I’ve been lucky to learn about over the past couple of years, with one of my mentors, a guy named Dewey Freeman, who’s been studying this stuff for about 50 years. When we hear the word attachment, a lot of a lot of us go straight to attachment styles, you know, anxious avoidant, secure. However, what I’ve been learning about is more about the original attachments we have in our in our primary kind of model of attachment when we’re young, zero to four, zero to three type of age range. And for Dewey’s model, du, he has this beautiful model of attachment that really explains where our behavior can kind of go off the rails a bit based on Attachment, okay, based on attachment we did or didn’t get, or needs that we couldn’t meet or could meet. And it really explains the kind of foundational basis for why attachment styles show up. A lot of us if you think if you think of your own attachment style, and you go, Oh, yeah, I’m anxious. likely you’re not anxious all the time. Yep, likely, you’ve cycled through maybe with different relationships or in your relationship. You may be cycled from anxious to avoidant to secure sometimes with Dewey’s model, you can kind of see how some of those more insecure attachments come out. And are symptoms of this kind of original insecure foundation or fragmented attachment process. That gets a lot of us that really gets a lot of us like, we just have, as young human mammals, we have high needs for emotional, physical, spiritual attachment, and to feel like the people around us are getting our unique needs in each of those categories. 

Doug Holt  3:14  

So you’re talking about zero to three, or zero to four. And obviously, my daughter’s four years old. So my mind goes right there. Yeah, you’ve got a son, as well. So fast forwarding to adulthood. So here we are sitting. Where does How do you see that playing out with guys or people in general?

Casey Desharnais  3:32  

I think it would help for me to talk a little bit about the model to explain that, please. Cool. I’m just going to take you back. So when you’re in the womb, when all of us are in the womb, one, there’s three things we’re constantly getting. We’re constantly getting in touch because we’re inside of our mother’s belly. So we’re constantly being touched, or in contact. We’re constantly getting movement. We’re moving with somebody kind of like in a relationship, okay? And we’re constantly getting food through the umbilical cord. Yep. Food, touch, and movement all the time. So then we’re born, we come out, and all of a sudden, we have needs, right? We need food. We need our diaper changed, we need to be comforted. And so we make bids for those needs to be met bids, we cry we we try to get attention anyway. We’re super cute, whatever it may be, right? Yep. Those are bids for connection. If those bids for connection are met by a caregiver, great, we get those needs met, and then the world is safe, and we trust that if we make a bid for connection, we will get our needs met. Okay. So where it starts to go a little wonky is when we make a bid for our needs to be met. And then a caregiver comes in and provides that need however, the modern example is like, Oh, the baby’s hungry. I’m gonna feed a bottle feed or breastfeed or whatever feeding may be occurring and The caregiver is on the phone. So they’re in presence in contact, right? So what’s happening there is the kind of emotional and spiritual and deeper needs to be felt that presence from a caregiver is not being met. If that need is not being met instead of attaching to the caregiver. So when I bring you a bottle when a mum feeds a baby and they’re present and in contact, the baby attaches to the person providing, okay, with the need, yep. If that’s done without presence without contact, the baby starts to attach to the substance. Got it? The food, the touch, or the movement. Okay. So then the thing that says shades me is the bottle. And in this model in Dewey’s model, that’s where addiction starts. Okay. So instead of trusting the person, I’m trusting the thing to make me feel better to meet my needs. Got it? Yeah. Okay. So this is where later in life, we get porn addiction, we get substance addiction we get because it’s reliable. A reliable way that we figured out how to get our needs met, we can control it. Right? You go to that substance, you go to that porn, you know exactly the way you’re gonna feel when you go to it. Sure. Right. And it’s reliable, reproducible, and that’s what we want. Yep. Yep. Okay. Does that make sense completely?

Doug Holt  6:38  

So let’s expand upon that if we can. Sure a little bit. You know, a lot of the guys that that we work with, will come through no use sedation, right, some form of sedation and form of sedation, a lot of these things we talked about pouring alcohol, yeah. smoking drugs, joining, working out, right stream athlete. Yep. Thank you. Like, all of these things can come in there. In this model, or this thought process. Let’s say you have somebody who is an overexerciser, if you will, sure. With the context then be saying, okay, they, they associated their need of movement. In this case, yep. Rather than the substance. Is that always the three? Yeah,

Casey Desharnais  7:22  

in this particular model, in this particular model, for sure, it is the three and they, as we become adults, like food becomes nurturance sure, you know, movement becomes emotions, or in contact in presence when someone touches, like still physical contact. Yeah, you know, those needs are being met, I think, if we explain it through the lens of a guy making a bid for sex with his partner. So, right, what’s one way because a lot of guys conflate performance, being worth something being useful with attachment with right being needed being worthy

Doug Holt  8:06  

100%, I’m not good enough if I can’t satisfy my partner, right, right?

Casey Desharnais  8:10  

Not good enough. I can’t satisfy I have to be useful in some way. And so what’s the ultimate way to perform and get attachment at the same time? X, right? For a lot of us, a lot of us guys, like, that makes a lot of sense. Because we’re getting movement, we’re getting the skin-to-skin contact. A lot of us have, like, kind of funneled our attachment needs into that physicality of sex. So if we go through the model with like, okay, cool. My bid for connection is sex. Right? Partner is not into it and says no. Yep. Right. So then that bid is cut off. Right? So what do I do? When the needs for connection contact and attachment are shut down? Usually, humans do one of two things shut down or rage. Right. So if that did that guy trying to be intimate is shut down from that by his partner. And then what does he do? How does he respond? Or go to porn? Go to drink or go to find some competence somewhere? Yeah, or some feeling of safety connection, whatever it may be. From my reliable source. Yep. My reliable sources might be Oh call maybe we’d it might be work. It may be running and maybe whatever it may be, or

Doug Holt  9:39  

combination of all of

Casey Desharnais  9:39  

All of those. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s this process of like, we don’t trust or we don’t know how to like to have needs shut down. And then go go through that process in a way where we can remain in contact and presence and an attachment Got it. So when that attaches, and I’m saying that from a sense when there’s been a really fractured attachment early, so we don’t know how to make sense. It almost kind of just lives in ourselves that those bids for connection likely won’t be met. So we would just jump real quick into the shutdown or rage and using the things that work to help us regulate ourselves.

Doug Holt  10:23  

So in this model, there’s two things that come up for me was a lot of things coming from me. So one is a lot of the guys that that listen to this we have men and women listen to this, but lion’s share, but 80% or 90 are based on stats are gonna be dudes, yeah, they’re listening to this are having problems in their marriage in the relationship a lot of guys are. So one of the things that happens often right when there’s a disconnect in the marriage is intimacy falls short, right? And I always talk about women need connection to want to be intimate. Guys need intimacy in order to connect like it’s a it’s a weird day now, becauseone of the unfortunate things we have going Yeah, yeah.

So I guess what’s coming up for me right now is, one is if a man, zero to four, what have you gets all his bids for connection he meets, all those needs are met, but he’s still being rejected by his wife. He perhaps is going to handle it better, but maybe not right? Because there still could be some self worth issues or things like that. So as an example, my wife doesn’t want to sleep with me, therefore, I’m not good enough. Right? Yeah. So in this model, would that one point then the second point would be a different guy who does doesn’t have a need met? Who’s who’s listening to this right now might be thinking, Okay, well, when I, when I go approach my wife about sex, I find myself shutting down, or I just go jerk off or I go just start drinking whiskey. Totally. Are they then in the small going to start going back and looking retrospectively at their life and trying to match? What happened?

Casey Desharnais  12:04  

Are they going to be prompted to go? Go back? Yeah,

Doug Holt  12:07  

I know. There were so let’s use let’s use the the second individual, right? Sure. He goes to his wife. Yep. As basically makes a bid or ask to get laid? Yeah.

Casey Desharnais 12:19  

Depends how we ask.

Doug Holt  12:23  

That hopefully is a process. Yeah, yeah. But then he goes in. She rejects him. Yeah. And then whatever it is, go to as let’s say, he decides to pour himself a glass of whiskey and so fucking I’m gonna shut down. Yep. In this model, would he then assume that maybe as a kid is needs weren’t being met by the substance? He was attached to the substance versus the the physical touch? It’s an example.

Casey Desharnais  12:49  

Yeah, I mean, in this model, it’s going to show you where, right like where dysregulation is prone to occurring. Okay. Oh, so I see you say your choice of where you’re bidding for connection. Did you not get the movement piece? I understand your question now? Yeah. Yeah, that’s a really good point, actually. Yeah.

Doug Holt  13:10  

Like, what do you want us to do? Yeah, right.

Casey Desharnais  13:12  

Like, where does your choice come from and originate from?

Doug Holt  13:15  


Casey Desharnais  13:16  

that’s, that’s a good. That’s a good point. Yeah. I’m kind of curious if then that probably is a connection. I haven’t haven’t actually thought about that before or explore that with with Dewey. But yeah, it could be it could be also based on environment. That one, right, like, like, exactly what you’re saying. Nurture. Yeah. Right. Like, yeah, if you choose movement, maybe that was a thing that was reliable for you as a kid, if you choose touch. Sure, if you’re, like, someone who’s going to get a ton of escorts or having a lot of affairs, like maybe touch was a big thing missing. Yeah. You know, right. That’s it’s a good point.

Doug Holt  13:50  

Yeah. What point which is also interesting, because, you know, I see it with guys who have a lot of affairs. Also guys who have been sexually abused. I see. I see that quite often. With men. Yeah. Anyway, we’re getting away from this model. I’m curious about it. Yeah. So a guy listening to this, right. He’s, he’s on the treadmill right now running. Oh, crap. I’ll get my movement. And but you know, looking at this, what can you do with this information? Well, I think,

Casey Desharnais  14:20  

look, our culture struggles to empathize with men’s coping strategies, right. And our culture also struggles to explain the nation or addiction in a real way that is humanistic, right? That actually points to some kind of fracture that makes sense and doesn’t actually just criticize what’s happening. Okay, right. So, one, I hope like, people hearing this, this is Dewey Freeman’s model. It’s brilliant, and it’s simple, and it’s straightforward. And when he when I see him teach this model, you can see the guys just go Oh, Oh, it’s not that’s me got it? Yeah. Like, it’s not my fault. That makes sense. Finally, someone explains my coping strategies or my addictions in a way that fits my life and make sense to me. Got it. We all know we’re looking for human connection on a deep level, we all have some intuitive sense of that. Right. And, and I think because we do, it makes a lot of sense. That that early period, there was a rupture there that made that feel incredibly unsafe to look for. Yes, yeah, I

Doug Holt  15:40  

can see that. So with this model that Dewey’s teachers have do is teaching this model or you’re talking to somebody about this. Yeah. what it sounds like it achieves is freeing people from shame.

Casey Desharnais  15:52  

To help yourself address a problem, we all need to find the root of it, we all need some, like the cognitive understanding of it, the framing of it matters. Right. And so it does help alleviate shame, it helps alleviate the burden of like, something’s wrong with me. It’s all me I, I messed up in the world, which is likely from that fractured attachment, that exact thought pattern. Like it’s all me, I messed it up. No one wants to really attach to me, no one finds me that interesting or useful, or fun or intelligent, whatever it may be. That’s why I didn’t get the attachment I needed. That’s why no one’s interested in me. That’s why I use these coping strategies that are fucking on my life and sabotaging my life. Right? Sure. Because it’s all me. Yeah, I am a broken individual. And when people look at me, that’s what they see. Yeah. It’s like, no. Yeah. You’re, you’re a human that probably have likely got a semi fractured attachment, and you’re trying to fix that you’re actually doing something that’s right. And sometimes even do we, when I’ve worked with him and been around him working with other men, one of the great things I’ve learned is some people who really had tough times in those young attachment years, a lot of them right, have addictions, right, like substance addictions. And sometimes do, we will say, like, wow, that that substance addiction likely saved your life.

Doug Holt  17:28  

Yeah, yeah. Well, it makes sense. Right? Yeah. It’s a coping mechanism. Yes, exactly. And I think for some people, in my experience, it comes to acceptance first, what I always when I talk to men, I’m like, is this serving you to your highest level? Yes or no? And if it is, cool, yeah, worry about what anybody else says, or anybody else does do. Right? If it’s not, then we can look at what we want to change. What’s the underlying current the way I describe it? Yeah. So different than than this, what do the same but similar? Yeah. What’s the underlying current? What’s, what’s the programming that’s going on that causes you to do this and you start looking at the root? Yeah, the analogy I’ll use is, I think a lot of people Casey, like, when you look at the problem of like a garden, think of your mind as a garden. And you’ve heard about this, like, as a man thinketh or books like that. Yeah. And what a lot of people do is they go, Oh, crap, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of crap in my garden. Lot of weeds. Yeah. And they go with the weed or just chop it all out. And we just remove all of it. We’re good. Yeah, we’re good. And then what happens as soon as the water comes again, as the weeds grow unless you go to the root of it, and this is what this model allows guys to do is go to the root and pull it out. And especially with unconscious patterns,

Casey Desharnais  18:44  

yeah, I really think so. I think it gives a little bit of a map or a huge map, in my opinion, but a bit of a map for us to look at things through this lens. And really go okay, like, where could I be more relational? Where could I get those actual connection contact needs met in a in a bit of a healthier way? Yeah. Like, can I can I, you know, for lack of a better term, but Can I upgrade my coping patterns? Sure. And, you know, Gabor Ma Tei said this, Dewey says this, a lot of it’s in the consciousness now is like, the opposite of addiction or the opposite of coping strategies is not sobriety, it’s connection. Yes, relationship. Yep. I think having that in our consciousness is imperative in this work, because that’s one of the things we’re providing in men’s work is there’s so much fractured attachment in men and in our early years, you know, for instance, zero to two to be heteronormative. Girls and boys are touched to like a very similar amount by parents. At two after two boys, the amount of touch boys get drops off significantly. So though, and and the kind of the grooming of more like, you’ll be alright, you can get through it. You’re tough. You got this? Yeah, you know and dusted off. dusted off. Yeah. Like and, yeah. Cool like that. That helps us. And it also hurts our attachment a bit likely, right? It has something to do with it. Yeah. So moving forward, it’s like, it’s like, yeah, okay, cool. Like, I have this imperative need as this animal that I am human. And it’s relational. You know, and that could actually help to cure this process that I keep cycling through. So one part of the model is, is to think about it as like, you go through the cycle. And in the studies, the studies that do we did were, okay, let’s look at how many times babies go through this cycle. Turns out, it’s like 10 to 15 times in our weather. Yeah. So and that could be really simple, just like little cry because they need to be moved and shifted in bed, and you pat them on the back and the whole thing’s done. That’s a whole cycle. Yep. But to a baby that feels like going through a hard time. Like I’m hungry. I’m crying. That feels like a challenge a hard time in life. And if your caregiver meets that need in presence in contact, and you come out the other side, you get fed, you feel better, you feel okay, you’re like, wow, I can go through a hard time and come out. Okay, on the other end, same thing, you fast forward into adult life, right? Like, hey, I can, I can have a disagreement with Doug, like you and I can disagree on a subject and it feels challenging. It feels a little hard. But on the other end of that, you and I are still close. Maybe even closer, or maybe we’re annoyed with each other for a couple hours. But at the end of it, we’re still close. Yeah. So we just go through our time to come out. Okay. And that actually strengthens our attachment bond. So

Doug Holt  21:54  

going through any type of adversity, right. That’s why you see people that go through events or challenges in life. Right, closer, right. Yeah.

Casey Desharnais  22:02  

Like anyone in the military goes through a massively challenging time with a core group of people. They’re very attached, right? Yep. Yeah.

Doug Holt  22:11  

Yeah. Or any any experience, especially experiences like near death experiences, if you will? You know, it. I’ve experienced this many times in my life with groups of guys or groups of people really, where you’re out doing adventures, or, you know, class five, whitewater rafting we shouldn’t be doing. Right.

Unknown Speaker  22:31  

I’ve done let’s put ourselves through that.

Doug Holt  22:33  

Yeah, yeah. And people, you know, at the end of that, how close this group of people that didn’t know each other become 100.

Casey Desharnais  22:41  

And I think that’s what’s happening on likely on your retreats with men, right? They come in little scared, what’s going to happen? What am I going to have to face? What am I gonna have to tell people? Really? Yeah. And then they do, right, this process of being in that group and that core kind of safe, functioning area, you know, or space that you guys create. They go through a hard time, they bare their soul. And they do it in like very safe relationship in contact with other people in presence with other men, other men that are not afraid of what they’re sharing. Yep. Not surprising, not judging them. They’re just saying, I got you, man. Yep. come out the other side of that, and they’re like, Whoa, I just went through a process. They went through a hard time in relationship, the relationship stuck and got stronger, and they came out. Okay. So it makes sense. That’s how we attach to things as humans.

Doug Holt  23:40  

I love it. Yeah. So guy listening to this right now, again, we’ll go back to the guy on the treadmill. who’s listening to this and is noticing, okay, like, when I have a bid for connection with my wife, and she rejects me, she goes to her iPhone, she’s doomed scrolling Instagram, or whatever it is. Oh, boy. I noticed what I do is Bingi. You know, I go to that frigerator and freezer and grab ice cream or what have you totally. What does that guy now do with that information? What’s the next step for him? So

Casey Desharnais  24:11  

information helps. And then the next step is like, the awareness of like, Oh, I’m in my limbic emotional brain responding to something that feels like it’s, it’s cutting me out of something I need want, at a core level, right? Like, how do I, how do I recognize that I’m actually in, for lack of a better term. I’m younger. The limbic system is the emotional system of the brain, right? And it’s almost like that’s how we process information when we’re young. So for lack of a better term, Oh, okay. I’m eight right now. Yeah, right. Like I actually am and I want and it makes sense that I want connection with my wife. That makes sense. I didn’t do anything wrong. There’s nothing that’s bad or wrong about me. I just want connection at a time when she’s not available for it. And yeah, it doesn’t feel good. It feels horrible. How can I process that part? That actually feels horrible? How do I do it unconsciously? What are the unconscious patterns set up in my system? And how do I bring some more conscious awareness to that? Do I call a buddy? Right? Like, do I start to like, make a different practice of like, when I feel this way, I actually reach out for other connection, like, call your buddy, call your accountability partner, call the guy you went through the weekend with and let it be known. trigger

Doug Holt  25:43  

response, trigger response, change the response to the trigger

Casey Desharnais  25:47  

change response? And if you can do it in a relational way, you know, to me that you’re winning. Yeah, yeah, you’re winning. You’re you’re getting something you need in a healthy way for yourself. And you’re doing it in Brotherhood. Yep. Which is a huge deal.

Doug Holt  26:02  

Yeah, yeah. As you know, we have a one year program called the Brotherhood  ironically or not. And that’s what we the men will do. So it’s awesome. These are all businessmen that we work with. And so they’ll go in there, whatever the situation will be. And they’ll share this type of the other guys. They’re sharing jokes, and totally and asking business questions and parenting questions. But also, when these kinds of what you know, I call it a trigger response, come up, they’re also sharing that so they can be in relation and guys are jumping on calls with each other, and etc. I’m just thinking about when you were talking, which I love this whole idea of rewriting that response each and every time and making it conscious, right. So what a guy could do listening to this right now, again, the guy on the treadmill is he’s like, Oh, I’m getting ice cream. What is something that would help him? Right? Like, he should be thinking, okay. Every time my wife turns me down, right. Then I realized I’m going for ice cream get my needs met. What would be another positive thing for me? That I could turn that to? Is that right? Sure. Yeah.

Casey Desharnais  27:10  

Instead of ice cream go for healthy food? I don’t know. Like, that’s a very simple one. Yeah, the thing is with these, with these responses, it’s hard to address the issue without it being relational. Got it? Because the injury is relational.

Doug Holt  27:28  

So go out and get grab food with my friend. Yeah,

Casey Desharnais  27:32  

totally. There you go. Nice Cream with a buddy would be a great step. Yeah.

Doug Holt  27:35  

There you go. Yeah, change ice cream, eventually. It’s something else with a buddy. Yeah.

Casey Desharnais  27:38  

But you know what I’m saying a lot of the coping strategies are like subverting what we actually want and need, which is something in relationship and in contact and presence with someone else. And it’s getting really honest about that, because that’s a vulnerable place to admit you’re in especially for guys. Yeah, especially for guys. Lone Wolf, right. Yeah. Wait, I don’t need that. Yeah, um, Tom. Oh,

Doug Holt  28:01  

yeah, exactly. Right. And you don’t want to do that any other guy know that you’re going through a process because they’re gonna judge me, you know, men, especially at that pecking order, right, so to speak. So if you act tougher, yeah, people guys won’t mess with you. Type idea. Yeah.

Casey Desharnais  28:17  

Or like I can, yeah, I can success my way out of this loneliness. I will write like, I will overcome this. And there’s something beautiful about that. And there’s something like, not really actually the way it works.

Doug Holt  28:32  

It’s hopium. Yeah, it’s

Casey Desharnais  28:35  

that Yeah. Oh, good.

Doug Holt  28:36  

What this is a guy just hope, you know, tomorrow, it’s gonna be better or they brushed under the rug. Yes. We’ve been under the rug. Yep. And don’t look at it. And it’ll go away on its own. Yep. Right that they did in the province especially. That’s why the marriage rights relational. And that’s why it triggers so many men is their partners, their biggest trigger big kids could be another one, but tends to be your lover, your intimate partner are the biggest trigger coming through. What I also think case is so cool with this for guys to understand. Let’s go back to the guy who has a bid for connection with his wife sit on the couch, she’s doing scrolling Instagram, you know, he comes over, you know, comes over then tries to connect with or whatever intimacy or anything else, and she doesn’t react. So then he goes to the fridge. Freezer, get ice cream. Okay, cool. We got that story. Yeah, the thing that’s cool for him to understand is she is going through her coping mechanism. Totally with a phone right. And getting hurt. So yes, probably nothing to do with him. Right. She just got triggered first. Yeah. And therefore that’s why she’s doomed scrolling Instagram, in this case. Totally

Casey Desharnais 29:41  

beautiful point. Yeah. Yeah. You’re not the only one going through the the the attachment needs cycle, right? Yeah, it’s really helpful to remember what your partner’s doing scrolling Instagram. Yeah, right.

Doug Holt  29:55  

What is she trying to get met?

Casey Desharnais  29:57  

Yeah, what yeah, she currently meaning right. So and some form of dopamine and connection and, you know, being connected to other people’s lives. Being interested and intrigued in something not being totally vulnerable to the environment. Will I get connection? Will he be present? Will he notice? Yep. Etc.

Doug Holt  30:17  

Yeah, cuz she’s getting she’s getting those. There’s uncertainty, right? She doesn’t know what the next photo are in this case. I hear this a lot from guys. Yeah, right. The partner is doing scrolling. Instagram is the one I hear the most social media. Well,

Casey Desharnais  30:29  

I think Instagram is like, almost 70% of women. Is it that are the primary users?

Doug Holt  30:34  

It could be? In you get uncertainty. She’s getting excitement from that guy in a call. And my coaching style is extremely direct.

Casey Desharnais  30:46  

I can’t believe

Doug Holt  30:48  

surprising, right? And a guy was, it was, you know, talking about it’s like, Yeah, whenever I come home, now, it’s same thing. My wife’s on the couch, she’s scrolling on Instagram, and I just, she doesn’t want to be around or what have you. I just told him, he know what the solution is. And he’s like, Well, now I’ve been this has been going on for a year now or something. I go, Well, what do you deal with? Or what happens? Well, I just walk away, you know, go, why don’t you just be more interesting to Instagram? Why don’t you try to do different things like juggle

Casey Desharnais  31:19  

in front of juggle?

Right, what are we doing? Yeah, because a

Doug Holt  31:23  

lot of times, we get stuck in ruts, right? I know, we’re going a little bit off topic, but I’ll come back into it. Sure. And we go through the same pattern. And for our partner, we become less interesting, right? You know, your wife, or in a lot of cases, girlfriend or whoever can predict what you’re going to do each and every time he comes home, he puts his keys here, he does this, he sits on the couch, he farts he gets you know, whatever it is, you’re doing the same things. So switching those things up and creating that uncertainty in that environment. Key.

Casey Desharnais  31:52  

Yeah, tensions, an interesting thing to talk about between, you know, heteronormative men and women relationships, like, I do think there’s a big difference between, like, for us, a lot of times as men, if we come home, like it would be just great if she just responded and let her face lit up. And we were home is great. However, I think, you know, this is a little bit of a generalization, but some tension, some type of like, where’s the intrigue, there’s gotta be, there’s gotta be some intrigue. And it’s true. And, you know, to become more interesting than Instagram is a great way to say. And that might even be by being direct, and like not being in your attachment wound and being willing to take the risk to say, I really want to connect with you right now. When can that happen? Yep. You know, I get your you’re on Instagram. And it’s important to me to connect with you tonight. Yeah, when when can we make that happen?

Doug Holt  32:48  

And most women would, would fall over because they’re looking for their man to say something like that. And yeah, I think two things. One is, when I said that to the guy wasn’t being discouraging to him. What I wanted to tell him is like, live your best life. Yeah, if you live your best life, then you become interesting. Yeah, right. You do stuff that interests you, you just naturally become more interesting. Human. Yeah. And what most people do is they get stuck in this rut. I think, you know, right. And the guys fall into that, you know, dot O R talks about? Oh, yeah, me too. The nice guy syndrome, right? Yeah. Okay, I’ll just be quiet over here. I’ll sit over here and I’ll go sedate myself in some way, shape, or form totally work or porn or drugs, alcohol, whatever it is. Yeah. Or sitting for binge watch NetFlix. Yeah, whatever it may be. The other thing I just came to my mind is a lot of guys say that right? I come home from work. She should be like I provided I was out hunting, right? And I just want her to say thank you or smile. Let’s often like you just said if you walk in to a crib, the baby smiles and is looking for a reaction. The guy walking into the door smiles and wants his wife to react. It’s a very interesting relation. Relational connection. There’s correlation or not. Yeah, totally. And it kind of seems like hey, here I am. Where is everybody? That’s why everybody likes a dog. Right? You walk in and out of a room 20 times the dogs wagging its tail every time and it’s excited to see you.

Casey Desharnais  34:09  

Yeah, it really meets something in us to see the dog excited about our company. Yeah, yeah, our presence. I mean, there’s something real to that. I think this reminds me of Francis Weller, you know, Francis Weller is this brilliant psychologist who studies grief and he studied many different cultures. And one of the some of the cultures he’s interested in are cultures that prioritize relationship over success or looking good. And one of the things he says is that in a lot of our western norms, we’ve missed something. And he said in these cultures that prioritize relationship whence when a young person comes into the village, it’s the job of the village to impress upon the young child’s nerve. A system, that they have purpose, they belong, they have utility. They are a sacred part of the community. And in our Western culture, a lot of times unconsciously, what we’ve done is we’ve made it the young child’s job to show how useful they are, so they can earn some form of connection and attachment. And that’s think that’s just backwards for the way we work.

Doug Holt  35:29  

Yeah, I’ve never thought about that way. I’ve never heard that before. That’s interesting to think about. What brings that brings up for me are different cultures, I guess, or ethnicities even grew up in Southern California. My whole life has a large Hispanic population. And I distinctly remember being in a car driving Ohio police called I grew up in orange Mile Square Park, this gigantic Park. Yeah. And we drive by this park in this really nice neighborhood. This area, it’s huge park, it is probably 90% Hispanic families, huge groups every weekend. Yep. Having parties get togethers barbecues. laughing and you look around, you see people in cars, mostly white people, and they look miserable. Yeah. Right. Right. And then you have these people having these big groups together of community. And seemingly having a good time. Not that everything’s perfect on either end. Right. But it’s a it’s an interesting thing from a cultural perspective.

Casey Desharnais  36:30  

Yeah, right. There’s some there’s some human need that’s getting met there. And it turns out, it’s likely a very huge one. Kind of important. Yeah. Turns out, it may be much bigger than we’ve, we’ve treated it or we’ve realized in our culture. And I think, you know, this model we’ve been talking about the work we’re doing is we are directly involved in kind of repairing that you’re attempting to bring, yeah, bring connection back in a way to repair this, this kind of fracture that we all feel and have like cortisol running through our systems about you know, and it’s like, there’s something that once you get it, there’s a deep breath that your nervous system takes and you go, Whoa, I didn’t realize the extent to which I needed that. Right. I get that. You hear that a lot. Your guys hands?

Doug Holt  37:25  

Yeah, I That

Casey Desharnais  37:26  

wasn’t even conscious for me how much I needed that. But my body knows. Like, my body knows, that gives me the feedback that like, wow, that was amazing. Yeah,

Doug Holt  37:36  

we do think you know, we do two international events every year. Yeah. And we’re going to Prague here in October. With a great group of guys. Right. 

Casey Desharnais  37:44  

I’m jealous of your travel company. That’s great. I love it. Yeah.

Doug Holt  37:48  

And I always tell the guys like you got to show up, man. Because you get that connection, that community that you likely can’t find anywhere else. Right? That tribe, if you will, yeah. Where you can be yourself, you can, you know, there is no judgment. You know, these guys are business guys. They like to talk about business, right? So they can talk about, we can also talk about parenting, the trials and tribulations. One thing that I see all the time case is, when we work with men, at a, what is called a transformational event, one of our transformational events, is the generational patterns. Right? So what occurs for me in this Dewey’s model is I would guess, that it goes back, you’re shaking your head, yes, for those out there that are just listening. But that it goes back. So if if my mom has an example, was disconnected, while breastfeeding, whether she may have had that same pattern to her father, etc, etc. And it goes back and forth. 100%. And so what I always tell the guys when we discover this, because we don’t use this pattern, but something very similar. Yeah, what do we use? This is the difference here now, guys, is your parents didn’t know 100 Now, you know, yeah. Now are you going to break this generational pattern? Yeah. Or are you just going to pass it on your kids? Yeah. Something we talk about all the time as men. You know, every guy is like, well, I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave a legacy. Yeah, like, Dude, you are leaving a legacy? Yeah, just as a legacy you want to leave? Or is it a shitty one? That’s the difference. Yeah, that’s so good. Yeah, you are leaving one regardless. Yeah.

Casey Desharnais  39:30  

Yeah, that’s so good. Yeah, I and 100%. Right, like, how we the imprint we got from parents, from their parents, like, you know, we can go down the rabbit hole of generational stuff that’s passed down, but I think we can all agree that yeah, that’s a thing that That definitely happens. Right. And there’s a certain you’ve likely seen this right with your two kids dog is that when babies are really young, they don’t have the ability to shut their nervous system down. onto the environment or just open. So the environment they’re in is their nervous system. You know, their parents, whatever’s around at the time, the house, the structures, the, you know, the chaos, the ups and downs, whatever it may be, but they don’t have the ability to shut that. Oh, off or out. Yeah, so they are that. Yeah.

Doug Holt  40:23  

So my kids are perfect. already set aside money for therapy.

Casey Desharnais  40:29  

Your kids are great guy. The kids are great. And they’re very relational. Yeah. So well, in

Doug Holt  40:34  

great part. I’d love to take a little credit for that. But your sister, my wife a huge part of that. For

Casey Desharnais  40:41  

sure. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my sister has been a huge part of that for me. Yep. You know, even in our adult lives like she’s she is very good at keeping people in relationship. Yep. And she does not back down from my template. Let’s say you don’t have a choice.

Doug Holt  41:04  

Yeah, and we both benefited from

Casey Desharnais  41:06  

that right 100% I’ve benefited a ton from that. Yeah, yeah, it’s awesome. Yep. My instinct would have been to pull back pull pullback pullback pullback my instinct a lot pullback even though I know I want that thing. A lot. My instincts pullback pullback.

Doug Holt  41:21  

I think that’s most men. Most people probably Yeah, right. Yeah. I think men more so than women would be my guess. Are women tend to be better at related and go into the anthropological? Sure, you know, versions of that, but probably not now. Yeah. But I think men in particular. And when I think about the guys that are I’ve been friends with for so long. And you’ve met a lot of them at my wedding or what have you. Yeah, it’s because of their persistence. Not mine. Yeah. Right. To the point of like, constantly texting or calling and calling and calling. Yeah. And because of that, we become so much closer. Totally. Right. And it’s probably because, you know, I’m like, okay, these guys are sticking around. Some subconscious thing of me, is like, these guys are sticking around. I’m safer with these guys. What have

Casey Desharnais  42:06  

you. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, to help myself here. I think I just learned how to be a friend like four years ago, five years ago, I learned what that actually meant. By having, you know, guys that I’ve gone through this work with and then kind of consistently show up in my life, even when I tell them something that some part of me thinks like, they’re gonna think I’m an idiot, they’re gonna go away. They’re definitely you know, nope, they haven’t they’ve actually supported me through that. Yeah. And that has shown me what friendship actually is. What attachment actually is what support actually is. Because I was I was not good at being consistently in touch with people. In fact, I was worse than not good. I was horrendous. I’m

Doug Holt  42:52  

with you, buddy. With you. Yeah. And I think a lot of people are though casing I think a lot of men are anyway. Yeah, it’s a big thing. It’s go into your

Casey Desharnais  43:01  

cave. Yeah. And likely, it’s some aspect of that, like, Oh, my shame is triggered around this event. either. I don’t want them to know or I don’t deserve. If they know. It’s definitely gone. So I’m going to hide it.

Doug Holt  43:15  

Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know where law my life I started caring less. And then like, hey, you know, because I’m certainly not perfect. But I know it’s gonna surprise you. Nobody that I know. Nobody spent more than an hour with me would would assume I’m perfect by any means. And I what I’ve always found is by just being a little bit more unabashedly mean, in a good way. Yep. People, people just don’t react to whatever you’re doing. Whatever it is. I think it’s when people are being sneaky, if you will. That’s when everybody’s got their spidey senses go up. Yeah, right. And I come something’s not right here. So hiding something. Yeah, we were talking about an individual, both of us now. Earlier, were saying like, there’s just something off something like my intuition picks up. Something is off about this human. Yep. Yeah. Which is really interested in

Casey Desharnais  44:12  

something in the background. Right. Yep. Whatever it may be. Yeah. There’s just something in the background. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and that’s been huge for me as well, like saying, saying things that I didn’t think people would connect to or, or showing parts of myself when I’m unconfident or insecure in. It’s like, actually, people connect to that more. Yeah, yeah. People relate and connect to it more.

Doug Holt  44:33  

And you’re more safe, right. So if you’re going to share some of your skeletons, then maybe I can share some of mine. Yeah, that’s judgmental.

Casey Desharnais  44:39  

Yeah. And then all of a sudden, we’re human together. Yes, exactly.

Doug Holt  44:43  

I also think, I know we’re going all over the board

Casey Desharnais  44:45  

and that’s fine. That’s fine, guys.

Doug Holt  44:49  

There’ll be a part 123 of this podcast. I wonder what’s coming up for me is this idea that I think a lot of guys like I know my personality shifted. So Somewhere in adolescence, and I think if I just thinking about this now, and I’ve spent a lot of time with this, but I wonder if it’s some time that you’ve been that I was, in this case made fun of or rejected or kids made fun of you or you didn’t get picked for the team or whatever it was. Yeah. And then you’ve made a conscious decision. Well, I can’t put myself out there. Because then I’ll get hurt. Therefore, I’ll put this mask on. Totally.

Casey Desharnais  45:24  

Yeah. 100% Or I’ll become the thing. Yeah, I’ll become the thing that wins or Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’ll show you. Yeah. Yeah, I’ll create a badass motherfucker. Yeah, and that’s real. I mean, yeah. I always find this, this conversation is an interesting one. Because there’s such positive things that come out of that. Right. And it’s like, we don’t want to create a soft environment where no one ever experiences rejection. Yeah, it’s but it’s, it’s how relational? Can we be in that rejection? Yep. Like, how relational and supportive can we be as parents to our kids, when they go through something like that? Yeah. Because if they’re just left alone, what happens? It’s bad, right? Like, let me figure out a way that’ll never happen again, which is non human. That’s not truth. I will hide until I like think I’m going to be at that point, that somehow magical point, which a lot of dudes have, once I reached this pinnacle, all these other parts of my life will fall into place. Lovely fantasy. So yes,

Doug Holt  46:29  

yeah. At TPM, we say, the journey is the destination. Yeah. All right. And so when people look for the destination, like when I when I buy the lake house, my wife will be happy, and my kids will love me. Well, maybe they’ll be happy for a little bit because the excitement of the new lake house. Yeah, but that’s not it, right? That’s not like, all of a sudden, it’s done. I know for me, when I married Aaron, I thought, okay, box check. Right? Move on, that relationship is secure. So let’s go on to Yep, that I can focus on, you know, building the building the business to support our family and our vision. And it didn’t work out that way. Right. I didn’t realize because I didn’t have a model to look at like a healthy one to go, Oh, that’s not how it works. Right? You don’t just go out and work your ass off. And then everybody loves you like, well, crap, this sucks. But I also did it with sports. Right? Totally. I was, you know, I’ve been playing sports my whole life. been pretty good at it. But never, if anybody would ever meet me, they would always discount my ability. I’m like, okay, screw you. I’ll show you. And this even happened this year, with a bunch of dads having some wine. What have you, as I said, suggested pickup basketball. I’m seven years older than I think all of them are maybe even a little bit more. And just the other day, we’re out with that same group of parents. And the dad goes, I was really shocked that you can move that way. You know, like you. Like, do people have been doubting me my whole life. Yeah. And part of me loves it. Yeah, absolutely.

Casey Desharnais  48:00  

100% Yeah. 100%. And that’s the good. That’s the good piece of that. Right?

Doug Holt  48:06  

It is but you know, the bad piece is like what did what I would do and so I’m thinking about this as you’re talking? What I also do is pull away. I want associate

Casey Desharnais  48:16  

totally you don’t trust them anymore. No, no way. You’re just gonna doubt me

Doug Holt  48:20  

and just assume that because I’m older are not as good shape as I used to be. Totally. So now I’m gonna smoke you a basketball? Yeah, I’m gonna I was humiliate you. Yeah. And then I’m gonna walk away and disassociate myself from you. Yeah,

Casey Desharnais  48:32  

man. Wow. Yeah, that pattern has happened so many times in my life as well. Where like, You underestimated me. Therefore, I’m kind of mad at you and don’t trust you anymore. That’s mature. Right? And. And yeah, I’m gonna look for ways to cause you shame. Yeah. Yeah, that’s I mean, that’s wild.

Doug Holt  48:56  

That’s a child. Right? Like, yeah,

Casey Desharnais  48:57  

that is childbearing. Yeah. Yeah, totally. It’s tit for tat. Absolutely. 100%. Yeah, absolutely. And I think it does connect to to the thing in us that’s, like, oh, we missed a connection here. Or we got rejected here, or someone didn’t think we’re worth knowing here. How can I have control over the environment and become a way more useful, better, capable human? And then they can’t fucking deny me, right? They can’t not see me. Yep. Yeah.

Doug Holt  49:26  

Sports for me. 100%. Yeah, it can’t see me now I’m in control, because now they want me on their team. And maybe maybe I don’t want to play with you. Yeah. rubbing their face a little bit. I’m sure for me and my brothers were seven and 10 years older than me both very athletic. And they really pushed me towards that. Yeah. Which I’m also super conscious not to do that with my kids. Right. Which is also hard, super hard, because I want to go play basketball baseball with my kids. And they’re like, I don’t really want to play him. What are you doing? Yeah, come on. Yeah,

Casey Desharnais  49:55  

darn. Yeah. And like one of the methods of connecting for me it’s taken away now. Yeah.

Doug Holt  49:59  

I also don’t want my son in particular, to show up to his baseball game and be the worst player, because he didn’t practice. Right.

Casey Desharnais  50:08  

Right. So there’s some protection in it. Oh, big time. 100%

Doug Holt  50:12  

Yeah. And there’s my own issues that are attached with that in a major way. So it’s hard, you know, with your sister, my wife being athletic to have not having kids that are as athletic or wanting to be or desiring to be of adapting to those new roles of like, Oh, hey, look, if you’re gonna play baseball, then you need to practice. Yeah. Or is that forcing them so anyway? Yeah,

Casey Desharnais  50:32  

that’s a gray line, man, as some of it is like, right. Just the reality is of the way things work in the world. To be good at something you need to put in some time. Yeah, you need to put in some effort and energy. And that’s real. It is real. It’s not right. That one out. Yeah. Where’s

Doug Holt  50:50  

the fine line, though, from pushing your kids? Yeah, that’s a whole nother podcast.

Casey Desharnais  50:58  

As if I know, yeah. Maybe I know some of it. But yeah,

Doug Holt  51:01  

you did. You’re a great dad, like ever since is a side note. But you know, ever since you had your son, when I would show up to the discharge his family events, you often would have books on parenting you as a single dad, at an of social event. But that’s what you’d be reading in your private time, which I always noticed and appreciated about you.

Casey Desharnais  51:25  

Yeah, I did a lot of I did a lot of digging. Yeah. It was very apparent to me that some of the stuff, you know, my son was going through at a younger age could affect his sense of safety, secure attachment, etc. Down the road. So you know, there was just an imperative to, to try and do what was in my power to have a positive effect on that. Yeah, you know, from the place I was in at the time, as well, which was, you know, 10 years ago. So, a much younger, less developed, less savvy, less secure version of me,

Doug Holt  52:05  

anybody listening to this, but I’ll talk for myself. I hope that I’m always saying the younger versions less savvy. Yeah. Because then you meet you’re not growing? Yeah. Right. I think always I want to look in hindsight, or retrospectively and laugh at my previous self. Totally. What a friggin moron. Yeah. And I hope I’m continuously doing that. Like, what am I going to be at? 50? I’m 4750 What am I going to be laughing at my 47 year old self? I can. I can already think of a few things. But and then 60. And going through that mental exercise is really good for me to go. Okay. This is perspective. Yeah. Gay use my six year old self as my counselor. Yeah, what would he do?

Casey Desharnais  52:45  

Yeah, that’s a beautiful thing to be able to do. And to have a good perspective around and to be in the work you’re in where those growth milestones can happen in a supported way with other people. And so they can happen without, without going down rabbit holes of shame or without, you know, getting interrupted and stalled and stopped. You know, instead, you’re like, nope, learn this lesson. That’s embarrassing. And yep, I’m learning it. And I’m growing. And to do that in, like we’ve said, throughout this podcast with contact and connection to other men. That’s way different. All of a sudden, your life is growing at a much more rapid pace than it was prior to those connections being there because you’re allowing yourself to grow in a much faster way. Yep. 100%.

Doug Holt  53:36  

iron sharpens iron. There’s so many like cliches and analogies you could use with this, but you are the I believe firmly you are the product of the people you spend the most time with.

Casey Desharnais  53:45  

Yeah. And the in the basis of how well that goes is just relational. It is relational. Yep. You know, it’s like, how much of my humanity can I be share? Talk about, you know, tell the truth about and stay in relationship. That’s a lot. You’re growing. Yes. Yeah. As there’s no doubt about it. Yeah.

Doug Holt  54:06  

Man, Casey, I love having you around. As always, buddy, thanks so much for being here, and all that you’re doing in the world.

Casey Desharnais  54:10  

Thank you so much, Doug. It was really fun to have a conversation with you. I appreciate your work. Likewise, like,

Doug Holt  54:15  

cheers, gentlemen, as we always say in a moment of insight take massive action. I know we went all over the place with this episode. But there’s so many nuggets to take over there that Casey has shared with you guys. Go back and look at it when you’re looking at it. Look at what is your attachment? What happens when we’ll just use your wife, right when your partner rejects you your bid for connection. You’re you’re asking for intimacy, wanting sex, you get rejected, what happens? Do you shut down or do you turn to something else and what you’re turning to is it really helping you is it benefiting your life? And if not, what we’re going to suggest you take a change, take a pause, look at it. Take the the actual trigger and then look at the response and look at something different but whatever you do, guys is I always say the moment of insight take massive action. We’ll see you next time in the TPM show.