had a client a few years back who wasn’t one of my better ones.
Don’t get me wrong, he was a good guy and I liked him. But he’d disappear for long stretches of time. When we had calls, he’d forget them, or come in late.
From a professional standpoint it was frustrating. I will give him credit that he never blamed me, and was good with money… but I don’t just do this for money. I wanted to help him, and get him the results he came for. He wasn’t making it easy.
At any rate, some time goes on. He gets a girlfriend for the first time ever, and he wants to talk about some issues they’ve been having. Cool.
Except when it comes time for our call, his girlfriend is literally standing right next to him. And he tells her immediately who I am.
He insists he can talk with her there, but basically just starts telling me platitudes about the relationship “yeah it’s great” — which is wasting my time. I tell him this isn’t going to work, and ask why he’s with her now, as he can’t speak honestly with her next to him. He gives some bs excuse — he forgot about the call, or she wanted to hang out at that time (no boundaries?). Nevertheless he still wants to take the call, so encourages her to go to a store so we can talk.
This isn’t off to a good start. While I don’t have a strict “don’t tell the gf/wife” policy with my coaching, in some contexts it’s just not a good idea. Women who are “bad actors” will often use the knowledge of coaching against the guy and stymie any advice I might give. They will belittle his changes: “you’re just following what he says.” And of course, they view the arrangement itself often as a threat to their control in the relationship. Hey, they’re not wrong to.
So unsurprisingly, when he talks to me about her, it’s very apparent she is jealous and controlling, in spite of not having a particularly pristine past herself. Alarm bells are going off all over the place. He acknowledges he’s felt hemmed in and gaslit, but kept second guessing himself like he was the bad guy. We start to discuss how to proceed.
Then the girlfriend returns from shopping. We quickly agree to have another call, and hang up.
I never hear from him again.
It wasn’t remotely surprising. My guess is that she asked what they talked about, and after some pressing he told her. Then she trashed the advice and forbid him to talk to me. That, or he was simply too afraid to confront the situation, because he cared more about keeping her than developing relationship sovereignty, and was ashamed to speak to me about it again.
This shows what happens when a man is desperate for a woman’s attention: if he gets any women at all, he gets women who are controlling. These women are afraid of a man leaving them, so they need him weak and easily led. They may or may not cheat as the relationship progresses, but they definitely make sure the man’s world becomes smaller and smaller until it completely revolves around her. Little by little, the life is sucked out of him.
But this is not actually the point of the email.
The point is that this client was not ready for change.
And honestly, I understand.
It would have taken great resolve for a guy who has wanted an attractive girlfriend his whole life to consider leaving once he got her. The pain of being controlled is, at the moment, less than the pain of being alone for him. He hasn’t experienced enough of the former for him to realize the latter is not a solution to his malaise.
Yet this typically how it is in the path of growth.
You trade one pain for another, and avoid the root cause until it becomes unbearable. You do not confront yourself and your weakness until there is no other choice; until you’ve become convinced you cannot numb the pain anymore.
It is only at that moment of desperation that maybe just maybe you become honest.
You acknowledge that you are weak and letting yourself be controlled. You admit that you have disrespected yourself for the attention of a woman.
It is only at that moment of honesty that your life has a possibility of changing, and that your wounds have a chance of healing.
I mention this because while we know healing is good and honesty is good, we rarely internalize that honesty is a precondition for healing; there can be no meaningful improvement without it.
(This is why so many psychologists and spiritual healing groups offer only ephemeral improvements; they don’t insist on honesty, and will not be honest if it hurts the feelings of the patient)
This is because honesty creates the architecture for alignment. It may not in itself make you aligned — that requires action with intent — but it sets the fabric for it. It gives you a trajectory.
So I pose the question to you: where are you being dishonest in your life?
How are you lying to yourself?
Admitting it doesn’t mean you need to take action on it today. I am not making you do anything with this disclosure.
But I want to hear you say it.
Because once you say it, you will have a very hard time continuing to behave the same way.
We do bad things because we tell ourselves they aren’t really bad (sometimes we even tell ourselves they’re good).
We do things that degrade ourselves because we tell ourselves they aren’t degrading.
We lie, because the lie allows the distortion to continue.
So come clean.
Where are you full of shit?
Reply to this email and let me know.
PS If you want to learn how women work and how to attract and keep them, buy my 18+ hour masterclass.
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