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The Balance of Power
Episode 1729th December 2022 • Legendary Dads • Kevin Williams
00:00:00 00:23:11

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Episode Summary

In this episode Kevin explores his journey as it relates to the use of personal power in his marriage and as a Dad. He opens up about questions like:

  • What is personal power?; 
  • Is it okay to use power in our family? 
  • how can we fix an imbalance of power in a marriage?; 

Our position and role as Dad comes with great responsibility and has significant impact on our spouse and our children. How we use our personal power and positional power can be a ‘game-changer’.

About the Host:

Married for over 22 years, and Dad to 4 young kids, Kevin is focused on helping Dads not only be the best they can be, but also leave the best for their family. He believes that everything rises and falls on leadership - and it starts on the inside. 

Behind this passion for working with Dads, is a heart that cries for the children and wives who are missing out, struggling, or worse, because the men in their lives are not sure that they have what it takes.

He knows from hard-won experience that all Dads have what it takes to provide fully and deeply what their family needs from them. “When things are looking rough,” he says, “we have to hold on to the truth that all of us are capable of far more than we realize. We can see this truth when we stand firm, and don't let the storms of life chase us away from those are counting on us.”

Kevin encourages those who engage with him to take courage, and embrace the challenge of digging deep within to see their true heart; because everything we do in life - or don’t do - stems from who we are. 

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Kevin Williams:

Hi, welcome. I'm glad to be here with you. And really appreciate you joining me. And today again, it's just you and me, one to one. And I'll jump right in, you know what, I want to talk today about personal power. And, as often is necessary, I'm just going to give a little description of what I mean by that, so that you have some context for what I'm about to say, not a big deal. But essentially, when I talked about personal power, to me, that's about the power, I have the ability to act on my own behalf to, you know, the power to act within whatever authority I've been given or position, I have to utilize the skills and talents that I have. I guess some people are referring to this as agency, or maybe that's part of connected, I'm not totally sure, but I won't go any further with that. And so I don't confuse the matter. But essentially, personal power is just something that we all have, to some extent, and it's not about, for example, you know, the power that might come with, you know, a certain position that you hold, although we all have some position in life, as dads, we have certain authority and power in that role in that position. And that's part of what we're going to end up looking at. But essentially, it's it's my personal power, and how I utilize that.

Kevin Williams:

So again, just to kind of get right into it. I'll start by sharing just my personal journey on this, because as you're gonna see, the, the way we use personal power, and, or not, really impacts our ability as dads. And I've had a lot of pedals quite a bit of issues over the years in terms of asking, answering the question, do I have what it takes, and I have felt a lot of time during my marriage. And as a dad, like, I don't have what it takes, like, I'm not, I'm not up to it. Or that I'm not doing it right, I can't seem to keep my wife happy, or give my kids what they need, and so on. So, I've had to deal with that a lot over the years. And although some of my life circumstances, especially the last six years have been, you know, not average, going through a collision with your whole family, that recovery process is not common. Yet, it didn't start there. And so I know that a lot of this journey is similar and just hearing what other men say, I know that a lot of us struggle with some version of this question, do I have what it takes, and some of us feel very confident about it, which sometimes is good, and it's well, it's well placed. Other times, it's a misplaced confidence. But a lot of that would require an actual one on one conversation to actually know your situation.

Kevin Williams:

So for me, though, I've recognized through various sessions of therapy, and through working with coaches, one of the things that I did early on in my marriage with Victoria was to give up my personal power. And I didn't know that's what I was doing. And this is this is the problem, right? A lot of the times we we walk into behaviours, or we begin behaviours, and they become habitual, without realizing that that's what we're doing or what the consequences of it might be. And it all seemed really good, right? It seemed like a good idea. And if I describe it, now, it sounds right to say, I wanted to make my wife happy. And so I was trying to do what would make her happy as my wife. And it's not that, you know, life is all around, you know, quote unquote, being happy. But when I say that, you know, making her happy, I'm talking about satisfying her needs, meeting whatever needs that she has and making it possible for her to enjoy life and enjoy life with me, and so on. The challenge was that, and I mean, there's some things about our relationship... I'm not going to dive into all of the personal details. But for me, it what it came down to was that I often was simply chasing her emotions as it were. So I would keep trying to do different things based on how she was feeling in this moment or for this day to try it To help her feel better, and to be happy to us that sort of catch all term. And what it means over time, at least in my case was that I was sacrificing my own needs and, and desires. And I was just going after what she needed. And essentially, the power of our relationship was transferring to her. It was all about whether or not she was in a good mood where she was happy. And I sacrificed my own power to be happy and to be strong and grow and develop as a person. I essentially was sacrificing that to to her and giving it to her. So I was abdigating, abdicating my own power and authority over my own life and kind of putting it in her hands. She didn't know that. Because it wasn't something we've talked about or negotiated. It was just something I realized later, happened over time.

Kevin Williams:

And so I became ineffective in a lot of ways because I didn't have the power, at least I felt like I didn't have the power to do so many things that I wanted to do as a husband and as a father. Because I really had given up that power in a very, in a practical way. And it was really impacting our relationship. And until I began to recognize that, it just created this frustration, and there was resentment involved for me, for my part at least. And I had a really hard time with that. So this is an example of what we can do. And I think there's a lot of men that do this. We want our wife to be happy. It's, it's just one of the things that we want to do, right? A good man wants his his partner to, to rejoice, to be fruitful, to grow, and to learn, and be enjoy life be full of joy. And so we make sacrifices to accomplish that. Now with the different things that we were going through, and again, there's too much to really dive into in this thing, but between my wife and I were the things that we were going through my depression and different things that came that came out of some of this. I was not doing well at meeting her needs. Fortunately, for her, especially, I guess, she, she in she was still able to enjoy the relationship. And she was still I think she did better in meeting some of my needs than I was doing with her. And perhaps that's not too important to this example. But one of the things that did happen was because I was shifting and changing and I had abdigated, abdicated my power, giving that up, and was essentially chasing her emotions and feelings. I was no longer a stable reference for her. So as all of us have our emotions go up and down and change from day to day, and maybe from moment or hour to hour. Things change in our feelings change. Having a partner that can be stable, while you're fluctuating is obviously a very empowering thing. And a very important thing, it helps us to get back to level again, right? If things are we're kind of tanking emotionally, having somebody with us, who can keep themselves up and on the positive side of the scale, and help and help to draw us or even just them to be there for us to hold on to and to be a reference. For example, if I, if I'm feeling a little off, it might just be a little bit and I'm not really noticing it. But then if I see my wife is, is at a higher level, higher energy and much more positive. I noticed the difference between where she is and where I am and I go, Oh, looks like kind of gotten a bit down. And so then I can look at, Okay, what do I need to do to get myself back on track? Or is it just something I need to process something that happened? Something I need to grieve and process and move on that? Maybe But either way, just the other person's presence can help you become aware of what's changing in you.

Kevin Williams:

So that's one of the ways and reasons why it's good to have a stable partnership where you can you can be that anchor for each other and that sort of gauge I guess, of where you're going with things. So I wasn't being that for her because I was trying to satisfy her feelings and emotions, my own feelings and emotions were fluctuating with her. Instead of me being stable, and looking long term at what she needs to help her, kind of go through whatever it was, she was going through and come back up to a positive place, I was kind of going down there with her and chasing, chasing through those feelings. So that kind of throws a lot of things off. And on a deeper level, it says to her, she kind of comes to a point of thinking like, well, even if it was just subconscious, she's thinking, I, I can't trust him. He's not stable, and he's not reliable, I don't know where he's going to be from day to day, or minute to minute. And so when my emotions are all over the place, his emotions are all over the place, we have no anchor. To me, this whole journey, and this whole process that I'm describing, it was essentially came from, as I said, the giving up of my power to her, instead of holding on to my own power to be in control of myself, and to regulate my own thoughts and feelings and emotions. I accidentally gave that up. And it caused this kind of spiral of, of uncertainty. And what's the what's the word, volatility really. And I don't mean that in its worst kind of an angry sense. But just that there's a there was a lot of up and down and back and forth, and change going on. And it wasn't sort of growth change, it was just up and down and back and forth, and around and around. So not good, not very positive in the in the end.

Kevin Williams:

Now, fortunately, she and I have a strong sense of commitment. And so when we married, we made the decision that we were sticking it out through thick and thin, till death do us part, that as a decision means you've cut off the alternatives, you know, not sticking together wasn't an option. And so although a lot of it was very difficult, we worked through, and we're still working through some things. And so it takes a while now, to reverse that and to regain my power and to, for both of us to begin to shift the habits that we created over that time. But when I look at, and this is a this is a great thing for us, guys. So when you're considering your wife's behaviour, how she's treating you, and how you feel about what she's doing and saying, and how the relationships going. This is an area for a lot of us to look at when we look at ourselves, because look, we can help our partner if, if she's going through something, and needs help to learn and grow through that. Absolutely, we can help them to grow through that to change through that. But we can't do it for them, right? I think most of us realize this now. you cannot change other people can't make them do anything. Except when they're infants, you can make them get in the car. But that's about this, that's about the end of it. So with our partners, we can't make them change and grow. So if their behaviour is not what we like, the best, and really the only effective thing we can do is, one let them know, but more importantly is to look at ourselves and say what are we doing? What am I doing as their husband that is influencing that behaviour? Okay, so now if we think back over what I've just been saying about this pattern of behaviour with my wife, a lot of it I mean, it's not all me, she has her life, she has her issues and her strengths and weaknesses and so on. So that all comes into it. Sure. But what I was doing was a huge part of what I was struggling with in terms of our relationship. And so as I recognize that, then I began to say, Okay, well, now, I need to start shifting my behaviour, so that she can begin to depend on me and her behaviour will become different because she'll begin to see that I can be stable, that I can be reliable, and I can be consistent and be there for her someone that she can turn to when she's struggling and know that I'm not going to fall down in that hole with her. Instead, I'm going to be able I will have the power to hold myself steady, and sure, and where I need to be in order to help her out of what she's going through, or help her through to the other side, depending on on exactly what it is. Right.

Kevin Williams:

So it's critical that we recognize this thing about personal power. And again, this is not even, this is not even talking about the whole issue like two weeks ago, I talked about some of the aspects of leadership in the family and authority and, and honouring each other for our position. That's not even getting into that there's there's power that comes with the positions that we hold, as, as a wife, as a husband, as a mother and father. There's power that comes with that. But that's a bit different from what I'm talking about. And we need to deal with that. And we need to learn about that as well. But in this case, it's just our own personal power, and how we're using that in the relationship or not using it, and recognizing the impact that it has. Because one of the things I see so clearly over the years, especially now, is how much my behaviour, and my attitude and my general energy impacts my family, like, sometimes immediately, but very quickly, things will change. When I shift my own attitude. Now, if everybody's in a deep funk, and I come in happy, it doesn't always suddenly lift everybody up, but it will. And sometimes it is very quick depends on what's happening.

Kevin Williams:

So this is a key place to start guys. We need to take responsibility for our own behaviour and choices and actions. This is one of the most central things to becoming a legendary dad. And so much of it. So much of our success as a dad, actually is, is tied to our relationship with our wife. Now, another time I'm going to talk a bit about there are some differences in the effects of parenting, like statistics that are available in terms of single fathers and single mothers and, and how that plays out in a child's life. But that's, I mean, that's a different conversation, I guess. But the point is, we do have specific power and authority that comes with that position. But the first place to start is just that personal power that we have over our own lives. And because it was such a big thing in in me the effect that this has had on my relationship with my wife and seeing how, how it's subtly shifted, and how I gave that up without even realizing it. And I know I'm not so unique, that nobody else has been through that.

Kevin Williams:

So I wanted to talk a bit about that and just share that and say, here's a here's a way to look at that. And one of them is and let me just kind of recap to say that recognizing when your wife's behaviour is not what you like, start by looking at yourself. I mean, ask also, is she going through something that is that is affecting her that maybe you can either help with or be supportive in. But also look at yourself and go, What are my long term behaviour patterns that might be influencing her behaviour? Is she treating this me this way? Because she isn't getting what she needs, or she's worried about something in my behaviour that that makes her feel insecure or unsafe, or that she can't depend on me, or anything else. And that might also include Yes, ask yourself that and have a look at your own behaviour and talk to your wife, say, what, is there anything that I'm doing that is making life difficult for you, or that is not giving you what you need or making you feel insecure, unsafe. Have open conversations about it. And sometimes if a relationship has been really difficult for a long time, the first conversations can be difficult. And you may need to approach them very carefully. And to say, Hey, I just want to I want to learn I want to know what about me about how I can become a better husband, or about how I can become a better dad. Because sometimes the way we're working with our kids throws off our relationship with our spouse. Because she has a different view or different ideas in their subconscious maybe even about how you should be as a dad. And if you're not doing that she might be concerned and then she wants to protect the kids because she's not certain you're actually doing the right thing for them. It can be very complicated.

Kevin Williams:

But the best thing to do is to look at your own behaviour and to talk about it together. Communication is going to be central and you might hear this for a lot of different people. But it's true. How well you communicate and how frequently you communicate with different people can absolutely revolutionize the relationships that you have with them. Learning to communicate in ways that they understand that they can appreciate. And communicating as frequently as is necessary, possibly more, in order to be clear on things and to keep yourselves both reminded of what's happening and where you're going, and that you're working together, and to make sure that you're still working together on things.

Kevin Williams:

So this was just a quick one. And I really appreciate being with you. To share these, again, I always welcome your feedback and comments and thoughts on these things, to have dialogue, as much as is possible through social media. But I know as I said, these are things that have really impacted me. And I know I'm not the only one that goes through this. So thanks for being with me, I really appreciate you walking on the journey with me and this exploring of how to become legendary dads. And certainly, this is going to be one of the things that if you haven't already got it nailed down, working on this is definitely going to have a positive impact on your relationship. And remember that whenever you're making changes, it's a good idea to talk to your spouse. Because if you just suddenly start changing, that can kind of throw them off not knowing what's happening, you're not being the way you used to be. Even if it's a good change. I recommend having that conversation ahead of time so that they're aware of it and can walk through it with you and be a part of that. So super to be with you sharing again and appreciate it very much that you're here. Again, feel free to reach out anytime. We'd love to talk with you and get to know you more. I hope that you have a fantastic week, and we'll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.