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Topic : 03/02 Our Biggest Battle

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Created on : Friday, February 24, 2006, 11:28:37 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Merging two lives is never easy, but what do you do when you constantly fight the same battle? Darcy says she's tired of fighting with her military husband, Jeff, about disciplining her kids from her first marriage. She wants his drill sergeant inspections and interrogations to stop, or she's ready to call it quits. Jeff says she needs to tighten up and follow through with consequences. Whose job is it to discipline the kids? Then, they're $80,000 in debt, but nothing is going to stop Angela from pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She and her husband, Keith, have moved 13 times in the last two years, and have amassed $80,000 in debt -- a constant source of arguments. What advice does Dr. Phil have for this singer and her spouse? And, Nicole says her husband, Jeremy, is so obsessed with playing video games that he is neglecting his family. Will Jeremy see the negative effect his gaming is having on their marriage? Join the discussion.

 

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March 2, 2006, 8:02 am CST

The Y Chromosome

I don't want to pick on men, but this is in response to the "boy" who also happens to be a dad and husband, who spends hours and hours on the computer.........You CHOSE to Marry, You CHOSE to Become a Father therefore, you have signed yourself up for a lifelong partnership....What ENTITLES you to not assist with the kids, what ENTITLES you to sleep in, what ENTITLES you to call your wife stupid when in all actuality if you thought she was stupid you wouldn't leave your children in her care day and night, unless you too, are an idiot?  The bottom line is that you need to grow up honey and kiss the ground your patient and tolerant wife has for you because I would've knocked your big butt into the land of "Doom" a long long time ago.... 
 
March 2, 2006, 8:07 am CST

03/02 Our Biggest Battle

Quote From: sdanforth

My fiance does the same thing, except that we live together. After going round and round over it for 3 years, he's still doing it. However, he's trying to tear himself away and spend more time with me.  In the end, I decided that if I could'nt get the mountain to come to me as often as I felt I needed it to, then I was going to have to go to the mountain. He came home one day to find an overstuffed chair in his " office ", and I have absolutely no qualms about grabbing a book or my drink or whatever and parking myself in that chair behind him when he's been missing in computerland for a few hours too long. And when I've gotten my fill of togetherness, or I get bored, I leave the room. That problem is solved.
 I guess my situation is different because I love video games too.  My boyfreind  has currently started playing World of Warcraft, an online game where you can play with other people all over the world.  I'll usually lay on the bed and watch him play.  Sometimes he'll have his character do things (like dance, or tell a joke) just so I can see what happens. Most of the time he isn't so absorbed in the game where we can't talk.  So it's fun.  Also a lot of the video games now a days, especailly the RPG styles ones, have really great graphics and video sequences like movies and are raelly fun to WATCH someone play.

But I think your idea is great.  I mean there isn't anything that says you can't do something esle in the same room with him that YOU want to do.  For me  I like to color, so sometimes I'll just sit and color while he plays his game.  Usually when I'm playing he'll get on the computer and dink around, but it's in the same room so no biggie.  I only really get annoyed if he starts listening to music or something w/o headphones one while I'm playing.
 
March 2, 2006, 8:34 am CST

03/02 Our Biggest Battle

Quote From: darcyes

You can not condem someone without knowing all the facts.  This is Darcy!  It was a no-brainer to take my kids to Florida (way across the country).  I had consulted with therapists, doctors, friends, etc.  They all felt that it was a good decision on my part.  I knew my husband for a year and a half before we moved to FL.  I wanted to get my son out of California because he was a recovering meth addict.  He was in rehab for 3 months.  When he came out, he was still hanging around the same friends and started meth again.  I moved him to BFE to get him away from that crowd along with wanting to be with my husband and make a new life there.  My son has thrived here and is no longer doing drugs.  He has a full-time job and is doing well.  My daugher was not doing well in school in California because she was very "popular" and always worried about what people said.  She came to Florida, made a lot of new friends, loves it here and neither of them want to move back to California.  I have always left that option open to them.  They could easily go live with their father.  They chose to stay!  To say "I threw them to the wolves" is entirely a misconception.  Our biggest battle is with the chores and the rules and is in fact true to the story you will see today.  Let me take a look into your life!!
It was probably a good idea for you to move your son away from the people he was hanging around in California.  I'd imagine any rehad counselor would have told you that was a BRILLIANT idea.   Obviously that isn't the problem here.  I don't really get the sense that your children are "rebelling" or anything like that because you all moved, or you got married.  I think they just have a hard time adjusting to the way your husband interacts with them, and rightly so.

 I could honestly see your husband taking this approach with your children IF they were REALLY bad children (that seems to be in fashion now adays with shows like Nanny 911 and Brat Camp), but they aren't.   Also military style discipline just doesn't work if the person doing the disciplining ever wants a hope of having a good and caring relationship with the people it's being used on.  So it's defiantely not good in a family setting.

Being a mother you probably already know that kids respond much better to things when they are ASKED rather than TOLD to do something.  I don't work with teenagers but I know this works with young children, if you make it seem like what they are doing is a favor to you they are MUCH more inclined to do it.   I think your husband is so used to getting results through military style leadership that he isn't really prepared with the tools on how to deal with leadership in a family.  He didn't seem like a bad guy, and you didn't seem like a bad mother, and your kids certainly didn't seem like bad kids.  I do agree with Dr. Phil that you do need to be the primary disciplinarian, but you need to find out what works with your children and stick to it and your husband just needs to learn to deal with it.  They are NOT his kids, and he needs to respect that.

For the record I'm 24 and my mom just got remarried 2 years ago, and I have for the most part a great relationship with my step-dad.  He's totally different than my dad (even though I love him too).  Of course he was just sort of all the sudden thrust into my life, so it was sort of strange for me.  He lived in TX and my mom lived in Ohio, so  they spend part of the year here and part of the year there.   When he's here sometimes they get on my nerves, but it's okay because that happens.  But he is genuinely intersted in what I'm doing with my life and I feel like he cares.

What I'm getting at is I think your husband could have a great relationship with your kids if he approached them differently.  I think he needs to take a more active role in investing quality time with them and being supportive of their efforts.  Considering his background it is going to be something new for him so he might need some loving encouragement from you, and patience from your children.  He needs to accept and learn how to interact with them as people that he genuinely has a vested interest in getting to know.

I hope this helps. Best Wishes to you and your family. :)
 
March 2, 2006, 8:36 am CST

03/02 Our Biggest Battle

Quote From: louie311

I don't want to pick on men, but this is in response to the "boy" who also happens to be a dad and husband, who spends hours and hours on the computer.........You CHOSE to Marry, You CHOSE to Become a Father therefore, you have signed yourself up for a lifelong partnership....What ENTITLES you to not assist with the kids, what ENTITLES you to sleep in, what ENTITLES you to call your wife stupid when in all actuality if you thought she was stupid you wouldn't leave your children in her care day and night, unless you too, are an idiot?  The bottom line is that you need to grow up honey and kiss the ground your patient and tolerant wife has for you because I would've knocked your big butt into the land of "Doom" a long long time ago.... 
 teehee...the "land of Doom" I am soooo going to have to use that one for SOMETHING.
 
March 2, 2006, 8:42 am CST

people quick to judge

Quote From: darcyes

You can not condem someone without knowing all the facts.  This is Darcy!  It was a no-brainer to take my kids to Florida (way across the country).  I had consulted with therapists, doctors, friends, etc.  They all felt that it was a good decision on my part.  I knew my husband for a year and a half before we moved to FL.  I wanted to get my son out of California because he was a recovering meth addict.  He was in rehab for 3 months.  When he came out, he was still hanging around the same friends and started meth again.  I moved him to BFE to get him away from that crowd along with wanting to be with my husband and make a new life there.  My son has thrived here and is no longer doing drugs.  He has a full-time job and is doing well.  My daugher was not doing well in school in California because she was very "popular" and always worried about what people said.  She came to Florida, made a lot of new friends, loves it here and neither of them want to move back to California.  I have always left that option open to them.  They could easily go live with their father.  They chose to stay!  To say "I threw them to the wolves" is entirely a misconception.  Our biggest battle is with the chores and the rules and is in fact true to the story you will see today.  Let me take a look into your life!!
When people don't have the full story or think they are better than you, they are quick to judge and make comments against you.  In my marriage it took 10 years before some in-laws would allow themselves to be engaged in a conversation with me beyond "Hi".  Me and my children have never been accepted or invited to be apart of my in-laws family.  I has been hard but distance (miles) has helped considerally.  Darcy, I have been in a situation very much like yours.  Follow your intuitions and your heart.  Kids don't always see that the grass can be greener on the other side.  My major move has improved my kids behavior, grades, happiness and my marriage.  So, you go girl!!!!    
 
March 2, 2006, 8:43 am CST

03/02 Our Biggest Battle

Quote From: bella523

It sounds to me like you know in your heart what is right.  Please remember its your life too, and you dont have to accept the feeling of being left out. Thats not a good relationship.  Sounds to me, like he has ALOT of growing up to do, especially if thats how he spends the majority of his free time. Don't you want more for yourself and your children(someday)? He is showing you what makes him happy. It's up to you, to see it. Good Luck and Dont Settle!  Its ok to be alone too!
 You know that is pretty low of you to say. People that choose to play video games in their free time are NOT immature. Being a gamer myself I find that a little offensive.    There is nothing WRONG with playing video games in your free time.   We don't all ignore the people we care about, in fact a lot of times we go out of our way to INCLUDE them.  You obviously know very little about the gamer subculture as a whole.
 
March 2, 2006, 8:50 am CST

03/02 Our Biggest Battle

 Dr. Phil only missed one thing when it came to the last fellows addiction to gaming.

The gaming is a symptom of something else.  It's not so much the game as it is his desire to escape from his reality.  It's escapism.  I say that and I'm an avid gamer.  My husband and I play online games together at night after the kids go to bed.

And I know that whenever my husband starts to play too much to the point that it's consuming the part of his life that isn't at work, I know that something is bothering him deeply and he hasn't yet figured out a way to deal with it.  We went through several years where his gaming was obsessive and finally broke down the reasons for it.

Getting the guy off the game isn't going to change how connected with his family he is.  It's going to take why he's on the game in the first place.
 
March 2, 2006, 8:50 am CST

My 2 cents

I think playing video games for all those hours is immature, self-centered, and just plain spiteful. This guy  has a lot more going on than just avoidance of his wife.  (WHY do you think he does it?)  Obviously he doesn't want to be interacting with his wife and he's got some underlying hostility about something.  How stupid she?  Putting up with all of it?  My husband and I have been married 26 years and we do almost everything together.  Sure , we have 'me' time once in a while. I'll go to a spa for a facial or some other 'girl' stuff. My husband is into woodworking, but the projects are usually for both of our benefit, not just 'making stuff'.  He's working on a computer desk and shelving unit for our den right now.   

  

I'm also going to give my opinion on the 'country singer wanna-be'.  How DARE she put the family in debt for her selfish desires?  It's not HER money she is spending. If I were her husband, I'd take  her name off of every joint account they have, every joint credit card, etc.  If she wants to pursue that folly, then get a JOB.  She's not a single woman any more.  The time for that crap is long gone.  Who do you think will be bailing these people out?  They will declare bankruptcy and all of US will end up paying the bill through high credit card rates, fees, etc. I'm sick of these self-centered bimbos thinking the world revolves around them and weak men who won't stand up for what's right.  

  

AND on the military guy disciplining the wife's kids:  SHE went into this situation voluntarily. SHE exposed her kids to that.  If they have a decent father, then she never should have married that guy.  It's not the kids' fault.  If the mother won't discipline them, then she is feeling guilty for breaking up their home and not having their father there any more. She's trying to play the 'good' mom by being soft and lenient. The kids probably  never had discipline in their lives and now they resent it?  I put the blame 100% on the mother.  Her sex life was more important than raising her kids.  Of COURSE the kids resent it and him. He's NOT their father.  I'll say it again, the word step-parent is FAR too over used.  If you have a mother or father, that person is NOT your step anything. He/she is the SPOUSE of your other parent. Nothing more. I never EVER thought of my father's wife as my step mother.  We were both adults when he remarried, but not for split second did I ever think of her as a step anything.   

  

  

 
March 2, 2006, 8:54 am CST

I totally agree with you!!!

Quote From: mom2sk8r

This is just sad! He continued to sit there with a smarmy smile on his face, even while the child is crying about him strewing garbage on her bed!   As a mom to a 10yo DD married to a military man, all I can say is that if my husband EVER treated my daughter (his stepdaughter) that way, it would be the first and the last time.  In reality, my husband treats my daughter wonderfully, and it's one of the reasons I love him so very much.   I'm honestly quite surprised that Dr. Phil didn't tell this guy that he's abusing those children, because in my mind, this is emotional abuse.  I know he said that he's going to provide them with counseling but really, if he treats the children that poorly, I can't imagine that he treats his wife much better.   Sorry, but the military excuse just doesn't cut it for me.  I've never met a military member who treated children like that.  Pathetic.
What does this MR MILITARY MAN not understand??  It's unbelievable that he would come into these wonderful children's lives and just take right over making their home life just MISERABLE!!  It's so hard to fathom that he would not want to get to know his step-children and enjoy their teenage years with them...he just wants to be a big CONTROL FREAK and just try and 'Rule the Roost!'  I feel so bad for those children...I wouldn't have stuck around either and am surprised that it has taken the mother 2yrs to finally come for some help for this family.  Did Mr. Military Man grow up with a controlling father in his life and was his household run like a barracks??  Is this the legacy he wants to leave with his beautiful step-children???  He should be ashamed of himself and Get A LIFE!! 
 
March 2, 2006, 9:13 am CST

a little naive

Quote From: liatsunami

 I guess my situation is different because I love video games too.  My boyfreind  has currently started playing World of Warcraft, an online game where you can play with other people all over the world.  I'll usually lay on the bed and watch him play.  Sometimes he'll have his character do things (like dance, or tell a joke) just so I can see what happens. Most of the time he isn't so absorbed in the game where we can't talk.  So it's fun.  Also a lot of the video games now a days, especailly the RPG styles ones, have really great graphics and video sequences like movies and are raelly fun to WATCH someone play.

But I think your idea is great.  I mean there isn't anything that says you can't do something esle in the same room with him that YOU want to do.  For me  I like to color, so sometimes I'll just sit and color while he plays his game.  Usually when I'm playing he'll get on the computer and dink around, but it's in the same room so no biggie.  I only really get annoyed if he starts listening to music or something w/o headphones one while I'm playing.

Please everyone remember it is different when you have children and you need to think about the future now.  Is it going to be okay with you all when you have children and you feel all alone in taking care of them?   

  

I would love to go in and just sit while my husband plays into the wee hours but reality is, I have to get up around 6 in the morning with two little ones and if I don't want to be severely grouchy I need a good amount of sleep so just sitting while he plays isn't an option if I want to take good care of my children and my home.   

 
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