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Topic : 07/03 "I Want My Ex Back"

Number of Replies: 260
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Created on : Friday, March 31, 2006, 12:46:27 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/04/06) Have you ever called it quits and then decided you wanted your ex back? Amber's divorce from her husband of 10 years, Duane, is almost final, but she wonders if she's making the right choice. Is Duane willing to change and meet some of Amber's demands? Should Amber tear up the papers and let Duane move back in? Then, Scott and Erin have been married, divorced, reconciled, engaged and are now separated again. He wants her to come home and raise their children together, but she says she doesn't know how she could ever love him again. What's behind the conflict in this marriage, and can they resolve it and reignite their romance? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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April 4, 2006, 9:20 am CDT

Doctor Phil Show.

Dear Doctor Phil. I think I Want My Ex Oack is unreall and all too good. But if God has his ways he--- 

would say no to a Red Flag Warning and just let it go. But I wouldnot plan on that at all. I all ready--- 

know that you will never get disvoice at all because you (Doctor Phil.) love your wife Robin yoursel-- 

f plus you have two kids of your own who are going to colleges.  Well I had better close now. Since- 

rley Your. Russell Vlaanderen.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 
April 4, 2006, 9:29 am CDT

Take care of yourself

Quote From: leettak

Hello.  I am a 47 year old female who just took her husband back after a 4 year separation.   Wow it is an emotional roller coaster.   It is something we both want and wanted.  However,  before you do this,  make sure the questions you ask about "while we were apart" are answered truthfully.    Honestly,  the answers,  if presented in a lie,  are far more damaging than anything else the two of you have been through.   Since my husband has returned I have learned things about him that actually turn my stomach.   He is a totally different person than the man I thought I knew.   In all honesty he is someone I would not have anything to do with at all.   He is manipulative and is a blatant liar.  I know I have gotten myself into a situation that perhaps I did on my own.  But... I never bargained for anything I have learned.  Strip Clubs, hookers, and total scanks, women he slept with out of the blue, women he took home from stip clubs,  are just the icing on the cake.  Lies about behaviors that he knew if I would have known upfront,   would have never agreed to move in together.  Lowlife friends and a lifestyle that would make his own mother cry.   Lowlifes that he lied about me to in an effort to make himself look better. Marriage proposals while he is still married to me was the first thing to cross my path.   The list goes on and on.    I know most people would feel I am crazy for trying.  But I remember how it was without him.  I love him with all my heart.  I fear that who I love is no longer with me.  I keep looking for him and he has not appeared.   I long for the relationship we had before.  I fear that it is never going to happen.  I can not recover from what has happened.  Maybe if the people he were around were even 1/10 of what I knew him to be, it would not be so difficult.   Maybe if he would have ended the affair he was having before comming home to be with me , I would be better.  Maybe this, Maybe that.  Who knows.   It is hard to maintain your self esteem and your trust.  It  IS an uphill battle all the way.   We have  been at this for over 1 year now.  We still argue about his lies after he came home.  We fight about his denials of how he felt and that he liked what he was doing. He claims one thing verbaly,  and his behavior states something different.   Also ,  he alone,  is responsible for his own actions.  Each time it breaks a little more of me and us away.   I am not without fault here. I also had an affair.   But it never felt right to me. I ended it very abruptly.   I wanted him But he was gone with out a trace.  I lived in hell for four years over my mistake.  Now I am to blame for his falling apart and falling into a world of  liars, hookers and crack whores, and lowlife women.   I am not sure how much longer I can hold up.  So People be smart.  Before you decide, think it through and do a little investigating on your own.  Save yourself and give it time.  

You are beating yourself up over the affair you had and your self esteem is in the dumps. You say that the four years without him were hell for you; what exactly are you living in now? You can't change him no matter what you do; only he can change himself. Meanwhile, your self esteem is getting battered every time he lies and gets caught and somewhere, deep down, you feel like this is your penance for cheating on him. You've done your penance; now it's time to take care of yourself-physically, emotionally and financially. Start exploring your options and make some plans on how you can better take care of yourself. Maybe a family member would be willing to let you move in while you get on your feet again?Maybe you can find some low cost counseling to help you plan your future-with or without him. Counseling isn't just about how you are feeling; a good counselor will help you decide where you are going and where you want to be and help you to implement a plan to accomplish that. Maybe you want to go back to school and earn a degree? Maybe you want to start your own business-whatever the case may be, a counselor can help you to put a plan into place and then follow through on it. Please don't resign yourself to a life of hell with a man that has no desire to change. You deserve better than that, so go look in the mirror and tell yourself that over and over until you believe it! Good luck. 

 
April 4, 2006, 10:05 am CDT

Flabbergasted!

It's baffling how women ignore red flags, then cry foul as if they were caught by surprise by the conduct of these men.  Even in months, you get a good idea of a person's behavior, SO or otherwise.  Is it that these women think they can put up with annoying habits and behaviors? If he grabs your breasts in public before you marry him, and you don't ask him to stop, why is it an issue now after marriage?! 

  

 

You mean to say these women DON'T see immaturity, financial irresponsibility, anger issues etc  before marrying these men? How is that possible? What do these men and women do during courtship? Don't they spend time getting to know each other?  Sorry for all the questions, I'm just seriously flabbergasted by these stories!

  

 

  

 

  

 

 
April 4, 2006, 10:16 am CDT

there are 2 sides

In response to Amber and Duane,  there are two sides to every story.  I feel that this was just Amber's point of view and it didn't focus on Duane's side of the marriage.  I noticed he didn't say much......maybe that is because he didn't want to discuss  her "dirty laundry" on national television,  just a guess.  I felt that he was being dumped upon, and that her demands didn't seem idealistic.  For instance why would he have to move back with his parents?  He is a grown man,  with a job that supports his family.    Why would he have to give up what he has earned in his life? I don't understand why you would marry someone you have to "fix" or "change" anyways?
 
April 4, 2006, 10:17 am CDT

Our Situation

Quote From: bitagijo

My husband Bill and I have only been married a year, but he has changed drastically in that year. When we first met he was the perfect gentleman and my best friend. We got pregnant almost immediately after we married and that's when the problems began. As I was watching the show today I was shocked at how much my husband and I were like the first couple. He has rediculous spending habits, I feel as if he lacks responsibility, self control, and empathy for me. We argue nearly every day about money, his mood swings, just about everything. Bill is in the ARMY and just the other night I was in a car accident with our 3 month old infant because the military police dropped him off on post for wandering down the middle of the street. I wish that there was more help out there for soldiers. We have gone to indivdual group therapy sessions, marriage retreats, as well being psychiatrically evaluated. Nothing helps. Bill is entirely too self centered. All he says is," I'm too selfish for this. I've made a mistake" or ,"Tabby you just need to deal with me. I am like the lottery...sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I guess you just don't like to gamble." I was also laughing when I heard the guy's motto on the show today. My husband also lives by that very same motto. I just want my knight in shining armor back. I want the man I fell in love with back. Sometimes I do want to leave, but marriage is something I take very seriously and I wish my husband could meet me half way.

Even with a psychiatric eval, I wonder if they missed the very thing that I knew about my husband but could never get him to address, until I left him. He has Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD has many symptoms and they present themselves differently in different people, but I can say this with certainty: ADD sufferers usually: 

(1)are easily distracted 

(2)have a low tolerence for boredom or frustration 

(3)are extremely impulsive  and 

(4) have a desire for situations of high intensity 

Now, where your husband fits the pattern, I can't say, or even say if he does have ADD. But you mentioned that he lacks responsibility and self control-two major symptoms of ADD. His impulsivity makes him do things without considering the consequences of his actions first. You say you feel he has no empathy for you-is it because he forgets things that are important to you?Spends money without considering you and your family first? Another ADD symptom. My husband spends and spends and doesn't know how to control it. He picked up other women and had sexual encounters with them.He can't stand to sit still for very long and always has to be "on the go". He can't ever sit down to discuss the finances or any other thing that is "necessary" for mature adults to do because it bores him to death. He simply could not do it and would not do it. I did it all; ran the finances at home and our business, took care of all household chores and took away his debit and credit cards-all but one that I could control, to curtail his impulsive purchases. Ladies, here's a clue: women aren't the only ones to become shopaholics. We think it's females that only do that, not men, but we are wrong. The difference between men and women shoppers is that women buy lots and lots of little things, while men go out and buy one major, expensive purchase. The similarity between men and women is that it all boils down to low self esteem-admit it; we go out and shop when we feel bad about ourselves or our lives because the purchase gives us a rush, doesn't it? It does the same for your man.It makes him feel better about himself and he believes that these purchases will make him look like a big shot to his friends because he is secretly seeking approval and affirmation that he is a good man. 

I'll be willing to bet that your husband didn't do well in school but mostly does well in the Army. The reason why is that while school is structured to a degree, it also requires the students to (1)sit still for long periods of time-something ADD sufferers find impossible to do, (2)focus on the teacher for hours on end (ADD sufferers get easily distracted) and (3) require the student some degree of autonomy to get assignments done at home, where they may not have a parent to stay by them and make sure the work gets done(easily distracted). 

Now, the military is more structured-an environment that ADD sufferers tend to thrive in. They need to be told what to do and they also have their unit to fall back on for their shortcomings. The military gives them the excitement they crave so that they do not become easily distracted or bored. 

Most ADD sufferers suffer from low self esteem. They have been told they are stupid and dumb since they were kids. They usually don't do well in school and the bad grades and insults from peers,frustrated parents and teachers further degrades their self esteem. By the time they look for work, they find themselves in situations that they can't control and so they find themselves working one job after another-usually getting fired. 

My husband destroyed the business we worked so hard to build up because of his ADD. Not that I am excusing his behavior, mind you, because he still owns the mistakes he made, but one of my demands to taking him back was that he be diagnosed and if he turned out to have ADD, he would take medication faithfully (another problem we had-ADD sufferers tend to forget a LOT, leading you to think that he doesn't think you're worth the effort). He went to the doctor,was diagnosed immediately and was on medication the next day.Therapy also needs to play a role; a therapist experienced with ADD will teach him tricks to manage the problem that go beyond medication. 

If he has problems with forgetting often, get him to use a PDA-most guys love techno-gadgets and if you can afford a low cost one, then he will likely use it because it's fun to use(go with him and hold on to that credit card tight!). Then he can schedule appointments, jot notes,etc. and have it all in one place. The trick to making it work for your ADD sufferer is making sure they don't lose the darn thing!We've bought a few but he's improving with medication...... 

Again, I can't say if your husband has ADD, only a doctor can do that (even a regular MD). But it's a thought that struck me watching the show this morning; that I was that first couple,too. Our lives are getting back on track and while not perfect,there are things you can both learn about ADD that will explain a lot of strange, hurtful behaviors and will help you and your sufferer to learn how to cope and manage the problem.Good luck and I hope this helps. 

 
April 4, 2006, 10:30 am CDT

Dangerous...

Quote From: buzy3bz

Oh my, oh my. So I'm not the only one who's confused about the home situation. I'm 37 and have been married since 1998. I saw red flags go up before I married my husband, but, with family helping push to get married because I was 30, I chose to marry my husband without much thought. He had 2 children from a previous relationship and then now, we have 3 together. My brakes failed and I couldn't stop before, during, or even now in this marriage. My husband is very controlling and he is very good at manipulation and using the kids, and maybe it's not directly but can still affect them. I've threw my husband out 2 times and took him back each time and then finally moved out of the house with the children and after 2 years, he just moved in. It was a mistake that I continue to make. My husband hasn't changed. He's like a kid himself. Isn't responsible. And now feel stuck because I don't want to keep putting my children through this relationship. I have taken my husband to court for support because he hasn't allowed me to work outside the home, and everytime I did, he would make it impossible for me to go and I would end up getting fired. I receive child support  and he threatens that if I divorce him, he'll run and I won't get a penny from him. I have 2 children with disabilities and it is impossible for me to work at his point due to the compromising positions of their disabilities. He tells me every day that if I don't like it, divorce him, and I won't get a penny. I keep telling him, it's not for me, it's for his kids. I haven't had a new wardrobe, new shoes, or anything new in probably 4 years. Everything goes towards bills and the children for their needs. I'm just so confused, because of his threats. He tells me he'll never change and this is the way it is. I have 2 choices he says, to either drop the support and be a family or to keep living the way we are. If I drop the support, he has a history of not paying bills and spending fivorously. He already had us lose one home and vehicles, I'm not jeopardizing the lives of my children and having them not have a home to live in. He's hung up on the sexuality of a relationship. I'm like Amber, I don't like being groped in front of the children. It's inappropriate. There is more to a marriage than sex. I don't know how to feel. I get angry with myself because I'm caught in something that I feel I can't take a stand for. I don't know whether to be quiet and live the rest of the 14 years until my youngest is 18 and then get out or to get out now. I should have never taken my husband back. Amber shouldn't take hers back either. They won't change. Don't take them back. My husband and I were better towards each other when we were separate than together.

Your husband sounds like an abuser. You may not think he fits the bill because maybe he hasn't physically hauled off and punched you, but he is one. He threatens you and uses the kids to control you; he refuses to let you work outside the home-all controlling tactics of an abuser. I'll tell you a secret; you can get support from your state whether or not he can be found. If you open a child support case, the state will send you the money and then go after him for it. If he can't be found, it all depends on the state as to how hard they try to find him (some states are using DMV registrations to find deadbeat dads/moms) but you should still get your support. I strongly suggest that if you want out of this abusive relationship, you need to call a women's shelter in your area for help. They can help you formulate a plan to get out and get on your feet. They know the in's and out's of the justice system and can help you get the help you need. Use the internet to start a search for "battered women's hotlines" in your area. Even if you are not physically abused, I think they would be willing to help you. 

 
April 4, 2006, 10:31 am CDT

NPD

Hi!! 

  

Thank you for this website.  Dr Phil, I feel it would be most beneficial if you would do a segment on Narcissist Personality Disorder and the horrible effects it has on the unsuspecting partners/ex-partners of these people.  I just survived thru this crisis, and never knew what hit me until after the fact, intense therapy, and an assignment by my therapist to research this devasting mental illness.  I belong to an invite only chat room for survivors and it amazes me that NPD is so rampant.  After reading some of the posts on your website,I see traits of NPD in some of the relationships these people are involved in.  A NPD 101 course would wisen up this world -- we sometimes are too trusting and ignore the red flags (I know I did), and go blindly into the relationship thinking it will turn it right, when there is absolutely no way it will ever work unless a person wants to become a doormat, give away their souls, and pretend that everything is normal when it is not.  Wow!  I am glad to be out of it, but also found out that being raised by a NPD parent was the beginning of my idiotic relationships (as well as my two sisters, who have numerous divorces also).  I am single, living on my own, am a good Christian and would love to have another relationship -- but never again at the cost of being in ones with NPDs.  Thank you for listening. 

  

 
April 4, 2006, 10:40 am CDT

04/04 "I Want My Ex Back"

Quote From: mamma2

In response to Amber and Duane,  there are two sides to every story.  I feel that this was just Amber's point of view and it didn't focus on Duane's side of the marriage.  I noticed he didn't say much......maybe that is because he didn't want to discuss  her "dirty laundry" on national television,  just a guess.  I felt that he was being dumped upon, and that her demands didn't seem idealistic.  For instance why would he have to move back with his parents?  He is a grown man,  with a job that supports his family.    Why would he have to give up what he has earned in his life? I don't understand why you would marry someone you have to "fix" or "change" anyways?

It happens more then it should. People marry and they overlook the imperfections hoping they will magically disappear when they marry and become the perfect spouse. Too many people marry without realizing that a good marriage requires a lot of work from BOTH spouses.  

  

As far as her wanting him to move into his mothers house she said that he was paying his rent using a credit card. I guess she doesn't want more bills coming into the house if she does end up taking him back. He lives way beyond his means from what was described. 

 
April 4, 2006, 10:43 am CDT

04/04 "I Want My Ex Back"

Quote From: kinyaz

It's baffling how women ignore red flags, then cry foul as if they were caught by surprise by the conduct of these men.  Even in months, you get a good idea of a person's behavior, SO or otherwise.  Is it that these women think they can put up with annoying habits and behaviors? If he grabs your breasts in public before you marry him, and you don't ask him to stop, why is it an issue now after marriage?! 

  

 

You mean to say these women DON'T see immaturity, financial irresponsibility, anger issues etc  before marrying these men? How is that possible? What do these men and women do during courtship? Don't they spend time getting to know each other?  Sorry for all the questions, I'm just seriously flabbergasted by these stories!

  

 

  

 

  

 

I agree with you. If the person was an immature spoiled rotten brat when you married him why do you think I do will change him?
 
April 4, 2006, 10:58 am CDT

04/04 "I Want My Ex Back"

I happen to know Amber and she is one of the most generous, loving, gentle spirits I've ever met.  She has managed to raise 3 amazingly beautiful, well behaved and respectful children in spite of the problems in this marriage.  Well, it shouldn't be that way.  Imagine how wonderful things would be if there was no "in spite of." 

  

We've all been there.  We've all made mistakes.  We've dated/married/loved the wrong guy at some time in our lives, denying the obvious that's staring us right in the face.  I don't think anyone can say they haven't.   

  

As for the person who says the story was one sided, I'll bet anything you're someone he knows trying to make him look better.  He didn't say much because there's not much defense to buying $13,000 motorcycles when your family needs money to pay the bills or "hooking" up with your ex girlfriend when you're trying to talk your wife into getting back together.  Don't you think Dr. Phil would love to give him credit if it were due?  It's obvious to me that Dr. Phil prefers to present the truth and if one person comes off looking bad, it's because that's the way it really is. 

 
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