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Topic : 11/20 Spouses at War

Number of Replies: 76
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Created on : Friday, November 14, 2008, 03:18:56 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
From the outside they appear to be a perfect couple – successful, affluent and respected in the community. But behind closed doors, Jake and Donna’s knock-down, drag-out fights are driving them to the brink of divorce. Donna says that Jake’s abusive temper ranges from terrible verbal insults, to threatening to push her over a second-story railing, to waving a gun around! Though his apologies come with elaborate gifts, Donna says she just wants the abuse to end. Meanwhile, Jake says Donna is controlling, in the marriage for the money and cold to their adopted 7-year-old daughters.  What does the rest of the family think? You may be surprised by what Jake’s stepdaughter has to say. See how this couple’s constant power struggle is crippling their 20-year marriage. Can they cease their battle for control and rebuild their union,or will they both walk away losers? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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November 20, 2008, 8:55 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: anne124

I'll try to make this short and sweet.  I relate well with what you are going through...as our circimstances are somewhat similar.  You have several issues going on.... do you realize that you are adult A.D.D. ???  (Attention Deficit Disorder)  Your zoning out is a sure sign of that.  Not sure about your blacking out (you should get a brain scan for the black outs as it could be some added seriousness), but you more than likely have ADD.  You bore easily, your brain zones into nothingness, you lack ambition to do activites unless you are put in high stress situations (like family coming over, holidays, etc.)  Often times adults with ADD do not realize they have it, because they are not hyperactive.  ADD is different than ADHD.  As you grow into your 40's depression can show up in your life, because life gets harder and harder to manage.  Your husband being a shopaholic does not help your ADD problem.  Trust me.  He's shopping to feed his own need for something....love, understanding, attention, or excitement in his life.  More things in your home, add up to you feeling overwhelmed to be able to handle or clean it.  Solution...get rid of the stuff.  Simplify your life, and both you and your husband will find more happiness.  I'd suggest for you to go see your doctor about getting medication for your depression/ ADD.  Sarafem (Prozac) can calm your zoning, improve your depression so you can do more things, and stop your mind from racing so much.  I'm no doctor, so find out from your doctor what you should take.  I'm only telling you what has worked for me.  Not being able to accomplish activities to the end is a common problem with ADD sufferers.  Clean out your house, one room at a time (baby steps), have your husband help & your kids (you can't clean it alone), and have your husband confront why he's shopping too much.  Do more fun activities together...go to the park, go bowling, go biking, take walks, go to movies, anything but SHOPPPPP!!!!  Men like to control things, but he's probably frustrated because he can't 'control' your zoning out or your "ditzy" unfocused behavior you have.  Which may upset him more.  Talk about this with him, sit down and make a plan for how to make both your lives more manageable.  My hope is that you actually see this and read it.  I stumbled upon your letter by chance, and it seems fateful that I write to you.  ADD can be draining.  So go get help for it, and life will improve for you.  ADD can NOT be cured without medication/coping skills. Take care, and best of luck to you and your husband.  Communicate to him...it's key.  Anne from MI

Thanks for your thoughtful message. I have considered that ADD might be my problem, but when I went to the doctor... the last time was about ten years ago, trying to solve the problem, that isn't what he found. I really don't know about the ADD, I consider it a posibility in addition to my other problems, but what they found was much more complex.

 

My diagnosis was a sleep disorder. I also have a thyroid problem. When they did the sleep study they found nothing wrong with my nights sleep, The problem was that in the morning they discovered that my brain waves showed that I was asleep while they were talking to me. I was going through sleep stages every few minutes taking 30 second to one minute mini naps. They experimented with me. I can read when I am asleep. I can apparently drive while I am asleep. I haven't had an accident in 13 years. I can carry on a rational conversation while asleep, and everything anyone else can do. I have these sleeps frequently all day long, but I don't think it empairs what I do.

 

No one but my immediate family has ever picked up on it, and they just call it getting spacy. The doctors have no idea why I am this way. They call it idiopathic which means unknown cause. I become excessively sleepy but I never apparently doze off in a way anyone notices, unless I am extremely sick. I watch other people doze off during TV time, but I almost never do that. I have trouble getting to sleep most of the time, when I go to bed, and it is very rare for me to obviously sleep anywhere else, but during the day apparently my brainwaves go into sleep pattern.

 

This problem gets better and worse depending on what else is going on, and how much stress I have, and how much rest I get. I never found it to be much of a problem before I had kids, though there were a few times when I would get exhausted and run down for no apparent reason. I was a graphic artist with a career when we got married. After the second child though that became impossible. I had a major colapse after giving birth. My whole disposition changed, I can't even remember most of her first two years. I functioned during that time though, more or less. No one really noticed except my oldest daughter. That was 12 years ago, and since then it seems like I have been trying to dig myself out of a hole. I have good seasons and bad seasons. I'll get better and take an active role in things for a while, only to find myself exhausted and unable to go on for months at a time.

 

Sometimes my states actually heighten my awareness of other people. I often pick up on things that other people have gone through, and could be refered to as a psychic. I am very intuitive when it comes to other people and their energies, and interactions. I tend to be spiritual, and visionary. During the times that I am in heightened awarness of other people's vibes I do very well. I am usually happy, but when I don't feel connected and can't connect, I feel very exhausted and despondent. 

 

I pay little attention to most inanimate objects though. I am not interested in material things much. I lived a very spartan life before I got married, and i liked it that way. My husband gets gratification from buying gifts for himself. Getting rid of the stuff isn't something that is an option. I think if I was smarter I'd figure out a way to store this stuff, or even display it, but I really don't feel like doing that.

 

My husband takes a lot of pride in his alertness, and I would describe him as hypervigilant. He tends to be nervous, and constantly aware of the here and now. He tends to be high strung, while I tend to be very laid back. It has caused a lot of friction between us, but I think we have come to the conclusion that neither of us can help how we are. We love each other, and I am not picky enough to care about the house. He cares, but not enough to get rid of anything. As long as he isn't yelling at me I am OK with the situation.

 
November 20, 2008, 9:31 pm CST

/I feel sorry for the kids!/

It's the kids I really feel sorry for.  I hope Mom and Dad can grow up enough to realize what they're doing to those kids

 

:) Andiepie17

 
November 20, 2008, 9:35 pm CST

What to do?

Quote From: anne124

I'll try to make this short and sweet.  I relate well with what you are going through...as our circimstances are somewhat similar.  You have several issues going on.... do you realize that you are adult A.D.D. ???  (Attention Deficit Disorder)  Your zoning out is a sure sign of that.  Not sure about your blacking out (you should get a brain scan for the black outs as it could be some added seriousness), but you more than likely have ADD.  You bore easily, your brain zones into nothingness, you lack ambition to do activites unless you are put in high stress situations (like family coming over, holidays, etc.)  Often times adults with ADD do not realize they have it, because they are not hyperactive.  ADD is different than ADHD.  As you grow into your 40's depression can show up in your life, because life gets harder and harder to manage.  Your husband being a shopaholic does not help your ADD problem.  Trust me.  He's shopping to feed his own need for something....love, understanding, attention, or excitement in his life.  More things in your home, add up to you feeling overwhelmed to be able to handle or clean it.  Solution...get rid of the stuff.  Simplify your life, and both you and your husband will find more happiness.  I'd suggest for you to go see your doctor about getting medication for your depression/ ADD.  Sarafem (Prozac) can calm your zoning, improve your depression so you can do more things, and stop your mind from racing so much.  I'm no doctor, so find out from your doctor what you should take.  I'm only telling you what has worked for me.  Not being able to accomplish activities to the end is a common problem with ADD sufferers.  Clean out your house, one room at a time (baby steps), have your husband help & your kids (you can't clean it alone), and have your husband confront why he's shopping too much.  Do more fun activities together...go to the park, go bowling, go biking, take walks, go to movies, anything but SHOPPPPP!!!!  Men like to control things, but he's probably frustrated because he can't 'control' your zoning out or your "ditzy" unfocused behavior you have.  Which may upset him more.  Talk about this with him, sit down and make a plan for how to make both your lives more manageable.  My hope is that you actually see this and read it.  I stumbled upon your letter by chance, and it seems fateful that I write to you.  ADD can be draining.  So go get help for it, and life will improve for you.  ADD can NOT be cured without medication/coping skills. Take care, and best of luck to you and your husband.  Communicate to him...it's key.  Anne from MI
I can relate to shutting down.  I used to love my husband no matter what.  There have been so many things done and said that I have shut down and he has too.  He may try to do something good for  a day or two.  I don't believe his words when he says he is going to do better.  I feel myself starting to not only dislike him, but hate him for making my life so miserable. He is only concerned about himself.  We have gone to counselling and he says that he knows that most of our problems are because of him, but he doesn't apologize or deal with them once we leave the session.  I decided to stop going because it seemed to be a waste of time and energy.  I want to have a happy marriage and life, but I can't seem to trust him.  He lies and tries to deceive me about his whereababouts and who is talking to on the phone.  Not sure what to do at this point.
 
November 21, 2008, 2:04 am CST

Sleep Disorders!

Quote From: freakycat125

Thanks for your thoughtful message. I have considered that ADD might be my problem, but when I went to the doctor... the last time was about ten years ago, trying to solve the problem, that isn't what he found. I really don't know about the ADD, I consider it a posibility in addition to my other problems, but what they found was much more complex.

 

My diagnosis was a sleep disorder. I also have a thyroid problem. When they did the sleep study they found nothing wrong with my nights sleep, The problem was that in the morning they discovered that my brain waves showed that I was asleep while they were talking to me. I was going through sleep stages every few minutes taking 30 second to one minute mini naps. They experimented with me. I can read when I am asleep. I can apparently drive while I am asleep. I haven't had an accident in 13 years. I can carry on a rational conversation while asleep, and everything anyone else can do. I have these sleeps frequently all day long, but I don't think it empairs what I do.

 

No one but my immediate family has ever picked up on it, and they just call it getting spacy. The doctors have no idea why I am this way. They call it idiopathic which means unknown cause. I become excessively sleepy but I never apparently doze off in a way anyone notices, unless I am extremely sick. I watch other people doze off during TV time, but I almost never do that. I have trouble getting to sleep most of the time, when I go to bed, and it is very rare for me to obviously sleep anywhere else, but during the day apparently my brainwaves go into sleep pattern.

 

This problem gets better and worse depending on what else is going on, and how much stress I have, and how much rest I get. I never found it to be much of a problem before I had kids, though there were a few times when I would get exhausted and run down for no apparent reason. I was a graphic artist with a career when we got married. After the second child though that became impossible. I had a major colapse after giving birth. My whole disposition changed, I can't even remember most of her first two years. I functioned during that time though, more or less. No one really noticed except my oldest daughter. That was 12 years ago, and since then it seems like I have been trying to dig myself out of a hole. I have good seasons and bad seasons. I'll get better and take an active role in things for a while, only to find myself exhausted and unable to go on for months at a time.

 

Sometimes my states actually heighten my awareness of other people. I often pick up on things that other people have gone through, and could be refered to as a psychic. I am very intuitive when it comes to other people and their energies, and interactions. I tend to be spiritual, and visionary. During the times that I am in heightened awarness of other people's vibes I do very well. I am usually happy, but when I don't feel connected and can't connect, I feel very exhausted and despondent. 

 

I pay little attention to most inanimate objects though. I am not interested in material things much. I lived a very spartan life before I got married, and i liked it that way. My husband gets gratification from buying gifts for himself. Getting rid of the stuff isn't something that is an option. I think if I was smarter I'd figure out a way to store this stuff, or even display it, but I really don't feel like doing that.

 

My husband takes a lot of pride in his alertness, and I would describe him as hypervigilant. He tends to be nervous, and constantly aware of the here and now. He tends to be high strung, while I tend to be very laid back. It has caused a lot of friction between us, but I think we have come to the conclusion that neither of us can help how we are. We love each other, and I am not picky enough to care about the house. He cares, but not enough to get rid of anything. As long as he isn't yelling at me I am OK with the situation.

I just wanted to comment on your "black outs" . When I began reading your post the first thought that came into my head was "this sounds like my brother in law". He was having black outs and a few other odd symptoms, sometimes at work while he was on heavy equipment. He ended up seeing a neurologist and had a lot of tests done, even a sleep test. The tests proved that he has a sleep disorder and sleep apnea. He now has to sleep with oxygen, and is no longer able to work. I figure that you already know all about this, more than I do, but I just wanted to bring up the similarities and the fact that this may not be as unusual as I thought.

 

I'll give an example of something that happened during a blackout: While on the job he was driving a 10 pallet forklift (which is huge and dangerous) and moving a load of lettuce from the chilling tube to the cold room for storage. A little while later he was asked where that load had gone to and he told them it was where it was supposed to be, (he really believed that and named the area) they looked again and it wasn't there. After awhile they found this load in an entirely different cold room and he had absolutely no idea or memory of ever going in there. He went to the ER immediately because we were all concerned that he had a stroke. Luckily he didn't but he was diagnosed with a sleep disorder. This happened to him so many times that he had to quit working for good. He also can no longer drive.

 
November 21, 2008, 2:18 am CST

Well, I'm not a liar!

Quote From: shmigelz

Am I stupid? But what couple, married or not has a arguement? Things are said in the heat of the moment, and this Donna person is just holding on to them with all she's got cause thats all she has... Everyone in the world argues? any relationship or marriage, and if you say you don't your lying....

Donna is just some money hungry, gold digger, jobless, 3rs marriage female, so tries to magnify simple, everyday life situations, arguements and then plays the victim and Dr. Phil buys it! This husband provided her with EVERYTHING! and all she does it watch tv and make excuses....

Wow - Donna is one sad, mohey drain, victim player. Kick her to the curb, hes better off....
I have to say that I am not a liar and I have been married for 21 years, not once have we had a real argument. Not once have we ever felt the need to raise our voices at each other. We may do something to irritate each other but all that ever happens is we point it out and ask the other to not do it again. After many years have gone by and there have been much more serious situations happen in our lives, we don't even bother to do that anymore. We know not to take each other for granted and to not sweat the small stuff. We are also still madly in love although you probably won't believe any of this. I really don't care if you do or not. It's just the way it is. We have gone through such tragedies as the loss of his son, a near fatal car accident together, my injury and the malpractice that has left me with a disability, and the fact that he is facing heart surgery due to a defective heart valve. Plus a few more things thrown in. So you are incorrect when you say that there is no couple who doesn't argue or they are lying if they say they don't. Maybe some of us just realize that life is too short to bother with such as that? To be really 100% honest here, we end up making fun of each other and laughing. Is there something so terribly wrong with that?
 
November 21, 2008, 2:22 am CST

At least you acknowledge it!

Quote From: bjmelton1962

 I know how this guy feels, I have a lot of the same behavior  problems that he does. I love my g/f, but I abuse her and I dont know how to stop.  I have borderline personality disorder,and I can't find anyone that can help. I feel lost... this is the first time that I have found anyone that I can identify with.

By being able to admit that you have a problem is the first step in healing. What have you done in the way of looking for help? Have you seen a doctor, counselor, or neurologist? Anger management? I would honestly like to know. There are so many medications that can help now along with the right form of therapy.

 
November 21, 2008, 5:16 am CST

spouses at war

I relate reluctantly to what I percieve as a couple that has a controling wife and a husband that just won't take it any more. I feel that my wife controls every thing and we would fight even physically and the police were involved once as well. I just decided one day and told her so, that I would not do it any more. I slip  once in a while and raise my voice but am quick to stop. It has made things much better but I harbor some recentment for the parts of my life she still tries to control and the parts of my life that have been lost because of her. I still have to be vigulant because she still does it. I just gave up in some regaurds. On the good side, there is probably no one that takes advantage of her. She will get the best of any transaction one way or another. That has come in handy sometimes but it is hard sometimes when it conflicts with what is in my best interest. She make it so difficult at times for me to get basic things that I need out of life that so often in the past, I just wanted to give up on everything. Some of the things I lost and give her some credit for are; my not going scuba diving, the loss of my best friend, the death of my father, and not going bicycling(my passion). I put the altimate blame on myself, but often she would threaten to leave me or tell me I don't love her if I did not comply. Still, altimately the choice was mine to make and thats how I think the blame is mine. I started to stand up to her after my dad died. It was the altimate wake up and I am so sad that I can't go back. It is a pain that never really goes away and something I have written about often in the diary. I would like to have a better marriage. It seems like it is getting better slowly. But the show on spouses at war made me think about it a bit more. If I would offer advice to this couple, it would be to the husband. It would be to make a promise to yourself that you will tell yourself and your wife, I will no longer raise my voice to you, I will no longer degrade you, and I will treat you with respect. At the same moment, you should promise yourself that when you are being disrespected or controlled, you will calmly and respectfully explain that you are giving her respect and that you require no less from her. And leave it at that if she continues on,  just tell her calmly that you will simply not engage her in this manner.

At least thats what I felt was the right thing to do. It has taken a long painful time, I did it "until". Every once in a while now, I am blown away by statements that seem to make it worth while. Just this week she told me, "Thank you for going to work every day to provide for us". God that knocked me off my feet!  I hugged her and wouldn't let go. A couple years ago, she told me I was her hero. Again, just couldn't believe it. Something that should be noticed is I said, a couple of years ago, meaning I have been doing this, "until".

And it has been a long hard road to try and keep a new compass. Guess I am getting it out of the ditch but feels like I got a lot of mud sticking all over me still, prabably got mud in places I don't even know need cleaning. In fact I am sure of that. Its why I sometimes think about seeing a counselor again. Its why sometimes I think that I missed out on something with my going to a counselor after dad died, because I was perhaps to busy dealing with grief, to get everything I could for my marriage. Perhaps that, and perhaps because she refused to go with me. Not even once. I wonder if I am happy with my marriage or just happy its not as terrible as it once was. If I tell her that it was once this bad, she is offended and says she doesn't feel that way and is hurt by it. Which is not why I brought it up and usually why I don't bring it up anymore. I try to move forward and deal with today. I do however think about how Dr Phil talks about how women will never forgive there husband unless and until they get how it made them feel when they cheated. I am not talking about cheating of course, but the unless and until part. So will I harbor this resentment unless and until, or do I just keep doing my part, "until"? Its all I know to do so its all I can do.

Thats life I guess. I figure I have hopefully about 14,600 more days on this earth and that number gets smaller every day. Odds are I should at least get half that, but you just don't know. My wife too is only here for a short while. I also try to remember the Dr Phil advice about, what can I do today to make her life a little nicer. At first it might seem absurd. It might feel like giving bullets to an enemy but I am doing it "until".

Until next time, keep up the good work Dr. Phil and company, a fan.

P.S. Best of luck to the spouses at war, give her all of your bullets.

 
November 21, 2008, 5:22 am CST

No excuse

Quote From: kittty56

 OK, YOU wake up. If she tried to make a contribution to the family and not spend ALL their money on purses, etc. and drain the bank account to zippo, maybe he would think of her differently.  Take better, or some kind of care, for their children, might be different.  She has a housekeeper, nanny, whatever.

No man wants that.  HE'S HAD ENOUGH... I don't blame 'em, and I'm a woman.

I am not saying that she is not in the wrong too. I AM saying that NOTHING, not that she doesn't work, not that she has a house keeper, not that she shops, NOTHING excuses being threatened with your life and being called a c***.

I have woken up. I lived it. I left it.

 

 
November 21, 2008, 6:44 am CST

Donna needs to face her demons.

Something Donna's daughter said struck me as the key to Donna's problem - when Jake and Donna start any type of counseling they progress only so  far and then Donna, when confronted with something she doesn't want to face, backs out.

 

I have seen this happen again and again with people in therapy - reaching that place where they must face the thing they fear the most they quit therapy and blame the therapist. Lets face it - we all have a problem hearing things we don't want to hear. Facing truth can be painful, but it is essential.

 

Donna blamed Jake for their previous counseling being unsuccessful but I suspect it became "unsuccessful" once the therapist put the focus on Donna's contribution to the problem.

 

We can't know what Donna is afraid to face but I suspect it may be the fear that she is the very person everyone seems to have said she is - worthless. Once she can get beyond her fear she will see that she has the strength to not be controlled by what other people think of her and she can start living her life.

 

It is much more comfortable to be the victim

 
November 21, 2008, 7:01 am CST

Warring Spouses

My  husband, daughter and I watched this show yesterday. We both agree that both parties have serious problems. My DD and I both agreed that Donna enjoys playing the victim. She refuses to acknowledge her contributions to the couple's problems. They both need intense therapy apart and together. They will not save their marriage and the couple until they address their individual problems.

 
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