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Topic : 12/30 The Stepford Family

Number of Replies: 216
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Created on : Friday, October 28, 2005, 02:15:29 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Airdate: 11/01/05) Do you know someone who is so exacting about the smallest of things that they are borderline obsessive? Dr. Phil speaks with guests whose perfectionistic  ways are destroying their relationships. Beth does everything in her power to create a "Stepford-like" existence for her family. But her husband, Tony, says, "Don't be fooled, things are not what they appear to be!" Will her façade of perfection destroy her marriage? And what toll is it taking on their children? And, Robin is prepared to give her husband, Brad, the walking papers if he doesn't stop criticizing every move she makes. Plus, a self-described controlling viewer challenges Dr. Phil! Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

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November 1, 2005, 2:36 pm CST

Not all are engineers

I relate to the engineer's wife, living with the criticism and need for perfection. In counseling my hubby was the same as this guy. "Well, what about me? What about what I want. I am right. I have done much to change and she doesn't see it." 

  

He never gets it. His ways do not make our marriage the 'safeplace' and he is NOT my soft place to fall. He keeps choosing to be right and unhappy. I am wearing out. 

 
November 1, 2005, 2:45 pm CST

THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING!!!!

Quote From: bellasun

Every one of the situations that mirror mine is the male in the relationship is a professional engineer.  I was trying to explain to a friend(the one time that I did get to go out for lunch,he's controling,but getting better)about home...and a woman at the table behind got so excited...her husband was an engineer and the same way.  Very analitacle(sp),very cold&stern,somewhat robotic.  but they love a person that is outgoing because that's what they lack, they want to become a little more fun...but what they end up doing is becoming controling,perfectionists,and it really brings a person who is fun loving down, because they become jealous,they feel unloved,they feel unaccepted.  But the happy person they fell inlove with, has been beaten down,it's hard to come back smiling and bubbly, and they don't get what they've done.  Am I making sense? 

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read these words that came from someone elses mouth other than my own!!!  You've stated exactly how I feel, and what I'm going through!  My situation. . . I am an artist, my husband an engineer.  I've been with him on and off for 18 years.  I'VE NEVER SEEN HIM CRY, EVEN AT HIS OWN FATHERS BOUT W/CANCER, NOR AT HIS FUNERAL!!!  There is so much to tell, where do I start.  I'll get to the current situation.  Due to a recent move (which he was VERY much nervous about choosing), he has found himself extremely stressed out (bigger bills, not having a 'perfect' product ie. . .the paint job, the flooring etc. . .).  So stressed that his health HAS been affected.  He now has a low white blood cell count.  Yet he continues without getting professional help.  The rest of us, myself and our 4 children, tiptoe around him and walk on eggshells.  IT SUCKS!!!!  If any of us laugh, he looks at us like we're weird.  If I ask him out, or to do something fun, he finds something to complain about (ie. . ."Did you know that glass of wine was $7.00?!?!?"  Even when I only had one, and we RARELY go out!)  I can't take it!  It kills me to see it affecting the kids!  I want him to get help SO badly, and have for years.  But he can't justify spending the time and money on such a thing when he can hardly even see that there is a problem.  I don't know what to do, and I really need help!  I don't want to raise my children without a father whether it is due to his killing himself over being a perfectionist/controller, or my leaving him, or even just not being present for the fun wonderful things that children do!  HELP!!!! 

Does anyone have advice for getting help for someone who doesn't want it and resists it at all costs? 

-Sincerely, 

Desperate 

 
November 1, 2005, 3:00 pm CST

wife of an engineer

Quote From: bellasun

Every one of the situations that mirror mine is the male in the relationship is a professional engineer.  I was trying to explain to a friend(the one time that I did get to go out for lunch,he's controling,but getting better)about home...and a woman at the table behind got so excited...her husband was an engineer and the same way.  Very analitacle(sp),very cold&stern,somewhat robotic.  but they love a person that is outgoing because that's what they lack, they want to become a little more fun...but what they end up doing is becoming controling,perfectionists,and it really brings a person who is fun loving down, because they become jealous,they feel unloved,they feel unaccepted.  But the happy person they fell inlove with, has been beaten down,it's hard to come back smiling and bubbly, and they don't get what they've done.  Am I making sense? 

I am right there with you.  I'm someone who believes that you can find fun in most anything you do.  I believe that laughter in a relationship is one of the most important aspects to the relationship.  My husband, like the engineer on Dr. Phil today will stop what he is doing to watch me and tell me how I'm doing it wrong.  He says the same thing that Brad said today, I'm not trying to criticize, I'm just trying to help!  HA!  Trying to help or not, it's drives you crazy.  He tells me how to do everything from chopping an onion to mowing the grass.  I always tell him it's the end result that counts, not how you do it.  His favorite line is "that's not how the professionals do it" or "you've never done this before, have you?"  I cut my finger when we first got married because I was 48 years old and trying to chop an onion up the "correct way" rather than the way I'd been doing it for 35 years.  Then there was the time we were on vacation deep sea fishing.  He was fighting with a 100 pound Marlin when I hooked a Sailfish.  Rather than minding his business, he kept looking at me and shouting at me that I was doing it all wrong, even though there were 2 professionals on the boat helping me!  How fun do you think our fishing was?  I feel as though I don't smile as much as I used to and my personality is being stifled.  I ask him all the time why he married me in the first place if he wanted to change me.  Like I've always said, the thing that attracts you to a person when you meet them is usually the thing that you try to change in them after you are married.   

  

Oh, one more point.  My husband is a workaholic.  We don't do near the things together that we did when we were dating, but I can promise you if I left him tomorrow he'd find time to do those things with someone new, at least until they got married!   

  

Good luck to you. 

 
November 1, 2005, 3:00 pm CST

Beth's real issue

  

  I hope that therapy get's to the crux of Beth's problem....I believe she's gay.  I don't think she's in denial, I just don't think she's ever explored that possibilty.  Once she accepts who she really is she can begin to deal with the other issues that have evolved because of this. 

 
November 1, 2005, 3:06 pm CST

I know how they feel

I have been accused of being a controlling person like some of your guests today.  I have reasons for the way that I am.  I am not that smart. I think I have a learning disability but whenI was in school, these things were not being acknowledged. I am also a perfectionist.  Every thing I do is a compromise from perfection. I have sense of no worth. I have been divorced for 15 years and have been depressed ever since. I feel my life is not worth living. I cannot keep a job and feel like a burden to anyone I meet. I admit I have lots of "issues" but have been to several counselors with very little long term help. I think there are a lot of people in the world with problems like I have.  Today's show  reinforces my beliefs. I have the book, "Families First" and I will jump to the second half and see if there is something in there for persons like me.  I am doubtful that there are specific tools for me to use.  If I can control my surroundings, maybe I can deal with the internal fears I have of failure. I don't know. I hope to see more shows of this subject in the future.  It may be helpful to people like me.  Thank you.
 
November 1, 2005, 3:09 pm CST

Controlling Mothers Need to Let GO!

I believe controlling mothers (and fathers) need to let go or they might end up chasing away all the people who love them.  My mother was (and is) very much like the mothers on the show today.  I believe her low self -esteem etc. was a major cause in her problems.  Now my parents are divorced and my dad is non-exist.  My mom lives with my grandmother and my youngest brother, she works as a CNA and has no propects for anything good to happen in her life.  And as of last night I was chased away, literally. 

 I never felt as though I good measure up to my parents expectations.  When I was a teenager I always tried to explain that we were good kids, we did not smoke, do drugs, drink, party etc.  I had great grades and I participated in swimming and church activities.  However, I still thought I needed to be better. 

In collage I became so overwelmed that I eventally was suspended for bad grades.  Apparently that took the pressure off because my parents left my alone when it came to school issues and when I returned to school I graduated in a 1 1/2 with almost all As. 

But then I got married (planning the wedding was horrible in itself) and I have an 11 month girl.  Now my mother trys to controll my baby's time and my life as a mother.  She lives 2 hours away but wants to see me at least once a month.  She gets mad if I do not plan to come for holidays and when I try to split time with my inlaws she makes me feel like I let her down. 

Anyway last night when I was at her house I wanted to spend some time with my in laws but she assumed I agreed to do Halloween with her.  (My inlaws assumed the same thing and they are now mad at me also).  There was a fight between my mom and I.  She held my baby weeping because my baby doesn't know her!  She threated to take my baby if I left.  So i left and drove the 3 hour drive home in the dark with only my baby.   

As of this moring my mother left a message that she should just die because her kids all are leaving her alone and that I never have to see here again.  She eneded by saying she will send my brother up in a rental car at christmas. 

To be honest I am not mad at anyone.  I just was trying to make everyone happy and ended up making everyone mad.  I only want to have my own life.  I wish my husband would get a job accross the country so I can get away. 

I only hope that I do not do the same things to my children. 

(by the way my brothers feel much they same way) 

 
November 1, 2005, 3:13 pm CST

Possible OCPD?

Brad and Robin's story sounded eerily familiar.  A year ago, I sounded like Brad and it was driving my husband crazy.  While I was seeing a therapist to help me with something else, I brought up my need for order.  She diagnosed me as having Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. It's not the same as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I don't wash my hands 20 times a day and I can leave the house without checking and rechecking things, but I have an incessant need for order. I am on medication which helps a little, but I notice that when I'm stressed, my OCPD still comes out. I think knowing that I have a real medical condition helps my hubby not feel so picked upon when I slip.  It's the OCPD, not his wife who loves and appreciates him, that's talking.

One thing that I did was, as Dr. Phil suggests, decide to be happy instead of being right.  I stopped criticizing my hubby for every little thing but instead asked him to help me deal with this disorder.  He used to get very upset when I'd ask him to load the dishwasher then I'd go behind him and reorganize it. I'd also rearrange stuff in the cabinet after he helped me put away groceries. Now, instead of taking it as a personal attack against him, he realizes that I still appreciate his efforts, but it nags me until I "make it right".  I don't ask him to make it right - I do that myself.  He's not in my head and can't possibly know how I order things.  I can not just leave things as they are - my OCPD prevents me from sleeping, reading, even having sex. I can't turn my brain off until I know everything is just so.

It may be the same with Brad.  Like he has done with his clothes, he needs to take the responsibility off of Robin to make things right and do them himself.  Robin, on the other hand, needs to accept that Brad may not be able to just let things go. He may need that order like I do.

Good luck to them both!
 
November 1, 2005, 3:16 pm CST

11/01 The Stepford Family

Sorry that post was so long and random.  I just wanted to say that my mothers controlling ways have made my life hard, affected my self-esteem, and has made me want to run away forever.  Just like I did last night and just like I had been planning to do my whole life.
 
November 1, 2005, 3:35 pm CST

If being clean is wrong, I don't want to be right!!

I keep a very clean house, I vacuum and dust daily, dry the sink and shower after every use and always have "a place for everything and everything in it's place." I keep my clothes organized according to color and style, with all the hangars evenly spaced. I exercise every day except Sunday and eat the same thing for lunch each day. Does this make me a bad person? I don't think so. My husband and I enjoy living in a clean comfortable environment. I like looking at my pretty closet and being able to find things when I need them. My exercise and diet lunch keep me slim and enable me to indulge myself at dinner. This is my choice. I wouldn't dream of telling my sloppy friends that they need to clean more often but for some reason they feel free to make remarks about my housekeeping ("It's so sterile in here! It's like a hospital!") whenever they come over. Sometimes I think the real control freaks are the ones who want everyone else to be as slovenly as they are so that they won't feel guilty for being too lazy to mop the kitchen floor. I kind of resent all the hints on this thread that there is something horribly wrong with those of us who like to live an organized, tidy life. My husband is just as neat as I am, so neither of us is trying to control the other. We laugh, we cry, we entertain, and no, I am not a lesbian. (That one made me laugh.)
 
November 1, 2005, 3:38 pm CST

If being clean is wrong, I don't want to be right!!

I keep a very clean house, I vacuum and dust daily, dry the sink and shower after every use and always have "a place for everything and everything in it's place." I keep my clothes organized according to color and style, with all the hangars evenly spaced. I exercise every day except Sunday and eat the same thing for lunch each day. Does this make me a bad person? I don't think so. My husband and I enjoy living in a clean comfortable environment. I like looking at my pretty closet and being able to find things when I need them. My exercise and diet lunch keep me slim and enable me to indulge myself at dinner. This is my choice. I wouldn't dream of telling my sloppy friends that they need to clean more often but for some reason they feel free to make remarks about my housekeeping ("It's so sterile in here! It's like a hospital!") whenever they come over. Sometimes I think the real control freaks are the ones who want everyone else to be as slovenly as they are so that they won't feel guilty for being too lazy to mop the kitchen floor. I kind of resent all the hints on this thread that there is something horribly wrong with those of us who like to live an organized, tidy life. My husband is just as neat as I am, so neither of us is trying to control the other. We laugh, we cry, we entertain, and no, I am not a lesbian. (That one made me laugh.)
 
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