Three years ago my children and I could have REALLY used Dr Phil's advice!!!!! When some of us watch Dr Phil's show, particularly all the dysfunctional, predominantly male, people, we are amazed at how dead on Dr Phil is at pointing out how cruel and damaging these men are to the women they try to control. Nearly every disturbed personality trait those men exhibit, described my now ex-husband to a tee. It is frightening that there are so many men out there like that! If only I had been 'permitted' to watch a show such as Dr Phil's, so much unbearable unhappiness and misery could have been nipped in the bud, and my children and I could have escaped years earlier than the decade of emotional and verbal abuse, and mind manipulations that we suffered under, plus the aberrant and deviant sexual behaviors I was forced to participate in. It took nearly two years to escape and finalize a divorce. Altho the children are all adults now, they were young teens when my then husband succumbed to an older woman's devious brainwashing. He permitted her to ruin our marriage and family, and ultimately chose her over his wife and children. He became a very mean spirited, cruel person, began drinking hard liquor, and demanding impossible standards for the children and I to achieve, ie, we were to be PERFECT, after he'd met her. He was a miserable excuse for a human being, and because he was miserable, the Lord knows, we ALL had to be miserable. Altho I begged for marriage counseling, or any kind of counselor for us, the children, he refused to permit it. In hindsight, I understand it was probably because his secrets would be exposed by his behavior, and we would have learned how truly disturbed the man is, and we would of course, opted to get as far away, and as fast away from him as we could get.
Now when we watch the show, and see other women being abused (I understand sometimes men are the victims of abusive women, but predominantly it is the other way around), we just want to reach through the TV screen, shake those women by the shoulders, look them straight in the eye, and firmly tell them, GET AWAY FROM HIM AND DON'T LOOK BACK!!! Dr Phil, you nail things on the head time and time again; we rarely disagree with anything you advise people. You confirm that it was best for us all to get out of that house, and to stay away from him as much as possible. For myself, I have zero contact with the raving lunatic; my children, all being adults, choose for themselves if they want to have anything to do with him.
The only thing I fear for them, is they are living a lot of what they learned, and we all have issues to deal with, some of his nasty traits having worn off on all of us. It is difficult for them to have fulfilling relationships because of the troubling emotional issues they struggle with ingrained from his abuse.
I KNOW I'm not perfect either, and I'm sure they have some of my personality traits as well. But the deception and betrayal was sadly all from his end. The strain on all of us was, and at times, still is horrendous.
I also want to comment on one of your books, Dr Phil, that was passed on to me, only much too late to help, as the marriage was already in separation: Relationship Rescue. At the time, the ex was trying to FORCE a reconciliation, under extreme duress on my part, did I try yet again to save the marriage. I went through your book, and I did every single workshop item, and that one part where there are many questions asked to get an idea of whether or not the relationship is worth rescuing, well the results I came up with were 90% it was over a long time ago, that's how bad it already was. Him trying to force me to return with threatening innuendos certainly wasn't winning me back with his charm. Oh, and by the way, he was STILL seeing his mistress. He wanted the best of both worlds, his respectful wife for public life, and his mistress for his egotistical stroking. What a sad, sad human.
Sorry this is a long message, it feels good to finally be able to express a fraction of what we went through, and how helpful, even tho belated, your advice and observations are. God bless you and Robin, your family, and everyone whose lives you touch!!!