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          Strategies for Rebuilding a Marriage

          July 13, 2005

          Dr. Phil works closely with guests to help save and rebuild their troubled marriage. The wife admits to cheating on her husband three times. Her last affair resulted in a pregnancy and the baby was placed for adoption.

          The couple has already crossed a threshold in recognizing that their family is in crisis, but Dr. Phil stresses that they need to take additional steps to halt the destruction.

          Dr. Phil offers the following strategies and tools not only for their marriage, but also to many families in jeopardy.

          Stop playing games.
          Dr. Phil tells the woman that her affairs were a bid for attention from her husband. “Isn’t the price of admission that your husband has to pay and your children have to pay a pretty high ticket price for you to get in that game and be entertained?” he asks. He advises her to stop thinking that she’s smarter than everyone else is and start becoming a responsible member of her family.

          Hide nothing from your partner.
          “I have a philosophy. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing,” states Dr. Phil. He informs the wife that she’s going to have to become a picture window and stop the smoke and mirrors. “Stop hiding, stop lying, stop cheating and stop manipulating,” Dr. Phil cautions.

          Don't take ownership of others' mistakes.
          Dr. Phil warns the husband that blaming himself for his wife's decision to have affairs is an unfair move. Dr. Phil tells him that even though he isn't a perfect husband, he doesn't own his wife's decision to cheat.

          Turning away from your partner won't fix the problem.
          "Stay plugged in and stay hooked up," advises Dr. Phil. If couples have problems within their marriage, they need to deal with those problems inside the union. "You need to be either a 100 percent here or a 100 percent gone," he warns.

          Set a standard.
          Many marriages suffer because spouses often fail to set parameters within the relationship on how they want to be treated. Refuse to stand for disrespect or neglect. "The standard is treat me with dignity and respect or not at all," Dr. Phil explains.

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