A Family Divided: Robin's Intervention: Erin, Robin

Erin Gets Her Turn
Dr. Phil talks to Erin and Marty about the progress of their relationship, and he sends Robin to give each of them advice.

Dr. Phil asks Erin her thoughts about what Robin had to say to Marty.

"Robin was so on target, it was unbelievable," Erin says. "As women, we have needs that need to be fulfilled, and we do need a soft place to land ... we need to know that our partner is there for us 100 percent."

Robin helped Marty learn new things about his wife. "Robin read things about Erin that I probably would have never read, and for her to share that with me and pull the switch, it was awesome," Marty explains.

Dr. Phil assures them, "I wasn't plugged in, in the early parts of the marriage the way that I needed to be. I was a complete workaholic, sometimes working 20 hours a day, and not really engaged in the mission in any way. You kind of grow into those things, you learn them ... Things click as you go."

Erin realizes, "As women, because we're raised to learn how to take care of people's needs, I became more controlling of everything around me because he wasn't pulling up his end of it."

Dr. Phil asks Erin if she will make the choice to receive, and she says yes. "The point is, you can sit back and say, 'You screwed up, so now I'm not going to open myself up anymore.' You've got to make a decision that you're willing to take that risk again or you're not," he says.

Dr. Phil asks Erin if she was surprised by Marty's special night and the letter he wrote for her.

"I was completely blown away," Erin says. "When he wrote the letter, he really did put his heart into it. He really did tell me how much he really loved me, and he was really sorry for some of the things that have happened ... I think it just drove home the fact that he really does want to make things work for us," she tearfully explains. "I could tell, the letter, just the way that he had written it, it just was Marty. It was really Marty opening up his heart and letting me in, which was really a good place because we don't let each other in very much at all, and now I think we're starting to know each other in a way that we've never known each other."

Dr. Phil asks Marty, "How did it feel to write that letter and mean it?"

Having a difficult time putting his thoughts into words, Marty says, "After so many years, I always wanted to have this kind of relationship. It's just really hard to bring all that stuff out of your soul, and I don't know Phil, it was great."


Erin has a heart-to-heart talk with Robin to find out her secrets for a successful marriage. Erin asks Robin, "I just want to know how you make that work, because you guys have a great relationship and I can see that you communicate well."

Robin opens up about her marriage. "When Phillip and I were dating, we talked a lot about what we wanted in a marriage, and we were nowhere near where we are today," Robin explains. "It's been an ongoing process. I think that a lot of the reason we are where we are today in our marriage is because we both commit 100 percent every day."

Erin says she has already started to make changes. She tells Robin, "I think that I am holding Marty more accountable for things. I've never really done that, I've really parented him, and that's not worked, because now I'm looking for a partner."

Robin tells Erin, "You have to lead men. From experience with Phillip, he says, 'You inspired me to be who I am in the marriage,' but the other person has to be ready to be inspired and has to be willing. I sense in a huge way that Marty is ready to be inspired, and that you are too." She tells Erin that Marty wants her to be more touchy feely, and more expressive with her love for him.

Robin tells Erin a personal story about when
she and Dr. Phil were about to buy their first home, and were not sure they could afford it.

"I remember him saying, 'I really don't want to disappoint you. I want you to be happy and I really want to get you this house, but you know, I can't do anything that will jeopardize our future. I looked at him and my heart just broke. I thought this precious man is conflicted right now about making me happy, and being the man he is, and doing the right thing. I went around behind him and laid my head on his back and said 'Where am I right now?'

And he said, 'You're right behind me.' I said, 'That's right and don't you ever forget it. I am right behind you, whatever decision you make, I trust you. I will not be unhappy.' When your priority is to be happy, there is a huge peace that I think comes over the relationship and over the home, because I wanted to be married to him and make him happy."

Erin tells Robin, "That wasn't ever my priority. I was raised in a dysfunctional household where my dad always said, 'Don't depend on a man. You need to support yourself and do it yourself.' So in a lot of ways I'm having to overcome exactly those things now." She explains that even though Marty made some bad choices, "I contributed to the leading up to that. I was not the easiest person to get along with. I was not there for him emotionally."

Robin tells Erin, "I know from talking to [Marty], he really wants to be happily married to you."

"I never realized how taken he was with me when we first met," Erin says. "I remember him being this nervous, skinny guy."

"I was telling Phillip the other day," Robin tells Erin, "I hope at the end of this time with them, that we see two of the happiest adults in the world. I would like to see Erin just jumping for joy, just can't have enough of her husband."

Erin agrees with Robin, and says that she definitely wants to feel that way about Marty.

Dr. Phil asks Erin what she learned from her conversation with Robin.

"Confirmation that it was OK to be needed,

and it was OK to want to be loved and to be cared for," Erin explains. "I think that growing up as child in the 60s, 70s and 80s, we were taught to be independent and not need anybody and do it all ourselves. Well God didn't make us that way, he made us to need a partner," she says.

"I don't think those things are mutually exclusive," Dr. Phil tells her. "I think for a woman to ... be all that she can be, is not mutually exclusive from being half of a couple ... I think you may have blurred those boundaries."

"I did

completely, and Robin really kind of help lead me back into that and say it's OK to want these things," Erin says.
Dr. Phil asks Erin how she is going to apply this new thinking to her marriage and the way she interacts with Marty.

Erin explains that what Robin said about supporting Dr. Phil was very important. "I have not been supportive of Marty, and I think that a huge downfall in our marriage is that I wasn't behind him supporting him in his endeavors, whatever they choose to be. And that really just made me realize that I have to open up and be a soft place also."

Marty agrees that it is important for him to have Erin stand behind him and support him.

"You realize that in order to expect and receive that, you have to make choices that are supportable," Dr. Phil tells Marty, "And going outside the marriage is not something that causes someone to want to rally behind you and support you. You have to be willing to put those things behind both of you and say, 'We're starting this here and now'... It's often been said that 'If you want a good friend, be a good friend, and if you want a good partner, you've got to be a good partner."

Dr. Phil concludes the show telling Erin and Marty, "You've got to know and feel that you're turning some things in the right direction. The good news is, everybody you need to make this marriage healthy and happy is sitting right there holding hands. So, it's up to you and we'll see where we go from here."