A Family in Crisis: Michael Leaves Home

Road to Recovery
Chris and Stacy's marital woes and problems with new pregnancy.
Chris and Stacy discuss an emergency plan for their financial future. The family is $125,000 in debt and can't survive solely on Chris' salary as a car salesman trainee.


"I think Stacy should get a job because we've fallen behind so much," says Chris. "I need her help."


"I don't think that running out and getting a position at some agency is still the answer," says Stacy, who has a master's degree in marriage and family counseling. "I'd rather wait tables. When I have the baby, I'm not working outside the home."


She also points out that her religion supports her decision not to work. She explains, "We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Part of the male's role is to provide for the fiscal necessities of the family, and part of the mother's role is to provide the emotions and nurturing aspects of the family."

"So you're saying you're just not going to work?" Dr. Phil asks Stacy.


"I did look at several different positions. It's not like I'm not trying," Stacy admits.


"On that tape, I heard the words, 'I'm just not going to do it, and

you can yell at me if you want. It's just going to go in one ear and out the other.' Did you say those words?" Dr. Phil asks.


"I said those words," responds Stacy, "but I expected to come back to the show and have you yell at me like, 'Why don't you have a job?'"


"Well, consider yourself yelled at and we'll save that time and go on," Dr. Phil remarks.

"The point here is you have been leaning on your own understanding and your own reasoning," Dr. Phil tells Stacy.


He asks if Michael's placement at Happy Hill Farm has freed up her schedule to find a job. When Stacy replies that it has, Dr. Phil says, "You're not going to go work for some agency doing marriage and family counseling." The audience applauds and laughs.


"You said you'd wait tables," Dr. Phil continues. "Then I think you ought to be waiting tables because this family needs money right now. Truthfully, you need the distraction. I really think it would help you to do something constructive where you guys get back to being a partnership and a team."


Dr. Phil tells Stacy that his staff has investigated jobs that she can perform from home. "I've got people working on this situation around the clock and I'm anxious to get to that. It's just a matter of deciding, are you and I going to have a tug-of-war here and have some power struggle? If you decide you just want to be right, I'll just surrender and you can be right, but you can be right somewhere else. But if you want to really make some moves and changes here, then we need to get the bit in our teeth and get moving down the road."

Dr. Phil points out that he's tried to help the family by placing Michael with Happy Hill Farm and by bringing in financial planner Elizabeth Warren to go over the family's finances.


"I'm bringing you the best of the best from everywhere, and it's like you're backing up as fast as you can. I don't want you to do that. I want you to be a player in helping this family. I want to work on this relationship, but I want you to have money to eat and pay your bills while you're doing it. I think that's very important," Dr. Phil says. "My hope is that you guys get some really quality help in a lot of different ways, and at the same time, become a teaching tool for people in marriages and families across the country."