A Shopping Intervention: Bridgette's Secret

A Shopping Intervention: Bridgette's Secret

Bridgette has a confession to make. "I hide things. I hide things in my trunk to keep my husband from seeing them. I feel sick most of the time after I've shopped. It's just a terrible addiction, and then I just block it out of my head," she says.

Some of the things that she keeps from Michael are $500 Chanel glasses, a digital camera and the receipts from her purchases. She says there's another reason for her extravagances. "When I married my husband, I don't think I loved him. My mother said, 'Oh, he's a rich doctor," she reveals.

Bridgette has resorted to some extreme measures to get money. "Michael doesn't know I have stolen his checkbook. He just doesn't how know much I lie to him," she confesses. "I record it as something else [in the checkbook], so he thinks that it's food. I hate the way I am. I hate that I lie, and that I've lied so much over the years."

When the video ends, Dr. Phil asks Michael, "So what do you think about that? That she needs to get a job?"

"I think she has a job — a job of subterfuge. It's very clever," Michael replies. "I just don't understand why."

Addressing Bridgette, Dr. Phil says, "This is going to change. What I want you to tell me is what it is you say to yourself at the time.
Because you take us through this narrative, as you're showing us these things where you know that you didn't really want it, you just bought it. You know you don't need it; you just bought it. You know that it was just completely frivolous, but you do it anyway. What do you say to yourself at the time when you go do this?"

"I don't really say anything," she replies. "I don't understand why I do it. It's like I have something, and I'll wake up and feel like going shopping. Or I'll look at something in my house and think that it needs to be changed."

Dr. Phil tackles Bridgette's issues with secrecy. "If you didn't know it was wrong, you wouldn't work so hard to hide it. I mean, if you're proud of what you're doing, you walk right down the middle of Main Street. You lead the parade," he points out. "And you're living in the shadows under the bleachers, Bridgette. You're hiding this. You know it's wrong. And at the time you do it, don't tell me you're not saying anything to yourself, because you are. You're hatching a plan. You're creating all of these things you can to hide it."

"I hide it because I know he's going to go crazy," she argues. "If I want the day to go particularly well — I want to have a nice dinner, a nice evening — I won't tell him. I'll hide the bills for a couple of days, because he'll go crazy."

Michael admits that his wife's habit has him exhausted. "I'm physically tired. In fact, when I'm not working, I'm usually sleeping. And at work, I have to say, I have the reputation as being a 'shift whore.' In ER circuit, a shift whore is someone who trolls for shifts, who's constantly asking, 'Hey, can I pick up that shift?'" he explains. "And people will g

et tired of that."

Turning to her husband, Bridgette says, "You spend no time with us. We do nothing. You spend no time with me."

Dr. Phil interrupts. "This is not a Bridgette problem; this is a Michael and Bridgette problem," he makes clear. Turning to her, he says, "You're the one that's getting all the attention, because you're the one doing the outrageous behavior. And the problem with outrageous behavior, is it often overshadows a whole lot of other things that explain why the marriage is going in the ditch."