Angry Women, Scared Husbands: Steve, Monica

Stressed to the Max
"I feel like Monica just loses her mind and totally loses control of herself and her actions," Steve says of his wife. "The arguing and fighting has just gotten out of hand. It feels like I'm getting hit once a month. It's just escalating out of control."

"It always starts with us arguing. I've shoved him. I've hit him in the face," Monica admits.

"She's physically punched me at least four times since October. She pushed me down the steps," Steve says. He demonstrates near the stairs. "She was standing here in the corner, and she shoved me backward, and I went tumbling down the steps and ended up at the bottom landing and hurt my lower back. That's when the fear level rose, because you don't push anybody down the steps. I wrote Dr. Phil because I was really scared at that point. I really think when she raises her hand to me, she loses her cool, and I don't even think she is aware of how to stop it. Monica has gotten angrier, and has verbally attacked me more. I'm getting assaulted, verbal abuse on a daily basis. She has told me, ‘You're a piece of *. You're such a scumbag. I don't love you. I can't stand you. I hate you. I hate everything about you.' It's like she wants to rip my heart and soul out when she uses her verbal attack."

[AD]"I'm, like, to the point now where I've reached my max stress level. I don't think that I can handle much more," Monica says.

"The unknown is what scares me, because I don't know what's possible with this situation. I think anybody is capable of killing someone out of anger. Anybody," Steve says.

Steve tells Dr. Phil his wife was on her best behavior when the crew was filming at their house, which made him upset.

While the Dr. Phil cameras film them in their home environment, Steve expresses his frustration for his newly submissive wife. He says she's not being real. "I'm being as real as possible, because I want the help to fix my marriage, because I love you. If you're going to continue this way and be the way you're being right now, we might as well just stop filming, because this ain't you!"

Back onstage, Monica tells Dr. Phil that it goes both ways; Steve wasn't screaming in her face like he usually does. She says she was being real in the home footage, but admits it gets much worse.

"So, what is it that you're not showing us?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"My problem is that I don't know how to handle myself. Like, I let him affect me, so everything I do and say, I believe, is because of his actions," she says.

"OK, that justifies what you do and say. What I want to know is what you do and say. Because he is telling us that you are being as phony as a $3 bill," Dr. Phil says.

[AD]"She's definitely hiding," Steve says, explaining that recently Monica didn't agree with how he was preparing their baby's bottle, and they got into a fight. "Next thing you know, I get punched in the back of the head " over a bottle. Like, that's just not even right," he says.

Monica shakes her head no, arguing that Steve gets in her face and screams at her. Steve admits he has " after she hit him in the head. "That's what I'm scared of," he tells her. "After I get hit, or after you demean me and rip my soul out, I get in your face, and I'm backing up verbally, because I want to hurt you, but I can't."

Monica continues to deny punching Steve in the back of the head.

"You're insane," Steve says. He further explains that after screaming at her, she punched him in the face and grabbed him by the throat, pushing him up against the wall.

"Those are two different occasions," Monica corrects.

"I apologize. They all run together now!" Steve retorts.

Dr. Phil asks her, "Have you recently punched him in the back of the head?"

"In the last couple of months, yes," she says.

"Then you punched him in the face, and grabbed him in the neck and pinned him against the wall?"

After Monica tries to explain herself, Dr. Phil implores her to answer the question.


"Yeah," she admits.

[AD]"OK, you've got a rage problem," Dr. Phil tells her. He turns to Steve and says, "You're handling it by reacting to it. You say you try to manage her by intimidation because you think it'll make her stop and leave you alone."

Steve says he just started doing that. Before, he would break something of hers that he gave her.

"OK, two wrongs do not make a right," Dr. Phil says.