"I enjoy my bitchiness so much that my screen name is MissVIB: Miss Very Important Bitch," says Teresa. "My husband tells me that I bitch so much that if I don't get this under control, he will leave. I can get bitchy with my husband over anything. He can look at me the wrong way and I'm going off the hinges. I get bitchy with my husband because he's never around. I go to bed bitching and I wake up bitching."
"I definitely need a break from my wife's constant nagging and bitching. If my wife, Teresa, keeps it up, I'm going to be gone," says James. "She's a bitch on wheels. Most of my friends say, 'Man, what the hell are you doing with her?' I drive a truck for a living. When I'm out on the road, Teresa calls me every two hours to bitch. Teresa calling me on the road drives me insane."
"I demand 100 percent of my husband's attention," admits Teresa. "If he doesn't answer the phone, God forbid. When my husband comes home, he'll be lying in bed. I'll have to be up dealing with those brat kids. I'll tell him, 'If I'm up, you're butt is up.' When I get home from the grocery store, I will beep that horn one time, and my husband better come out that door. If he doesn't come out, I will ask him, 'What the hell is the problem? Get your ass outside and take care of the food.'"
And James cannot escape Teresa's wrath. "She follows me from room to room just to keep the argument going," he says.
Teresa agrees that their fights can get ugly. "I'll use whatever I can against my husband just to hurt his feelings. I call my husband 'bastard,' 's**tface,' 'jacka**.' When my husband is on his way home from work, I stop bitching and nagging just long enough to get sex."
"I just don't want to touch her. Why would I want to be close to somebody who's just raging at me?" asks James.
"I get so angry when he refuses sex, I just grab my stuff and go on the couch," says Teresa.
"Praise the Lord when she falls asleep on the couch," says James.
Teresa knows she has to change. "I am angry 24/7. My kids are even starting to take after me. They will curse, scream, holler, throw things. It's gotten to the point where I'm so much of a bitch, I'm going to end up losing my whole family over it," she says.
"My kids are learning a lot of bad habits from my wife. It affects how they treat me," says James. "If it wasn't for my kids, I would've left a long time ago."
"Dr. Phil, my bitchy ways are so out of control, could you please help before I destroy my marriage completely?" asks Teresa.
"Are you out of control?" asks Dr. Phil.
"Oh, I know I'm out of control," says Teresa.
"So why have you chosen this strategy, instead of being cute, charming, charismatic, inspirational, whatever?"
"If I'm nice about it, I don't seem to get exactly what I want and when I want it. So the more I bitch about it, the easier it is to get it," she says.
"It gets you what you want. You want a husband that says he would rather go into a mental institution than stay with you?" asks Dr. Phil.
"No, that's not what I want," says Teresa.
"That he would rather go into a monastery than live with you?"
"No, that's not what I want."
"Embrace a life of celibacy rather than get in bed with a Tasmanian devil-woman? That's not what you want, is it?"
"No, it's not."
"You've got children, and now they're beginning to mimic the behavior. Is that what you want?"
"No, that's not what I want," she says.
"So how is that getting you what you want?" Dr. Phil asks. He consults his notes. "It says here you threw a fit, so you got six gerbils, two cats, a hamster and a rabbit because he didn't want you to have a dog? So your victory list is you got a handful of gerbils? You don't have a loving relationship with your husband, you don't have respectful children, you're not a peace within yourself, but you got a handful of gerbils?"
"When you put it like that, no, it doesn't make sense," she says.
"I put it like that because that's how it is. You got a TV, a sofa, a fridge, a van and a ring."
"I don't have a clue," says James, laughing.
"You teach people how to treat you, so you've taught her, 'If you raise enough hell, I'm going to give you what you want.'"
"True. But it was like, 'OK, you can have it, just leave me the hell alone, let me go,'" he explains.
"What you've got to understand is people who are bullies, folks will deal with them in passive-aggressive ways," Dr. Phil tell Teresa. "They may not want to get up in your face and have a scream fest, but they're going to get you."
He turns to James, "You are the master of passive-aggressive resistance and passive-aggressive sabotage, aren't you?"
"Yes," he agrees.
Dr. Phil turns back to Teresa. "So if you're smart, and you are, you should see that it's just not working. And it's really strange to me because you're just as cute as a speckled pup. You've got a great personality. You could probably charm him into anything you wanted him to do. But instead you're shooting yourself in the foot with this attitude that you think gets you what you want at the time, but in truth, they're just giving you the absolute minimum that they can to get you to shut up."
"But what they fail to realize is getting me to shut up only lasts all of five seconds," says Teresa.
"No, they do realize that. Which is why he's checking out monasteries and mental institutions!" exclaims Dr. Phil.
"What do you really want?"
"I want my family happy and healthy. I don't want us to be on each other 24/7," she says, admitting that she also has the 'Get them before they get me' attitude, just like Kristine, the previous guest.
"Y'all talk about this bitchiness like it's powering up. That's just another word for whiner," says Dr. Phil. "When you're bitching, you're just whining. It's just whining with some verbs in it. It's the most non-powerful position you can be in. He's become so numb to it that you have to totally go over the top to get his attention now, because calling him an 'F-ing idiot,' that's just like, 'Good morning.'"
"It doesn't faze him anymore," agrees Teresa.
"If 'F-ing' idiot isn't followed by a lamp against the wall, and a slammed door, and ripping covers off of him, it's just like, 'Good morning.'"
Dr. Phil turns to his previous guest, Kristine, sitting in the audience. "You're watching her behavior. Does it look reasonable to you?"
"No," she says.
"Do you see any of yourself in her?"
"I see a part of it. Depends on the day and what the situation is," says Kristine. "I still say there's a part of it, though, that feels justified, because you can't tell me that a lot of people in power now have to have some sort of backing, some sort of forcefulness to be able to get out there and get your word out and get things done."
"But there's a difference between confidence and power, and screaming," says Dr. Phil.
Teresa adds, "I've been doing this for so long, that the way I'm doing it now is getting me what I want right now, so I don't want to go back to the nice, sweet person because it took me too long to get what I wanted."
"And that's the expectancy set issue. It's like road rage and getting upset on the highway. That happens because you expect the entire world to run your agenda," says Dr. Phil.
"Yeah, I do," says Teresa.
"And the truth is that they have an agenda too," he says.