Are You Ready for Divorce: Unfinished Emotional Business

Unfinished Emotional Business

Dr. Phil addresses another divorce readiness question: "Do you have unfinished emotional business?" Both Jan and Randy do. Dr. Phil tells them, "You're not ready to get divorced on many different levels because you have unfinished emotional business. The time when you're ready to have a divorce is when you have the clearest of conscience: ‘I am at peace about my decision. I'm at peace about myself. I'm at peace about going through the next phase of my life.'"

Jan admits she doesn't have peace.

[AD]"You're scared, and you feel like you're damaged," Dr. Phil says.

"Yes," she says. "I have this wall around my emotions and my heart because I'm not going to get hurt again."

"So what do you plan to do?" Dr. Phil asks Randy.

Randy pauses. "I plan to work harder on these things that I've heard. I need to seek more help on how to not do these things that keep hurting Jan and the kids," he says.

Dr. Phil points out that Randy's family doubts whether he is really sorry, and that he's blaming his frustration on them. "‘If you would be better wife and children, then I wouldn't have to be that way, so it's your fault that I do that,'" Dr. Phil says, imitating Randy's attitude. "I'm not saying that's true. I'm saying that's how it appears to me that they're viewing you, and therefore, all of this ‘Gee, I'm sorry,' they don't really hear."

"I agree with what you just said," Randy says.

"But that's how you feel, isn't it?"

"It is how I feel, but I don't know where to begin," he says. "It's years of frustration that has caused me to … Without support, I don't know. I don't know how to answer that. I'm sorry."

"Well, you did answer that. You said, ‘You're right, because it's years of frustration that have backed me into this corner.' If she would just straighten up, you would be fine," Dr. Phil says. "Right? Seriously, if she would just straighten up, you would have no trigger, and then y'all could just ride off into the sunset and be happily ever after."

Randy laughs. "I feel that way, yeah," he says.

Dr. Phil says to Jan, "So all you've got to do is straighten up, and you'd be fine."


[AD]"Yeah. I feel smothered, so why should I try? Because he does it for both of us," she says. "And it's the same thing with compliments. ‘Why don't you ever give me a compliment?' Well, because you give yourself enough that I don't need to. There are a lot of things that he overdoes, and he doesn't allow us to grow as a person or grow as a couple, because he does it all."