Dr. Phil's son, Jay, and Paige Davis of Trading Spaces, lead three couples in rocky marriages through a series of challenges, designed to see how they work together in the real world. Dr. Phil wants to see: Will they pull together under stressful conditions? Or will the tension and fighting in their relationship destroy their chances?
Two "tricked out" Road Show Hummer limousines pick the couples up when they arrive in Los Angeles. The women are put into one limousine, and the men in
Dr. Phil has a message waiting for them. "You newlyweds sure have a lot of problems. And in the next few days, I want to see for myself just how bad it really is. This vehicle is going to transport you from challenge to challenge as we put your marriages through the ultimate test," he says.
Katie cheated on Barry before they married and ended up pregnant. And a few weeks after they married, Barry had an affair. "Katie doesn't trust me and I don't trust her," says Barry.
Katie discovered the truth after finding a woman's phone number in Barry's car. "I felt our whole marriage was a sham. I think Barry is still cheating. What married man chats online with girls?"
They also fight a lot. "We both have such horrible tempers. It just explodes," explains Katie. "This is not what I signed up for. Instead of a partnership, I got a disaster."
They've only been married 15 months and already they're thinking of calling it quits.
Tom and Nichole get into explosive yelling matches several times a week in front of their children. After 18 months of marriage, they bring up the subject of divorce on a regular basis.
"After dating Tom for just three months, I became pregnant," Nichole explains. "Tom freaked out and went back to his ex-girlfriend. When our baby was 8 months old, Tom called me out of the blue and said he wanted to be a part of our daughter's life. After he apologized, Tom did cheat on me. Tom has called me a 'f***ing bitch,' 'crazy,' an 'idiot,' a 'psycho bitch' in front of our 6-year-old daughter," says Nichole.
Their sex life is a disaster. "Nichole does withhold affection from me," says Tom.
"If Tom is not nice to me, I refuse to have sex with him. Sex with my husband can become a chore," says Nichole.
Matt and Lindy have been married less than two years, and argue at least five times a day.
"We fight about money, our children and sex the most," says Lindy.
Matt says he does a lot of the housework and the cooking, but Lindy says it's because he won't let her help.
"My wife often turns fights into nothing but character assassinations," says Matt. "All we do is fight."
Before heading to their first challenge, Dr. Phil wants each newlywed to hear what their partner had to say during their individual interviews.
Barry listens to what Katie revealed. "I don't trust him," says Katie. "He is an a**hole. I do regret marrying Barry."
Barry reacts, "There's a lot of harsh words. I know we don't get along a lot of times. We've had a lot of cheating both ways. There's always that shadow of a doubt that something could happen."
In the other limousine, it's Katie's turn to hear what Barry had to say. "Katie's a bitch. She's psycho and she's loony and she's coo-coo," he says. "She's very vulgar. Katie pressured me to marry her. She uses the kids against me, threatens with divorce. It is
Katie responds, "I'm very pissed off that he said that kind of crap about me. I'm not a bitch. I mean, I'm his wife. I'm the mother of his children and he's going to say that kind of stuff about me? That makes him an a**hole."
In the men's limousine, Tom hears Nichole reveal in an interview, "I am living a newlywed nightmare. Tom is always lying to me. He never wants to be accountable. He's lazy, irritable and impatient. I feel that I married Tom for all the wrong reasons. I get disgusted when Tom wants to have sex in the morning."
Meanwhile, among the women, Nichole gets to hear a clip from Tom's interview. "Nichole's worst qualities are her temper, her lack of respect, arguing, false accusations, laziness. I feel hatred. The only reason I come home at night is to see the kids. Nichole has diabetes; she does use it to get attention."
She cries, "Tom uses my diabetes as an answer for everything. Because I have this disease, I feel like I can't be a normal woman with regular emotions. It hurts me to hear him say that he doesn't want to come home at night. If we don't get help, then we're not going to last."
Now it's Matt's turn. He listens in on a portion of Lindy's interview. "Matt is stupid, an idiot, a moron. When I think about Matt, I feel angry, frustrated. Matt is so critical. He's crazy."
He refutes her statements. "I just prefer that if she's going to do [something], that she do it well rather than so half-assed about it. She doesn't like being told that."
Lindy listens to part of Matt's interview. "My wife is very childish, stupid, volatile and emotional. If my wife is wrong, she gets pissed off."
Lindy responds, "Nothing I do is good enough for him. I'll make the baby's bottle. I won't make it the right way. I won't use it the right way. I'll make it too hot, too cold. I won't wash her correctly when I give her a bath. It makes me incredibly angry to see him say these things about me."