The next challenge is the ultimate test in communication. The women have to change a tire while receiving direction from their husbands via ear pieces. And it's not just any tire — it's a giant Hummer tire!
The husbands are taken to another room, where they will watch their wives on a monitor. They have to speak into a microphone to talk their wives through the tire-changing process.
As the wives race to jack the Hummer up and remove the tires, what begins as fun banter ...
Matt: Are you on the nut?
Lindy: Yes, I'm on the nut. I'm married to you!
... quickly turns to anger and name-calling. Both Matt and Tom forget to tell their wives to remove the spare tire from the back of the vehicle first.
Nichole: Damn it, Tom! F**k! Now it's jacked up and I can't get up here! Why didn't you tell me this before, Tom? Just stop talking to me right now.
Lindy to Matt: You are not expecting me to get the tire out of the back of the G**damn Hummer after you told me to jack it up! You are freaking brilliant! You know, I really hate you right now. If we ever have a flat tire when we get home, I'm going to sit in the car on my cell phone and tell you what to do. And then laugh!
Nichole rips her ear piece out in frustration and refuses to listen to Tom.
"She is not completing the job, and she's not listening to me," Tom explains. "This is the way it usually goes. There's no talking to her, and you just have to let her calm down."
In tears, Nichole gives up on this challenge. "I'm just tired. I can't do it. I took the ear piece out of my ear, because I did not want to hear him talk to me right now. I hope that Dr. Phil can help my husband realize the important things," she says.
When Tom joins Nichole, they argue about whose fault it is. "I just never am allowed to have control of anything," says Nichole.
"Oh, my God, what are you talking about? Nichole, you control the whole house!" says Tom.
"Always under your supervision," says Nichole. "We have not accomplished one challenge at all."
"It's not always about winning," says Tom.
"No, it's about communicating," she says.
Dr. Phil speaks with Tom and Nichole, who had the most difficulty during that challenge. "Do you wonder why your marriage is not working?"
"No, I don't wonder why our marriage isn't working," says Nichole. "I wonder how to fix it."
"All right, important question," says Dr. Phil. "I want you to tell me what your ownership is in the problem of this marriage. What is it you think you're doing to contribute to this combativeness in your relationship?"
"I'm very stubborn, and I hate to be told what to do," says Nichole. "And every time he does that, I feel like it's because he doesn't think that I'm doing it right. And I hate to be feeling like I'm trying so hard, but yet it's still not good enough."
"Why is it so hard for you to take criticism and input?" asks Dr. Phil.
"I'm just bullheaded, I don't know," she says.
He turns to Tom, "What's your ownership in this problem?"
"That I'm stubborn, and bullheadedness as well. So we just clash. And I'm a perfectionist," says Tom.
"All right, I want you to recall a date in mind: February 11, 2004. What was so important that you had to fight about that day?" Dr. Phil asks Tom. "March 14, 2005? How about a week ago Thursday? Or a week ago Friday? Or a week ago Sunday?"
Tom can't answer.
"You can't even tell me the topic, can you?" asks Dr. Phil. Tom and Nichole are both right-fighters. "You can just rotate the topics, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It can be this, it can be that, just you're going to be right. Right?"
"Right," says Tom.
Dr. Phil turns back to Nichole. "I asked you what it is that's got you so bristled up about people telling you anything."
"I guess I'm just scared to fail," says Nichole. "And, when people tell me what to do, it's like I'm not doing it on my own, I'm not being independent."
"So you're afraid you're going to fail. Have you heard that old saying, 'What I fear, I create'?"
"Yeah," she says.
"Do you think you're creating success here?"
"So, what you fear, which is to fail, is exactly what you're doing, right?" he asks. "You're failing because you're so worried about failing."
"Right," she says.
Dr. Phil tells them, "When you go into a relationship, you either go into it with a spirit of acceptance, a spirit of nurturance, or you go into it with a critical spirit." He tells Tom, "And you have chosen a critical spirit. You don't like where your life is right now, do you?"
"No," he says.
"And isn't she just handy as a pocket on a shirt to blame and dump on?" asks Dr. Phil.
"Yes," Tom admits.
"You don't like your life, and you're blaming her." He tells Nichole, "You don't like your life, you're blaming him. Well, what would happen if you decided to quit blaming each other, and start working the problem?"
"You've got to decide, 'I don't like the kind of man I'm being in this relationship. I don't like making my wife feel that small.' 'I don't like telling my husband to go take a flying leap.' What if you woke up every day and said, 'You know what? Whatever I do with her, my number one consideration is going to be that I am going to deal with her in a way that protects or enhances her self-esteem'? Do you think that would change your relationship?"
"Definitely," says Tom.
Nichole can also start treating her husband better. "Do you think if you just said, 'You know what? I want him to know that I'm proud of him. I want him to rise to my expectations. But instead of badgering him into it, what I'm going to do is inspire him into it. I'm going to get the chip off of my shoulder, and I am going to start being fun to live with.' I'd rather watch paint dry, than hang with either one of you two," says Dr. Phil.