Family Chaos: Bridgette and Mike

Family Chaos: Bridgette and Mike

When Michael and Bridgette first appeared on the show, Bridgette's shopaholic ways were ruining their marriage. Dr. Phil discovered that her excessive shopping was just a symptom of a much larger problem. The last time they came to Dr. Phil for help, Bridgette revealed a 30-year-old secret: she was a self-mutilator. Things got pretty heated, and her three children, Lauren, David and Carol, accused her of lying and of introducing them to porn at a young age.

 

Dr. Phil sent the couple home with cameras to record their candid thoughts. "I woke up this morning in a sh***y mood because why am I stuck with him, and why do I have to stay with someone with all these problems?" she complains. "Everyone thinks [Mike] is so wonderful — an attractive doctor that they would love to have. Hey, they can have his ass, because after a month of living with him they will get sick of him."

Mike admits that his hectic work schedule contributes to the chaos. "It's like I work so much that I feel like I have been ignoring myself, ignoring my family," he admits. "It's like I don't feel like a person. I feel like a working machine."

Bridgette also doesn't feel respected by her children. "To be honest with you, I would rather be with my friends than my family, because they just have a way of irritating me," she says.

Addressing the couple, Dr. Phil says, "Tell me why you are back. What do you want?" 

"I have a shopping addiction," Bridgette replies.

"You know that I believe that that is nothing more than just kind of a sign, a symptom, of everything that is going on in this marriage and family," Dr. Phil replies.


Mike tells Dr. Phil his hopes for the family. "I want to continue to make progress, for both of us to make progress. I think Bridgette has done a lot better," he says. "She has a few relapses, but she's convinced of being a shopaholic. I'm a rageaholic."


"I want you to leave here today with a big to-do list," Dr. Phil says.

Mike admits that seeing his rage on tape made him want to change his ways. Bridgette says that she now has taken on her husband's hostility and has become a master at hiding it. "I've turned into a complete monster. I'm like a time bomb waiting to happen," Bridgette confesses.

 

Her anger has gotten so bad that she's feeling the physical effects of it. "I have heart palpitations," she reveals. "When I rage and scream and yell, I do it in our bedroom because I know these cameras are not around."
 

When Bridgette feels frustrated, she lashes out at Mike. "I say things like, 'I wish I never f***ing married your sorry ass. You suck sexually. You can't f***. I will call him a piece of s***. I will cut him down. I will tell him how he ruined my life," she reveals.

 

Her children also feel the brunt of her anger. "What pisses me off about the kids is that they will not work. They will not get jobs. My kids are moochers," she seethes. "David and Lauren are on food stamps and I have a major problem with that. I am angry at the way my kids turned out. I am angry at my life. I hate myself for shopping. I don't even like myself."

"What are you so angry about?" Dr. Phil asks Bridgette. 

Bridgette says she's fed up with her children's fibbing. "They lie on me. They lie on both of us," she tells Dr. Phil. "We are not a family unit."

Dr. Phil runs down a list of Bridgette's complaints. "You say, 'I haven't been happy for 24 f***ing years. I wish I never married him.' You tell him that he has ruined your f***ing life, and the kids, you just haven't raised them to be like this. Well, who did?" Dr. Phil asks. "You talk about the kids like you had nothing to do with it. If they are not making the choices you want them to make, don't you have any ownership in that?"

Bridgette counters, "Well, they are adults now. They don't live with us."


Dr. Phil says that Bridgette has modeled certain behavior for her children. "You have taught them how to think. You have taught them how to reason. You have taught them accountability, or not," he points out.

"I have not been consistent with them," she admits.

Bridgette has said that she hates her life and the person she turned out to be. "Whom have you become?" Dr. Phil inquires. 

"This horrible person who is depressed, who can't get the shopping under control, and who feels like her kids are all screwed up," she says. "I look at my friends and my neighbors and how nice their kids are, and I want our family to be like that."

 

"Do you believe that's possible?" Dr. Phil inquires.


Bridgette shakes her head. "They are not really willing to change and help themselves. We have been in therapy. I think with the changes that they have seen with Michael and myself, they just say it's short-lived."

Dr. Phil wants Bridgette to take some ownership in her family's challenges. "Every time I ask what is going on and what's the reason for it, you tell me that they are screwed up, they are irresponsible, they are worthless, he is unresponsive, he is a bad husband," Dr. Phil notes. "There's never a time when you say, 'You know what? The only person I control is me. I can inspire others. I can influence others, but the only one I can make different choices for is me. I'm going to clean my house before I start taking everybody else's inventory.' The house you've got to clean first is your own."