Faultfinders and Flakes: Debbie and Andrew

Faultfinders and Flakes: Debbie and Andrew
Dr. Phil talks with faultfinder Dwayne and offers advice for changing his personality.
Debbie says that her husband Andrew is such a flake that it is impossible to plan anything. "On a flake scale from one to 10, he is a 12," she says. She made him a special anniversary dinner and he didn't show up until 10 p.m.; he slept through Thanksgiving; he missed a church social because he refused to get up from a nap; he has flaked on plans with their two daughters; and he nearly caused them to miss the flight to come to the show. "I'm at my wit's end. Things have got to change," Debbie pleads.

Andrew admits to being a flake, saying that he has been a procrastinator his whole life. "I promise to do things, then I don't follow through with them," he says. He realizes that he is letting his family down. "It's hard knowing that my family can't rely on me," he confesses. He says he wants to change, but can't seem to stick to anything.

Dr. Phil asks Andrew what his payoff is for being a flake.

Andrew explains that he is worried people have high expectations of him and sometimes the

standards are hard to meet. "I'd rather just give it the bare minimum, every once in a while impress them, but not get their hopes up," he tells Dr. Phil.

Dr. Phil questions, "You say the standard is too high. Like showing up for your anniversary dinner? I mean how steep is that hill?"

"I tend to forget things too. If I don't write it down, I can get distracted really easy," Andrew replies.

"You've made a commitment here. She's counting on you. You wearing her out. You're wearing you out, and you think that's easier than meeting your commitments?" Dr. Phil asks.

"It's automatic. I don't know if it's easier," Andrew says.

Dr. Phil asks Debbie for her thoughts.

"I love him to death, but it's so hard to live with him when I have the kids or me and we make these plans and he doesn't show up," she says. "I don't want my kids to think that that's OK behavior because when you say you're going to do something, you need to do it or don't say that you're going to do it."

Dr. Phil confronts Andrew about being selfish, immature and unreliable. "Does it matter to you that that puts a burden on her?"

"It does matter," Andrew tells him, arguing that he tries to spend a lot of time with the kids and to be a good dad. "I don't have very good skills ... I usually finish one project because I'm avoiding completing the first project," he says. He realizes that this is not being fair to Debbie, but says he has other things on his mind.

Dr. Phil asks Andrew where Debbie and the kids fall on his priority list.

"It varies," Andrew tells him. "They're high, but sometimes I just get really focused on something and I just let other stuff in my life fall apart because I want to get one thing done."

"What do you hear out of all of that?" Dr. Phil asks Debbie.

"He wants to get other things done," she says, "before having family time or being with us."

"Does that make you feel really loved and treasured and valued?"

"No," she replies.

Dr. Phil explains to Andrew that he is sending a message with his behavior. "Isn't there some point at which you've got to grow up and say, 'I've got responsibilities now. I'm a husband. I'm a father. I'm a provider. I've got to plug in here and be predictable and responsible'?" he asks.

"It scares me to death," Andrew tells him.

Dr. Phil tells Andrew and Debbie that there needs to be a penalty for Andrew's behavior. "There is a lever somewhere. You either have to be mature enough to step up and say, 'You know what? It's time to grow up and plug in here and quit doing what's easy for me at the expense of my wife and children,' or if he won't do that, then you've got to find a lever, whatever it is he values has to be contingent upon him behaving more responsibly. If he's going to act like a child, then you've got to treat him like one," he suggests.