Faultfinders and Flakes

Faultfinders and Flakes
Dr. Phil talks with faultfinder Dwayne and offers advice for changing his personality.
Melissa is fed up with her husband Dwayne. "He's very good at blaming other people. He's very good at making other people feel bad about themselves," she explains. Dwayne nitpicks about the house being cluttered, dirty dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, and the kids not having their homework done sooner. "I tell him sometimes that I don't love him or that I want a divorce," she says, because she's at her wit's end. "My husband is negative beyond belief. Can you please help us?"


Dwayne, who's on his fourth marriage, was raised in a strict household and has spent the last 18 years in the military. Speaking of his work in the armed forces, Dwayne says, "You're constantly finding things wrong, and it's your job to fix it. ... I have a tendency to bring it home with me." He wants Dr. Phil to help him go a day without finding fault in something, especially with his wife and children. "What worries me the most is that if I don't find a way to control my faultfinding, my marriage is going to end, and I'm going to lose her," he explains.

Dr. Phil asks Dwayne why he has come to the show.


"I don't want my kids to grow up like me," Dwayne replies.


"How do you describe yourself?" Dr. Phil asks.


"As an individual who basically never sees the positive in something," Dwayne tells him. "I'm always finding fault. I'm

always looking at what's not being done. What's not being done the way I think it should be done."


"Do you sometimes feel happy and positive inside, but you don't know how to express it?" Dr. Phil asks.


"I feel it sometimes, but 90 percent of the time it's a feeling of trying to correct what's wrong. When I do feel good, I can't express how I truly feel," Dwayne says. "I was taught, basically, how to find fault, how to correct things, but as far as when it comes to understanding how I make other people feel, and being responsible for what I say and what I do to other people, there's been no repercussion on that for me," he explains.


"Well, why aren't you blaming this on somebody else then?"


"Because in the past three relationships that I was in, no one would actually stand up and say, 'Dwayne, you're wrong.'"

"Children learn what they live," Dr. Phil tells Dwayne, explaining that his problem stems from his history with a stepfather who beat him.

Then Dwayne went into the armed forces and has been in a militaristic environment for 18 years. "So all you've got is 37 years of this rigid, critical, cold behavior, and now all of a sudden you're supposed to switch because she's tired of it. And that sounds like a pretty steep hill to climb, don't you think?" he asks.


Dwayne agrees and says, "I'm in an extreme situation of being a product of my environment."


"But you realize you're now a free-thinking adult and you have a choice. You don't have to do that," Dr. Phil tells him. Dwayne nods yes.


Dr. Phil asks Melissa how she feels when Dwayne is criticizing her.


"It makes me feel small as a person," she explains. She also gets caught in the middle between Dwayne and the children, because he often takes out his emotions about the marriage on the kids.

Dr. Phil thinks that Dwayne fears losing control. "There's this alpha male mentality, where the guy's got to be dominant. He's got to be in control and he's got to tell everybody what they're doing," he explains. "It's what I call leveling." Dr. Phil explains that Dwayne makes other people feel inadequate in order to boost his own self-esteem. "I think it's a

feeling of saying, 'I don't know how to act in this situation, so I have to control it, because if something happens that I don't expect, I don't know what to do.'"


For Dwayne to change things, he needs to let his guard down and get out of his comfort zone. Dr. Phil tells him to make a plan with the end result in mind: having his wife feel happy, comfortable, safe, secure, loved, valued and appreciated. "I want you to expand your definition of success as a man," he says. "Decide that you're going to set a goal, and you're going to wake up every morning and you're going to consciously choose an attitude." Dr. Phil suggests that Dwayne should make others walk away from him saying, "'You know what? Every time I'm around that guy, I feel better about me.'" Also, he should strive to make his children proud of themselves when they are with him and away from him.

Dr. Phil tells Dwayne that if he wants his children and other people to feel good after interacting with him, he has change his ways and do what he calls "role construct." He explains,

"I want you to just decide in the morning, 'I'm just going to send a different message.' I want you to do things as simple as walk into the room, put your hands in your pockets, and keep your mouth shut for a while. You don't have to come in there barking orders. You know that room was running pretty well before you got there." Dr. Phil tells him to say something positive to every person he encounters before he says anything else to them. As for his relationship with Melissa and the children, he should always find something positive to compliment them on, and talk with them about their day. If Melissa sees him going back to his critical ways, she needs to send a sign so he's immediately aware of it.


Dr. Phil introduces Melissa Tumbleson, a professional clinical counselor, who will work with Dwayne on achieving these goals.


Dr. Phil ends his time with Dwayne saying, "Part of it is just real simple: Just don't take yourself quite so seriously."