Collection Obsession?

"My husband, Paul, is so completely obsessed with Star Wars that it takes up his entire life," complains Kim. "Paul said if Star Wars didn't exist, there would be no reason for him to live."

"My basement is packed with Star Wars stuff. The thing I'm most proud of is my Storm Trooper," says Paul, who wants to name their unborn children Luke and Leia.

"I don't think Paul's obsession is normal," Kim says. She adds that Paul even managed to secretly involve Star Wars in their wedding. "Paul and his other groomsmen had a Star Wars light saber fight in the middle of the church. I was totally upset," Kim remembers. "When we were making our grand entrance into the reception, I saw his groomsmen come up with light sabers in their hands and form an arch. When I saw this, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. It's starting already.'" 

"I said to her, ‘You're marrying me, so you're going to have to get used to Star Wars stuff,'" Paul says. "I would be content to live in my basement with all my Star Wars stuff," which is another bone of contention for Kim. "My wife likes for me to spend time with her, ‘snuggling.' I am bored out of my mind when we do that," he says.

"Paul has spent over $200,000 on his collectables," Kim says. "[He] was kind of upset when I talked to him about selling his things because Star Wars is his life."

"Getting rid of something would be like I wasted all my time, energy and expense," Paul says. He puts on the Storm Trooper helmet and asks, "Dr. Phil, can you please help me get Kim to see how important this collection is to me?"

Dr. Phil addresses Kim. "You knew this before you married him," he notes. 

"I knew that he had an obsession. I did not know that it was to this extent," Kim says. "My first clue was when I went over to his apartment after we got engaged, and I just saw all this
stuff. His little one-bedroom apartment was just jammed full. It was crazy."

"OK, and you said, ‘I want some of this'?" Dr. Phil surmises.

"No, I said, ‘Hopefully, he'll grow out of it,'" she says.

Dr. Phil asks Paul, "Do you think it's gone from hobby to obsession?"

"I don't think it's an obsession at all. It's one of my hobbies, yes. And I like to collect it, and if I collect something, I want to collect all of it," Paul says.

"How many little Storm Trooper figurines do you have?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Which size?" Paul asks. "Do you want to know the action figure, 3 ¾-inch, or do you want to know " "

"Actually, I was asking about the 3 ¾-inch," Dr. Phil says. "How many of those do you have?"

"Probably around the neighborhood of 20 or so," Paul explains, "but they're the original ones from '77, and in '95, when they re-released the figure line, I've got a couple of those " one in the package and one to play with."

When Dr. Phil asks about Paul's other hobbies, he learns that they also involve Star Wars, and include video games and plastic models. Paul also has a train set. "I have to balance my time through all my hobbies so I can keep up with them, and that's why she says I don't spend any time with her," he says.

"You said you find it boring to snuggle with your wife?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes. Not on all occasions. Snuggling has its time, but she is very greedy about time with me," Paul says. "We got married, and all of a sudden it's supposed to be, ‘All your free time goes to me.'"

"Not all, just some," Kim says. "A few hours a day."

Paul complains that those few hours with her are boring, so he keeps action figures nearby. "As long as I'm in the room, she's happy, so I have to find other things to occupy my time. And it can't be any room because I've done multiple things to try to get her to go to the basement," he explains. 

Paul's goal is to lose weight to fit into his Storm Trooper costume, so he can join a nationwide organization for Star Wars fans. The costume is brought out on stage.

Kim says the costume creeps her out, but Paul wants to be buried in it. "Because I figure after I'm dead, they can do whatever to make me fit in it, if I couldn't fit in it before," he explains.

Dr. Phil asks Paul to put the helmet on. "So, you don't want to snuggle up with … ?" Dr. Phil asks Kim, gesturing to her masked husband.

"Would you?" she asks.

Paul speaks through the voice helmet's distorting speaker: "They make female versions of Storm Trooper costumes."

Dr. Phil laughs and jokes that this scene is going to end up on his blooper and highlights reel. He returns the helmet. "The truth is that, in being successfully married, there are some dos and don'ts. Now, on the don't list: You don't tell your wife that spending time with her and/or snuggling bores you out of your mind. That's a bad thing," he tells Paul.

Dr. Phil continues. "On the do list, you want to put things that go toward balance," he says. "I would hate for you to spend approaching a quarter of a million dollars on something that, should you two continue on in this marriage and have children, and things of that nature, that you look back and go, ‘You know what? I'd love for you to be able to go to college, but I have a quarter of a million dollars tied up in these Star Wars figurines' … I just want you to think ahead and have a little compassion for little Luke and Leia."

"If it came down to it, I decided that if I had to put kids through college, I would sell off some of my collection to pay for that," Paul says.