Girly Men: Joleen and German

Girly Men: Joleen and German

"The roles in my and my husband's life are absolutely reversed," says Joleen, who has been married to German for three years. "I am the man of the house. I come home. I want to have a beer. He is the ultimate neat-freak wife." German does the cooking and cleaning around the house, while Joleen performs the more manly duties, like hauling stones, moving wood and hanging Christmas lights on the roof. "When I'm in the yard doing the hard work " shoveling rocks " and the neighbor will say to me, ‘Honey, where's your husband? I thought you were married,' it's definitely embarrassing. The only thing that I can say is, ‘He's inside making a great batch of enchiladas.'"

 

"I don't do labor work, don't like the labor work," German admits. He adds that he is the only one who keeps the house clean. "I definitely think my wife is a slob. I hate seeing dirty clothes lying on the floor, lying in the bathroom. If I don't take charge of that, it will stay there for a day or two."

 

Joleen denies being a slob. "He needs to accept what he has chosen " to be a housewife " and stop nagging and bitching at me and the kids for what we don't do around the house," s

he says. 

 

Joleen says that German is also obsessed with the way he looks. "He has several magazines. He'll say, ‘Oh, this guy looks hot. I need to look like that,'" she shares. "He takes over the whole closet. I have literally two feet of space, and he has the rest. He probably has 30 pairs of shoes."

 

German reveals, "I have different kinds of products that I use for my skin, for my eyes, for my wrinkles." 

"When I first saw German, I looked at him, and it dawned on me, is he gay?" says Jack, Joleen's dad. "She says, ‘Oh, no, Dad. By no means. He just appears to be that way

sometimes.'" Jack has even called German the sissy and the little bitch. "I was going to give him a little negligee, but I figured that would be pushing it too far."

 

Joleen's brother, Paul, adds, "When my sister was young, I'd say she was the little princess. Now, it's changed. German gets treated like the little princess."

 

Joleen and German's role reversal often leads to disagreements. "My husband is often the nagging wife, complaining about not being appreciated," Joleen says. "He will say, ‘Why don't you be a real wife? Get off your ass and help me.'" Comments like that infuriate Joleen. "I work 40 hours a week plus, and then I come home, and I have to do hard work around the house."

 

"I try to please my wife by cooking her dinner and having her do less housework. I like her to notice those things and appreciate the

m," German explains. "I feel very unappreciated. I think she's very selfish when she sees me busting my ass around the house, when she's sitting on the couch watching the TV show."

 

Joleen is ready for a change. "It's not possible to be the girl and the guy. Something has got to give," she says.

"What I think is an odd reaction is that you have reversed rolls," Dr. Phil tells Joleen and German. Joleen has become the stereotypical guy, and German gets his feelings hurt easily and has even thrown Joleen's clothes in the front yard.

German explains that he cleans the house and makes dinner every day. "Besides the cooking and cleaning, I was also doing the laundry," he says. He left Joleen's clothes on the bed, and she didn't put them away for four days. They had a disagreement, and he threw the clothes in the yard.

"I didn't get home until 10:00 at night, and he's complaining that I haven't put my laundry away yet," Joleen explains. "I told him, ‘That's what I have you for,' because I was very upset. I was resentful. The fact that he didn't realize that I'm out trying to do something for our family, make us better, and the next thing you know, he opened the front door and threw my laundry out."

Dr. Phil asks German, "You sometimes change clothes four times a day?"

"It depends on the occasion," German says. "If I'm going somewhere really nice and special, yes, I want

to look nice, and I want to be the center of attention."

"According to Joleen, you have 12 bottles of perfume, more shoes than she. You get microdermabrasion and peels. You wear eye masks and ear plugs to bed, and you get manicures and pedicures," Dr. Phil says to German. "And you don't want to learn how to do any of the stuff she's doing?"

"I tried to learn, and I couldn't learn. I didn't like it," German says.

"He won't even focus," Joleen interjects. "You'll be trying to show him how to do something or talk to him, and he's, like, ‘Look, a bird.'"
Dr. Phil turns to Jack, Joleen's father, who is sitting in the audience, and asks, "Were you
concerned about this when they got married?"

"I was very concerned," Jack says. "I've tried to teach him, show him tools, bought him tools for Christmas, and for heaven's sake, he hasn't taken it out."

"I have to recuse myself here on this, because I know how to change a tire, and mow a yard, and clean a gutter and all of that. I have absolutely no interest in that," Dr. Phil says. "You just don't care about that, right?" he asks German.

"It just seems so complicated," he says. "It's so easy for me just to be able do the housework in the house. It's something that I've been doing for years and know how to do it. I can cook any meal."


"Don't you think that's a good thing?" Dr. Phil asks Jack.

"That is a good thing," he replies.

Pointing from German to Jack and Paul, Dr. Phil says, "Y'all seem just totally opposite."

"We are," Jack says. "I get very frustrated quickly, at him. In fact, he's banned me from the house for a couple of weeks."

"Do they frustrate you?" Dr. Phil asks German.

"Yes," he says. "He comes there, and he thinks I'm going to learn in five minutes. Afterward, he starts making me feel stupid. He'll call me names. He'll start throwing things around."

"What names do you call him?" Dr. Phil asks Jack.

"I've called him a little bitch," Jack admits.

"When people get married or pick a mate, they usually have a preconceived notion of

what they're looking for, and that's usually validated pretty early on," Dr. Phil tells the couple. He says that he told Robin that if he did everything she wanted him to do, she wouldn't like him anymore. "It wouldn't work for me, and it wouldn't work for her, right?" he asks Robin.

"Right," Robin says, smiling. "I still think it wouldn't hurt you to go on a picnic once in a while."

"A picnic to me just sounds like, ‘OK, let's go outside and eat on the ground,'" Dr. Phil jokes. "But we've negotiated it, ongoing."


"We haven't been on a picnic yet," Robin says.

"If you knew then what you know now, would you still marry him?" Dr. Phil asks Joleen.

"Absolutely," she replies.

"You've got to let him be who he is, but what's happening is you've stopped being who you are," Dr. Phil says.

"I don't have a problem," Joleen says. "I would accept my role as being the man of the

house " "

 

"But you do have a problem," German interjects. "You call your dad. You call your brother."

"Because you complain," Joleen says.

Dr. Phil explains to the couple that they must negotiate. "It wouldn't matter if the roles were reversed, you still have to work out a division of labor, and you have to claim your right to be who you are," he says. "You don't take these things by default. You negotiate those things. He can learn to do some of those things.

And the things that you don't want to do, you need to prevail on him to do." In turn, German should ask Joleen to do the things he doesn't want to do. "This is a negotiation. It goes on and on. You don't just get frustrated." He tells the couple that they each have the right to be who they want to be. "You're going to make some sacrifices. Both of you are," Dr. Phil says. To Joleen he adds, "But you're sacrificing too much. You need to stand up for yourself and who you want to be in the relationship."

 

"I don't have a problem doing the hard work around the house," Joleen says. "What I have a problem with is that I think that there are some things in the house that just aren't that serious."

"Serious to whom?" German asks.

"The house is not going to fall apart if we come and sit down with our kids and unwind," Joleen says.

"But that's important to him, and you need to respect what's important to him, and he needs to respect what's important to you. That would be true if we didn't have this role reversal," Dr. Phil says. "You just have to start negotiating this again."

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil addresses both couples.

 

"There's no right way or wrong way to be in a relationship. It's what works for you," he says. He explains the formula for success in a

relationship. "Number one, it has to be based on a solid underlying friendship," he says. "Secondly, it's a function of how well it meets the needs of the two people involved. You can't be a total
narcissist and get along with anybody else, because they're going to feel left out." Both partners need to be sensitive to the other's needs and try to meet them. Dr. Phil gives the couples his book, Relationship Rescue.