Have They Changed?
Dr. Phil follows up with a man who was verbally abusive to his wife and a stepfather who was withholding affection. Did they take his advice?
Rami and Allyson's Update
When they appeared on "What Are You Really Mad About?" Rami was calling his wife Allyson "stupid" and screaming at her every single day over things like dishes left in the sink. On the show, Dr. Phil told Allyson that Rami's yelling had nothing to do with her. He encouraged Rami to add one thing to his definition of success as a man: how well he treats his wife when nobody is watching. Did Rami take this advice?

Allyson: Since being on the Dr. Phil show, our relationship has improved. Whenever Rami feels himself getting upset, we'll make a reference to Dr. Phil or I'll just give him a look and he'll laugh. I really appreciated it when Dr. Phil said that Rami's yelling and anger had nothing to do with me.

Rami: I am so proud of Allyson. She's a great wife, and we are best friends again. Dr. Phil pointed out that I was harming our son R.J. by yelling in front of him. It definitely made me change the way I'm going to raise him. I don't want R.J. growing up to yell at his mom or his wife.
Although they've made progress toward improving their marriage, Allyson worries that she is holding their relationship back by not being able to forgive Rami for all the years he yelled at her.

Dr. Phil: You've got some open wounds here from the six-and-a-half years of listening to all of this. I often say we have a psychological skin that can get burned. And burns heal slowly. Even though Rami has taken the heat away, the burn, pain and sensitivity remain. Is this a life sentence for you because he was verbally abusive? Or is this something you want to get past?

I definitely want to get past this and don't want to continue punishing him and pushing him away.Dr. Phil: What you want is a spirit of acceptance toward each other. In the past, what you had was the spirit of criticism and condemnation. I really want you to make your goal to be to forgive him for the things he's done over the
years. Forgiveness is a choice. It's not an emotion that sweeps over you one day. Perhaps at first it's an intellectual choice but there are a few things you need to understand about it. Number one, live in the moment. Not even God can change what has happened in the past, and the future hasn't happened yet. The only time we have is now. When you judge him for things in the past, he can't change that. You have to look at how he's behaving now and in the moment ...

Secondly, remember that when you forgive, it's really all about you. It's about you saying, "I don't want to continue carrying this and hurting." Remember when you're talking about forgiveness, you're not saying, '"hat you did was OK" It's not OK. But you are choosing not to live in the past. You are choosing to live in the present. And in the present, you're doing a lot better.
After the show, Rami thanks Dr. Phil for the advice he gave him backstage after his first appearance on the show.

Rami: I didn't get a chance to talk about this during the show. Part of my yelling at Allyson was due to the pressure I had from my parents. Dr. Phil opened my eyes when he said it's like having a sunburn. It means a lot to me, and I tell everyone I can. If you're burned and someone walks up to you and taps you on the back, it's going to hurt. If you don't have that sunburn and somebody taps you on the back, it's no big deal ...

My problem was figuring out what that burn was. If you're angry, sometimes it's about something that's secondary. I was never really angry at Allyson. I just took my frustrations out on her because of that burn I had. I never thought of that until Dr. Phil mentioned it to me after the show backstage. It wasn't on the show so I felt obligated to mention it here. Hopefully it will help someone else if they have a burn in their life. I want to thank you, Dr. Phil.