Is My Spouse Normal: Justin and Lacy

Can't Save for the Future
Dr. Phil weighs in with guests who want to know if their spouse's strange behavior is normal.
"I am definitely, 100 percent, a severe shop-aholic," says Lacy, who has maxed out her credit cards and even had to close her checking account because she bounced so many checks. "Shopping is a drug for me. I have to get a weekly fix," she says, explaining that she once spent $1,000 in one day. "I went shopping just to look, but I bought everything that I liked."

Lacy even gets up in the middle of the night to shop online, and uses her boyfriend Justin's credit card without his permission. "Justin and I fight a lot about my spending habits because he wants to save everything and I want to spend it all," she says. When Lacy thinks about a future with Justin, she knows she needs to change. "If I don't fix my shopping problem, my marriage is always going to be doomed," she says.

Justin is worried about having a future with Lacy. "I'm very afraid that Lacy's shopping is going to get worse and worse," says Justin, who refuses to share a checking account with her. "Lacy gets extremely carried away with shopping. I can't really trust her with money," he says.
Justin and Lacy have been talking about getting married. "I would love to be able to buy Lacy a nice engagement ring, but we cannot afford it," he says, turning to Dr. Phil for help.
When Dr. Phil brings up the fact that Lacy has started lying about her spending and hiding it, and has bags of clothes that still have the tags on, Lacy admits, "It's out of control, definitely."

"What does that tell you?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I don't know, it seems like I'm never satisfied with the stuff I have. And I have great stuff," says Lacy.

"What if it's not at all about the stuff? What if you're not buying the stuff, you're buying the feeling?" he asks.

"That sounds about right," says Lacy.

"You are addicted to the high that you get when you buy the stuff. And when the high goes away, [you've] got to get another fix, and that's running about $500 a week," says Dr. Phil.
Dr. Phil turns to Justin: "Are you concerned about marrying someone who's addicted to spending money?"

"Yes, very," says Justin, adding that Lacy can't be trusted with money.

Dr. Phil tells Lacy: "You've already got a trust fracture within your relationship, so you're seeing the cost at which the high comes."

Lacy admits that it's gotten worse: If Justin gives her gas money, she'll spend it on something else, and then be stuck at home because her car has no gas in it.

"What are you going to do if this continues?" Dr. Phil asks Justin.

"I'm hoping maybe you could help her? There's not much I can do," says Justin.

When Dr. Phil asks, Lacy says she really does want to marry Justin, even though right now they can't afford it.

Dr. Phil points out that she's already sabotaging her potential marriage. "He can't trust you and he can't afford you. That's two bad things with a guy, trust me," he says.
Dr. Phil has a plan. "What would happen if you made a deal with me to not buy anything that he didn't approve for 30 days?"

"I don't get to buy anything?" Lacy asks. "It would be really hard."

Dr. Phil clarifies: "If you can't eat it, don't buy it. You bought no clothes, you bought no shoes, you bought no purses, you bought no jewelry, you bought nothing for 30 days. Could you do that?

"Yeah, I could. But it would be really hard," she says.

Justin isn't so sure, but tells Dr. Phil he will help make sure she doesn't.

Dr. Phil reaches for something in his pocket. "I think people need incentive and the incentive I have is I want to give you something," he tells Justin, and opens up an engagement ring box, with the exact ring that Lacy wants.

Lacy is shocked. "Oh my gosh, that's beautiful," she says.

"This is what you get if you don't shop," says Dr. Phil. He closes the box. "This is what you get if you do."

"So no hair products?" Lacy clarifies.


"That's right. No hair products, no clothes, no nothing," says Dr. Phil, who hands the ring over the Justin. Dr. Phil asks the CEO of Robbin's Bros., the world's biggest engagement ring store, to describe the ring.

"That's a beautiful one-carat, princess-cut diamond in a white gold setting," says Steve Robbins. "It's gorgeous."

Justin lets Lacy hold the ring. "I can do it," she says. "Yeah, I can definitely do it."

Dr. Phil tells Justin, "You've got to make a deal with me that you will not approve her buying anything she doesn't need to eat or gas for her car " no cheating. And if she does it for 30 days, then you give her that ring."

Justin says it's a deal.