Man Camp, Part 6: John and Cherie

A New Attitude

"When John walked out of The Dr. Phil House, it was the turning point in our relationship," Cherie recalls.

"When Dr. Phil showed me the tape of me leaving the house pissed, I didn't feel good about what I did. Am I sorry that I stormed out of The Dr. Phil House? No, I'm not sorry. I still need to work on our relationship," John says. When Dr. Phil told John and his wife, "Your interaction in the first four minutes will predict the quality of the rest of your day," John took it to heart. "I've been actually telling her, ‘Hey, don't forget about the first four minutes.'"

"The first four minutes are very important to John," Cherie says with a smile.

"Since Man Camp, we've had a couple disagreements maybe, but we don't argue, we work though it," John reports.

"It's very easy to fall back into the bad habits," Cherie says. "John and I had an incident in the office. I don't really want to say what he said. It was something that the old John would say. He's still angry about some things in the past. It's been 16 years almost since we've been married. It's only been a couple months since we've been working on this."

Dr. Phil meets with John and Cherie.

"I'm doing better," Cherie tells him. "Taking baby steps, and there are some things I still need to work on, but I'm much happier, much more content."

"What's working in your relationship now that wasn't working before?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I believe the biggest thing now is that we think before we talk," Cherie says. "We realize that those cameras that were watching us when we were in The Dr. Phil House were our kids. I know now that I don't want to live without this man. I didn't feel that way when I got on your show. I thought it was 100 percent him. And when you told me I was so judgmental … but there were things I needed to change in my life to turn that around."

"I think we're doing a lot better," John says.

"I would predict that you [John] think it's going a lot better than you [Cherie] think it is," Dr. Phil says. Cherie nods. "I would predict that you're not standing up for yourself enough," he tells her. "I would predict that you still have fears about some of the things you had problems with her about before, financially and otherwise," he tells John. "I would think those things are looming out here and are yet to be fully resolved. How am I doing?"

"You hit it right on the head," Cherie says.

"Are you standing up for yourself enough?" Dr. Phil asks Cherie.

"No. No, I'm not," she admits.

"What do you need to do that you're not doing?" he asks.

"Tell him more how I feel," she says.

One of John's biggest struggles is to get over some financial challenges they've had in the past. "You told me to put that in the past. Well, that was very hard to put in the past. Now, when I'm taking over the books, she gets defensive when I ask her about certain things," he explains. "And that's where she comes in and is saying that I'm demanding stuff. I might be saying, ‘Hey, I need this.' But there's no more yelling. There's no more arguing. It's not that I'm demanding. All the pressure is on me that I felt should never have been there to begin with."

Cherie tells her husband, "You say that I don't feel the pressure you feel. I just don't show it in a way that you do."

"This is a problem, John," Dr. Phil tells him. "This is a challenge for you having a business. There has to be a boundary around the business. The business can't permeate your life every day where it's just always ever present, whether it's problems or success, whatever. You've got to say, ‘If I'm going to ask her questions about the business, I'm going to ask them during the day. We're not going to talk about them at night. That's business; this is home.' So you're not just coworkers, you're not problem solvers " because if all you ever deal with in a relationship is problems, you're going to have a problem relationship."

"I don't bring it home. Do I?" John asks Cherie.

"John has two emotions. John is happy, or he's angry," she tells Dr. Phil. "And sometimes I do feel I live a lifelong sentence with this."

"You've achieved and accomplished a lot in your life. You should really enjoy that. I mean, you should give yourself credit," Dr. Phil tells John.

"We've just got to
get over the hump," John says.

"It's never going to be perfect. You're never going to be without some surprises," Dr. Phil says. "You don't have to wait until you get over the hump to get happy. You've got to have a plan to get over the hump to get happy. And once you've got a plan, you can say, 'OK, we've got a plan to handle this.' I'm glad y'all are doing better. I just want you to continue to make that progress."