Aldine says that Alan questions every penny she spends, goes through her checkbook, and even calls the bank and credit card companies to see how much she's spent on any given day. While Alan holds Aldine accountable for every cent she spends, she says, "He goes out and buy's cars on the American Express Card! He'll buy them without telling me. He's had at least 10 cars in the last two years. It just doesn't seem fair."
Alan defends his penny-pinching ways: "I always take a calculator [when we go shopping] because if I don't, we'll end up spending $250." As for not telling his wife about the cars, Alan says: "I don't consult my wife about big purchases because I don't want to hear her mouth."
Dr. Phil reviews their situation. "You cross examine you're wife about four bucks that she spent at 7-Eleven, but then you go out and buy a car and just pull up in it ... Does that seem like a double standard to you?"
Alan replies, "No, sir. Not really."
Alan explains, "I'll purchase a vehicle that I'm interested in and I'll drive it as my personal car. When I sell the car, I make some money."
Aldine interjects, "But he doesn't make money! He thinks he makes money, but he doesn't ... He loses money sometimes. He forgets what he spent for the car, and when he gets half of [the money] back, he's excited."
Dr. Phil points out that Aldine is a stay-at-home mom. "So, she has to come to you like, 'Daddy, can I have some money?'"
"If you want to say it like that, but that's not how it goes,' replies Alan. "When I get paid, I put money in her account. Things have gotten better over time. I will admit it was a little rougher a couple years back."
Aldine adds, "I used to have an allowance of seven dollars a day for lunch. And he wanted to know where I went to eat, who I went with ... He has to know absolutely everything that has to do with any money."
Dr. Phil points out, "This is why I often say that when we're talking about money problems, you have to ask yourself, 'Is it about money or is it about power, control, double standards, leverage and selfishness?'"
Alan fesses up. "Yes ... On occasion when I am running late in the morning and I need a few bucks to eat."
Dr. Phil runs down other techniques Alan uses to save a buck. "You'll have a pizza delivered and you'll tip 25 cents ... At fast-food restaurants you'll tell them that you don't have enough money so they'll give you a free drink ... You say that you will act real fake and friendly sometimes to get people to give you stuff ... and you talk your way through tollbooths."
"I think you're playing a power manipulation game with your wife," says Dr. Phil. "It's important that you understand that your wife has no other way to get money, and that you are being manipulative and controlling in doling out the money to her. She is going to resent you until the day she leaves. Nobody wants to have to stand there and defend four bucks that they spent at 7-Eleven. It is demeaning. This is a partnership, and in partnerships people pool resources. It is endemic on everyone to be responsible and giving. I don't think it is a bargain if your wife ends up resenting you."