Mother vs. Daughter: Nicole and Debbie

"Get it Together!"
Dr. Phil talks to a mother and daugher who are on the verge of severing ties over their conflict.

Nicole says she has had it with her mother Debbie because she thinks her mom is irresponsible with finances and cannot be trusted. "When I think about my mom getting older, I'm afraid I'll have to take care of her. When I think about having children, the thought that I can't even trust my mom to be alone with my kids makes me not want to start a family at all," she says.

Debbie responds, "There have been times I've needed a favor from my daughter. What's wrong with that? Nicole spends a lot of time wishing I were different. She has no right to judge me...

...I wasn't a horrible mother. I've made some horrible financial decisions — I'm not a great money manager. I know that saying sorry isn't enough. But what is?"

Dr. Phil explains, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge. Both of you need to acknowledge what you have done that's gotten you to this point."

He then tells Nicole, "I want you to look each other in the eye. Tell your mom how she has hurt you. What is the reason that you are at the threshold of telling her you don't want her in your life?"

"There is a long record of inconsistency and I feel like I can't trust you. I'm truly concerned about you and our family. I don't want this anymore. I'm hurting inside. I want you to really accept me. I want you to say you love me. I want my mom back. Before I have kids, I want us to have a great relationship and get past this. I want them to be safe with you," says Nicole.

Debbie says to Nicole, "I want you to be able to accept me and know that my motive isn't to get something from you. I want you to respect me for my choices whether you agree with them or not and be able to say, 'That's my mom and I know she loves me and I love her. I don't agree with some of the things she does but it's her life and I'm happy for her.' I don't agree with some of your life choices but I don't condemn you for them."

Dr. Phil asks, "If I give you the tools are you willing to renegotiate the relationship?"

Debbie answers, "I don't feel she is being honest about not needing financial help. I just want to make sure she plans something all the way through."

Debbie responds, "You don't have the right to dictate to me how I'm going to plan for my future. I'm saying it on national television: Please don't feel responsible to take care of me in my old age."

"If you have a plan or money saved up, you need to tell me. Kids take care of their parents when they get older! I can't just leave you on the street somewhere! I'm talking about planning!" exclaims Nicole.

"You're right-fighters. You want to fight to be right. There's a big difference between being right and being happy," says Dr. Phil.

He continues, "There is a formula for happiness in a relationship: The quality of a relationship depends on how well it meets needs of the two people involved. If you want a relationship with your daughter, you have to find out what her needs are and find a strategy to meet them that both of you can live with."

"You have to make a decision about whether you want a relationship. Then decide where the fences are. If money causes problems in this relationship, don't do business together. But don't throw away a relationship with your mom because you don't like the way she does business."

"Ask yourself, if you lost each other tomorrow, would you really care about the things you are arguing about today?"