Relationship Rescue Retreat: Getting to the Truth: Nora and Paul

Relationship Rescue Retreat: Getting to the Truth: Nora and Paul
Dr. Phil continues his intense workshop with six couples on the verge of divorce.

During the buddy dyads, Nora pairs up with Jennifer. To finish the sentence, "What I want from being here really ..."


Nora answers, "I want to be less self-centered, self-absorbed."

Dr. Phil asks Nora to stand and tell him about her buddy. "Who are your buddies?"

Nora points to Jennifer and Eric.

"What are their names?" he asks.

Nora laughs and struggles to remember. Jennifer whispers their names to her. "Yeah, Jennifer and Eric," says Nora.

Dr. Phil points out that Nora, in answering his questions, including stupid mistakes she's made, fails to mention her affair. "So when you were answering the question, 'Sometimes I think I'm just really stupid because ...' that didn't hit the short list?" Dr. Phil asks.

When Nora shakes her head, Dr. Phil asks, "Really? What was on your short list of stupid things you do?"

"Like I said, a lot of it is the anger and selfishness," Nora replies.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ..." mocks Dr. Phil. "So we have all the buzz words. We've got 'anger,' 'communication,' 'self-absorption.' Did you tell them anything about you really?"

"Yeah, I talked about my walls and the fact that I do push my husband away," says Nora. "And I talked to her about how I kind of bite him before he bites me in order to protect myself."

"So, lots of euphemisms ... Did you say that you double up your fists and you slug him? You didn't go over that?" Dr. Phil questions. "You won't kiss him. You won't greet him when he comes home from work. You call it 'pushing away' and 'anger' and 'I have walls up around me.' Talk to me without one of those symbols, OK? Tell me something real," he implores.

Nora gets emotional. "I just don't want to be hurt by him. I don't want to be attacked and I'm tired of feeling like he thinks it's his God-given job on this earth to hurt me and make me feel bad and blame me for everything."

Dr. Phil asks Paul to stand up. "Why are you two together to begin with? You're out having an affair, you're out kissing girls. I mean that's what you admit to " I don't know what you did and didn't do. But I mean, if you don't want to be together, why are you together?"

"We're together because we love each other," responds Paul, clarifying that they were separated when he acted that way.

"How do you know she loves you? She won't have anything to do with you," Dr. Phil points out.

"She won't have anything to do with me in that sense, but also she tells me she loves me, and I just know deep down that she does," says Paul.

"What does she do? Yell it down the hall " 'Hey, I love you. Don't touch me, don't expect me to greet you, support you, be proud of you, share with you, but I love you.' Is that pretty much it?" Dr. Phil asks. "I don't think either one of you have said an honest word at a heart level since you got here, and you've got a long way to go and a short time to get there and you just ain't making it."

Nora explains, "There is so much hurt, there is so much anger and I've spent a lot of time hiding all that and keeping it to myself. I don't talk to him, I don't tell anyone that, so it is hard to dig it all out real quick."

Dr. Phil reminds them why they are there and that they need to be honest. "At home you're knocking holes in the wall, you're slugging him, you're having affairs, you're splitting up. You're married to this woman and you are pinning her to the ground physically."

"Well, that's because I was trying to leave the house and she would not let me leave," Paul justifies.

"Oh, well, then OK," says Dr. Phil, sarcastically.

"Well, no, I have to push her out of the way so I can get away because I'm so angry, so I'm trying to leave the situation so that nothing happens. And she won't let me leave," he explains.

"Ok, well, thanks for clearing that up because I thought it was a really inappropriate interaction between a husband and a wife, but I'm glad you cleared that up. I'm very relieved that it was nothing more than an exit strategy."

"It is. It's inappropriate," admits Paul.