Relationship Rescue Retreat: Paul and Nora

Relationship Rescue Retreat: Paul and Nora
Dr. Phil's intense workshop with six couples on the verge of divorce.
Paul and Nora got married after four months of knowing each other. They've been married six and a half years and have one daughter.

"We argue over anything. It's just a battle every day," says Nora, who admits that she does a lot of yelling, and marriage isn't what she expected. "Married life should not be this hard," she says. Nora's biggest problem with her husband is the lack of attention and affection she receives from him. They've separated a few times, and during one of the separations, Nora had an affair. Paul has been physically abusive to Nora. "He has thrown me down and held me down with his arms and knees," says Nora, adding that it was in front of their daughter.

Paul says his wife is angry all the time, and starts most of the fights. He says he's tired of arguing every day and every night. "Over the years, I've threatened divorce at least 30 times," says Paul. "I just feel stuck. I can't talk to my wife. I can't communicate with her."

Dr. Phil asks them about the time Paul pinned Nora to the floor. "What did the baby say?"

"She said, 'Is Papa trying to kill you?'" says Nora.

Paul isn't aware his daughter said that.

"Well, you're hearing it now," Dr. Phil tells him. He asks Paul about calling his wife "bitch" and "lazy." "What's the outcome you're looking for when you do that?"

"To get her to stop treating me the way she's treating me," responds Paul.

"Is that why you threaten divorce every time you fight?" Dr. Phil asks. He wants to know why Paul doesn't follow through with his threats.

"I don't know. I mean, I do love her and I love my daughter. I love being with my family every day," says Paul. "I also couldn't afford it financially," he adds.

Nora explains how she feels: "Sometimes I feel like he's put on this earth to make me feel bad. I'm blamed for everything, I'm put down, I feel attacked."

"You don't start the fights?" Dr. Phil asks her.

Nora says that Paul is very defensive, which makes it hard to end the fights.

"Have you hit him?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I think a couple times," admits Nora, saying that it's not OK, and it's not something she wants to model for the baby.

"You really hit him hard when you had the affair though, didn't you?"

"Yeah," she says.

"That was the real slap, wasn't it?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"So tell me more about why he's just defensive and that's why you've got problems," says Dr. Phil.

"I just can't talk to him," says Nora.

"So, it's his fault?" asks Dr. Phil. "It's his fault that you hit him? It's his fault that you start fights in the middle of the night? It's his fault that you had an affair? Because he's just defensive and won't listen?"

"No," says Nora. "I don't blame the affair on him, and I know it's not all his fault. I know I'm a handful."