Relationship Rescue Retreat: Self-Defeating Games: Rene and Gelsy

Relationship Rescue Retreat: Self-Defeating Games: Rene and Gelsy
Dr. Phil continues his intense workshop with six couples on the verge of divorce.

In response to "What I wish you would stop doing because it is killing me inside," Gelsy faces her husband, Rene, and tells him, "I want you to stop cursing. And you need to stop being so hostile, especially in front of the kids because it's affecting them and I really don't want them to be dysfunctional like we are. You need to pay attention to me more. I'm serious, you do not pay any attention to me."


When it's Rene's turn, he tells his wife, "You need to stop nagging. You're the biggest nag I've ever seen. You need to stop being so mean and so selfish. You are the most selfish thing I've ever seen in my entire life."

Rene and Gelsy finish the next sentence, "What I wish you would start doing because I need it so desperately ..."


Gelsy tells Rene, "Start taking the initiative to help with the kids. Just feed them, change their diaper, do all that stuff. I'm not the only parent here."


"That's it?" Rene asks.


"That's it," she responds.


Rene's turn: "I want you to stop being a pain in the ass," he tells Gelsy. "I want you to kiss me more. I need more hugs. More sex. Don't shake your head, that's what I want. I hope you can retain all this. So you can apply it later on."


They tackle the next sentence. "What I hope you will continue to do because I value it so greatly ..." Dr. Phil prompts them.


"I hope you continue to be the loving person you are," Gelsy tells her husband.


"I love the fact that you're a good mother," Rene tells Gelsy. "And you cook, and you clean the way that you clean."

During a group share, Rene says, "My wife has a very horrible way of expressing her feelings. I give her the fullest of love, and to my kids and to everyone around me, to my neighbors, and it bothers her ""


Dr. Phil interrupts. "You just give the fullest of love," he repeats. "Do you think that thinking, feeling and saying that you get so enraged that you would like to put your hands around her neck and choke her to death is a bit of a bump in the road of her coming to you in a loving way? Do you think looking at her and saying, 'You piece of sh**,' and slugging the wall and yelling and screaming, do you think that makes you a little prickly to approach?"


"Absolutely," agrees Rene.


"So your strategy is, 'Let me intimidate her and demean her,' and that's going to fix the problem ... Now we're talking here about a woman that has 9-month-old twins, a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old ... Do you think she might be feeling a little overwhelmed?" Dr. Phil asks.


Rene agrees, and says he has helped his wife by getting a nanny twice a week.

"You don't complain about the money? Having to pay for it?" Dr. Phil asks Rene, in doubt.


"Sometimes I complain about the money because apparently it's never enough," says Rene.


"It seems like you tell a lot of half stories," Dr. Phil tells Rene, who has never mentioned anything about the yelling, complaining, swearing in front of their children, and calling his wife names. "I was getting this picture of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood when I was hearing the beginning of the story, and then I'm hearing the rest of it ... Isn't it true that if you knew then what you know now you wouldn't be in this?"


"Yes," Rene replies.


When Dr. Phil asks Gelsy how that makes her feel, she says, "It makes me feel like the loser that he says that I am."


Dr. Phil tells them, "Sometimes you make the right decision, and sometimes you just have to make the decision right."

In the exercise where each couple rates their marriage, Rene holds up a four, and Gelsy holds up a three. Dr. Phil asks Rene to give Gelsy six reasons why their relationship is not a 10.


"Stop nagging," he tells Gelsy. "Stop spending money behind my back. Be emotional with me. Show me that you love me. Don't be so closed up. You know I work hard, I need some rest."

Since Gelsy rated her marriage a three, she has to give Rene seven reasons that their relationship is not a 10.


"Understanding," she starts, but Dr. Phil interrupts her and tells her to be specific. She starts again. "I need a lot of respect from you. Stop insulting me and putting me down. I need a lot of understanding for what I go through on a daily basis with the children. I need a lot of attention because you're never home. I just need you to be around more often. And I need for that love that you say that you have for me, for it to not be so superficial."


"That's five," Dr. Phil tells her. "Go on."


"And I need you to have more patience with me and the kids."


"One more. Make it really count," encourages Dr. Phil.


"And I need for you to not be so self-absorbed," finishes Gelsy.


"It's interesting that you didn't mention about him degrading you and calling you names," points out Dr. Phil.

Back on stage, Dr. Phil tells Rene what he thinks: "You have, in my opinion, an attitude situation here, and I think your attitude in this is that you are superior to her. I think that you believe that she is here to serve you. And I think that you believe that because you make the money, that you have the power. And I think that you have her at home isolated, held hostage with four children. Let me tell you something: Staying at home and raising children, experts that study these things believe that is the equivalent of two full-time jobs."


The audience applauds.


Dr. Phil continues: "Until you climb down off of your pedestal, and become a partner in the marriage, it's never going to work ... You set up a parent/child relationship here, and you know what happens with children? They grow up, rebel and break away. She rebels because she knows what gets you, and so she pushes your buttons ... Your attitude is offensive. My question is, do you see that? Do you see the self-destructive nature of that?"

"Yes, yes I do," says Rene. "I give her a lot of credit. She can't say I don't, because I give her a lot of credit, and I understand what she goes through at home with four kids."


Gelsy steps in: "He gives me a lot of credit after he gives himself credit. That's how he usually does it."


"I think when you have a healthy marriage, you know there is at least one person in this world that's got your back," says Dr. Phil. "There is at least one person in this world that thinks you're special. And to me, that's what you ought to have in your marriage and your home ... And demeaning your partner is not the way to succeed or create change in your marriage."


Dr. Phil points out to Gelsy that she is also responsible for working to change her marriage. "You're not a teenager. You're not someone that's rebelling against authority. You're a fully functioning, responsible partner in a marriage and you need to behave like it."


To Rene, he says, "I'm wanting you to look in the mirror and say, 'How good I feel about myself as a man is not how many jobs I'm working, how much cash I'm stacking. I need to look at how good of a man I'm being in part as a function of whether or not I'm contributing to an environment that helps my wife and my children to feel special and valued and loved.' And if you're not doing that, I guarantee you, you are not succeeding."