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


In the most powerful exercise yet, Dr. Phil instructs the couples to face their partners.


In a heated voice, he tells them, "Look your partner in the eye. Marriage is not meant to be a competition, it is meant to be a cooperation. And you people go around every day slapping each other in the face! You do it when you say, 'I don't have time for you.' You do it when you say, 'I don't have any love to give you.' You do it when you withhold from them. You do it, and then you run to the next thing and you don't ever see the pain you've caused them."


Dr. Phil walks around the couples. "Look at the person you're causing pain to right now. And I'll tell you what you're going to do today. You're going to slap them in the face today, but you're going to stand there and look them in the eye and see it! You're not going to run and hide this time. You're going to look them in the face! ... Now, get your right hand up. Get it up!" He pulls up the hands of a few participants. "Get your hand up! You're going to slap them and you're going to look and you're going to see the pain it causes in their face! One! Two! Three!"

The couples are frozen as Dr. Phil pauses. In a soft voice, he says, "Put your hand down. Give your partner a hug, and mean it."


The couples embrace, all of them emotional and visibly shaken. Some apologize, and some just cry.


"Just hold on to your partners," says Dr. Phil. "Do you want this

that you feel right now? Or do you want the pain of slapping them in the face, by not having time, by withholding your love and affection?"


Dr. Phil asks all the couples to join him, near a television monitor. "Every time your partner needs love and is denied, it's just like you're slapping them in the face. Every single time you

don't have time, or you hold yourself back, the name calling, the pushing, the bullying, the fighting, the throwing things, it's got to stop," he tells them.


"I met a woman since I started doing this show that you may have seen, who had a son who was being called names, was being hit, was being bullied. She said it better than I can ever say it. Watch this screen," Dr. Phil instructs, as a video begins to play.

Cathy is a former guest who was on the "Bullies" episode. Her son committed suicide because he was a constant target of bullying at school. In an interview clip from her appearance, Cathy, crying, says, "It ended with a brutal beating in the school cafeteria. Three weeks later Brandon was dead. Brandon had used a .357 magnum. When I saw him laying there like that, the first thought that went through my mind is he looks on the outside now like he has felt on the inside for so long."


Dr. Phil reiterates to the group, "The only thing she could think about when she looked at her son with a bullet through his head, was he now looks on the outside the way I know he felt on the inside." He asks Kimberly, "Is that what you want your husband to feel? Do you want him feeling that ugly on the inside?"


"No," says Kimberly.


"Then you change your game right now," Dr. Phil tells her. To the group, he says, "In every person's life there is a point in time that everything wrong can be made right. You have a second chance. I don't want you feeling as ugly on the inside as that precious young man looked on the outside. It just ain't what it's about."