Surviving the First Year of Marriage: Bob's Golf Hobby

Surviving the First Year of Marriage: Bob's Golf Hobby
Dr. Phil speaks with newlyweds about what they should've discussed before they got married.

Ande says her wedding day was the last great day she had with her husband Bob. She feels his passion for golf is more like an obsession because it comes before anything and anybody in his life, including her.


"The intimacy has suffered," says Ande, who feels that she and her husband are more like roommates than spouses. "I miss him tremendously because it is our first year of marriage, and I expected it to be so much more."


Bob feels that he is already making sacrifices because he isn't playing in golf tournaments every single weekend. "I'm just gone from 8 to 1 on the weekends and I'm home in the afternoons, ready to spend time with my wife," he says.


They have even discussed separating because Ande feels she should be a priority over golf.

Ande knew this was a big part of Bob's life, but she thought once they got married, that would change for him.


"Did you discuss that before marriage?" asks Dr. Phil. Ande thinks they did, but Bob doesn't recall.


When asked how Bob treats her, Ande says lately she feels he doesn't have room in his life for her. "I don't feel like he really wants me to be there," she says. She says his time is spent not only playing golf, but also watching it on TV.


"It's how you learn," defends Bob.<br

Dr. Phil asks Ande and Bob if they got into this marriage frivolously, because although they have only been married 10 months, they have already talked about how their marriage may not work.


"Let me tell you something girl," Dr. Phil tells Ande, "if this is the biggest problem you face in your marriage, you have got it made."


Dr. Phil explains that there is a difference between fighting over a topic or an issue. For example, they are fighting over golf, but is that really the core issue? He asks Ande to dig a little deeper.


"I need to feel that I'm a priority in his life. I don't feel valued and I don't feel like a priority," she says.


Dr. Phil tells Bob that if he plays golf as much as he does, and then met all of Ande's needs when he wasn't playing, it wouldn't be a problem. "The issue here is she has needs and you are not meeting them," he says.

Dr. Phil asks Robin to share her thoughts on how she feels about him playing tennis every day.


"I love it; it makes him happy. I knew tennis was important to him. I can encourage him to do what makes him happy, and when he comes home we have a better time together because he's gotten to do what he wants to do," Robin says.


Dr. Phil illustrates, "I'll be traveling for three days and come home, and she'll meet me at the door with my tennis bags. That started to worry me for a while," he jokes. Dr. Phil explains that the quality of time he spends at home is better than if he took tennis out of his life and added those hours in. He asks Bob, "Do you hear what I'm saying that you aren't meeting her needs outside of golf?"


"I'm hearing more now," he says.

Dr. Phil asks Ande why golf is important to Bob: "Is it that he wants to escape you or is there something there that he values? There is a big difference between moving away from you or toward something else. He's moving toward camaraderie with his brother, toward the feelings he gets from mastery in golf. He's not moving away from you, he's moving toward those feelings of accomplishment and achievement."


He turns to Bob: "And you, figure out what it is she really needs and make meeting those needs part of your definition of success as a man. She could and should support your passion for golf. You need to get some balance in your life. I promise you if you'll put some balance in there, you'll get the most of what you want, but you'll also get some value from her."