Top Three Threats To a Marriage: Jodi and Phil

Disputes over money are the number one cause of divorce.

Jodi and Phil have lived beyond their means for most of their 13-year marriage. Even though Phil is an accountant, he "put Jodi in charge" of the bills " against her will. She tried withholding sex to get him to take a more active role, but it didn't work.

"I don't see how I can stay in a marriage where I'm expected to do everything," she says. "I want a partnership. The message I'm getting is that he doesn't want to be my partner."

"Which genius did this division of labor?" asks Dr. Phil. "The accountant has nothing to do with the bookkeeping and money, and the one who shops emotionally is handling the money."

The real problem, says Dr. Phil, has nothing to do with money. Phil and Jodi lost their first child at birth. "You didn't deal with the fear, shame or guilt back then over the tragic loss," he says. "Money is something safe to argue about because you don't want to talk about what really hurts."

Phil expects Jodi to handle the finances because his own mother did. Also, when Jodi showed her inability to balance a checkbook, Phil wanted to teach her a lesson by making her oversee their budget and bills.

Dr. Phil picks up on Phil's anger over his wife's decision to stop working after their second child. "How long are you going to be mad that she's not working outside the home any more?" asks Dr. Phil, pointing out that Phil tries to use money as the battleground to express his anger.

"Which one of you wants to volunteer and sit those four kids down on the couch and say: 'We can't get the money right, so we're going to have to bust up this family?'" asks Dr. Phil. "Instead of having that meeting, how about the two of you sit down and talk, figure out a budget, get the logistics right, heal your hearts, forgive each other, and make your family what it should be."