Stacey recently broke down and told Ben she wanted a divorce. "On paper, my husband has all the qualities that I equate with love, but you just can't put chemistry or sparks on paper." Stacey asks Dr. Phil how to tell if she's really in love with her husband.
"Well, let's go to the worst-case scenario first. Do you want to be with somebody who doesn't want to be with you?" asks Dr. Phil.
"No," says Ben.
"So, if in fact this is really how she feels, you wouldn't want to invest another two, three, four, five, six, 10 years in a relationship with somebody that doesn't want to be with you?" he asks.
Ben replies, "I love her too much to do something like that. And I know that I shouldn't be with someone who doesn't want to be with me, but there was something there in the beginning."
"No, no, not at all," says Stacey. She explains that when they were dating, they'd only see each other on the weekends, and although it was exciting to see Ben, she's not sure it was that "in love" feeling. "He's not the type of person that I ever saw myself being with," she says.
Dr. Phil asks her what she wants to do. "I don't know," says Stacey. "I don't want to be shallow and just end things. I think he's a wonderful person."
"Well, that sounds like half of a sentence. 'I think he's a wonderful person...' and what is the second half of the sentence?" asks Dr. Phil.
Stacey struggles to answer. "I don't know," she says quietly, wiping tears from her face.
"Yes," Stacey replies.
Dr. Phil continues: "And that you had a great guy who loved you a lot, but you for some reason couldn't experience, because of something in you, what you wanted to experience with another person. And then you find out, 'Well, I went through Ben and Bob and Tom before I figured out it was me, I could've hung on to a great guy that loved me and had amazing patience.' Amazing patience," stresses Dr. Phil.
"I know that he does," Stacey agrees.
"I don't think you have the right to string him along," states Dr. Phil.
He turns to Ben, "If in fact she said, 'I don't love you, I will never love you.' Wouldn't you rather know that today than a year from now?" asks Dr. Phil.
Ben agrees. Dr. Phil asks them, "If I give you, as a couple, some specific things to do over a two-week period — it takes a lot of work, a lot of effort and a lot of time — will you do it?" They agree. "I'm going to give you something to walk you through. It's a book I've written called Relationship Rescue." In the book there are exercises to work through, including "The Five Tough Questions" everyone should ask themselves to help them get real about their relationship. To Stacey, he asks, "And if you get to the point when you can honestly say, 'I can't give you what you deserve,' are you going to have enough integrity to step up and say so?"
"Definitely," she replies.