Worst Valentine: Denise

Worst Valentine: Denise
"My husband is the least romantic person in the world. My husband doesn't buy cards, he doesn't buy candy, he doesn't buy balloons, he doesn't buy any kind of jewelry. He thinks that it's all unnecessary," complains Denise, who has been married to Daren for 17 years.

"I can't recall ever doing anything romantic for her," Daren adds. "I have not given her a gift or cards on Valentine's Day."

"One time, I asked Daren to pick out a song for us that was very romantic. He picked out a song that was all about sex. One Valentine's Day, my sister sent flowers to my work and signed her husband's name because she felt very sorry for me for not getting anything," Denise reveals. "The girls at work thought that I was having an affair."

Daren says his heart just isn't in making expensive purchases like flowers. "I don't see any point in spending $50 on something that's going to die in four days," he declares.

"My husband feels like Valentine's Day is just another day for card companies and candy companies to make money, and he thinks it's totally unnecessary," Denise says with a sigh. She says life would be much sweeter if Daren weren't so romance-challenged. "My ideal Valentine's Day would be if my husband picked out a nice piece of jewelry for me and just for him to tell me that he loves me."

Dr. Phil addresses Denise. "He did make some effort. Didn't he, one time, give you a picture of roses and say, ‘Here. This will last longer'?" he asks, tongue-in-cheek.

"He did," she says with a laugh. "He even woke me up in the middle of the night with it and told me that he was at a convenience store, and he saw this picture of roses, and he said, ‘Here. It's cheaper, and they last longer.' But I have kept it because that's it from him."

Dr. Phil wonders aloud why Daren is so frugal. "You don't give her roses because they're just going to die anyway?" he asks.

"I just feel like what's the point in spending that money on the roses, you know, when it's nothing that's going to last?" Daren responds.

Dr. Phil consults with his better half. "I know the roses only last a week, but how long does the feeling last?" he asks Robin.

"The feeling lasts forever, and it's the thought that counts," she answers, turning to Daren. "It's that you wanted her to have them, and you knew she wanted them, so you gave them to her. I have to say, roses do die, but when they're dead, then you have potpourri. So they do last forever!"

"I send you roses," Dr. Phil reminds Robin.

"What I love about the roses he sends me is that they come when I least expect them. It's not always just a holiday," Robin says proudly. "It's the middle of the week, and here they come."

Robin enlisted three married friends to give Daren a crash course in courtship: her daughter-in-law, Erica; her friend, Susie and Susie's newlywed daughter, Candace.

"If you just made a card for her, folded a piece of paper and wrote one beautiful message in there, it would blow her away," Robin suggests.

"Really?" Daren replies, taking notes.

"Romance doesn't have to cost money. It doesn't have to be a job. It's something that you feel in your heart," Robin explains. "Our marriages are not perfect; our husbands aren't perfect."

"Mine is," Erica jokes. "My most favorite thing that [Jay] does is, right when I'm in the middle of my busy day, he comes over, and he's like, ‘Come here, Babe. I think you need a hug.' And it gets me every time. It's that easy."


Robin explains that every woman desires to feel special. "I know that every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed that I'm loved, because my husband makes sure that I know that," she informs Daren.

"It's so important to a woman. You need to hear this frequently, and you need to cherish her," Susie stresses.

"Putting it down on paper is one of the best ways because when she's questioning it, she can go back and re-read it," Candace advises.

Robin gives an example from her own relationship. "Phillip has been writing me letters for 31 years now. I have a box, and I put them in a box, and I do that very thing [Candace mentioned]. I go back, lots of times, take them out and read through all of them. It brings me to tears," she reveals. "There isn't anything that man can buy that means more to me than that letter in that box."

The women hover over Daren, giving him pointers, as he composes a love letter to his wife.

"I'm really not creative like that," Daren protests.

"Why don't you start off with that?" Susie suggests. "Just say, ‘I don't know how to express myself.'"

"What was the thing that really stood out the most when you met her?" Candace asks.

Daren furrows his brow in concentration. "I can't think that far back," he says sheepishly.

"Dig deeper than that. She needs to know how you feel," Erica prompts, as Daren begins to write.  

The hapless hubby crumples his paper and starts again.

"I think you can do better," Robin says with an encouraging smile.

Finally, the women leave the room, and Daren is left to compose the missive.

"You should get hazardous duty pay for that," Dr. Phil teases Daren after the videotape ends. He turns to Candace. "Is there any hope for this guy? You kept saying, ‘No, no, no' about his letter."

"He's got tremendous potential. He said he wasn't good at writing those love letters, but he was getting the hang of it," she replies.

"And it's cheap, too," Dr. Phil observes. He turns to Daren. "You talk about spending money. It doesn't cost anything to sit down and write a letter. That comes from your heart."

Susie is optimistic about Daren's romance skills. "I think he's going to do OK without coaching. We'll see," she says.

"Is it what they buy or what they do?" Dr. Phil asks Erica.

"It's what they do," she replies. "It's not materialistic. It comes from your heart."

"There's an old saying: Men fall in love with their eyes, and women fall in love with their ears," Dr. Phil says. He addresses Denise. "Do you think that's true?"

"I do think that's true. I know my husband loves me, and he's a very good guy. I can give you 10 reasons why he's a great husband and father, but he loves his recliner too," she jokes. "He loves his coffee cup too. I think he feels about me like those things; he would only miss me if I was gone."

Daren is reluctant to share the first love letter he ever composed, but with Dr. Phil's prodding, he takes the plunge. "Honey, I'm not really good at this, but here goes: I want you to know how much I love you. I remember the first time I saw you and how good you looked," he reads. "After 17 years and all the kids, you still look as good to me now. I love you and everything about you. I still love you today. I love the way you take care of me. I love the way you smile. I know I should tell you this more often. I thank you for all the care of the kids and the great life together."

"This makes up for all the Valentines that he's never bought me and all the times I watched everybody get flowers at work. Knowing how hard this was for him really means the world to me," Denise replies, choking up. She plants a grateful kiss on Daren's lips.

"Obviously, you've touched her heart with something that didn't cost two cents. What's your reaction to her reaction?" Dr. Phil asks Daren.

"I'm kind of teary-eyed. I'm just a construction worker-type guy, you know? The macho-man type, and I just don't think about it," he replies.

Robin is proud of Daren's progress. "Yesterday, all four of us noticed how eager he was to please you. He did not hesitate for a second to listen to us and to really want to write that letter. It was very endearing to us. We loved it," she says.

Dr. Phil and Robin have several heart-warming surprises for Denise. "We're going to give you 12 months of chocolates from Godiva Chocolates. Every month, for one year, you will get a box of chocolates at your front door," Robin announces. "Teleflora is setting you up with a dozen roses for a year. Every month, a beautiful bouquet will arrive at your home."

That's not all Denise will receive. "Valentine's Day would not be complete without a nice piece of jewelry," Robin continues, holding up a Swarovski crystal-and-pearl wrapped necklace in sterling silver and gold created by Marie Chavez Designs. Celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Garner and Anne Hathaway have sported these unique pieces.

Dr. Phil has a sweet gift for Daren. "So you can practice saying, ‘I love you,' here's a Samsung red Juke cell phone," he announces. 

Everybody in the audience will take home a box of Godiva chocolate, a collection of jewelry from Marie Chavez Designs, a $50 gift certificate for flowers from Teleflora, and a Samsung red Juke cell phone.