You're Not the Boss of Me: Daniel, Jenni

"I Don't Feel Like a Man; I Feel Like a Failure"

"My wife is controlling and overbearing. Everything I do, she wants to control " everything. I mean, it can be something so small, like the amount of marshmallows I put in hot chocolate," Daniel says.

"I want crap done when I ask for it to be done," Jenni says. "When things are going on in the house that I don't have control over, I feel that I'm going to explode."

In home video footage, Daniel does the dishes and Jenni asks him to turn the water pressure down.

"She'll want to control how I'm cooking, what I'm cooking," Daniel says. "Jenni wants me to do everything her way, and my way is wrong."

In another clip, Jenni takes over Daniel's cooking.

"I mean, I want control over everything," Jenni admits. She even calls him names.

"Jenni has called me a bitch, a little bitch, a piece of *. It makes me feel horrible," Daniel says. "I feel like Jenni hates me all the time."

[AD]"When I get angry with Daniel, I've called him a loser. You know, it flies out of my mouth," she says. "I will follow him to the car, to the porch, to the garage. I'm like a stalker."

"She'll say something, and it'll be really hurtful, and I'll hop in my car and leave. She'll rip my windshield blade up and bend it," he says.

"I'm, like, in attack mode, and I'll just keep at him," she admits. "I have to have so much control that he can't go be a man on his own."

"I mean, it's killing me," Daniel says, with a trembling voice. "I don't feel like a man; I feel like a failure. If it doesn't change, I've got to go."

Daniel and Jenni have been married six years. "I bet that feels like dog years," Dr. Phil says to Daniel. "This is killing you."

"Yeah. It makes me feel horrible," Daniel says.

Dr. Phil sits back and crosses his arms. He asks Jenni, "How much fun are you to live with?"

"Probably none. I don't like living with myself some days," she says.

He asks Daniel, "When you put your hand on the doorknob to come in the house, what's going through your head? What are you expecting?"

"I know Jenni's going to be there, asking me to do something, or if I do something, it's going to be corrected in front of my children. You know, nothing is right, nothing is efficient enough," he says.

Jenni, who watched the previous guest's conversation with Dr. Phil, says she needs to stop her controlling behavior. "It's not OK. I don't know how Daniel feels when I do it to him, but I know how I feel after, and I feel horrible," she says.

Dr. Phil asks her theory about why she behaves this way.

"I think I do it because when I was growing up, I had no control over the things that went on in my house, and I guess I'm out of control myself, and I don't know how to fix it," she says.

"So, you're out of control on being in control," Dr. Phil says.

[AD]Jenni agrees. "I don't know how to accept things as they are. I don't know how to accept when he does things, to just let it be " I should be grateful that he made dinner, or he did the laundry."

"Oh, yeah," Dr. Phil stresses.

Daniel says he tries to help out, but admits that sometimes he just wants to sit down and watch a game on TV, which Jenni doesn't like.

Jenni explains, "I'm such a multi-tasker that I feel like he should join in, but he's so laid back, that I think I'm jealous that he's so laid back."

"If you're so smart, how come your marriage is a train wreck?" Dr. Phil asks Jenni. "This is an anxiety issue, and I think you should deal with psychological issues psychologically, and not psychological issues environmentally or relationally. It is anxiety, and the anxiety lessens when you exercise control over something, right? But if it really works, you wouldn't have to do it over, and over and over again, would you?"

"No, you're right," she says.

In a videotaped interview, Daniel says, "I just don't have the passion to give out. I mean, why would I? You treat me like *. I'm supposed to love you for that? It puts a major strain on our relationship sexually, the way that she acts toward me, because I don't want to be around her."

Regarding the couple's sex life, Dr. Phil says to Daniel, "You'd probably do it wrong, right?"

[AD]"I don't think I have a problem in that part," Daniel says.

"You criticize everything else; you don't criticize that?" Dr. Phil asks Jenni.

"No, actually I don't. I'm quite pleased with that," she says.

"Well, it seems like you should do that all the time then," Dr. Phil jokes with Daniel.

Dr. Phil explains the best way to interact with other people.

Dr. Phil puts his controlling guests to the test!

The timer goes off before the couples finish the project.

[AD]"So, y'all didn't work as a very good team," Dr. Phil notes. "Maybe you'll rethink this in the future."

"Absolutely," Mike says.

"I tell you what: Let's give them the $1,000 anyway," Dr. Phil says with a smile.  


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