Okay. I admit it. I sometimes watch Dr. Phil in the afternoon. Well, I put it on and go about my chores, but my ears perk up when Dr. Phil has an interesting episode. There are times I agree with the good doctor’s assessments and evaluations of the guest’s relationships. But “Man Camp” is getting on my nerves. I know it’s called “Man Camp” and not “Woman Camp” , but I honestly don’t think it’s fair for Dr. Phil to blame all of the dysfunctional relationships solely on the husband. In fact, I think Dr. Phil is neglecting a commonly shared problem with many of the women he has on his show. The women “trapped” as long-suffering wives continue to remain in these relationships for a reason.
I might not be a psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist, but I know there’s always a reason why two people get together and stay together. And, I’m talking about any type of relationship, platonic or otherwise. Both parties are always getting something out of the relationship that they need. Otherwise they wouldn’t remain tied to the other person. Many people grow up in chaotic environments, so this is the environment they feel most comfortable in. They recreate the scenerio over and over again in adulthood. Some people enjoy playing the victim and seek sympathy. Parents who throw up their hands and say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with my adult son/daughter, he/she still lives at home and doesn’t pay rent” may as well be saying, “I need to be needed, so I’ll allow myself to be used by my grown child”.
I’m certainly not talking about battered women with children who have nowhere to go and remain with their abuser. That’s a completely different issue. I’m talking about the honeymooners Dr. Phil has on “Man Camp”. Childless women who’ve been married less than a year and pour out their hearts to Dr. Phil on national television claiming they love their new spouse, want him to change and don’t really want to leave him. So don’t leave him. Go home and sit around feeling sorry for yourself because I, for one, don’t feel sorry for you. You’re not going to change anyone but yourself. Whenever Dr. Phil sits and comforts one of these sobbing women I want to slap the two of them.
One recent episode centered around an over-bearing husband and “timid” wife. This woman knew her relationship was volitale, but she claimed she still wanted to make it work. So what she does she do? She has several affairs with several men. Now, call me crazy, but if I wanted my husband to respect me and treat me better I’m pretty sure my solution wouldn’t be to screw around. But Dr. Phil just blasted the husband and had camera crews chasing the two of them in cabs, on streets and at the airport. I kept waiting for him to turn to this woman and tell her there are more productive ways to repair a relationship you wish to salvage. But no, he simply made phone call after phone call to the husband telling him how badly he was behaving. Dr. Phil…wake up! As you’re so fond of saying, “You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge”. These people don’t want to be fixed. They just want to complain.