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Topic : 12/30 The Stepford Family

Number of Replies: 216
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Created on : Friday, October 28, 2005, 02:15:29 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Airdate: 11/01/05) Do you know someone who is so exacting about the smallest of things that they are borderline obsessive? Dr. Phil speaks with guests whose perfectionistic  ways are destroying their relationships. Beth does everything in her power to create a "Stepford-like" existence for her family. But her husband, Tony, says, "Don't be fooled, things are not what they appear to be!" Will her façade of perfection destroy her marriage? And what toll is it taking on their children? And, Robin is prepared to give her husband, Brad, the walking papers if he doesn't stop criticizing every move she makes. Plus, a self-described controlling viewer challenges Dr. Phil! Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.


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November 1, 2005, 7:54 am CST

Beth please read this!

Beth, I have seen your story on the Dr. Phil show and I'm hoping you might take some advice from someone who has thrown away about five years of her life! Although I am only 24, I was diagnosed with panic disorder, agoraphobia and OCD when I was 18. Each one of those disorders are ALL about control issues - and I'm just learning five years later to let go. I will never get those five years back - my college years and my first years after graduation are gone. I had a mother much like you and although I love her so so much (she is my hero) part of my neuroses developed out of having a mother with such control over my life in the most minute sense. Please, please try to let go a little - I would not wish any of my disorders on my worst enemy - please let go for your children. A desperate need for control is not a good thing to place on a child - they will never let it go. I am now stuck in my own prison - a place I would not wish on anyone. Please free your children from this cycle. Good luck! You seem like a wonderful person with a lot of love to give.  

November 1, 2005, 8:29 am CST

11/01 The Stepford Family

My husband is trying his hardest to make me into his personal stepford robot.  We have been together for 13 years - got married on our 10 year anniversary - so we have been married only 3 years. I thought marriage could not change a 10 year relationship, but it did.  We have 3 boys together 8,3,& 1, I'm a busy lady, but he wants a "stepford wife" and I'm too tired and stubborn but he is not giving in either.  How can I keep my marriage close and still keep my dignity?
November 1, 2005, 8:33 am CST

To Brad and Robin,

Brad and Robin, 

I look forward to seeing the show this afternoon when it airs in Arizona. 

I have been labeled an inventory taking, checklist making overly critical engineer. 

I am interested to follow the message board for this show and hear what either of might have  

to offer from the experience.  



November 1, 2005, 8:46 am CST

Vacuumer's Anonymous

I think there should be a Support Group called Vacuumer's Anonymous and also one for spouses who lived with one........
November 1, 2005, 8:59 am CST

I wish I was a Stepford Family..

Dr.Phil, for some reason that whole Stepford Family kind of lifestyle apples to me. I think it would be awesome to live with everything perfect all the time and everything was where it should be. I like in a hectic family and nothing is every where we want it or where it should be. I think it would be so nice to have everything clean and perfect all the time. When it comes to my stuff, I am so neat and everything is where I want it and it is so easy to find. Dr. Phil whyy can't my family be like a stepford family??
November 1, 2005, 11:55 am CST

11/01 The Stepford Family

Quote From: labelfree

near what the show is about!  sorry  :(
you need to get out labelfree-that is no way to live. You need to go to your family-take your kids and get help. This "man" is destroying you!
November 1, 2005, 12:36 pm CST

Am I Controlling???

I watched the show today & got wondering if I might be a control freak.  I'm not half as bad as Robin.  I know in my brain that we don't live in a perfect world & that we aren't gonna have the best of everything in this world & in all actuality what we have or don't have doesn't MAKE us who we are.  My problem is a bit different. 


I'm a perfectionist about THINGS.  We got a new modular home & I've pin pointed EVERY SINGLE FLAW in that house!!!  My boyfriend says "the little things" aren't that important but to me they are.  I paid the money for that house & I want it PERFECT.  If there's any kind of imperfection I want it taken care of.  I know that's obsessive but am I being a control freak in making sure the people working on the house get it right???  Even more am I being controlling when I expect my boyfriend to live up to the fact that I want it perfect??? 


I'm like this with everything I buy.  If there's a wrinkle in the cellophane I pick out another one.  If there's the least bit of a spot on something I demand it be removed or else.  Is this crazy??? 

November 1, 2005, 12:45 pm CST

I agree it's a definite possibiility

Quote From: callmeross

Beth is a lesbian and doesn't know it.  She has been forced into the straight-family-is-right world and not letting her true feelings out.  I say this from experience as I am in the middle of a divorce of a 6 year relationship and three year marriage from a woman who has just discovered she is gay.  My wife controlled everything, got everything, and was as emotionally and sexually (sleeping in separate rooms) unresponsive as Beth.  Like Tony, I was bending over backwards to make this woman happy only to make myself miserable.  I am thankful my wife discovered her "True Self" at 35 before we had children rather than 45 or 55.  I haven't even watched the show yet, just the commercial, read the "The Stepford Facade" on the web, and seen their faces which says a lot.  Can't wait to watch it tonight.

Can't believe Dr Phil missed this one.  Some deeper therapy would probably be of value for these two.  This discovery has painfully cracked open my world right now, but is for the better for the both of us in the long run.
I think it's a definite possibility that Beth may be a lesbian also.  I watched this show (taped it to watch by myself later) because I identified with Beth right away, just seeing the trailer for this show.  I tend to be almost emotionless with my husband and I am well aware that I've got some serious control issues.  I did live an "alternative" lifestyle for years but could never live with myself that way because of religious beliefs, so I got married 7 years ago and now have 2 little girls with my husband.  We have some great times, but there seems to be no connection between the two of us and I don't know how to change this.  I'd really like it to be different but I don't know how to make it so.  I know he's quite frustrated because he's not happy and gets tired of me doing everything "just so" but I don't seem to be able to let go with anything.  I think maybe Dr. Phil hit the nail on the head with the idea of inner chaos that is such a problem that you try to compensate by controlling everything else that you can.  I don't know what the answer is and with my family close by, going to therapy or something like it just isn't an option.  They'd never understand.  I do identify very much wtih Beth though and I hope they can work through this.  I plan to stay married for the rest of my life, regardless, as I did take a vow and I'm very happy with my family.  I just want our personal relationship to improve, along with communication. 
November 1, 2005, 12:47 pm CST

Gina - CEO of Household

     I believe Gina, the CEO of her household, has described it just right.  She has shown how having the perfect balance of scheduling & organization can make family life much more rewarding.  She is not "nit-picky" about fingerprints on the fridge, but still makes an effort to keep things picked up.  And everyone of the household helps.  By doing this, and keeping everyone participating, she allows more time for important things.  And, by raising her children with this point of view, she is helping show them the value of being organized & efficient.  I think she has got it figured out & to me, her household should be what people strive for, not a Stepford Family household.  Kudos to you, Gina!   

November 1, 2005, 12:59 pm CST

Bless you Beth and Dr. Phil!

My husband and I were actually working on Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue book thinking that we already knew our issues and it would be more like a preventative measure. 


I found out that for my husband, our marriage was great but for one thing- my controlling nature.  My poor husband can't do anything right in my book, though he says I'm not nearly the the level of Beth.  We have dates, we still cuddle... 


I also found out that on my side of the marriage, things are dire.  I didn't quite score the "Marriage is about to fail" status, but only by a small amount. 


I found out a lot about myself and my fears and my issues.  I knew I had them, but I never realized just how much it was affecting me. 


Beth, when you spoke about being afraid people would see what you were really like and that they would realize that "you are worthless" (which you aren't!), it was as if I was hit by a 10 pound sledgehammer!  You said the exact same thing that I've been feeling for years!  In the book, there's a fill in the blank section about yourself that starts with "I feel phony when".  My answer was: 

I feel phony when I do anything well. 


"When I do anything well???!"  That means I feel like I am being myself only when I feel like a total loser!!!  That means I feel like I am being myself when I screw something up, scratch the car, gain weight, fall flat on my face in front of groups of people, etc etc etc!!!  I once told my husband (he pointed this out to me recently) that "All of the stuff I've been through is to help other people.  God put me on the planet so other people can feel better about themselves compared to me.  My job is to lose." 


Dr. Phil, Beth, bless you!  The timing of this particular show and Beth's honesty in the face of millions made me realize that I should go for counselling, too.  I realize now that all of the horrible things that have happened to me in my life ARE affecting me more than I had thought. 


I'm off to talk to hubby about getting me in to see a "shrink".  :) 


Thank you again! 

Lee Ann 

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