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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.


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November 1, 2005, 1:01 pm CST

What's with engineers???????

Every one of the situations that mirror mine is the male in the relationship is a professional engineer.  I was trying to explain to a friend(the one time that I did get to go out for lunch,he's controling,but getting better)about home...and a woman at the table behind got so excited...her husband was an engineer and the same way.  Very analitacle(sp),very cold&stern,somewhat robotic.  but they love a person that is outgoing because that's what they lack, they want to become a little more fun...but what they end up doing is becoming controling,perfectionists,and it really brings a person who is fun loving down, because they become jealous,they feel unloved,they feel unaccepted.  But the happy person they fell inlove with, has been beaten down,it's hard to come back smiling and bubbly, and they don't get what they've done.  Am I making sense? 
November 1, 2005, 1:02 pm CST

Wanna Be CEO

Quote From: csweeetie

     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!   

I absolutely love the idea of being the CEO of the househould. I am that now. I want to be better at it, learn more efficient management skills to better run the house hold. You go Girl!
November 1, 2005, 1:22 pm CST

Something WAY bigger going on here...

In watching this couple on the show today I get the sense that she's keeping a bigger secret than she admitted to. Something didn't seem right.......A husband that obviously loves her and his kids, yet she was extremely cold with regard to the question of "do you love him".....perfect family, yet she isn't connection with her husband what-so-ever......I'm thinking there's a bigger secret in the closet with this woman other than a realization of being too controlling.....She seemed very careful in every word she spoke to Dr. Phil. Not willing to open up and be honest at all........Something's up.
November 1, 2005, 1:24 pm CST

Controler Could use Some Friendly Advice

Hi.  I sure could use some advice if anyone can relate.  I am a successful 30yo married woman, mother of 2, college grad.  I like to control all of my surroundings my kids, husband, inc. I know his passcode to all his bank accounts and credit card info and such.  I email my son's teachers a lot to make sure he's doing all of his work and is staying with all of his grades (he's very smart).  I have done things in the past I am not proud of, never met my father, dont talk to my mother, and moved away from my family and friends b/c of my husbands job.  All I do is sit home by yself all day, so maybe this is all do to bordom??  I have always loved my hse clean, but not spotless.  My husband gets on me about my weight (people say I'm to good for him) when I am just 128lbs and 5ft 5in.  I am an outgoing person who would help anyone, thats probably why I got into the profession I am in.  He is just the oppisite quiet and a stay at home and do nothing type. I have no friends or family were we are now and we have been her over 1 and 1/2 yr.  I would leave but I don't want to look like a failure to myself or my son or family.  can anyone remotely relate?  Am I controlling or is this bordom? 
November 1, 2005, 1:35 pm CST


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.

YEP.... UNTIL Beth is honest with herself about who she is, her family is probably going to continue being miserable.  I am shocked that Dr. Phil didn't pick up on this....OR maybe he did and chose to keep his suspicion to himself.  

November 1, 2005, 1:52 pm CST

best of luck

Quote From: diegogal

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. 
I'm no Dr. Phil, but  having just been set free from a future like Beth and Tony I can only offer these words to potentially free yourself and your family.  If you have lived your "alternative lifestyle" already then the mystery is solved.  You don't need therapy.  If God made you a certain way, yet your church tells you otherwise, then you have bigger questions to ask yourself (spoken from an agnostic voice).   I too wondered about issues like "some great times but no connection" and obsessive control and all I can muster is that they are distinct symptoms of repressed sexual desire.  You have the keys to free yourself, your husband, and your kids from prolonged pain.  I am thankful my wife had both her discovery, and the courage (or urges she needed to fulfill) to leave me where I would have more likely pathetically held on to the unhealthy relationship.  Everyone has a responsibility to be true to themselves and therefore live happy healthy lives before any forced doctrine so be careful and considerate of the pain and future emotional damage that you might be causing your husband and children.
November 1, 2005, 1:57 pm CST

Does Brad Have Asperger's?

Brad seems sooo similar to my husband (unemotional, very logical, neat freak, odd mannerisms, tech savy, etc.)... We're in the process of trying to have my husband evaluated for Asperger's for the reasons listed up above and a whole lot more. I just thought that it might be helpful to have Brad evaluated for the same. I truely sympathize with Robin, because it's tough being married to someone who says that they care, but rarely smiles, laughs or just relaxes long enough to be carefree. It's been a true struggle for our family and my thoughts are with you Robin! 

November 1, 2005, 2:14 pm CST


I can relate to being frustrated when household items don't get put back. I bought a "do it herself" tool kit and keep it in our bedroom because I can NEVER find my husbands tools. I have to hide items I need on a a regular basis because between 3 kids and a husband they seem to disappear. I hide scissors, fingernail clippers, thermometer, etc. Over the years I've bought items again because I couldn't find them. While cleaning cupboards/drawers, I discovered 8 pairs of scissors.  I quit complaining about certain things but it still drives me crazy. My husband is a slob and although I don't complain much and try to pick my battles carefully, I am miserable. He vary rarely shuts a cupboard, he leaves dirty dishes where he ate, leaves dirty clothes lying around, doesn't flush the toilet or put the lid down, etc. I've built up resentment towards him because I feel like his mother. Any suggestions??? HELP!!! 

November 1, 2005, 2:24 pm CST


My boyfriend's mom is a COMPLETE control freak in her house & I think it got worse when she moved into her new house.  She makes us dry out the sinks after we wash our hands, & dry out the shower when we are done using it.  We are not allowed to rest on ledges because we may chip the paint or get finger prints on the walls.  She washes the dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher.  What really upsets me is that my boyfriend's sister is becoming her and his sister now tells us what to do when we visit.   I understand we have to accept people for who they are but how do you combat someone who is telling you what to do when you are a 24 year old?
November 1, 2005, 2:29 pm CST

Almost gave them the answer

Dr. Phil said something to the effect of, where's the fun---I thought all right here we go!  Unfortunately, there was no follow through! 

People need to remember how to have fun!  I have a great husband of almost twenty-nine years.  When the spouse is grumpy--- I try to give a hug or be silly.  When my husband becomes critical, and the situation is really just so petty, I will flash him.  That always works. Gosh I wish people would lighten up!

Dr. Phil--- It is not enough to say you have to work on the problem---tell people how to pull out the plastic fake nose/glasses/mustache and just have fun again!         
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