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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, 3:38 pm CST

surely he knew

Quote From: luvlapband

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.  

I believe he knew exactly what the problem was, but that it had been agreed upon not to disclose this information over national tv.  He even said that he doesn't ask questions that he doesn't already know the answer to, so it probably came out earlier during interviews.  I'm sure it was just a test to see if she really would be honest about it but she wasn't willing.  Now whether or not the husband knows about this is another thing.  Who knows about that?
November 1, 2005, 3:50 pm CST


   Hmmm.  I don't particularly see why people feel a need to be perfect, because your errors and differences make you who you are, I mean, C'mon!  Would You want to have a friend who was perfect?   

    besides, perfection is more of an opinion than it is fact. What you see as perfect is completely different from what someone else might cosider perfect. 

November 1, 2005, 3:50 pm CST

My thoughts exactly

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 never write on this board but this one was too obvious, I had to see if anyone had the same idea as me. 

I agree except for the fact that I think she knows it but has been loosing the internal battle that such a state can bring. 

I hope she accepts her reality and finds the strenght to confront her family and friends with it. I also hope that they will be supportive of her. 

Dr Phil might not have missed it but prefered not to mention it. It's too big for her husband to accept for now. He already was really distressed. 


November 1, 2005, 3:51 pm CST

Show idea

I enjoy this show, and I think it has some real social merit. I don't think the format should be changed. But... 


I have what I think is a good idea for an episode, just to shake things up a little. Have a day when people aren't bringing in their awful problems to talk about, but instead they are showing what an incredibly and unusually successful marriage they have, for example. Don't you think this could have some value? So many of the shows show viewers how NOT to be. Just once I'd like to see one that shows by example how good things can be, and maybe delves into some of the reasons it turned out so well. 


I know some folks are going to say this show would make them sick, but I think if done right it could avoid the cloying sweet vibe and be an interesting exploration. 

November 1, 2005, 3:59 pm CST

So how does the controlled one handle it?

--My morning went like this from the husband: "Well, hell, you let me sleep too late." Then that was followed with, "well, I guess I won't wear my good sweatshirt--it's still dirty--guess I'll have to wear this one." "Who left the toilet paper roll empty? Damn I have to do everything that gets done!" From the grown son: "Why'd you wait so long to wake me up? Is dad still in the shower? When is he goin to learn to take a shower that takes less than 30 minutes?" From husband, "Did you pick up my medicine yesterday? Well, it's a good thing. That was my last pill."" What am I gonna have for breakfast?...Same old thing, sure would be nice to have something hot for a change." At noon, with son: "Can you type that letter over and get it in the mail this afternoon? Thanks." "How long you gonna leave those clothes in the washer, anyway? They were there this morning." "Why did you shut down the computer like that. Don't you know how much easier it will be if you just shut down each program separately? No wonder it's so slow.." (each of them have their own alarm clocks, the computer belongs to me, and both of them know how to do their own laundry and find or fix their own breakfast, just as I do before I leave for work. Every morning is such a barrage of put-downs and gripes that I've learned to try to get out the door before either is fully awake just to avoid all their negativity. I choose to eat my yogurt at my desk at work and get my coffee there as well. In the evenings, if I'm watching TV and husband walks in, he'll likely say, "What the crap is that?" and change the channel automatically...usually to sci-fi or auto shows that I hate, so I end up going to the bedroom alone --again--to avoid the blood & guts on TV. Are they controlling or just rude? I see no way out, with 2 of them and one of me, if I want to still live there.
November 1, 2005, 3:59 pm CST

Dear Beth and Tony

Beth - considering what you guys feel your problem is I think it took a huge amount of courage to go on national TV and do this one cold turkey!  Wow.  And Dr. Phil was right.  NOBODY will think less of you.  I'd like to bring up another angle. 


I think a WHOLE bunch of people are out there caught up in some of this.  I suspect more than we know.  I think a lot of the reason is because we're all going a bit askew in the US with our priorities.  Stuff, our careers, appearances, etc.  We are supposed to look perfect, cook gourmet dinners in kitchens with granite counter tops and have perfect children winning awards and live in the best neighborhoods.  I think frequently we're made to feel like we are less and others are always happier or smarter or whatever.  I guess I'm trying to suggest you're hardly alone.  I have stayed at home for the past 13 years and fight an internal thing about how to justify my own existance.  I find it hard sometimes to find a balance with my teenage daughter and the atmosphere out there.   


Lately I've had to reassure a friend that her beaufituf daughter that has had a boatload of private education opportunities will not be a looser in life because her grades are not straight A's.  I've had to remind her that as long as she goes to a college she'll be O.K.  But this new thing about it having to be the BEST college is getting ridiculous.  Everything is getting like this.  I blame society in general.  I believe a whole lot of women are fighting this. 


Do you need to start a change?  Absolutely.  YOU will be so much happier and your marriage will survive and your children will be happier.  My own husband has a bit of your fear to show the real him to the outside world.  Sometimes I feel sorry for him because it must be hard to be remotey content when you are afraid of this.  I am more what you see is what you get.   


Tony seems awesome.  His mom seems neat.  I have the feeling you will make this change and it will happen.  I wish you all the best and think you're on the right track.  As far as being told you're gay on here because you choose to wear your hair short?  Isn't THAT absurd?  Of all things I bet you never thought you'd read that on here! 



November 1, 2005, 4:01 pm CST

Yes your right sweetie..

Quote From: dog10dog

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!

I cannot go to my family though no...not this time...cannot...there are so many twits in this road i cannot even begin to see the light..I know its there but trust me cannot this time... 


My insides are mush..My kids are cool..we talk and they know what time it is too.  BELIEVE ME when I tell you that one  TRUST ME.....Momma didnt raise no fools sister  xoxox 



Peace and Christ's love to you and yours  xoxo 

November 1, 2005, 4:07 pm CST

something you said

Dr. Phil, 

Today on the show (Nov 1) you said something your coach said , I thought it very profound, but I can't remember what you said exactly.  Something about quiting? 


This is my first time speaking with you.  I hope I gave you enough info to answer my question. 

November 1, 2005, 4:10 pm CST

11/01 The Stepford Family

Quote From: fluffyfat

I keep a very clean house, I vacuum and dust daily, dry the sink and shower after every use and always have "a place for everything and everything in it's place." I keep my clothes organized according to color and style, with all the hangars evenly spaced. I exercise every day except Sunday and eat the same thing for lunch each day. Does this make me a bad person? I don't think so. My husband and I enjoy living in a clean comfortable environment. I like looking at my pretty closet and being able to find things when I need them. My exercise and diet lunch keep me slim and enable me to indulge myself at dinner. This is my choice. I wouldn't dream of telling my sloppy friends that they need to clean more often but for some reason they feel free to make remarks about my housekeeping ("It's so sterile in here! It's like a hospital!") whenever they come over. Sometimes I think the real control freaks are the ones who want everyone else to be as slovenly as they are so that they won't feel guilty for being too lazy to mop the kitchen floor. I kind of resent all the hints on this thread that there is something horribly wrong with those of us who like to live an organized, tidy life. My husband is just as neat as I am, so neither of us is trying to control the other. We laugh, we cry, we entertain, and no, I am not a lesbian. (That one made me laugh.)
How commendable that you are able to have such self-discipline! To have all those areas under control at once is often quite an unachievable goal for most of us. There's nothing wrong with you unless you develop a haughty attitude about being able to do something others can't easily do. Be proud of your achievement in cleanliness, and move on to goals in other areas...perhaps since your house is so neat and clean perpetually you could offer to hostess more parties and events and take some of the stress of the people who haven't got it together as well as you do....or perhaps you can branch out into making crafts, sewing, reading, that your nifty clean house isn't the only definition of you there is. I've found that I CAN keep a spotless house---if that's all I do! But once I start including people and activities and creativity in my life, the spotless house gets covered in the clutter of relationships, enjoyment, and activity. I had an aunt whose house was pixy perfect. No one ever visited her for fear of leaving a fingerprint. My mom's house had 4o or 50 cousins all over it every weekend, and mom spent all week doing damage control getting ready for the next invasion....and guess which of their aunts my coulsins who are now in their 60's an 70's still adore and remember with warmth and love? Mom's house was never dirty or nasty... it was clean enough to be enjoyable and not so clean as to be off-limits! Maybe you need to set a new goal of making your clean house alive with people and making memories!
November 1, 2005, 4:16 pm CST

Why are engineers this way?

You ask why engineers seem to think there is only one way to do things and have an incessant need to share the right way with people.  I am an engineer.  My husband is an engineer.  We met in an engineering class in college.  It gets better.  We own an engineering firm, and we their work together with 40 other engineers.  In college engineers have it beaten into their heads that there is only one way to do things: the Professors.  That the answer doesn’t count unless you show all the steps: So the result doesn’t matter its how you get there.  I have seen engineering professor’s give a student 80% credit for the wrong answer where you show the steps and 10% for the right answer when not showing the steps.  It flies in the face of reason because you think of engineers as being innovative and creative in their designs, but engineering school is designed to make them conform to a ridge non-creative standard.  For some they just can’t let go of the rigidness of college.  This is one reason that many engineers that graduate with straight A’s aren’t able to adapt to engineering outside of the university.  If you want an engineer that can display creativity, look for one that graduates with a C+ or B- average, they are the ones the professor’s couldn’t beat the creativity out of. 


Hope this explains some of why we are the way we are. 

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