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Topic : 06/19 Pressured Into Marriage

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Created on : Friday, January 06, 2006, 01:42:38 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 01/10/06) Whether from personal guilt or family pressure, many couples rush to the altar – and regret it later. Heather and Jeff were virgins when they started dating. After their relationship started heating up and the two became intimate, Heather feared judgment from her minister father and ran down the aisle. Now their house is filled with resentment. Why is she disappointed with Jeff, and is there hope for their future? Next, Michelle said she had doubts about marrying Steve during her walk down the aisle. Now, nine years later, what is behind the overwhelming conflict in their marriage? Plus, meet two best friends who are plotting to make sure their kids get married. What do the teens think? Whether you're planning a black-tie affair or eloping to Sin City, don't miss what Dr. Phil says you need to know, consider and plan for when making a lifetime commitment. Join the discussion.


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January 10, 2006, 2:12 pm CST

Regarding the age difference couple

I have just finished watching your show Dr. Phil and the segment about the fifty year old man and the twenty nine year old woman really upset me, not for them but for their children.  What you said about kids learning what they live in is so true.  My husband is thirteen years older than me.  He is 62 and I am 49.  We have always strived to be as ordinary a couple as possible and we have a son which is now twenty four.  He is a well adjusted young man with a good job, attends church regularly and is happy with his life.  He doesn't have any plans on marrying anytime soon but it doens't have anything to do with growing up in an unhappy family.  I think it takes more than the 100% from each spouse as you said to make a marriage work.  It takes everything both of you have and a lot of give and take.  I am sure at times my husband has had a difficult time keeping up with me especially in our earlier years of marriage.  In fact, I have made the comment to him since I have gotten "a little age" on me that I don't know how he kept up when I was young.  I certainly couldn't do it if the roles were reversed.  This just goes to show that not all May-December marriages crash and burn.  We have been married twenty seven years this April and I hope and pray to have another twenty seven together if the good Lord willing.  I think this woman needs to quit her whining and try loving the husband that she has.  Apparently she loved him enough or at least liked him enough to have sex with him and produce kids so there must be something there somewhere.  I hate the thought of their kids having to deal with this. 


January 10, 2006, 2:12 pm CST

You get one chance at life...

Quote From: jmn22859

I have been married for 25 years and feel as Heather does -- that I was duped by my husband into believing that he was something he was not. The pretty picture he painted of his family and himself as a hard working, caring and stable man was untruthful and unrealistic (most of his his siblings agree with me). My parents left me a small fortune when they passed so although my husband was handed a financially secure future on a silver platter, he dropped the ball -- lost our home, trashed all the credit my parents had helped us establish (by not paying the bills) and he recently filed for bankruptcy (excluding me so the creditors now are calling on me to pay the debts). He's had new jobs on an average of about every five years and has moved our family from rented home to rented home (he's never owned his own home and at almost 50 years of age he is only now paying on the first car he's ever owned) and to this day continues to lag behind in paying the bills -- no matter how many times we pull ourselves up he manages to drop the ball time and again. As a person he is thoughtless, irresponsible, self-centered, and unpassionate (except for his interests) and basically acts like a child when it comes to any type of responsibility. Upon planning our marriage in 1980, he moved into my family's home, living there for months while never once contributing to the budget although he ate three meals a day there (no, he never even helped around the house), drove my family's cars, my mother washed and ironed his clothes and bedding, and living rent-free there until he found a job he "liked" while spending his "free" time (while I worked full-time to support us as a couple) by jogging and woodworking, basically playing around the house. His degree is in phys ed-health but his current job is only remotely related to his degree. I thought I married a teacher but he's never in 25 years held a teaching job and only sought one in that field upon graduation but never since. (My major was journlaism and I've been an editor ever since except for raising our children so I feel that what he saw was what HE got.) My parents even paid for our engagement-wedding rings! Now that our kids are grown we have no relationship -- sexually or otherwise -- and we fight most of the time and when we aren't fighting we merely exist in the same space. I'm not in a financial position to file for divorce (he won't put up the money to repair my old car so I cannot seek substantial employment and if I become employed the creditors will collect from me the money he hasn't paid to them), he hides his money from his paycheck and has never put so much as a dime in my wallet (I have to ask-beg for anything I need) although I shared my small family fortune with him and for our children's sake (he also went through the children's college funds to pay bills) AND his family as well and in my frustration I've said many of the mean things Heather has said so I've become unhappy with myself. Am I doomed to live the remainder of my life in this situation? Am I too old at 47 to start anew? And if it is possible to start anew, how would one go about digging themself out of this deep dark hole? (He's refused to seek any type of counseling individually or as a couple although I have gone on my own, where I was put on anti-depressants as the therpaists conceded that I in fact did have no way out under the circumstances.) How do you determine, Dr. Phil, if a 25-year relationship is a viable one? We never did sit down before marriage to establish goals so is it too late now? Is it even worth it or do we just write off 25 years recognizing that we got married for the wrong reasons or was I just plain duped and used? Heather better watch out or she'll be where I am now in 25 years. My life might be her future!

You only get to live life once.  From what you describe you have nothing left to lose, he's already taken it all; emotional, physical, financial, self-esteem.

Take your anger for the financial ruins he has left you in, write it all down, then lock it away someplace.  Contact creditors, if you can't separate yourself from what is his debt then it won't go away, its a waste of energy to be angry over it; often times credit companies will lower interest rates and negotiate the obligation just so they get something.  Point out he has already defaulted on the obligations and you will do so as well if you have to.   


Look at who you really are without him.  Educated, tenacious, dedicated; you take what you have and make it work no matter what. It doesn't matter if you are 47 or 97, its only too late when you have passed away, having been the only one who participated in the marriage. 


When you've "cleaned house", take out the list of what has you trapped and angry to see how far you've come....then ask yourself if it was too late. 

January 10, 2006, 2:14 pm CST

Now that is a sign of maturity

Quote From: stacirae68

I have been in the same exact place as these two people (particularly the woman's) and it wasn't all that long ago.  For me, what turned the ship around was that I woke up one day and said to myself, you know what, no, this man isn't who I thought he was, life hasn't gone as I planned and I don't know if we will ever be as close as I would like, but I know this this, if I don't accept him today for who he was, regardless of whether or not he is ever going to be different (and also see that I have stinky ways too that he doesn't exactly like) I am never going to be I did just that. I decided to accept him just as he was and start over from that place and go on.  We have had the BEST year of our marriage since I let go of my unrealistic ideas and just moved on in to reality, just as I am, loving him just like he is.  It hasn't been easy but I could tell a difference in my husband from the first day I changed.  We went from cursing and screaming the worst possible words at the top of our lungs at each other to civil and calm when we deal with our problems now.  That has been just over the course of the last year.  It has taken a serious effort on both of our parts but we decided that if nothing changed we would be getting a divorce and we didn't want that. We haven't "arrived" but we are well on our way now.   

I am sure you husband knows he is a very fortunate man.  


January 10, 2006, 2:16 pm CST

01/10 Pressured Into Marriage

Quote From: fl4012



  I am in my early twenties, married, and have kids. Not everyone who marries young and has kids is unhappy. And I am certainly not jealous of those who don't have kids. I can still afford to do things and go places. I stay home with the kids and my husband works yet we can afford to take trips and buy whatever little extra's we wish. Sometimes this involves the kids and other times it doesn't. 

I would hate to ever think of my precious little angels as having me "tied down", I chose to have them and they make my life better. You are 33 yrs.old!!! Okay, I guess that's not really OLD but your not getting any younger either. What I don't understand is why wait until your forty to have kids. Okay let's see...... if you have a baby at 38, when the baby is 18 you will be 56. Almost 60. That is old. On the other hand my youngest will be 18 when I am 39. I wont even be 40 yet and I will be through raising babies. It seems to make more sense to have kids when your young. 

Well, I was 29 when I married and 37 when I had my first child and 39 when I had my second, they are 5 and 3 now. Regrets? NONE whatsoever. Did I intend on waiting this long? no, but hey, there is only so much we can do to get pregnant and it took a while with my first. I am happy and very content with the way things are going in my life, I am still married to the wonderful christian man that I married almost 13 years ago and we are great parents, yep, most of my friends from high school are becoming grandparetns now, not me, I am enjoying my little ones and I am just as active, more so then others younger then I. hubby and I are healthy, we work hard and are a Godly family and blessed in many ways. We are both well educated and have a lot going for us. People are actually livng longer now days then way back when, it really comes down to health and attitude, and we are thinking about another. selfish? NO WAY, just two loving parents with a lot to offer this world and our family, and remember, none of us are guarenteed tomorrorw and my children will be well taken care of when hubby and I are gone, it is called finacial and future planning,which is very imporant when raising our children in this day, regardless of your age.
January 10, 2006, 2:17 pm CST

I married young too

Quote From: fl4012



  I am in my early twenties, married, and have kids. Not everyone who marries young and has kids is unhappy. And I am certainly not jealous of those who don't have kids. I can still afford to do things and go places. I stay home with the kids and my husband works yet we can afford to take trips and buy whatever little extra's we wish. Sometimes this involves the kids and other times it doesn't. 

I would hate to ever think of my precious little angels as having me "tied down", I chose to have them and they make my life better. You are 33 yrs.old!!! Okay, I guess that's not really OLD but your not getting any younger either. What I don't understand is why wait until your forty to have kids. Okay let's see...... if you have a baby at 38, when the baby is 18 you will be 56. Almost 60. That is old. On the other hand my youngest will be 18 when I am 39. I wont even be 40 yet and I will be through raising babies. It seems to make more sense to have kids when your young. 

Hi, I also married young and we have been married for many many HAPPY years!  I also had kids in my THEY are about your age!  I have never regretted for a second marrying young, and that is because it was to the right person. But I also understand the other side of things; that many young people make choices that they will come to regret. 

You are indeed fortunate that you can afford those extras at such a young age.  We started out with very little money, but worked our way up.  We enjoy those "extras" now. 

By the way, what you consider to be "old" is all relative.  Time goes by very quickly and before you know it, 33 and 40 won't seem old at all!! 

January 10, 2006, 2:22 pm CST

01/10 Pressured Into Marriage

Quote From: mistyc

I am forever puzzeled by people with your train of thought.  You can't buy food, and shelter, and activities, and clothing with love honey.  That stuff cost money it may not matter to you but it will matter to your children. 

I waited until I was 35 to have my daughter because unlike you I wanted to be as prepared as humanly possible, also unlike you I have already gone to college and traveled and experienced life. 

My daughter has the best of both worlds love and financial security. 

Getting married out of high school is "dumb" to me, waiting until your ready financially and emotionally  stable is just common sense. 


first of all, to imply i cannot pay for food, shelter, and activities is from left field.  i said we have been through financial struggles....the same as you and everyone else faces as they get older and learn life's lessons. 



you are 35 and just started your family?  Do you kow there is a reason why you have increased risks at the age of 35 and being pregnant?  because that is OLD to have your first child!  when i am your age, I will have teenagers and still be young enough to keep up w/ them. 


I had my first child at the age of 20, not fresh out of high school.  So i guess at 35 you are more prepared for motherhood than i was?  I guess all your traveling has made you just so worldly that now you are ready.   


I am 26 and my children are all under the age of 7.  I am a young mom and i have the energy to keep up w/ them.    they have taught me much more important lessons in life than college or any frivolous traveling could ever teach me.  When they are all in school ,  i can make a mature, MUCH more knowledgable decision as to what i want to do w/ my career because i have discovered so much about myself. 


If you think your daughter has the best of both worlds and my children don't, you are not only full of yourself, but WRONG.  My children are always w/ me and my husband.  I am in the same town i grew up in, in a nice safe house, my family right around the corner.  Sure we have struggled w/ money when we just started out, but all that stuff only made us stronger and smarter.  My husband works on his own now, we have nice vehicles, a nice house, and all the extras we could never afford.  Does that make my kidsany happier than the day i had them and didn't have as much money?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!  


According to you i was fresh out of high school, knocked up, and on welfare living in apartment after apartment just surviving on bread and butter HA! your ignorance disgusts me!  In ten years when my kids are teenagers and i have time to devote a career i enjoy without depriving my childchild of a stay at home mom for their first years,  we'll see who made the better decision.     


Oh, one more husband is 7 years older than me, he "already gone to college and traveled and experienced life".......yup, college made him so much more worldly than me, all the drinking, partying, and sex.....yup, I sure missed out on the good stuff! 


Sorry honey, you didn't sell me a thing!  Nice try though:) 

January 10, 2006, 2:39 pm CST

I have done this both ways...

Quote From: abbydabby

Until you have children, I guess you will remain hostile about this subject.  There are different views on this subject.  You have the old fashion views and the liberal views....and the list goes on.     


I have to say, people who wait to they are "financially" ready for children usually live to regret it.  I have spoke to countless mothers in my town who wish they started their family when they were young.  When will you ever be financially ready?  you will never know.  you could have everything planned to a "t" and then a disaster cuold wipe you clean.  I think money is a stupid reason to wait to have children.  I am younger than you, been married for 7 years and have 4 children.  We have been through financial struggles, we have been through it all.  No one bailed us out of anything and it made us stronger in the end.  we are making it now.    When my children are all in school, i will be in college.  I think that is so much more practical than going to college, getting a degree, starting a career, then having children and (1) quitting  what i worked so hard for or (2) still focusing on my career,  which means i won't be around for my children during the most crucial times in their life. 


children thrive on love not money.    


don't be offended when people ask when you are having children, isn'tthat what people do, get married and start a family??    you have been w/ this guy for 8 years!! 



I had my first son when I was 19- I had no career, no education, no nothing. By the time my son was 5 I had put myself through nursing school and never looked back at my life in poverty. I met the man who would become my husband when I was 29. We had a child together earlier last year when I was 32. My husband is a pharmacist,  we live in a nice community, I don't have to work ( I do 1 or 2 nights a week). I have both perspectives here. You are right- children thrive on love not money, but having no money really makes it hard to enjoy your children. I regretfully don't remeber alot of my older son when he was really little because my life was so chaotic- trying to make ends meet, etc. Also, for some reason I recovered better and faster from my last baby than with my first- go figure. Your life will never be "perfect" - my youngest son was born last year during my last semester of nursing school ( I went back for my RN ) not the best situation. I guess the best way is to make sure you can afford to have children- money isn't everything, but it sure is something. It was nice to go back to work when I wanted to and to know that when we have another baby, I can pretty much be a stay at home mom as long as I want to. Also, just because ppl get married, doesn't mean they HAVE to have children! Peple get married to make that commitment to one another- not to just procreate.   Karen
January 10, 2006, 2:39 pm CST

01/10 Pressured Into Marriage

Quote From: utahinbc

I totally agree!  It's refreshing to find someone who has the same thoughts I do 


I was married for 9 years and the questions never ceased about when I was going to have a baby.  Never mind that the finances were unstable, or my marriage was in trouble.  No one seemed to think that if I went through a divorce (which I did), that it would affect my child.  It is silly to think that a child will fix a marriage.  Or that one needs a child to be complete.  I think those people who bug me about having children before it's too late (i'm 33) are just jealous because I can afford to do things they can't.  Maybe people should do a little more thinking before they marry (I know I should have) AND have a child. 


And on the marriage thing, I was raised in a Mormon community, and there were a lot of shotgun weddings.  I see a lot of people my age unhappy and tied down with children because their church frowns on divorce. 


You are not too young to have children, I was 37 and 39 when I had my children and all is well, all of us are happy, healthy and have a lot going for us, I have been married to the same man for almost 13 years, stastically, the younger people get married, the most likely they will divorce. now, no one needs to get offended here as there are always exceptions and I am one to do my own thing regardless of statistics but I can say that out of 8 of my good friends that were married by the time they were 21, only 1 of them are still married to her first husband and then there is me who waited much longer and still happily married.....I believe people need to marry for love, children will not fix a marriage and keep two married, it can add more stress and problems which is what happened in all these broken marriages of my friends. I am also a stay at home mom and very active with my children and thinking about home schooling. my age has absolutely nothing to do with how well I can raise my children..............I agree with what you are saying here, I used to get "when are you going to get married?" (I was 29 when I did marry), I just responded, when God sends me the man that I am suppose to have and I know that I can be happy living with one) and then of course the same thing about having children. my response? (when the right time comes for hubby and I to committ and when the good Lord sees fit to bless us with a child) I was a very happy and content person, even before marriage and kids and I personally have no regrets with how things have worked out for me. And also, the questioning never ends,when I was pregnant with my first, people asked me, if we were going to have another one? my response,"let me have this one first!! LOL, then recentlly some one asked when we are going to have number three LOLLLLLLL,....... so to every one, I say live life as God had planned it for you and be happy and content and don't rush into anything that you are not ready to committ to regardles of what society says..............
January 10, 2006, 2:40 pm CST

Dr. Phil, tough job, positive outcomes

   It is far too easy for people to take shots at a man trying to be helpful to people.  Dr. Phil does his best under time pressure and information he is given.  He will tell you that many people find it very difficult to express with clarity the exact nature of their difficulties.  I wonder whether this couple were able to represent the precise nature of their problems.  I have seen couples who present their problem as being thus and such--only to find out their real problems were more complex but easier to work through.  I have a sense Heather and Jeff will make it.  I'm sure Dr. Phil steered them to someone for more guidance.  Hats off to these folks for having the courage to appear. 
January 10, 2006, 2:52 pm CST

01/10 Pressured Into Marriage

Quote From: mistyc

You are absolutely correct babies are not an accesory and they certainly aren't cute and sweet smelling all the time.  I got the "talk" for years from well meaning friends and family.  But I waited until I was ready and that didn't happen until I was 35. I am due any day now!!!! 

I have so much more to offer my baby now and I am old enough not to resent her for "holding me back".  I will never have to wonder about the road not traveled, because I traveled them all, I partied and had a great time.  But I was finally ready to settle down, get married and have children. 

Don't have a baby one second before you are ready. 

Congratulations and I am sure you will be a great mom, I was 37 when I had my first and she will be 5 the third of Feb and I have a three year old as well, no regrets here and I am just as active as any other mom I know, and healthy and happy. And still in love with their daddy as we have fun together as a couple.
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