Message Boards

Topic : 05/12 Toxic Relationships

Number of Replies: 410
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, May 05, 2006, 07:05:23 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Do you know someone who turns your stomach or makes you cringe the minute they walk into the room? If so, Dr. Phil has advice for managing toxic relationships. Janet left her husband, Mark, on 10 separate occasions in their first year of marriage. She says she’s tired of being his maid and concubine, and of putting up with his lying, and his selfish and unsympathetic ways. Mark thinks Janet needs to get over her deep-seated issues. Why does she keep tolerating his behavior, and is he the only one at fault? Then, Gay and MG say their lives are being torn apart by their daughter, Summer’s, hostility and abuse. They say she lies about illnesses, verbally attacks them and blames them for her chaotic lifestyle. Summer feels betrayed by her parents and even accuses them of taking away her child. Find out Gay’s ultimatum to Summer and share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

More May 2006 Show Boards.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

May 21, 2006, 5:54 am CDT

05/12 Toxic Relationships

Quote From: hot_coffee

 You seem to think you know a lot about this woman, Summer. Do you have an insight most of us don't?

It has been my experience people who have grown up in an environment which fosters  poor self-esteem tend to be appreciative of other's showing them positive and healthy attention. From what Dr. Phil shared Summer did not show appreciation to anyone not even his staff who worked hard to accommodate her. Rather there seemed to be a sense of entitlement. I've seen most of the Dr. Phil shows and usually, if a  guest  bolts, he'll follow. Not this time. You have to admit, Dr. Phil seems to exhibit a good sense of  a person's underlying character. So, I suspect there was more to the situation than we know.

The truth is, people find their way to addiction and self-destruction down many different paths. For sure many find it as an antidote for abuse. As a way to assuage the pain. Some are coerced through associations, lifestyle choices and/or thrill seeking. Some trip into it because they gambled and lost  the game of  'experimentation" (It is very difficult to know if you are the one who tries cocaine once for fun then find you're hooked for life). There are likely as many reasons for foolish youthful choices as there are youths. You don't have to come from a bad family to find yourself in a risky situation making some downright stupid decisions.  Sometimes the reason for shame is earned.  Speaking for myself, the times I have felt the most shame is when I've let myself down...  When I have known better and still chose badly.  There is an appropriate place for shame. When it motivates us to do better. To not repeat our mistakes. But first you must take ownership of the behaviour.... forgive yourself and then make a commitment to learn to do better.

I posted a message earlier today on the "Blame Game". Perhaps you might like to take another look at  it.

I just wanted to say - I really liked your response post!  You couldn't have said it any better!  I too believe that you have to take responsibility for your own actions & forgive yourself & make the committment to learn from your mistakes & do better.  I also agree about Dr. Phil, he is usually right on the money with pinpointing a person's underlying character.  Of course I may be biased, having a drug addict in my family has taught me that it's not the way you were raised - it's simply a matter of choice & like you said there are a lot of different reasons why people experiment or get caught up in addiction.  My parents raised four children, and we all came out fine - except for my one sister who is addicted to meth.   

  

Even if Summers parents were horrible & neglectful (which I don't think they were or are) it still does not give her the right to blame her bad choices on her childhood, I really feel that is used as an excuse for people way too much.  Sometimes I can see it, but not in this instance. 

  

  

  

  

 
May 23, 2006, 7:59 pm CDT

Toxic Family

Quote From: judyblue22

I think you are assuming too many things.  We don't know that her parents wounded her at all.  They must have screwed up but we don't know whether Summer's parents were ineffectual or evil.  Regardless of the parent's input, Summer now has the responsibility to make what she can of the rest of her life.   

  

I agree that Dr Phil's "in your face" approach didn't work with Summer, but he has been successful in getting people to focus on the real problem with that approach.  Dr Phil was right not to waste time on how she got there,  Summer is wasting her energy blaming her parents.  Even if they acknowleged it and said-"ok, it's our fault, we're sorry" Summer is still the only person who can do the work she needs to build a successful life for herself.  If she wastes another 10 years not doing the work and blaming her parents instead, she will just get older...she won't grow up. 

I did not see this particular show, however reading what you have written, apparently this young lady had a lot of baggage, emotional abuse, etc. in her life.  I need to let you know that I grew up in an EXTREMELY emotionally abusive family (my mother..not my father).  On top of that 2 out of the three girls in my family were sexually abused by a family member (Again, not my dad!!).  But ya know what?  We survived!!!  Not without a lot of self doubt and self esteem issues, but we came into our own.  I DO blame my mother for a lot of missteps I've taken and how I viewed myself.... I could have been SOOOO much better than I am, however it does come down to taking control and being accountable to yourself and how you treat others!  Have I self medicated myself? ABSOLUTELY!  Am I proud of that? NO!!  I know that I am accountable for my actions, how I treat others AND how I perceive myself and will take responsibility for my quality of life.  By the way, I am at a point in my life that I never thought I would be at.  Working for a Fortune 500 Company and sucessful...all without a college degree.  Just a lot of hard work and work ethic!  No one I work with knew how poor I was growing up.  I do not hide it, but celebrate it!  It makes where I am more special to me.  I treat the people that clean my office with the same respect (or more) than I treat the Plant Manager of my facility.  As long as someone is making an honest living (no matter what the salary or position) they are important and a contributing member of society!!!  

P.S. I'm in my 50's and have done everything I can to help my peers succeed.  Everyone need a chance!  

 
May 25, 2006, 6:56 am CDT

Thank You for saying it

Quote From: mom12153

I just happened to be home from work early today because I just returned from a 3-day business conference.  It went well but as we were leaving all of the talk was about Mother's Day and everyone's big plans.   

   

I suspect that Summer's mom will experience pretty much the same holiday that I will.  I have a 29 year old daughter who has relapsed into alcohol and crack cocaine.  She has a husband, a 10 year old son, and a 4 year old daughter.   

   

As I write this, she is in jail serving 90 days for a probation violation of drug abuse which she chose instead of attending a probationary hearing. (I guess that's what you call it.)  Just as Summer did on the show today, when ask to answer a direct question, she tries, and has been successful in the past, to divert the attention onto others.  Usually someone she loves.  Yes, loves.  It is very hard to understand and even more difficult to explain to anyone who has not experienced having a child who appears to be a compulsive liar that she love those she is hurting.     

   

I wrote to her and told her that I could understand relapse but the lying is too much.  She has lied for years and just like your family, we looked the other way, shook our heads and let her get away with it to avoid confrontation.  And confrontation is exactly what would happen.   

   

I know that drug and alcohol abuse will cause a person to lie but in this case I am convinced that she has gotten away with the drug abuse for so long because she is a good liar.  As a mom in denial, I just want to believe that she has a split personality and doesn't realize what she is doing.  I suppose this could be possible but I think I'm grabbing for straws.   

   

My heart goes out to Summer's entire family, but especially her son.  I truly do not think that people like Summer have a desire to hurt the ones they love and honestly do not think it's their fault.  This, for me is probably the most frustrating part of all.     

   

In my daughter's case, she has had some very negative, dysfunctional things happen to her but has now become her excuse for what she is doing to others.  Again, very sad for all.   

   

I am so thankful that I watched the show today when I heard Dr Phil give the parents permission to let Summer find her own way.  As parents we so very much want to help our children but when you finally realize that anything you do to help is enabling, it's easier to let them fall.  The faster the better.   

   

I love my daughter but I am feeling very protective of my grandchildren.  My husband and I, too, are supportive of our son-in-law in attempting to make the courts understand that she should not have unsupervised visitation with the kids until she has proven some success in solving her physical addiction and can prove that she has someplace to take them that is healthy for them.  (She has no place to go when she gets out of jail and her letters do not indicate she is thinking ahead because she's too busy defending her lies.)   

   

Anyway, my story, like so many others', is much deeper and involves many details that I'm not sharing here.  They just make an ugly story, more ugly.  

My mother had been searching for some sort of psychiatric diagnosis for my sister for half of her teen years. My mother was convinced that my sister was schizophrenic or had multiple personality disorder. I felt (and still feel) that she was, as you say, "grasping at straws". How brave of you to admit that out loud. Thank you.  

  

I think my mom also wants it to be something none of us can help - that way, no one is responsible and we don't have to work to fix it. That is the easier thing, right? Tell me about it. I'm no better I suppose. I don't give in to her demands, and withhold attention when she's pulling something. (like a hypochondriac story), but I do ignore her lies and dismiss them as idiocy.  

  

I don't know how to win that one - if I let it go, she gets away with her lies. Again. If I confront her, she gets to argue, then deflect negative attention with blame, then be mad at me. (which will be fodder for attention-getting conversations with everyone else.) Either way, she gets what she wants. She either gets attention with a confrontation (negative attention during arguement, pity from anyone she tells about it),  or her lies get her attention.  

  

That's a decision that is to made during every single conversation with her. Do I confront or let it go? I routinely decide it's not worth it, and let it go. (I show her I'm aware that she is contradicting herself, she picks one lie to stand by, and THEN I let it go) It's all very stupid, and I get tired. She is energy draining to be with.  

  

Anyway, thanks for confessing your desire to pawn off her behavior on anything else, any disease. It affirms me a bit. I'm the only one in my family who believes that's what's going on. Everyone else is willing to believe it is the disease. (She's been diagnosed as depressed) I personally don't believe that depression makes it okay to perpetually lie, to scream and cuss to get one's way, or to fake illness for attention, or to say things like, "What, do I have to have a baby to fit into this family?" ?!?! No. Depression neither explains or excuses these behaviors. It's unacceptable, and I wish I knew what to do. 

 
May 26, 2006, 11:36 am CDT

05/12 Toxic Relationships

Quote From: prncesnrog

I did not see this particular show, however reading what you have written, apparently this young lady had a lot of baggage, emotional abuse, etc. in her life.  I need to let you know that I grew up in an EXTREMELY emotionally abusive family (my mother..not my father).  On top of that 2 out of the three girls in my family were sexually abused by a family member (Again, not my dad!!).  But ya know what?  We survived!!!  Not without a lot of self doubt and self esteem issues, but we came into our own.  I DO blame my mother for a lot of missteps I've taken and how I viewed myself.... I could have been SOOOO much better than I am, however it does come down to taking control and being accountable to yourself and how you treat others!  Have I self medicated myself? ABSOLUTELY!  Am I proud of that? NO!!  I know that I am accountable for my actions, how I treat others AND how I perceive myself and will take responsibility for my quality of life.  By the way, I am at a point in my life that I never thought I would be at.  Working for a Fortune 500 Company and sucessful...all without a college degree.  Just a lot of hard work and work ethic!  No one I work with knew how poor I was growing up.  I do not hide it, but celebrate it!  It makes where I am more special to me.  I treat the people that clean my office with the same respect (or more) than I treat the Plant Manager of my facility.  As long as someone is making an honest living (no matter what the salary or position) they are important and a contributing member of society!!!  

P.S. I'm in my 50's and have done everything I can to help my peers succeed.  Everyone need a chance!  

Wow-you are perfect example of someone who didn't get the best hand dealt out but is playing to win.  I agree that it comes down in the end to taking control and being accountable to yourself.  I'm impressed that you were able to do that in your life-congrats!
 
May 26, 2006, 2:31 pm CDT

05/12 Toxic Relationships

Quote From: manofgoods

Look, we're all human beings, & no one's perfect. But there are some things that I would like to say. If you have a friend, or a family member, & if they decide to cut you out of their life for whatever reason or problems that they have, don't give up on them! Pray for them daily that they'll come around. In time, people will be able to get over the pain, anger, hatred, & sadness of what they carry in themselves. Who knows, one day, they would like to reconnect a friendship/relationship with you. And if that does happen, welcome them back with open arms. Don't shun or reject them, don't say any bad things to them, just welcome them back into your life. I would do that if I were in a situation like this. God would want to see that. That & forgiveness. I fully believe in that.
I agree 110% with what you've said -- and I've lived it. Sending out prayers & healing thoughts to them are very important.  You can welcome them back with open arms (also something I've lived), but you have to make sure that they've made a commitment to heal themselves before you do.
 
May 28, 2006, 9:23 am CDT

controlling and abusive behavior

Quote From: benjione

  I have been remarried for almost two years now and have experienced a whole lot of emotionally draining issues with my spouse.  He is very stubborn and whenever we argue, I find that I am the one ending up saying I'm sorry and that he is right for feeling the way he does.  I have a nine year old son from a previous marriage who is a great kid and loves his new home and step dad.  He is your typical kid who you have to constantly repeat things two to three times and he fibs about little things once in a while.  He is great in school and is full of life.  My husband however, feels that he doesn't listen and his head is in the clouds most of the time.  In the past he has called him dumb and stupid and I told him repeatedly that his is not right to call him names is destructive to his self esteem!  He said if that is what he is then that is what he is!  I completely disagree.  I asked if he really cares about him and he said of course he does.  He cares that he is a good boy and listens and wants a good future for him.  He doesn't seem to understand that his behavior is pushing our son away instead of closer.  We have a 15 month child together and the most recent incident was when he fell in the yard and got hurt while our oldest was playing with him.  My husband was in the backyard working while this all happened and said that Chris left kyle to get a toy and didn't tell him.  The result was Kyle got hurt and Chris was sent to his room for one week!  I thought that the punishment was too harsh and that Chris new that he did wrong by leaving his brother alone.  My husband did not talk to me before he decided on the punishment and said he did not want to speak with Chris or see him when he gets home from work.  We had an evening science fair two days later and he refused to give him permission to go even though it meant getting a lower grade in school.  I could not stand to see that happen and took Chris to his science fair.  My husband was furious and said I created the problem and because of that he will continue to not speak to our son. It is now a week and a half and that little boy says hello and good morning with no response from his step dad.  HELP!!!!  

  

 The other draining issue is that one year ago My husband and I had a huge argument with my family, mainly about him and our relationship has been severed.  Chris, our son, was practically raised by my parents and now does not get to see them.  I have begged my  husband to mend the relationship and he refuses.  He says that I am free to see my parents but if I do I could pack my bags with Chris and Kyle stays with him.  How could I do that???  I could not see my kids torn apart.  I think of parents who are in there 70's everyday and pray that something will give.  They want to put the past behind but my husband refuses and will not have anything to do with them.  He said they are not allowed to contact us or visit our home.  I was so close to my parents, it's like someone ripped half my heart out. My parents say that I need to open my eyes for my sake and Chris's who is at  such an impressionable age and misses his grandparents.   I tell my husband carefully  how I feel in fear if my Dad or Mom dies I couldn't live without having peace.  He argues that I don't stand by him and back him up like I should and that is  the chance I will take - but I hope you will not resent me for it.    

  

If you truly love someone...wouldn't you want to make them happy?????  

So many behaviors here in your post describe emotional and verbal abuse.  

   

More than just  red flags.  He is controlling and abusing you and your children.  

   

Chris is your child...and you are the one that needs to discipline him...and in a reasonable healthy fashion.   Thank heavens you stood up for what was right and took Chris to the mandatory school science fair.   Even if it was not mandatory, he should have been there, too.  

   

Sounds like the father was not watching the children...its not the young man's job to parent or babysit the younger child.     Ostracizing the 9 year old and not speaking or acknowledging him is a form of abuse....emotional abuse and it is unacceptable.  

   

How can you stand by and allow this to happen to an innocent child.  

   

Your husband is abusing the young child and you.  

   

This deal with your parents....I see that as your husbands control at work and he also is ISOLATING YOU FROM A SUPPORT SOURCE AND LOVED ONES....You need to go to see your parents and not allow your husband to prevent you and the grandchildren from seeing and having time with them....YOUR HUSBAND IS ISOLATING YOU FROM FAMILY.....another abuse tactic of Controlling and Abusive Men.   DON'T ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN ......THIS WILL GET WORSE..  

   

YOUR HUSBAND IS THREATENING YOU WITH LOSING YOUR YOUNGEST CHILD...another abuse tactic and a way to keep you SCARED and UNDER HIS CONTROL AND ABUSE.  

   

If you go see your parents he will punish you.   WHAT AN ABUSER AND A BULLY.   

   

You need to take a stand....you have rights as a human being......you have the right to see your parents and any other family or friends that you choose.  

   

You have the right to take both kids to see their grandparents.....and you have the right to go without any abuse or control standing in the way.  

   

YOUR HUSBAND IS CONTROLLING AND ABUSING YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR FAMILY....can't you see that??????     He is isolating you.  

   

He is abusing you daily with his tactics and antics.    HE IS CONTROLLING AND ABUSIVE.  

   

He is doing all this intensionally so that you are easier to abuse and control.....you are allowing him to imprison you......he controls and abuses.  He is breaking your heart, your spirit, and you are questioning what you know is true.  You even apologize when you have done nothing wrong.    

   

You were close to your parents and that's why he is doing this to keep you to himself.....he will continue to close your world while he tears you down....breaks your spirit.   

   

You are "walking on eggshells" with this guy instead of doing what is right for you, your children and your parents.   

   

You allow him to control and abuse you through fear.and his bullying.  

   

Why should you stand by an abuser, a bully, or a controlling guy as he destroys things one person at a time.   

   

None of his actions are coming from a place of love........he is abusing and controlling everyone...and you are allowing it to happen.  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

 
May 28, 2006, 10:10 am CDT

your husband IS CONTROLLING AND ABUSIVE

Quote From: benjione

  My husband says that he is not controlling because he doesn't tell me what to do, where I can go, or how I am spending our money (which I control.)  I tried by being the better person today by asking him to put this behind us and asked him to do the same and once again he has said that he did not do anything wrong...but I did EVERYTHING wrong with the situation with our son Chris.   

  

How  can I punish a boy for one week in his room for his little brother falling and hurting himself.  He feels bad enough that his brother got hurt!   

  

Are all the red flags being waived and am I in denial of seeing that??? PLEASE RESPOND! 

  

Your husband is CONTROLLING and he does tell you what to do....  

   

Your husband is controlling and he threatens you with losing your child...he will take him away if you go to see your parents.  That is controlling and abusive.  

   

Your husband does tell you where you can go....and also tells you who can come to your house.  That is controlling and abusive.  

   

Do you control the checkbook....with all the $$$?  Or is just a portion of the $$$ in there?  

   

Do you know all about the family finances and assets.....401K, Ira's......stocks, bonds,  mutual funds, his pension.  Do  you have access and know all of it.....State and Federal Returns on Taxes.....His W2's.  

   

WHAT TO HECK DOES THIS MEAN????? you said, "I tried by being the better person today"   give me a break....you tip toe around him in fear......HE IS DOING A WHOLE LOT WRONG....AND HE IS NOT ADMITTING IT TO YOU.  

   

You did NOT do anything wrong with the child.....you are his mother and need to stand up for this child of yours.  

   

YOU HAVE MORE THAN RED FLAGS.....THEY ARE WAVING.......AND YOU ARE NOT SEEING WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.   

   

He is abusing you and your children.....he is threatening you with abuse tactics and he is isolating you as I said in answer to your other post here......he is controlling and abusive.  

   

You can feel the ramifications of the abuse.  

   

And you are seeing its effects on your Child Chris.......When will you stand up for your child and KNOW that you are doing the RIGHT thing.  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

 
June 13, 2006, 2:34 pm CDT

The Reason Summer Won't Allow Help

 This is for the person who posted her reasons for Summer not wanting help.  I believe that the reason that she "abused" Dr. PHil's staff is because, assuming or course that her parents ARE the problem, that even though the staff was clearly telling her telling her everything that she needed to hear,  an abused child isn't exactly the person that you should go to town on with "tough love".  Why, because the adult child will naturally see it as more of the same, more disrespect for her personal boundaries and potentially abusive attitudes.  I also believe that Summer would be the first to admit that she needed help if she could be sure that it wouldn't be used against her.  What I mean is first, being able to see a counselor that specializes in dealing with abusive people, yes, I believe that the parents had a "You're an adult not making what WE consider to be good choices, so we have the right to treat you like a second class citizen"  attitude about them, and also wanted to  ensure that her therapy wouldn'rt be more ammuntition for her parents to use later on.
 
October 9, 2006, 8:16 pm CDT

Looking at myself

Dear Dr Phil,

    I watched toxic relationships today as in Australia we are way behind and it was like looking at me. My husband and myself are going through the exact thing with our 32 year old daughter and out 18 week old grandaughter. We have the baby and I refuse to hand her over to someone on drugs. We have legal representation and hopefully if my daughter doesnt get help we will look after the baby till shes 18, that will make me 78 by then, but I'll give it a go as we Aussies say. We were feeling guilty( not now) plus we will build that fence to secure this precious baby. Thankyou Dr Phil.   Val in Henty NSW

 
February 7, 2007, 6:15 pm CST

Harsh!

Quote From: jeb746

Generally I agree with you but Janet gave me the creeps and you kept hammering on Mark.  This woman portrayed herself  as a VICTIM who thoroughly ENJOYED her so-called victimization and a WHINER too!  For me, whatever Mark does, have done is nothing compared to her manipulation of him and you.  The man was trying to understand his part of this disfunctional relationship (which I believe is because of Janet for the most part) but you kept the blame game.  Thought you were smarter than that!

I'm curious - what about Janet gave you the creeps? I disagree with you - she has been beaten down by his abuse, and has tried to save their marriage. He won't even acknowledge that he has been abusive!

I am guessing you are male, and probably abusive too.

 
First | Prev | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | Next Page | Last Page