Shocking Accusations: Abused Wife or Abused Husband?

July 31, 2014

Marie says she is terrified of her husband, Ron, who she claims has a violent temper and is verbally and physically abusive — allegations he adamantly denies. Ron claims Marie is a compulsive liar and alleges she is the one with anger problems. Dr. Phil sorts through the allegations and looks at video footage from inside the family’s home. Can he help this couple put an end to their fighting — for the sake of their child?







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MarieRonRobin, Marie's auntScott, Ron and Marie's neighborMarie talks to Dr. Ian Tong, of Doctor on Demand

Spouses at Odds

Marie says she has been terrified of her husband, Ron, since last year, when she claims he began saying things like, “I really want to hurt you,” and, “Our story will be on the 6 o’clock news.” Marie says Ron has dragged her down the stairs and had the cops called on him 14 times. Last month, she claims Ron smashed her on the side of the head while grabbing for her cell phone, which she was using to record video during an argument. "The fight started to progress and Ron came at me," Marie says. "I didn't know what he was going to do."

See Marie's cell phone video. Plus, what does Marie claim Ron did recently that has her "scared to death?"

Dr. Phil talks to Marie about the footage, and she tells him she's terrified she'll become "another missing wife."

Ron joins Marie onstage and claims her accusations of abuse are all lies, which made him reluctant to even come on the show. Ron claims he is the real victim in their relationship and that Marie is the one with anger issues — exacerbated by the fact that he claims Marie drinks alcohol on top of taking prescription medications. "She's not well, so I give her the benefit of the doubt, while being a punching bag," Ron says.

Both Ron and Marie admit that their 4-year-old daughter, Della, often has a front row seat to their screaming matches.


"This is fictitious!" Ron goes on the defensive — and explains why he finally agreed to appear.

After hearing Ron and Marie's accusations, Dr. Phil tries to sort things out.

"Somebody is lying," Dr. Phil says. "What that tells me is there are three agendas. There's your agenda, and there's your agenda," he says to Ron and Marie, in turn. "And then there's the family agenda, and it's coming in third. One of you is lying, and your daughter picks up the tab for you covering your ass."

"Somebody is going to tell me the truth here, and this is going to change, or I'm reporting it to CPS."

Hear from Marie's aunt, who says Ron is a "rage-aholic" — and from a neighbor, who claims Marie is the problem

Learning to Communicate

Marie tells Dr. Phil that she just wants to be happy again and not constantly worried about Ron's mood. Ron says he would like to get back to being Marie's "best friend" and admits there are things he can work on to be a better spouse. But, he adds, Marie needs to make some changes to her behavior as well.

Dr. Phil tells the couple that many of their problems, at their root, are a product of poor communication.

"You two may have the worst communication skills of any two people I’ve ever met on this stage." How can Ron and Marie improve?

Dr. Phil offers to set up Marie and Ron with a specialist to help them learn how to better communicate and problem-solve as a couple. "We're going to show you how to relax and calm down together ... and then we'll teach you how to communicate," he says. "The silence is going to be deafening. Your daughter is going to go, 'Wow, I got my mom and dad back.'"

Ron and Marie both agree to take the help.


Web Extra: Doctor on Demand

Dr. Phil tells Marie he is very concerned about Ron's claims that she mixes prescription medications with alcohol. He says he wants Marie to speak to a physician about the potential dangers.

Marie talks to Dr. Ian Tong using the Doctor on Demand app. "You're taking a huge risk," he warns.

Doctor on Demand was created by Doctor on Demand Inc., which is owned in part by Dr. Phillip C. McGraw. Dr. Ian Tong is the Medical Director for Doctor on Demand.