Question about a Dr. Phil show

Worknprogress

Cathlete
Something I saw recently on a Dr. Phil show just keeps creeping into my thoughts.

I have never been in an abusive relationship but the show was about an abusive husband. It came out very quickly that she was equally physically abusive to him. Screaming in his face, punching, scratching, etc.

Dr. Phil said that the husband was abusive but what the wife was doing was just a "relationship issue." Because the man was so much larger - that was abuse because of the imbalance of power and strength. But she could hit, scratch, etc him and that was NOT abuse - it was just a relationship issue.

He said this over and over throughout the show. I don't know why this is irking me so much, but I think that rational is just plain ludicrous.

Just interested in other people's thoughts and opinions on this.
 

PhyllisG

Cathlete
I know what you mean. I have a friend--a guy--who was in an abusive relationship. It started with the GF. He had never been abusive before but she would drink become physical and eventually he started striking back. I have seen him with a broken arm, a black eye, a gash on his forehead, an injured knee and a broken finger. I had never seen her with any injuries at all. He lied about his injuries continuously and refused all offers of help. Finally she had HIM arrested for abuse and the judge slammed it to him. The charges were eventually dropped when she refused to testify against him and thankfully that was the end of the relationship. This was not her first abusive relationship with a man--abuse she was largely responsible for instigating. No one really listens to these stories but I think they happen more often than we know. This is not in any way meant to say that all woman are the instigators. I totally sympathize with anyone who has been in an abusive relationship. Dr. Phil definitely was going in the wrong direction here. Wonder if he will hear from anyone else about this.
 

Fidget Queen

Cathlete
I think I may have seen parts of that same episode. I agree that it makes no sense. His argument that it is only abuse when the instigator is larger or stronger completely falls apart if you compare it to verbal and emotional abuse. Just because she may not be strong enough to single- and empty-handedly kill him does not make the physical abuse any less damaging or WRONG. Or what if you compare two relationships in which the men are beating the crap out of their wives... one man is 5'3'' and the other is 6'4''. Is one more wrong than the other?? Seriously??

I've seen him certainly side more with women on their weird issues. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that almost his entire audience is female, and he wants to make sure he seems understanding to them all??

I don't really know. All I know is that women who behave in this manner are just as wrong as men, period.
 

Lisa7691

Cathlete
I saw that episode too and was yelling at the TV. I usually agree with dr. phil but he was plain, flat out wrong in this instance. I thought it was interesting too because several years ago he had a couple on where the wife was doing all the abuse and he called it abuse - not a relationship issue.

I actually felt worse for the guy in this case because the wife seemed to accuse him of abusing their children whenever he disciplined them in any kind of way. All I can say is I am glad I don't live in THAT house! I thought the wife definitely had some disordered thinking patterns that were not adding to the peace in the household. I couldn't believe that dr. phil completely let her off the hook for that. Although he may have nailed her at the end of the episode, I was so disgusted that I quit watching it before the end.
 

morningstar

Cathlete
May I ask why each of you watch Dr. Phil to begin with? I've always been curious about why people like that show and him. I'm not a big fan of people that build a career out of telling people they have the answers to all of life's problems and that everyone else is doing it wrong. It is so easy to offer advice to other people about their lives and so easy to criticize their choices. Why is it easy? Because we can be more objective about other people, whereas in our own lives, we have past experiences that trigger us, colour our emotions and make it more likely for us to make certain choices. We can be more objective about other people because often our personal triggers don't have anything to do with their situations.
 

PhyllisG

Cathlete
That is why people go to counselors, therapists etc. They want help in making better choices. They want help understanding why they are making the choices that are not working for them. Of course it is easier to be objective about other peoples lives and that is why we often seek input from others--even our friends and families. I catch Dr. Phil just flipping thru the channels and will stop for a moment to see what he is talking about but rarely stay for a whole program because it annoys me seeing people air their problems on national TV. It is the counselor's, psychologist's, therapist's, psychiatrist's role to be objective and help you to reach an understanding about what is happening in your life and how you can change it.
 

morningstar

Cathlete
Most therapist- at least the good ones- don't tell you how to live your life and what you are doing wrong. They help you come to your own realization over time what is working for you and what isn't. That is not what Dr. Phil does.
 

Elle_p

Cathlete
Most therapist- at least the good ones- don't tell you how to live your life and what you are doing wrong. They help you come to your own realization over time what is working for you and what isn't. That is not what Dr. Phil does.


ITA Morningstar. I don't know why Dr. Phil is still on the air.
 

TexasLaura

Cathlete
There are more kinds of abuse that just physical. Verbal abuse (name calling, degredation, criticism, tone of voice, non-acceptance, disappointment, etc, etc, etc.....)

In my opinion, subtle emotional attacks are possibly even more harmful than overt physical attacks because they chip away at a persons psyche and confidence, often for years, and the victims may not even realize it is happening. (The "abuser" may not even realize they are doing it) It probably affects children as often as it affects spouses.

I think that this is more commonly done by women than physical abuse, yet it is rarely discussed.

BTW, I agree that ANY physical attack, regardless of who instigates it, is abusive!
 

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