Ok I’ll admit it that I was one of those suckers born every minute. I thought for sure that Dr. Phil and his self help book would help my marriage. The books I purchased to help with my marriage were Dr. Phil’s Relationship Rescue and the accompanying workbook. This book started out with good ideas, and offered additional ways to improve the communication within our relationship. For the most part our relationship was functional; there was nothing out of the ordinary. The primary problem with our relationship was merely a lack of communication on our part. We also faced normal issues regarding daily life and raising children.
The book started out alright. When it came to the workbook, it was regurgitation of the book. I wanted to give this process the benefit of the doubt, and see if we could improve our relationship. We worked our way through a few of the exercises and had no problems. As the exercises became more redundant with different wording, my husband became irritated that the exercises were seemingly accomplishing very little.
In the end, I felt that this book made me somewhat resentful of my husband and vice versa. We tried working through the exercises and discussing the results as required on many of the chapters, we found that in the end it was a disaster! We argued over the way the results came out among other suggestions within the book. The truth telling that Dr. Phil talks about in his books can cause people to become angry with one another. I understand the concept of trust but some of these exercises were contradictory to that principle. One of the exercises tells the couple to write down things that you dislike that your spouse does and then don’t show it to your spouse. This seems ridiculous to me, how can you work on your problems if you are not supposed to openly discuss your issues to begin with?
I do not want to know every one of my husband’s inner most thoughts; the secrets or thoughts that you would think to yourself, but never willingly admit to anyone. We honestly tried to use this book to better our relationship, but maybe we were too broken to be fixed according to Dr. Phil. My husband and I began fighting about this book and how it was impacting us, how it made us angrier with one another. I honestly do not remember reading anywhere in the book where it said you should argue thoroughly to increase your communication. I lost all respect for Dr. Phil as a marriage counselor after the disastrous results of his relationship advice book.
It’s no phenomenal secret that in order for people to be successful in any aspect of their life or relationship that they must know how to communicate. This book is simply a myriad of exercises and scenarios that get you doing what you should do anyway, communicate with your spouse. I don’t think that Dr. Phil remembers or understands what it is like for most Americans in modern relationships, struggling to pay the mortgage, stress of kids and daily life. Dr. Phil is rich and doesn’t have problems that many of us working class can relate to. Overall, this was a very disappointing book and I would not recommend it to anyone who wants to repair their relationship. I know for certain that there are far better books available on the market.
So in some ways I should be thankful for Dr. Phil, he did get my husband and I talking about how much we hated the book, and what we really needed to address. I suppose that with the ridiculous activities within this book that you could simply make a list of your relationship problems and come up with solutions yourself, which by the way we did. We sat down and had a heart to heart talk, the way we used to. We identified the problems with our communication and worked on finding solutions to remedy the issues. While this did not fix everything, because no one can account for all scenarios or problems it did relieve some of the tensions in our relationship. My husband and I are still married after 7 years and I believe it’s because we could agree on two simple things:
The first was that throwing that horrid book in the trash we were better off ,and the second was that we could work together to solve any problem that would occur.