"I feel like a 2-year-old going through her little boot camp," John said. But when it came to Rochelle's rules, back-talk was not accepted.
"You cannot have a little attitude about it," Rochelle said. "You have to be nice about it."
More than 10 years later, John and Rochelle are still together. "It's going good," John says.
Rochelle says she blames her past behavior on being a newlywed. "We got married in '99, and when I got married, I figured this is what was going to make it work, and this was how it needed to be and that was how we were going to have a nice life," she says.
John says Rochelle has always been controlling, even before they were married. "It's charming to a point," he says.
John is the youngest in his family with two older sisters, and Rochelle says he is used to being bossed around. "He really did fit the mold really well," she says. "Today, he'll still do exactly what he's told by anyone. He follows the rules. It's in his nature to do that. But I learned that I don't need to be the one telling him what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and that it better get done right."
After their first Oprah Show appearance, Rochelle and John met with Dr. Phil, which Rochelle says was an eye-opener. She told Dr. Phil about her issues with her father, who was very controlling. "He would tell my mother what to do and how to do it all day long," she says. "I became my father in the hope and prayer that I wouldn't be my mother. I didn't want to be controlled, so I became controlling."
Dr. Phil told Rochelle to trust that John is not her father. "And I said, 'Oh God, why didn't somebody else say that a long time ago?'" Rochelle says. "Because that really was all I needed to hear, and that one little sentence made all the difference."
John says Rochelle is less controlling these days, and they consider themselves a happily married couple. "I am allowing the marriage to be what it is," Rochelle says.
John and Rochelle don't have children, but they do work together. "I am a broker and he is an agent, and he does work for me," Rochelle says. John says they have their own offices in separate buildings. "If I walk into her office, I can't get out," he says. "It's, 'Do this. Get that.' And I just have to leave. It's the only way it works."
Michelle was 27 when she married Dr. Mark Weinberger, a prominent nasal and sinus doctor with a lucrative private practice outside Chicago. At one point, Michelle said he was bringing in as much as $200,000 a week.
"We had a private jet," she said. "We had an 80-foot yacht. We had a five-story townhouse, a brigade of drivers. [We took] 10-day trips a month to the Mediterranean or Caribbean. Ridiculous shopping sprees."
When Weinberger and Michelle married, they celebrated with three ceremonies, including a lavish affair in Italy. "I really thought we were going to grow old together and be sipping lemonade on the porch with grandchildren," she said. "He really was my best friend."
To celebrate Michelle's 30th birthday, Weinberger invited friends and family on an extravagant yachting vacation in the Greek islands...but the joyous occasion ended in despair. When Michelle woke that first morning on the yacht, her husband had vanished. As the day progressed, Michelle says it became clear he wasn't coming back.
In the months leading up to his disappearance, Michelle learned that more than 300 malpractice lawsuits had been filed against him, accusing him of using scare tactics and phony diagnoses to perform hundreds of unnecessary surgeries.
Then, another bombshell hit. Michelle discovered Weinberger had left her $6 million in debt. Authorities seized the couple's condo, cars and $4 million yacht.
Reeling from his betrayal, Michelle never doubted her now ex-husband was alive and authorities launched an international manhunt for him. After five years on the run, Weinberger was finally captured by authorities in 2009. He had been hiding out in a small tent, perched on a mountainside in the Italian Alps.
Michelle says she always knew Weinberger was alive. "I think it was due to a combination of a gut instinct that I had, but also his strange behavior two months prior to leaving," she says. "He had been planning it for two months, and I could kind of see that he was distant and he was drifting away."
Feeling lost and devastated, Michelle says she had no way to deal with the $6 million debt. "You file bankruptcy like everybody else," she says. "And you start over."
The betrayal, Michelle says, was worse than the debt. "He was my best friend," she says. "He was the person that I woke up next to every morning, and the betrayal really stung. It was hard to get over."
After Weinberger was captured, he was extradited to the United States on 22 counts of health care fraud, and is currently negotiating to plead guilty and serve four years in prison. "He's awaiting his sentencing hearing," Michelle says. "The pity was kind of transposed once I realized that he has no sense of accountability or responsibility. He doesn't apologize at all for what he did."
Michelle says she hasn't had any contact with Weinberger and doesn't feel it would be worth it. When Michelle first appeared on The Oprah Show, she says she really wanted answers from him. However, she says Oprah gave her advice that helped her move on. "I wanted to know 'Why did you do this to me?'" she says to Oprah, "You said, 'You're not going to get closure from him. You're going to have to find it yourself.' And that's so true."
Since that interview, Michelle has earned a doctorate in neuropsychology and says she's been able to find closure. "I'm so glad I stayed in school and that I didn't quit for him because living your life for somebody else never pays off," she says.
When we first met Trevor and Trina in 2005, their relationship riled up more than a few viewers when Trevor admitted his wife's 55-pound weight gain was ruining their marriage.
"He hates my weight," Trina said. "Absolutely hates it."
Trevor admitted he was no longer attracted to his wife, but Trina said she felt like she had no choice but to stay in the marriage. "I think Trevor's the best I can ever get," she said.
In a follow-up appearance, Trevor admitted he had been cheating on Trina. That was six years ago—what happened to this couple after the cameras stopped rolling?
Today, Trina is not only physically lighter—she's also shed the weight of her unfaithful husband. Six months after appearing on The Oprah Show, Trevor and Trina divorced. "I felt sorry for myself, and I knew that the world felt sorry for me. I didn't want to be that girl," she says. "I wanted to re-write my own story."
Eventually, Trina says she realized she was allowing herself to be a victim, and she wanted to send the right message to her daughters.
"I needed to get myself up off that couch for those two beautiful children that I have," she says. "I had to live my best life and that meant getting up, doing something—not punishing myself anymore."
Trina kickstarted her healthy lifestyle by taking up a sport—roller derby! "That amazing sport really helped me, and it's a place for every girl of every size," she says. "They love you no matter what."
While out with her roller derby friends one night, Trina says she met a man named Mario, whom she recently married. "When somebody loves you for who they are, they make you want to be a better person," Trina says. "Mario stands by me all the time in all of my decisions."
When David and Elizabeth Weinlick first appeared on The Oprah Show in 1999, their story left Oprah and many viewers speechless.
At 28 years old, David decided it was time to get married. He set the date, bought the rings and even picked a location. There was just one problem—David didn't have a bride.
To take care of this not-so-minor detail, he asked his best friends to conduct a search for the future Mrs. Weinlick. His buddies drew up an application and put ads in local papers asking all interested women to show up at the Mall of America on June 13, 1998. Two dozen hopefuls showed up, and David's friends hand-picked pharmacy student Elizabeth Runze to marry David on the spot.
It's been 12 years since they got married at the mall. Are they still together?
"A lot of people didn't think it would last, but it did," David says.
Elizabeth says she's surprised that so many people thought their marriage would end in divorce. "It wasn't as if Dave was marrying just anybody," she says. "Dave was conducting a very thorough search for a life partner.
The Weinlicks now have four children: 9-year-old Emily, 8-year-old Charlie, 5-year-old Zoe and Zed Henry, who is almost 2 years old.
"The secret to our marriage is committing to being happy together," David says. "That's what it takes."
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013