Relationship Advice from Dr. Phil McGraw - Ask Oprah's All Stars 102
OWN TV | January 07, 2011
Dr. Tell-It-Like-It-Is, Phil McGraw, wants you to live your best life—starting today.
"What I want people to come away from this show with is the commitment to understand that we create our own experience. You know, so often it's like, 'Oh, we don't like the way the economy is.' 'We don't like the way our husband or wife is.' Look, you create the results in life that you believe you deserve. You create your own experience. So, if you don't have what you want, decide this year: You know what? I'm going to give different to get different. Create your own experience and we're going to show you exactly how to live your best life in this show today."
So, let the advice-a-thon begin! On Ask Oprah's All Stars, where nothing is off-limits or too embarrassing, Dr. Phil is helping viewers make this the year to start living their best life.
Dr. Phil has the answers to your toughest questions:
Go to the first question I used to be a real sex kitten with my husband. But now I'm too tired to even think about sex. How do I get my energy back?—Molly from Los Angeles, California
Dr. Phil: Here's the deal. Between one-third and two-thirds of women say they don't wanna have sex anymore and guys are like, "What's up with that?" Well, look, you really have to work at this. Intimacy is not just sex. There's a lot more. Intimacy has to do with touch and conversation.
If you ask women what's sexy, they don't say flowers and candy. How 'bout you get up off the couch, do the dishes and bathe the kids...that's sexy. Seriously. Then you have the energy. And it's different for men and women. Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.
Remember, it may not burn a lot of calories, but it is non-fattening. It's the most fun you can have without laughing. And if it's not, if you don't feel good about it—practice, practice, practice.
And the best thing you can do—and this will seem counterproductive or counterintuitive—is to be a selfish lover. Because if you're having a great time, trust me, your partner will be having a great time. So, be a selfish lover. Get what you want out of it, be willing to talk about it.
On the last show, you met Melinda. She is our 52-year-old virgin. And in our quest to help her kick off her love life, you may remember—we wanted to help her out—we sent her to the greenroom to meet three eligible bachelors. So, Melinda went on her date with Ross, and Melinda, you know, we're dying to know. What happened? How'd it go?—Gayle King, host of Ask Oprah's All Stars
Melinda: It was very good. I had a great time with him, he was a wonderful guy. However, I'm not sure he's Mr. Right. But we did have a good time. And I did take Dr. Phil's advice. The one about, you know, when you're offered a kiss, you've got to take it. I have to tell you. One of the other guys, Greg, gave me a goodbye kiss when he left. And then, Ross gave me one before we left.
Gayle King: Will there be a second date with you and Ross? You said you don't think he's Mr. Right, but do you think there will be a second date?
Melinda: Well, you know what? There's a lot of distance between us, so I don't know about that.
Dr. Phil: All right, but you asked the producers for the numbers of the other two guys. That's great, I'm so glad to hear it.
My husband Derek and I have a wonderful relationship. We've been married for over four years. There's just this one little problem...sports. We have a TV in our living room that Derek is constantly watching. We have one in our bedroom. We have one in the bathroom and he has installed a window in his shower that you can see the TV directly. He can be anti-social because of the sports problem. He's on the computer checking sports blogs. I've diagnosed Derek as a sports addict. I'm a sports widow at age 26. Dr. Phil, this has progressively gotten worse. What do you think?—Elizabeth from Austin, Texas
Dr. Phil: All right. Well, first off, Derek, I have to say, you need your eyes checked. Because maybe that TV is making you blind, but look to your immediate left: That is a gorgeous wife you have and she is energetic and she's wanting your attention.
Look, there are 168 hours in the week, okay? And how many hours do you think you work? Including travel time to and from—everything together—how many hours do you think you work? Say 50 hours a week. You sleep seven hours a night, that's 49. That leaves 69 hours, minus 14—a couple hours a day for miscellaneous—and you've got 55 hours left for the week. That's seven hours a day. How much of it are you spending with your wife and how much of it are you spending on sports?
Here's the thing, and I've talked to so many women about this—and I might need to recuse myself because I watch a lot of sports—but let me tell you: It's not so much how much you watch sports as what you do when you're not. What do you want him to do with you when he's not watching sports?
Let me give me some very specific ideas. You need to pay attention, Derek, to the fact that your wife is not happy. And women have a really long memory. A really, really long memory. So you need to ask yourself, "All right, what can I do to make her happy?" Relationships are negotiations, and the window never closes. So you need to ask her, what can I do that makes you feel better about all of this? And if she says, "Let's do things without the TV," then you've got to say, "Okay, I'm going to shut this off. I'm going to prioritize my games, and then when I get down to two or three, I'm going to shut it off and I'm going to spend time with her until she is grinning really, really big." And if she starts grinning really, really big a lot of the time, then you know you've struck that balance. And until then, you're in trouble.
Talk to me, Dr. Phil. I'm a single mom and I'm dating. How soon can I have sex without looking like a slut? Please tell me that I don't have to wait till my infant son hits puberty!—Lisa
Dr. Phil: Here's the deal: If you're someone that is wanting to nurture a long-term relationship, then you're going to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the right guy. And you want to call some of them out before you give it up. You know, why buy the cow if you get the milk free? And I've always said, you should never marry anybody till you've seen 'em with the flu.
Before you go to bed with somebody, you've got to really know who they are, you've got to really know what their values are, right? I mean, because you've got to understand that if they want to go to bed with you the first time, it's not because you are the queen goddess of the world. It's because you are the current date.
Or do you want to see if somebody will invest some time and effort and energy in a relationship with you? I think you see how long they're willing to invest in you. And if they're not willing to invest more than a couple of weeks, then that's not somebody you want to have slept with anyway, is it? Easy come, easy go.
It is hard to put a number on it because it's not the time that you spend; it's what you learn during the time that you spend. What do you know about this person? What's their history? What are their values? What do they want? Who else are they sleeping with? And for God's sakes, don't be wagging these guys home and introducing them to your child.
You want to make sure that they're a stayer before you let them bond with your child. You certainly want to have safe sex. And when you do make that decision, you want to do it not because you're desperate. You want to do it because this is somebody that you're willing to make an investment in. It depends on how much you value yourself and how much you want to know about how much they value you.
I'm Debbie. Growing up I was spoiled; I would spend about 300 to 400 [dollars] each week just on shopping. I had, like 200, pairs of jeans. My purses—I had to have my Chanels, I had to have my Fendies and Pradas. When the real estate business crashed, my parents pretty much lost all their money, and if I needed help with my bills, they couldn't help me pay for them. Next thing you know I was over all the limit fees and eventually I just kind of stopped paying. I have at least a hundred debt collectors calling me. I didn't know that having bad credit ruined my life. I need your help. What can I do to get out of this mess?—Debbie in San Diego, California
Dr. Phil: So, you, you knew a lot of this, you just didn't know what the totals were, right? And you, you really don't intend to pay these off, do you? In fact, you said, why even bother, because they're gonna take them all away from you eventually anyway, so you might as well milk them for all they're worth, right? You said, "I'm gonna keep charging on these until they take them away from me," knowing that when you go in and present one of these and take out goods or services, you have no intention of paying for them.
What you did is you just declared yourself a diva. You just declared yourself to have all of this stuff, whether you earned it or whether you didn't. And that's very immature. You've got to learn to tell yourself, "No." You've got to get off your butt and get a job, a real job, a full-time job.
You know as well as I do that you can't pay for any of this stuff, so you're just going to have to basically start over. Here's the bottom line: Your parents' job was to prepare you for the next level of life. Your parents' job was to prepare you to understand that if I do an "A" level of performance, I get an "A" standard of living; a "B" level gets a "B" level; "C" level, "C" level; etc. That isn't what happened.
You're twenty-four. So what, we're going to drag you for the next 50 years? As an elite, sucking off society? You need to get a job. You need to look people in the eye and when you tell them, "I'm going to buy this from you," you need to pay for it. You're not entitled to have it if you don't pay for it. You know, I've never had a car payment in my entire life. And I've driven some really crummy cars. But the first car I had was $165. It didn't have a reverse; you had to park on a hill. But I tell you what, I paid for it and that was what I could afford at the time. And I did it, and I went to bed at night knowing that I earned that crummy car out there. I took pride in that car because I paid for it. And you don't feel that way about anything, do you?
You have to learn that you've got to pull your own weight in this world. And I'm not ashamed to say that I grew up really poor. And when you grow up really poor, you understand that if you don't work, you don't eat. We didn't have credit cards because we were poor. I can remember having a paper route and it was sleeting outside. My mother said, "You're not going out to collect for your paper." I said, "Oh yes, I am because tonight everybody's home. It's too crummy for anybody else to be out. I'll get my money tonight, which means we'll eat tomorrow."
When you're poor, you think this through, and there's no shame in that. But wouldn't you rather have something that you earned—that was legitimately and rightfully yours—than something that you misappropriated from somebody because you could?
You can start over—it's not too late. But you've got to require more of yourself. You've got to decide, "You know what? They're right. It's time for me to step up and be honest." Write all these people a letter, tell them the truth about where things are. Work full-time, pay your own way. If you're sleeping on somebody's couch, offer to pay them for it. Stand on your own two feet. And take some pride in yourself.
When I looked at this whole situation, I didn't ask myself why it was chaotic. I asked myself why not. My guess is that you two are not on the same page with your parenting strategies. You're not on the same page because one of you is pretty harsh and the other one is not, and that's at least your opinion of one another, correct?
This is not rocket science, although it is a big and steep hill. The problem is that you two don't have the same philosophy about what is reasonable to expect from these children. You yell at them because you get frustrated. You aren't consistent, and they recognize that they can get something from one of you that they can't get from the other. Children will exploit this—not some of the time, but all of the time.
So what you two need to do is go away by yourselves. You need to sit down and say, okay, here's what we're going to do. This is going to be the standard. We're not going to yell at these children. We're not going to hit these children. I don't think you spank them, which is good.
But you need to recognize that one of you needs to support the other no matter which one is in the window at the time. And be totally consistent. These children need to be able to predict the consequences of their actions 100 percent of the time. They need to know, if I do "A," I get this result. If I do "B," I get this result. Appeal to their greed. Tell them, if you want what you want when you want it, which is how kids are, then you just need to do the following behavior. They are trainable, and they will learn. The question is, are you?
So, we're starting 2011. It's time to help you live your own best life, and each one of them has a plan for you. Dr. Phil?—Gayle King, host of Oprah's All Stars
Dr. Phil: This is really important, and it's been important in my life recently. Do not let the sun set another day without reaching out to the people you love and care about and [without] telling them whatever you need to say or doing whatever you need to do.
We don't know how long we're going to be in this world. You don't know if you're going to be alive at the end of this sentence. You don't know if the people you love and care about are going to be alive when you get home. I'm saying, don't let the sun set on another day.
If it's your dad, your mom, a sister or a friend...pick up the phone at least and tell them what you need to say. Because when they're gone, they're gone forever. You can't un-ring that bell. Don't leave unfinished emotional business with the people you love and care about. Maybe it's a message of love, maybe it's something you've got to get off your chest. But don't have unfinished emotional business because you don't know how much longer you've got.