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Dr. Phil & Robin's Do-It-Yourself Marriage Makeover

Problem 4: Kids Who Won't Listen continued...

Robin: This is going to sound old-fashioned, but there are certain things that a father is going to understand better and certain things a mother is going to understand better, and you should respect that. I remember one time, Jay was still little and he said he wanted to quit a sports team he was on. I thought, Well, that sounds fine — he's still young and he's going to try lots of different sports and he'll figure out what works best. But I mentioned it to Phillip and right away he said, "No! That's not what you do — if you commit to a team, you stay on the team. A boy should stick to his commitments and not let his team down."

Dr. Phil: And when the boys started dating, you were there to tell them how a girl wants to be treated. For instance, the day of a dance....

Robin: I always told the boys to call their date the morning of the dance, just to tell her how excited they were about seeing her that night. And to always find out what she was wearing, what color, so they could get the right flowers....

Dr. Phil: They would roll their eyes at me and say, "Dad, do I really have to call her? I'm going to see her in a few hours, do I have to talk to her on the phone and act all excited?" And I'd say, "Listen to your mother. Go ahead and do it."

You have to come together on this. And more than anything else, don't make someone else the heavy. No one should ever say, "Wait until your father gets home," or "Wait until I tell your mother what you did." That is just so unfair. Don't make your partner the villain — or yourself the saint either, where you're saying, "I'd get you the puppy, but Daddy would be mad." It's unfair to throw the other parent under the bus because you don't have the guts to jointly own the decision.

Problem 5: Career Concerns

Dr. Phil: Obviously, a lot has been said about the guilt some stay-at-home moms feel — how they wrongly say things like, "I'm just a housewife," or "I'm just a mom," when, clearly, that's so false: The work a stay-at-home mom does in caring for a family and a home is tremendous and exhausting and awe-inspiring. It's the toughest job I know, because you start early and you work late 365 days a year. You couldn't pay me enough to do that job.

But women who return to the workplace often feel hugely guilty, too, and that can put a lot of strain on a marriage, especially if her spouse is sitting there feeling resentful that she has a life outside of her home and her family.

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