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March 5th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Old Cohabitation Question

moving1I was thinking the other day that when it comes to relationships, there’s a subject almost none of us talk about any more: living together before marriage. Remember when this used to be such a controversial topic, a source of huge anxiety for parents and even for many young couples falling in love? Remember when people talked about a couple “living in sin” and really meant it? 

Well, today, few people barely raise an eyebrow when they hear about an unmarried couple cohabitating. And why should they? It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of couples in the United States live together before marrying. For most young adults, the idea of marrying without living together first is simply absurd. By living together, they say, they find out if they can share a bathroom every morning without wanting to kill each other. That must be for the good of the relationship, they insist. At the very least, it certainly can’t be bad, right? (more…)

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February 19th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Teen Love Drama

love1Do you remember your first kiss? Ah, young love. Admit it. You once went through it yourself — that feeling of being completely obsessed with a boy or a girl. You wrote your crush’s name all over your notebooks. You drove past his or her home at odd hours. You stuck anonymous love notes in locker vents, desperate to be noticed.

Today’s teens seem to be more obsessed with love than ever before. I have no doubt the fairytale romances they see on TV and in the movies — not to mention the reality stars they worship, who tie the knot after a month of dating — contribute to their behavior. A recent show, “Teens Obsessed with Love,” is an example of teen love gone way wrong. Seventeen-year-old Chloe was consumed with a boy her parents did not approve of. What’s worse is they believed Chloe was doing everything in her power to continue seeing the guy. (The teen says her folks have it all wrong.) On another recent episode, “Sami’s Struggle”, Sami says she fell under the spell of her older, controlling boyfriend, and hid her suffering from her friends and family. She even went as far as mutilating her body to please her boyfriend.  (more…)

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January 14th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Married Women Who Stray

woman1We’ve aired a couple of shows this season about married men who get involved in affairs, and they’ve received a lot of attention. On Tuesday’s show, we talked about it again. I had a very emotional conversation with a young wife who’s trying to decide whether to salvage her marriage after learning her husband has been unfaithful to her. I also talked to the husband, and I think you’ll be fascinated by what he has to say about his own behavior.

But it occurred to me that we haven’t talked as much about married women who stray. Although 2009 definitely seemed to be a banner year for high-profile men to get caught catting around on their wives, the facts are clear that some wives are also crossing the line. Maybe more than ever before. One fairly reliable national survey recently found that 18 percent of married women have cheated, compared to 28 percent of married men. I even read a couple of studies that claimed women might be genetically predisposed, just like men, to cheating on their partners. (more…)

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August 20th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

A Page Torn from the "Duh" Journal

aIt probably won’t come as any surprise to you that I get absolutely flooded with “scientific” studies from friends, colleagues, researchers and even some of you viewers with a great sense of humor, who believe you have uncovered new insights to human behavior — or at least like a good yuk-yuk moment. I love getting these.

Sometimes I’m thinking, “Jeez, this must be our tax dollars at work!” Somebody, probably you and me, is likely funding some of this “research!” Anyway, I thought I would clear a bit of my inbox. Who knows, maybe there is something here you really didn’t know. If so, you are either a guy with a football where your brain is supposed to be (I swear, I get that way this time of year!) and would be out of your emotional depth in a street puddle, or have been in a coma for a few decades. Anyway, enough smarty-pants remarks. Here’s the current crop with a few observations (more smarty-pants remarks).


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