2011 Shows

Dr. Phil continues his mission to end the silence on domestic violence. More than 25 percent of battered women remain in a relationship with their abuser. Sonya fears that she is one of those women who stay. She says her husband, Lawrence, kicked her in the stomach during a fight, forced her to the ground while she was pregnant and violated her in an unspeakable way. Lawrence denies his wife’s allegations. He says she instigates fights, throws things at him and gets in his face. Three children stand in the middle of this turbulent relationship, and the couple’s oldest son reveals what bothers him most. How can Sonya calm the chaos in her household? Is leaving Lawrence the only option? Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, shares the six steps to protect yourself in an abusive relationship.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: aathanas on Jan 12, 2011, 1:02AM
The domestic violence that has already occurred in this marriage is enough reason to see that the relationship is ALREADY OVER and the divorce paperwork will be a necessary formality that should be taken care of immediately.

I can't believe Dr. Phil was even entertaining the possibility of this marriage remaining intact -- the husband already has proven he is a NUTCASE and she is in immediate danger (along with her children).  The husband was only PRETENDING to be humbled on the show.  He has something deeply wrong with him and he has given himself excuses and permission to treat his family this way and is not likely to change.  This is not a family -- this is a war zone.  Even is she has no SELF respect, she should care enough about her kids to GET OUT NOW.  Is THIS what she daydreamed about for her romantic future when she was a young girl - NO!  HE DOES NOT LOVE HER OR THE KIDS -- HE IS A SICKO!!!

I agree with Dr. Phil about the husband that his role as husband and his much larger stature and strength demands that his behavior be scrutinized far above her negative reactive behavior, but that is a moot point anyway.  She and the kids need to get out or kick him out NOW!  If she decides to stay in the house with the kids and kick him out, she needs to arm herself and be prepared to defend herself should he show up unannounced before she and her kids become statistics.  SHE SHOULD MOVE OUT WITH THE KIDS AND GET A RESTRAINING ORDER AND NOT TELL HIM WHERE THEY LIVE, AND GET FULL CUSTODY WITH NO VISITATION OR PROFESSIONALLY-SUPERVISED VISITATION.  She will need therapy to re-examine her willingness to put herself and her kids through all that she has SO FAR.  That is unacceptable.  I don't care about the recession or if she is concerned about FINANCES - GET OUT - GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST.


Replied By: yanksvsaliens on Jan 11, 2011, 8:41PM - In reply to allicatz
To allicatz – While I can appreciate the emotion that you put into your post (which was very well written, by the way) the messages within that post are scary.  Please take the “you” as used in points 1, 2 and 4 as the general “you”, not you personally. Point 3 is specifically directed at you personally.


1. This sentence - “You never get over it even when they apologize. You keep building and building anger that never gets vented and released, and sometimes, unfortunately, as crap rolls downhill, your children get the brunt of your built-up anger”- means that you are a child abuser. If you take the anger that you have built up towards your spouse out on your children, you are abusing them. No excuses, no “inappropriate behavior”, no “reactive behavior”. It is abuse.


2. I’m sorry, but if you remain in a domestic environment where you KNOW that you are being abused, and you KNOW that your children are being abused, you have VERY serious issues. You have chosen to CONTINUE to be victimized. Again, as a parent, to allow your children to be continually placed in harm’s way is child abuse. There are no excuses for this.


3. I find it telling that you excuse Sonya’s physical, verbal, and psychological outbursts as angry REACTIONS to Lawrence’s physical, verbal, and psychological outbursts. Yet, you refuse to excuse Lawrence’s physical, verbal, and psychological outbursts as angry REACTIONS to Sonya’s.  You have NO IDEA who initiates any particular incident in their home at any given time. Lawrence is not your husband, and Sonya is not you. It would appear that, though you really know nothing about these people other than their few minutes of controlled fame on a television show, you are willing to define their relationship as one that mirrors your own. In psychotherapeutic parlance, that’s called “projecting”. It is not a healthy thing to do.


4. People who are “dissing” Sonya are doing so by utilizing common sense. If you hit, spit on, yell and curse at, badger, throw things at, and generally harass anyone, regardless of gender, you are abusing them. And, if you do it in front of your children, you are abusing them, as well. Gender is not relevant.


To everyone else – while this particular episode of the Dr. Phil Show was disconcerting at best, it is indicative of the undercurrent that runs through many of his shows. And, the reason for that undercurrent is twofold –

1. Money

2. Ego

This is commercial network television. It targets a specific demographic, and panders to it. They have developed a show targeting women with the “White Knight in Shining Armor” paradigm. You run an endless stream of male scumbags across the screen, and Dr. Phil gets to beat up on them. Some women (fortunately not all, but unfortunately many with “relationship issues”) eat it up. It brings the network tons of advertising dollars, and makes “Dr. Phil” rich. And, that’s okay. Just remember to take the show at face value. Don’t confuse a television show with reality.
Replied By: kdsacks on Jan 11, 2011, 7:53PM
Can someone please explain to me how it is only abuse if the man hits?  Women are perfectly capable of being abusive!!!!  I am really close to being done with this show.  If Dr. Phil wants to stop domestic violence he needs to acknowledge it in all forms.  And just so you know, if the cops come to the house and see marks on him, she is going to jail.  There are men who are abused, and do nothing about it because they were taught to not hit women. I dare her to hit a women who could get away with hitting her back ,I bet she wouldn't be so tough then.  Oh and the fact that a women can hit a man without getting in trouble, gives HER power over HIM. 
Replied By: sasunshine on Jan 11, 2011, 5:57PM - In reply to allicatz
Replied By: sasunshine on Jan 11, 2011, 5:54PM
I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how people who behave like both of these adults "MANAGE"  to even
stay together!  - much less for very many years.  How frustrating can it be to sit there and listen to
those two!  Those children, whether they stayed with the mother or the father don't have much of a
chance in life - as they have already experienced so much of their parents c---.   
Replied By: katiebearmom on Jan 11, 2011, 5:30PM - In reply to kelnc45
I don't normally disagree with Dr Phil, but in this case, I think he's way off base and does a disservice to men who do have abusive wives, and wives that are really abused.  
Replied By: amyannrobb on Jan 11, 2011, 3:07PM
I believe both are over stepping there bonderies . but did not see any fear in from the wife. i saw concern frustration hurt and tired of the situation. but not fear.They both need to learn who to be have act respect each other and get the kids on the same page.Kids can play a real big part on playing parents . And if on parent falls for it . you feel beatten . they need to clean house and get on track with the right behavior. Coming on your show was probably the best thing they could of done for there marriage.I wish i could be as lucky as they were to get the help they got from Dr.Phil .I know he would have a feild day with my marriage.and would take it very greatfully. amy R
Replied By: allicatz on Jan 11, 2011, 2:47PM
OK, folks, an abused woman talking here. . . I think the problem is that Dr. Phil perhaps should have taken his comment about Sonya's issues being "relationship issues" while Lawrence's actions are "abusive" a step further and explained what happens to an abused women and the anger she has been harboring for as long as she's been putting up with this bully. I can only speak for myself, but I know Lawrence's type, as I am married to an abusive bully and am trying to make the decision to divorce him (because he can't stop - I've heard 5000 apologies and "it'll never happen agains") for the sake of my sanity and for the emotional health of my kids who don't deserve to be in the middle of this hostile environment. In my opinion, Sonya is not acting out and initiating this abusive situation, she is REACTING (and from the sounds of it, not in a very healthy, appropriate way). I will tell my husband to stop raging, barking and criticizing me because the kids are listening, and he keeps at me until I finally have to leave the house because he will not stop and I don't want the kids to be exposed to it. He repeats certain criticisms of me and its hard not to react when someone is constantly pushing your buttons when you thought the abusive language and environment had stopped after the last episode and consequent apology. (Anger just bursts inside of you and you want to throw things and kick things while trying to keep it together for your kids). You never get over it even when they apologize. You keep building and building anger that never gets vented and released, and sometimes, unfortunately, as crap rolls downhill, your children get the brunt of your built-up anger. Sonya, it sounds like, (and again, not in a very appropriate way), doesn't eat the anger and hostility he's projecting, she fires it right back at him. What Sonya needs (and I do to) is to find a counselor who deals with abuse and codependency issues and the resulting anger, anxiety, and depression that comes with the constant, predictable abuse. She needs to deal with her anger and she needs to practice how she is going to respond when Lawrence comes at her or her kids again, either verbally or physically, and plan to leave him if he can't stop his abusive behavior (which is very hard for a man to do). A book they both need to read, by Steven Stosny, is You Don't Have to Take it Anymore: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One. And Sonya, if you read this, check out Diane Baker at www.nystromcounseling.com (in New Brighton) - I haven't seen her yet, but she deals with all of these issues you (and I) are dealing with and how to stop the cycle. Also, all of you people who are dissing Sonya are fueling the "entitlement" that Lawrence already surely feels when he's abusing his family. You're giving him more power - his behavior is wrong and horrible, outside of what you think of Sonya's reactive behavior. 
Replied By: itswhit on Jan 11, 2011, 1:53PM - In reply to nelsonjag
I agree with you completely. I was shocked with Dr. Phil's statements on abuse regarding men and women. It would be great if Dr. Phil would respond to the people that disagree with how he conducted this show.
Replied By: caddy55 on Jan 11, 2011, 1:52PM - In reply to bobbystrubbe
I was so angry when I watched this I couldn't even finish watching the show. Having his own agenda is exactly what I said to my husband. Dr.Phil had already decided in advance that he was going to use this man to push his agenda on domestic violence. The women from the domestic violence center was already scheduled to be on the show. I was so upset I don't know if I can continue watching him if he doesn't address this huge mistake
Showing 11-20 of total 193 Comments