Dr. Phil’s Secret to a Happy Marriage

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There’s a time when it’s too soon. Look, we do too much therapy in this country, and I think therapy, when it’s indicated and needed, I encourage people to go do it, But if you’ve taken somebody for a cheeseburger and a movie, (hosts laugh) and you schedule an appointment, something’s wrong, it should not be that hard that soon. So, no, you do that when you say, “Okay, this is somebody that I have a future with, this is somebody that I’m willing to invest in, this is somebody that I’m willing to expose myself to, learn about, put something on the table.” You don’t go to a relation therapy with a casual relationship, you don’t do that that early, come on. You’re wasting your money.

So what about … I’m before the two of you, obviously long-lasting, wonderful marriages. Any good problem-solving skills for folks as they’re getting into a relationship? Because obviously everyone doesn’t wanna go have formal therapy, but… – Yeah. – I think skills  are important. – Make them think that they’re right! Let them think that they’re right, right Phil? Let me just throw this out there. If you’re going to start to see this as a serious relationship, you should start doing what I call a premarital sequence. And you should start talking about your goals, what each of you are looking for, and then you should talk about what I call “the damn dailies”, because that’s what breaks a lot of relationships down. You should talk about expectations about division of labor. Like, we get married and start sharing space? Who’s gonna do what? What do you expect me to do, and what do I expect you to do? What about money? What do you expect from me, what do I expect from you.

How about children? You want nine, I want none? That’s a problem. So there’s a list of things, and you can find them on drphil.com, and we’ll post them on y’all’s website as well, – Doctors.com. – And it’s just a list of the things that you should talk about if you start getting serious. And then, if you have problems reaching agreement, then maybe it’s time to see your pastor, or counselor, or something like that, and say, “Help me resolve some differences here.” – It’s sad, but sometimes two people can’t just be honest with each other without a therapist involved, and I think it’s come to that in many relationships, and that, that’s unfortunate. Maybe that starts because nowadays, so much dating does start via … Look, internet dating where people put a profile up, and maybe it’s a little dishonest.

We did this recently on the show where people’s profiles, the majority of them were dishonest! – Yeah. Yeah. – How old people are, how much they weigh, all these things were dishonest, and I think that may lead people to be less trustworthy, and early on, someone may say, “Well, let’s go see a therapist so we can really figure out what’s going on here.” – Yeah, when you’ve got a head like this, you can’t lie.

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