Monday, March 18, 2019

Dr. Phil dismisses interabled couples and social media shows him


So-called expert Dr. Phil stirred up a storm last week when he featured an interabled couple who were having relationship issues, which started when the woman became the man's full-time caretaker. The man, who is a quadriplegic, needs a fair amount of support. He'd become emotionally abusive. Dr. Phil's assessment: he told the boyfriend that if his partner remained his caregiver, she would not be his girlfriend. His words: "It won't work, 100 out of 100 times this won't work." A bit later he affirmed: "She can be your lover or she can be your caretaker but she can't be both." (Here's the link to the clip from the show). I've searched all over the Internet, and can't seem to find a single source for that statistic. That's likely because he made it up.

Social media exploded. Interabled couple Shane Burcaw and Hannah Aylward, who'd been approached by Dr Phil to be on the episode, took to YouTube to explain why they turned him down. They created the hashtag #100outof100 for couples in interabled relationships, and people have posted on Instagram and Twitter from around the world.






Dr. Phil's rejection of an entire segment of romantic relationships—during Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, no less—is ableist, prejudiced and so narrow-minded. He insinuated that people with disabilities are burdens who suffocate a relationship. He didn't seem to understand that you can have physical challenges and still have a whole lot to contribute to a partnership. He couldn't seem to grasp that you can be disabled and be someone's soulmate. He couldn't fathom that in the end, it's all about l-o-v-e.

The awful message Dr. Phil implicitly sent to the masses: You don't want to get into a relationship with a person with disabilities because it won't work out. Lemme just say, Dr. Phil, I am mom to one really cute teen boy with intellectual and physical disabilities. He has more empathy, warmth and emotional intelligence than many people I know. He would definitely require care from a partner. And he would make someone really, really happy. So don't you go turning the ladies away from him. And not for nothing, Dr. Phil, someday you might need caregiving. Does that would mean your own relationship would inevitably disintegrate?

One hundred times out of hundred, there is love. And challenges. And hardships. And love. As in any relationship.

I'll leave you with these words from @candyneshama on Insta:

I never fit in anywhere. All my life, I stumbled from thing to thing, trying to figure out who I was, and then I found @maximus_staintacus and we fell in love. I have been his primary caregiver for our whole relationship and I wouldn't have it any other way. I feed him, I get him dressed, I bathe him, I take him to the toilet, I scratch him every time he itches, and I help him transfer from his wheelchair to go all around the house. And of course it's a lot. Keeping Max healthy and alive takes up a large portion of my time & energy. But i wouldn't change a thing, and he does so much for me too. I care for him physically, but he keeps track of my emotional wellbeing, makes sure I'm safe, holds me when I'm scared, nourishes my self esteem, and assures me every day that I am a strong and capable and talented woman.


Update: Here is the link 

36 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm not even sure what to say. I have a physical disability. I've known my partner for almost our entire lives. He chose me with a pretty good idea of my struggles. Yes things have gotten harder unfortunately but he's still here and reassuring me he always will be no matter how my health goes. In turn I help him in the areas he struggles, which are many. We get frustrated with each other at times but we also laugh a lot and get to spend our lives waking up to our best friend every morning.

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    1. What you said, Jamie, pretty much defines a great relationship. Which seems to have escaped Dr. Phil, because to him a disability defines a relationship, period, and not positively. I hope he's paid at least some attention to all the people like you who have come out to prove him wrong.

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  2. It is infuriating when so-called experts pontificate in the absence of any data, out of pure bigotry. There is no reason why a person with physical challenges should not be the best of partners. The human condition is one of dependence, despite our best efforts to glorify independence, and the wonderful stories of the featured couples say exactly this, that we all depend on one another. This said, intellectual disability seems to me to raise different and more complex issues. What do you think?

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    1. I would say that while it's definitely more rare for people without intellectual disability and people with ID to be in a relationship, there are all kinds of melding of the minds in this world. I have no preconceptions of who Max might or might not partner with someday. I just want him to be happy.

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  3. Well my Deaf husband is at work while I, hearing person, is home with our son, but ok Dr Phil 🙄

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    1. I'm sure that would absolutely boggle his little mind.

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  4. Ellen....
    Wow. Just.... Wow. This makes me want to create a fictional story about an interabled couple, and post it on my Blog!! You know, raise acceptance? Show the world through a fictional story that interabled relationships can work!! Not that people leave comments on my Blog anymore, so I will have no clue who I'll even reach!! But what do I care? ;)
    Peace out, Mary Lou

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    1. Ha! Mary Lou, there is such an outpouring of photos and comments on Instagram and Twitter from interabled couples that truth is definitely stronger than fiction!

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  5. Ellen....
    True.... And that is wonderful!! But fiction is what I do!! I would absolutely hate being a biographer!! ;)
    Peace out, Mary Lou

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  6. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=829689474041139&id=100010002820150

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  7. Whatever Dr. Phil I am still wondering how your beautiful wife with a wonderful head of hair can still be with a bald man like you. I know you get my point. Dude wake up.

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  8. This would be why I don't watch day time TV ( aside from the fact that I have a full time job and two teenagers to keep up with.) This is so BOGUS I don't even know where to begin. I have CP, and walk with aid of a cane or a walker; been married to my wife for 18+ years; have three terrific children and a full time, successful career as pastor to two thriving churches. Accommodations have been made throughout the years, but that's normal in any relationship. To say that one cannot be both lover and caregiver indicates a profound lack of understanding on so many levels.

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    1. My husband has CP. We have been married for 32 years, and have raised two sons together. Dr. Phil can take his "100 out 100" statement and sit on it. :)

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  9. I've been with my caring, beautiful man for 19 years. I was much stronger when we first began this relationship, now most things that I need done depends on him helping me. Hhe never seems to have a problem with it. I love him and he loves me and I know that for a fact.

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  10. I saw that episode. He wasn't dismissing interabled couples, he was advising that ONE couple in regard to the interpersonal problems THEY were having. Posting comments out of context is intentionally misleading.
    If you haven't seen the episode, you need to. It highlighted caregiver stress and ineffective coping strategies- not their "interability". Theirs was a relationship issue and that's how it was addressed.
    They got help, developed a plan, and both felt better about themselves and their relationship at the end. How is that a failure? You don't have to like Dr Phil, but don't twist the truth.

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    1. I saw parts of the episode and indeed, he was advising one couple. And he did, indeed, say what he has been quoted on. And there is no mistaking what he meant by these sweeping statements.

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  11. I am a 33 year old woman with cerebral palsy. I can not walk . I have been married for 3 years . Am i extra work. Yes . He carries me . He puts my shoes on. But you know what i did . I stepped up (metaphorically of course) i stepped up and showed him proper treatment. I also stepped up and with him raise his 2 children while their ablebodied mom is absent . I am a full time mom. I cook i clean . I support him. I cant do stairs and have a hard time with shoes.....by dr phils statement . This dooms my marriage . I am so used to doubt. Judgements. Assumptions. But this ......on this platform .....well i am doing a hell of a lot better job than the walking one who walked away from her kids and tried to destroy my now husband . Shame . Just cause he helps me doesnt mean . I dont reciprocate in my able areas.

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  12. Tina....
    You have C.P., you're a wheelchair user, {I am assuming}, and you are helping to raise your husband's children?! That's great!! You are Wonder Woman!! I do mean that!! ;)
    Peace out, Mary Lou

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  13. Agreed. He was very supportive and helpful to them.

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  14. I am a disabled therapist (among other things) I'm also a wife and mom. We have been together 13 years. Dr. Phill is why I no longer want to be a practicing therapist. People value pop/fake therapists more than they ever value real ones. Dr. Phil needs to get his license back and take about 70 multicultural classes, but I'm sure he'll just keep being a million who yells at traumatized poor people and then they'll all walk away with their personalty disorders and their one thousand dollars to his $250,000. NOT BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID BUT BECAUSE *REAL* THERAPY IS LIKE WORKING OUT THREE DAYS A WEEK. It's time consuming and the results aren't immediate so people would rather just do juice cleanses every 6 months and say they work out.

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    1. Thank you! He is not a Dr. Of psychology or counseling. His doctorate is in something else (I forget exactly what). His "help" hurts more people than it actually helps.

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  15. This infuriated me. I recently underwent an amputation on one leg. I told my bf he could leave. I was basically giving him and out bc I thought I was so different and he didn't sign up for it. Of course he looked at me like I was kidding. Needless to say....he is still around. Supportive as ever. We are rocks and sounding boards for each other. We all have some level of damage....that's life and the right person loves you through it and in spite of it. Dr. Phil is an asshat. I have a good idea where to stick my prosthesis. Js

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  16. Honestly. That's disturbing. That means if his long time wife Robin, God forbid, disabled in an accident he would leave her. Or she him if shoe was on other foot. That is not love.

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  17. Michael. Gypse AngelMarch 21, 2019 at 2:58 AM

    My wife an i have had our ups and downs like any two people have but..6 years ago our marrage rolls reverced in a way befor i lost my legs an became wheelchair bond .I was who worked i was who took care of every thang that needed doing iut side of the house...now she does..and im more less a house hubby i guess its called lol im my wifes bitch now.. but all jokeing aside shes been with me through sum heavy health problems that most spouces and family members would ran like hell away from and did..now i know my wife takes a lot of shit becouse of how things are an ive told her several times when she feels she had enough she can change meaning go find some one else to be apart of her life as ling as shes happy thats all i worry about...and yet every morning i wake up with her in my arms an kiss her lips an look in her besutiful blue eyes to see the same spark i first saw when i i asked her to marry me years ago . Guess my point is...dr phil doesn't know every thing..when souls are ment to be no matter how bad the storm is hearts,love,loyality honor respict truth .will always find away and come out on the other side stroner than before..

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  18. So through sickness and in health means nothing to this joker? Why is he still a thing? I guess when my lupus finally gets me to a point that I can't be independant, my wife of now 12 years should just up and dump me? Or if something horrible happened to her and she should need my help, we should choose that as a perfect time to trade me for a nurse and I go on my merry way.

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  19. My parents got married in the 1960s. My mom was a polio survivor and walked with a brace and cane, and later was in a wheelchair. Her disability was barely a blip in their relationship. They were happily married until she died of cancer in 1994. I doubt they would have asked Dr. Phil for his opinion on anything.

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  20. My wife and I are part of the #100outof100 also. We've been married for the past 23 years. I've had cerebral palsy since birth.

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  21. Amazing that my husband and I have been married for over 38 years then. Clearly he was never going to stay with a wheelchair user, or successfully raise 2 gorgeous boys between us, or be the loving and caring grandparents that we are to 4 wonderful grandchildren. What in ignorant idiot that Dr Phil must be. My sons are doctors and they know far better!

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  22. He is an ableist jerk. For a different perspective: I dated a guy with a pronounced disability. He used a chair and walker. Our relationship difficulties and eventual breakup did not come from his disability. We dealt with his disability with aplomb, and had a lot of fun dissing people who defined us by it. Our relationship collapsed for the same reason many "able bodied" ones do: he drank too much and was a jerk. When he tried to tell me I was breaking up with him due to his disability, I told him the truth. I let him go for the same reason I'd leave an able bodied alkie and jerk!

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  23. Due to my profession, I know many people with significant disabilities who are in long term, happy and healthy relationships. I know some socially and professionally. Many of the relationships have lasted for decades thus far and are going strong as they have raised families, travelled, both working and contributing to the relationship like most people do. Phil's episode was extremely offensive to me and though I've only ever watched a couple of his shows a year, I won't ever again. I was so disgusted; still am.

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  24. Is he saying that 100% if his wife were in a accident and was to become disabled he'd leave her? I have a spinal cord injury in a wheelchair and was married to a man who's legally blind. I assure you our marriage didn't end because of our disabilities. I would love to know where he got his percentage from in the first place.

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  25. I saw this episode and I did not take what he was saying the same way as some of the others. This particular couple was having issues with the dual role that the girlfriend was taking on. (girlfriend and caregiver). She was resentful towards him and he was towards her. Dr Phil's comment about her choosing a role was him addressing their issues. The comment about it not working 100 percent of the time was for this situation only and does not apply to other healthy relationships. I don't know why people have to twist his intentions into something it was not.

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    1. Do the unknown commenters here defending Dr. Phil perhaps work for him? I have to wonder. While the episode was about this couple in particular and Dr. Phil gave them feedback and advice, he most definitely did not sound like he was solely referring to *their* relationship when said "100 times out of 100 times, this won't work." That it a broad statement based on...what? It sounds factual when it is not. And that it what many interabled couples have objected to.

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  26. Unfortunately this is the way the world is nowadays and it is absolutely shocking!!! I left my husband after 13 years. I became ill following our pregnancy after we had been married for 5 years and he made the next 8 years of my life unbearable - thinking it was ok to control me due to my illness. I finally found the courage to say no more however unfortunately he won custody of our only son due to my I'll health and of course my husband has now stopped all contact - only way he could still have any control over me! If Dr Phil is to be believed should I have stayed in that unhappy marriage as I was lucky he was still with me? I think not. I have lost my job, house, marriage, independence and now my son who is the most important thing in the world to me - would I go back? Never in a million years even when my heart is breaking, missing my boy every single day. We need more awareness of this kind of discrimination and alienation it needs to STOP!!

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  27. The disabled guy on Dr Phil's show was so, so angry at the whole world for making him suffer his disability, that not even St Teresa could have stayed with him. Dr Phil did not say it never works, he said in that one case, the guy was so angry, and the girl was so exhausted that it couldn't possibly work the way it was. He offered them conselling so they could stay together.

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Thanks for sharing!



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