Dr. Reality Steve

Podcast #11 with Special Guest Courtney Robertson Along with “Dr. Reality Steve” Emails

Hi reality Steve-

I have an issue with my husband that I’m hoping you can help with. We have been married almost 6 years and have two girls – one is 3.5 and the other 15 months. Also, we are expecting a third daughter in June of this year (it was a complete surprise, as my husband thought we were done with two). It took him awhile to warm up to this third baby and he has even said several times that he doesn’t want the baby. That has been so hurtful for me to deal with. Of course I was surprised too and I’m nervous about it – I work full time, so now we have to think about childcare for three which is super expensive! However, in my mind we just need to figure out how to deal with it since it was happening.

Now, a little history about our marriage….

We have struggled for several years now. He has a lot of anger issues that stem from the fact he hates his job. He has been in the same job since before I met him and keeps telling me that he can’t find another one. I’m not sure that I believe that, but he is probably being too picky with the jobs he wants to do. Anyway, he takes his anger out on me and now on our girls. I think it became more obvious to me once our oldest daughter was born. Prior to that, I just dealt with it. But now, it is getting worse – we fight a lot in front of the girls and he is verbally abusive to all of us. Being pregnant, I’m always tired at night and all I hear from his is how I don’t do the dishes, how lazy I am, etc. I’m clearly not lazy – I have a stressful full time job and take care of two young kids. Yes, the dishes don’t get done most nights, but that doesn’t make me lazy. Since the 3 year old is at the age where she is starting to understand more, she usually starts crying and asks me why daddy is so mean. It breaks my heart! I use that as a learning experience for her and try to teach her that we don’t talk to people like that. However, I’m at the point where I feel like I need to make a decision on what to do. Should I stay with him and have him be verbally abusive? Or should I leave? When I’ve brought up the topic of leaving, he tells me that separation isn’t an option – that he would just get divorced and be done with it. I’m not sure if he actually means that or just says it because he thinks it will upset me. I’ve been going to counseling for a year now and he finally agreed to go. He has been to about 3 sessions now, but I’m not sure that it will help things. His attitude about counseling is that he thinks it’s a waste of time. He really needs separate counseling sessions, but I don’t think he would agree to that. Some days he acts like he wants it to work and some days (mainly when he is yelling at me or the girls), I think that he has checked out and is done. So I’m torn as to what I should do. Some of my friends think I should get out and not put up with the verbal abuse. And others have encouraged me to stick it out – that marriage is hard, etc. While I get that marriage is hard, there has to be a point where I deserve to be treated with respect. Also, my primary responsibility at this point is to protect my girls and do what is best for them. With baby # 3 coming soon, that will just add to our stress. So I’m sure that will just make things worse between us. Do you have any thoughts or advice on what I should do?

Comment: A few things to cover here. Lets first talk about his job. Him saying he can’t find another one is just a flat out lie. He might not be able to find another one that he likes, or wants to do, but anyone can find another job if they really put for the effort. Not to mention, has he even tried and interviewed and gotten rejected by a bunch of places? Or he’s just not trying? I tend to guess it’s the latter. But yeah, all in all, that sounds more like laziness than anything else.

Should you stay with him as he continues to be verbally abusive? Ummmm, no. Yes, marriage is hard. That’s why people work at it. But by the looks of things, you are the only one working at it. He’s still exhibiting the verbally abusive behavior, doesn’t seem like he’s interested in getting better, and in turn, is making you miserable as you’re due to deliver another baby. Usually someone in your position who emails me will mask it with a, “But he really is a great guy…” excuse. You didn’t do that, which I know means it’s really bad. You’ve said for a while now you guys have struggled. If it’s been this long, assume the pattern isn’t going to change. And if he has already stated forget a separation and he’d go straight to a divorce, pretty much tells me he’s checked out.

I don’t envy the spot you’re in right now because it sucks. Who wants to go through a divorce when they’re pregnant? No one. You’re roughly 6 months in, and I don’t think ending your marriage right now in the third trimester of a pregnancy is the smartest thing to do. I don’t think you need the added stress. I would continue to seek counseling, tough it out through the pregnancy, but just know things probably aren’t changing with him. Once your child is born, I would have a heart to heart, lay it all out there, tell him you can’t accept that behavior anymore, you’ve put up with it too long, and then start making arrangements to leave. I really don’t see this getting much better on your end. I mean, if it’s SO bad right now that you think he could physically hurt either you or your children, then yeah, I’d get out as quick as possible. I don’t think that’s the case based on what you said, but I guess with anger issues, you just never know if verbal abuse will ultimately lead to physical. Either one you don’t deserve. I just don’t know about going through divorce stuff when you’re due in June. But this is a relationship you probably need to get out of once the baby comes. It just doesn’t seem healthy at all.
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Dear Dr. Steve,

I’m going to keep this as much of a long story short as I can.

I met an ex of mine almost three years ago (Spring 2014). We dated for a few months, he ended it a week after we had a talk about the relationship (wherein we had decided to continue dating but not yet go exclusive). A month later, he reached out to me on gchat, and we became friends again.

He’d sometimes accuse me of being a flirt (guilty! with all parties though, there was no direct intention of being a flirt with him, and after that I did try to NOT be flirtatious with him, avoid all but a hello hug, etc) but our friendship was fine otherwise.

The summer before last (Summer 2015), we ended up having dinner and then hooking up. It happened a few more times, then I didn’t see him for about a month (largely his fault). He wanted to sleep together again when we finally saw each other, I told him no, and that the no was because I didn’t just want to be available for him physically when he was bored or on an inconsistent basis. He agreed he had been crappy, didn’t get mad at me, we went back to having a non physical relationship but definitely saw each other less.

Well, guess what. just before the holidays this year, drunk me decided to text him one night and he came over. I felt kind of conflicted about this but thought to myself that there is some reason we keep going back to this attraction, and maybe we ought to give it a real try (dating) or allow it to happen and get it out of our systems. A few days later he asked me when we could see each other the following week, so we got together again. I was pleased and thought we were maybe on the same page of exploring the connection but trying to not stress about it.

Then the holidays happened, we were in touch a bit somewhat but nothing crazy.
…then we were both back in town and he started avoiding me / ghosting me. I asked him what was going on, and he told me that he felt that navigating the friends / hook up scenario was too hard. I told him that I understood, but (as I said above) we had a chance to either try this or to get it out of our systems, but we needed to communicate expectations to each other instead of being hurtful about it.

Anyway. It turned into him saying he didn’t know how to handle it and can we just be friends, and me saying in return that frankly, he doesn’t even seem to want to act like a friend(because of the ghosting, primarily). We haven’t talked since then.
So here’s my question: Do you think that it would be worth being friends again when this situation cools down (as it likely will given our past)? I DO enjoy him as a friend but I’m concerned that our continued attraction to each other is going to just make this trouble or make history repeat itself.

thanks for your thoughts!

Comment: Seems like a lot of unnecessary beginnings and endings of a friendship that you really don’t need. I think as long as you stay friends, that awkwardness about hooking up will always be there since you have in the past. It’s kinda hard to move past that, especially when both of you have addressed it and even he says it’s tough. I wouldn’t do it anymore. Just not worth your time and will probably affect any future relationships you get into. I mean, if you think the two of you can be friends and there never be another hookup ever, then try it. But by the sounds of things, it doesn’t look like that can happen.
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Hello again! I never see follow ups on the dr Reality Steve section, so if you’re short on emails next week, feel free to use this one! You commented:

Comment: Have your sisters given reasons why they aren’t showing up anymore? What are they? I think once you get those reasons, you’ll know. I can’t imagine it has to do with you having a house and they don’t. Seems like a real petty reason not to show up at your parents house for Sunday dinner. Maybe they’re busy with their own family stuff. Someone needs to just ask them why they don’t come anymore. This may seem like a stupid question, but, do they KNOW there’s still Sunday dinner every week that you attend and they choose not to?

Obviously family dynamics are different with everyone. And yeah, it sucks when grandparents don’t get to see their grandkids as much as they’d like. But someone just needs to say something to your sisters, whether it’s you or your parents. Get a direct answer. Maybe it’s just they aren’t aware it’s happening. Or maybe they’ve got their own issues. Or maybe they want to do it, but only once a month. Find out why, and then take it from there. You can’t force your sisters to do something they maybe don’t want to do, but at least find out the why first.

My sisters always give really lame excuses for not coming. Like “I’m busy” “I’m tired” “I want a day to relax”. They are so obviously excuses that we know they are not legitimate. They certainly do know that family dinner is still every Sunday, as my mom asks them every Friday if they are coming or not, so she knows how much to cook (even though she makes too many portions anyways). Neither of my sisters work full time and one of them doesn’t even have kids, so we don’t understand why they can’t set aside a few hours for their parents. It’s especially irksome because my parents are very helpful to all of us – even financially. I guess it boils down to it being too much to ask for someone to give up one of their weekend days every week to spend time with their aging parents???

Love your insight. Thanks in advance!

Comment: Yeah, then they basically just don’t want to hang with the family for whatever reason, since those are lame excuses. You’re gonna have to call them out on it if you want the true answer, and maybe even then they won’t give it.
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Alrighty Doctor, so this might be a weird one:

I’m single and I haven’t really been looking around on the dating world. But recently, I became friends with two people, a guy and a girl. The two of them are long-time best friends.

We’ve been hanging out as a group lately and I find myself unable to stop flirting with both of them. The girl is a lesbian, the guy is straight, and both people are single. They seem to be receptive to my advances and have reciprocated the flirting, at least in my opinion.

I have never dated a woman, in part because I come from a very strict family that would not be okay with it at all, and I don’t want to put someone through what would happen should she meet my parents (It would be very bad. Think WW3, and then x15).

I’m attracted to both of them, but I’m pretty sure that my connection with the girl is a little bit stronger. I’m honestly not sure if I’m looking for anything serious or not, I think it’s a bit early to tell. I do, however, think that if I should have to think about one of them long term, prospects with the guy are looking better because logistically, it would be easier and plus, he’s a terrific guy (checks all the boxes).

Since they’re best friends, I’m not sure if it would be more respectful of me to just pick one and continue flirting with them, as opposed to just flirting with both and seeing where each relationship/friendship goes. What do you think? Also, any ideas on which I should choose?

I think what’s getting to me here is also that for all I know, this could all be in my head and neither one of them are interested at all. Entirely possible.

Comment: Have you never dated a woman because of what your family would think? Or have you never dated a woman because you weren’t interested in them until this girl? I mean, I’m not one to tell you who you should or shouldn’t like. I don’t know enough about you to make an honest opinion about that. But if you’re saying you’re more attracted to her and the connection is stronger, than you should at least pursue that and see where it goes. Sure, your family might go ape sh** but it’s your happiness. Settling for the other guy because he “checks all the boxes” and is more “logistically better” isn’t enough. Go after the one you want regardless of the circumstances. You obviously know what lies ahead if you pursue something with this girl and she reciprocates it. It won’t be easy with your family, but again, it’s your choice of who you are interested in. And if it happens to be a woman, so be it. You’re not in the wrong for that at all. I’m sure it’s frightening and maybe you’ve repressed feelings like this forever for fear of what your parents might say, and I’d say that’s probably natural. But don’t let it determine your ultimate fate with someone else. I know those are just words and easy for me to say because I’m straight, but, it’s the honest truth. Pursue the girl and if she’s interested, deal with the ramifications from family afterwards. But ultimately you do what makes you happy. Don’t live your life for other people. You’ll be miserable.
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Send all links and emails to: steve@realitysteve.com. To follow me on Twitter, it’s: www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you next week.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. allaboutme

    February 9, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    I swear I thought that last email (with the boy/girl best friends) was going to go into a different direction …

  2. sochi

    February 9, 2017 at 5:54 PM

    What an incredible guest, Steve! I really like the perspective Courtney brings; very authentic. I personally didn’t cringe when she brought up how Ben & his mom treated her in the book, I thought it was entirely fair. This was a man she loved and supported; but because those two chose to believe a heavily produced TV show’s version of Courtney over the real Courtney, they felt justified in hurting and humiliating her when she had so few supporters in her corner. I’m sure they felt the consequences of those actions once people recognized that Courtney was well-meaning and misunderstood.
    Side note: As an Arizona native, I’m definitely a big fan of Jergens lotion, too. Haha
    Anyway Steve, I’ve really enjoyed each of your podcasts. You get a great dialogue going with each of your guests.

  3. phlacampbe

    February 9, 2017 at 7:56 PM

    Best podcast so far, and I have liked all of them! Seriously awesome guest and made me buy her book online. I actually always felt like she got a bad rap during her season, and know how producer driven the show is. Which is why I don’t fully believe all the stuff that Corrine is saying is actually what she is saying.
    Thank you for your site, always entertaining!

  4. tbta4

    February 10, 2017 at 6:20 AM

    What a great podcast. Courtney is so much more self aware than I expected. She is very likeable.

  5. paradi

    February 10, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    You slobbered over Courtney a bit (not that I blame you), but good interview overall.

  6. heehah

    February 10, 2017 at 12:48 PM

    Best podcast so far! Inloved Courtney’s honesty and her down to earth nature.

  7. yoyotono

    February 10, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    Looking forward to this podcast. Ben’s season was one of the ones I never watched, but only have seen a little here and there about Courtney. I’ve wanted to read her book for some time though. I wish you could get Tiara (Sean’s season), Jubilee, or Olivia on in the future. Is it weird though that no males from Bachelor franchise have come on your podcast?

  8. rozefly

    February 11, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    To the lady with baby number 3 on the way and the abusive husband. I don’t know if I would agree with Steve that you should wait until after your baby is born to make this decision. If he is already berating you for being ‘lazy’ then this isnt going to get any easier as the pregnancy progresses – in your email, you mention that friends and family have said to get away from him. Well – use those people. So many people in your situation don’t have that support network – but you do and you can change your situation if you choose to. You don’t need to leave him and call a solicitor right away (that can defo wait until after the baby is born, if that is what you want) But you can at least get yourself out of that environment with your girls. Stay with a friend, stay with your family. I don’t know this man or what his temper is like, but if you’re able to wait until he is out of the house and then collect your children and go somewhere else, then that might be the best option. Then you can leave a letter or call him/ meet with him to discuss your decision – away from your children. It made me so sad to hear that he is not only abusive towards you, but to them too. I am sure he loves them.. but this underlying dissatisfaction with his own life is leading him to take that out on you guys and that is NOT fair, and not something you should ever have to put up with.

    What is also concerning is that you say you’re already using his behaviour as an example to your eldest on what is NOT okay. But.. even though you are telling her that, you’re showing her the opposite by allowing it to continue. Many people stay in toxic relationships for the sake of the kids.. but kids are more resilient than people give them credit for. They will understand and adapt (and probably find it to be a fun adventure – staying with someone else for a while), and they will be away from an environment in which daddy yells at mommy and that’s just the norm.

    I don’t think you should wait until the baby arrives – even by writing this letter you have acknowledged there is a serious problem and taken that first step. You know what you SHOULD do – but its scary. When you start making steps to change your life, you will start feeling more in control.

    What’s more – you dont have to be the one to initiate a divorce if you don’t want to. You can leave and inform him that you want a bit of space from him, explain why but tell him you’ll be willing to work at it if he seriously considers his actions and vows to change his ways – then the divorce ball is in his court. If he is serious about no separation, then fine, let HIM be the one to make that decision. But something tells me, this man will quickly realise what he’s lost. Call his bluff – but get out of that house and try to enjoy the final months of your pregnancy in an environment free of abuse. Then, YOU can be the one to decide if your life is happier without him, or if you want to give it another shot.

    He’s your husband and is supposed to be your PARTNER in life, he’s mean to support you and you’re supposed to tackle tough times as a TEAM. If you are not getting that from this marriage, then you have to consider what it is you’re trying to hold onto and save.

  9. walker

    February 11, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    I believe that SADE is shah-day – beautiful artist.

  10. rob22

    February 13, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    I did want to comment on the woman with the abusive husband. You do sound mostly clear eyed here. You see the picture, and it’s grim. But let’s dispense with the job having anything to do with the problem. Lots of people work crappy jobs and don’t go home and berate their wives and kids. The issue is him. I think you see that, but don’t let him blame the job, or you not doing the dishes for HIS behavior. It’s also not very encouraging that he’s calling the counseling a waste of time. At least, he’s going, but it doesn’t sound like any progress is being made.

    Unfortunately it’s TERRIFYING to be abused, pregnant & looking at the prospect of being out on your own. So, the first thing you need is support. Do you have family or friends to help? Maybe someone who can take you in temporarily while you sort out your next steps? I’m not talking about living with Mom & Dad or friends long term. Just a couple of months so you can save up a deposit for an apartment & file for divorce or separation.

    If you don’t, start saving some money on the side so you can get prepared to make an exit, that I’m afraid is inevitable.

    BTW: the proper “good husband” route to take would be to try and help with the dishes & the household chores. Not berate you for not doing them. Yeah, sometimes couples bicker about the chores. But usually one puts that aside when the wife is pregnant. A real man would be trying to pick up the slack. That’s unfortunately not what you have. You have a little boy trying to act tough. Not to get too crazy here in analyzing facts not presented, but it sounds like your husband’s Dad did a terrible job of teaching him how to be a man. I’m guessing he was either not there or was abusive himself. Abusiveness like this rarely happens in a vacuum. It came from somewhere, someone. It didn’t come from his job.

  11. lacquerholic

    February 13, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Are they announcing it now because it’s Black History Month? #sideeye

  12. lacquerholic

    February 13, 2017 at 11:56 AM

    I’m also guessing they hope that viewership goes up since his ratings have been lower than Ben’s season across the board. Plus it gets people talking about the show whether it is positive or negative.

  13. courtney6

    February 13, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Oh my Steve you totally are in LOVE with Courtney! Can’t blame you, she’s funny and we share the same name :)! However….in her book she specifically says what a big fan of the bachelor/bacherolette she was and use to host parties with her friends (she also mentions watching it while getting through a break up) but in this podcast she say she wasn’t a huge follower and applied because her sister was such a huge fan….there is other things she said in this podcast that are completely the opposite to what she wrote in her book but I really don’t care enough to reference then all…I always like like d her, but I still feel she is using this franchise to her benefit and she isn’t being completely honest. I am still a fan but come on….

  14. courtney6

    February 13, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Ps…please excuse my grammatical errors, your site does not run well on my iPhone!

  15. cindy40

    March 23, 2017 at 4:07 AM

    I’ve had a couple of readings with Dr. Todd and he amazes me every time. The very first one I had was last year and I was really nervous but Todd called at the exact time as the appt down to the minute and he was just so friendly. He picked up right away what was going on in my life without me asking a single question. He picked up initials of the people involved!! I’ve never had anyone do that before and I’ve been to my share of psychics! {manifest spell cast@gmail. com} doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear, he tells you the truth!! I was very amazed with his accuracy!! When I got off the phone my hands were shaking because I was in shock! My first experience was so well that I came back to Dr. Todd again for another reading recently when things in my life weren’t so well! He once again picked up on things so well and described the people and situation! He’s going to help me get my life back the way I want. I really trust him and his spirits! I know it’s real and I know I’ll be back to leave another testimonial on his wonderful work and to tell you all my happy results because I know I’ll have them.

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