Image: Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty Images

Back in 1976, Phil McGraw took his relationship with Robin Jo Jameson to the next level, as they tied the knot. Since then, their bond has gone from strength to strength, coinciding with the former’s rise as a famous TV personality. But if you’re wondering how Dr. Phil and his wife have maintained their marriage, they revealed a few secrets in September 2018.

Image: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As some of you will no doubt attest, it can be difficult to predict when a romantic relationship will spring up. In Dr. Phil’s case, his bond with Robin started during a very tricky period in his life. At that time, he was going through an annulment with his first wife Debbie Higgins.

Image: Jean Catuffe/GC Images/Getty Images

Once that difficult issue was resolved, Dr. Phil and Robin’s relationship developed even further, ahead of their wedding in the mid-1970s. From there, the lovebirds went on to build a family together, welcoming two sons into the world named Jordan and Jay. However, no one could’ve predicted what happened next.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Andrew Chin/Getty Images

After meeting Oprah Winfrey in 1995, Dr. Phil was asked to come on her talk show some three years later. And the audience quickly took to him, which led to the creation of his own program. Yet while the television star continues to offer up relationship advice on the small screen, he and Robin unveiled the secrets behind their coupling in 2018.

Image: Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Before we get into that, though, let’s take a closer look at Dr. Phil’s life prior to his television career. Born in September 1950, he spent his younger years in Texas alongside his parents and three sisters. But due to his dad’s burning ambition to work as a psychologist, they eventually left the Lone Star State.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Dr. Phil went on to settle in Kansas for a time, where he enrolled at Shawnee Mission North High School. Then, he became a student at the University of Tulsa after obtaining a scholarship in football. Unfortunately for the future TV star, that didn’t work out in the end, prompting him to make a big decision.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Indeed, Dr. Phil decided to leave The University of Tulsa for another college back in Texas. So he joined Midwestern State University to study psychology, earning his degree in 1975. However, as the student was working his way through the subject, his personal life was in an interesting place too.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

For you see, some five years before Dr. Phil’s graduation, he tied the knot with Higgins in 1970. And the couple stayed together for around three years, at which time they opted to split up. Since then, the psychologist’s former wife has made some damning claims about him, suggesting he was too demanding of her.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jean Catuffe/GC Images/Getty Images

Regardless of those accusations, though, Dr. Phil found love again while their union was being annulled. As we mentioned earlier, he started to form a relationship with Robin during that time. Yet as it turned out, she was already somewhat familiar with his family, due to her friendship with one of his sisters.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Michael Buckner/ACM2015/Getty Images for dcp

Now, it didn’t take long for Dr. Phil to develop feelings for Robin, but not even he could’ve predicted what happened next. When he was in his room one day, he overheard a chat between his sister and the latter through a vent. Over the course of that talk, the psychologist learned that the object of his affections felt the same way about him.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Dr. Phil

From there, Dr. Phil and Robin spent the next three years together, which led to their marriage in 1976. Yet despite their feelings for each other, you might be surprised to hear that the college graduate didn’t intend to get hitched at first. In fact, he was happy to keep their relationship as it was.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

So with that in mind, Robin took charge of the situation and put forward an “ultimatum” of sorts, according to website The Things.com. Thanks to that bold move, Dr. Phil soon warmed to the idea of exchanging vows with his partner. Then, in the early stages of their marriage, the duo became parents for the first time in 1979.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Yes, Robin gave birth to Jay at that stage, before Jordan arrived some seven years later in 1986. After showing some initial reluctance to tie the knot, Dr. Phil now had a young family of his own. To help support them, he continued to work in the psychology field, completely unaware of what awaited him.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Allen Berezovsky/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Now, Dr. Phil’s rise to superstardom began rather innocuously, as he decided to start up a “trial consulting” business with an attorney in 1990. Known as Courtroom Sciences Inc., the company was around five years old when it landed a truly significant client. In the end, it would change the McGraws’ lives forever.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: David Keeler/Getty Images

You see, ahead of a court case in 1995, Oprah Winfrey contacted Dr. Phil’s firm, looking to acquire its services. It was a move that eventually paid off, as the firm was part of a wider effort that helped win the trial during a prolonged three-year period. Yet Winfrey’s praise was specifically directed at Robin’s husband following the case.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As a result of that, Winfrey asked Dr. Phil to come on her talk show in 1998. That guest spot proved to be immensely popular with the viewers at home, so he subsequently earned a permanent place on the program going forward. During his segments, the dad-of-two discussed relationship issues and some other intriguing topics.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Thanks to that regular TV spot, Dr. Phil got his own talk show in 2002, which followed a similar format. Since then, the program has earned over 30 award nominations, many of which came at the Daytime Emmys. But while his work has been recognized within the industry, he’s looked to spread his advice to anyone who needs it at home.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

For instance, Dr. Phil has pulled upon his own experiences to share a few tips with married couples around the country. To give you an example, he believes that a problem can’t be solved between a husband and wife if they try to “fix” each other. And the advice didn’t end there, as we’re about to find out.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Indeed, Dr. Phil also noted that there’s a difference between “falling in love” and “being in love.” According to him, the latter can only be reached if you’re willing to work for it. Furthermore, he claims that there is no all-encompassing answer to relationship issues, as people need to find a solution that’s best suited to them.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Yet while Dr. Phil has been advising guests on his show for nearly 20 years, you might wonder about his own relationship. So on that note, he and Robin sat down for an interview with Us Weekly magazine in September 2018. Together, they discussed some of the inner workings of their marriage.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Mathew Imaging/WireImage/Getty Images

To begin with, Dr. Phil gave his view on how romantic bonds can thrive in the long-term, suggesting it’s fairly simple. The TV star explained, “I always tell people that the formula for a good relationship is that it’s based on a solid friendship. [Me and Robin are] really good friends.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Ben Rose/WireImage/Getty Images

In addition to that, Robin opened up about what she and her famous husband “bond” over today, making something quite clear. She said, “At this point, our family would probably be number one, then our relationship. We spend a lot of time together, but we have our own interests separately.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Regarding that latter point, Dr. Phil elaborated a little more. He told Us Weekly, “We go to work together every day because Robin’s been at every show. Robin is, in my opinion, a very critical part of the Dr. Phil team and the brand because most of my viewers are women. She’s a great balancing force for me.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty Images

Then the pair were asked about their shared interests away from work. As it turned out, they both loved pinball, to the point where they actually had a machine in their house. In fact, the couple made a routine of playing out some pinball games before heading to bed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty Images

Given the couple’s bond, it’s not surprising to hear that they don’t like spending too much time apart. However, the pair have a solution for that particular issue, as we’ll soon discover. Yes, thanks to modern technology, they can stay connected during those times of separation.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Duffy-Marie Arnoult/Getty Images

To explain more, Dr. Phil said, “When we do have to be apart, we never go for more than two or three days. If I have to go to New York to tape something and I’m up at 6 a.m. and it’s 3 a.m. in L.A., [Robin will] FaceTime me before she goes to sleep.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage for Rubenstein Communications, Inc./Getty Images

“I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’” Dr. Phil added. “[Robin] doesn’t like to go to bed when I’m not here.” So far, the lovebirds sound like any other happy couple, but there’s something else to consider. Of course, we’re referring to the star’s background in psychology, and how that impacted their relationship.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Mark Von Holden/WireImage for Rubenstein Communications, Inc./Getty Images

Surprisingly, though, Robin revealed that her husband doesn’t employ any of his well-known methods when they’re in the house. Yet there was a time during the early stages of their relationship where Dr. Phil did try to get in her head. While it was to aid his college studies, the effort wasn’t appreciated.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images

Indeed, as Robin recalled to Us Weekly, “[My husband] was in school studying and he asked me one night to be his patient so he could practice a personality test. I sat down in the little apartment we lived in and he started asking me these questions. And man, I was in a ball in the chair at one point. I think I might have even said, ‘Don’t Dr. Phil me anymore!’”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

To round things off, Dr. Phil and Robin then gave some insights into how they handle themselves in an argument. According to them, they made each other a promise that they wouldn’t allow things to get too heated during a verbal confrontation. And their thoughts didn’t end there.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

Yes, Dr. Phil told Us Weekly, “All couples fight and have disagreements, but we don’t have big blow ups because we deal with things when they arise. We don’t let it build up for a week, two weeks, three weeks. We’ve never been separated – and the ‘D’ word has never been spoken in this house.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Turner/Getty Images

And Robin concurred with her husband, adding, “We really did agree from the start that we weren’t going to fight, and so we just don’t. The older we get, the more we truly believe life is just too short. We’re just happy and proud of what we have.” However, that hasn’t stopped rumors from spreading in the past.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

For instance, the National Enquirer has posted a huge number of stories regarding Dr. Phil’s marriage, claiming it was on the rocks. Eventually, he felt the need to address the rumors head-on during an appearance on the Rachael Ray Show. At that stage, the TV host didn’t hold back.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Rachaelrayshow

“[Robin] lost both of her parents close together at a very young time in her life,” Dr. Phil said on the program. “And she said to me one day sitting on the end of the bed, ‘You know, I’m now an orphan. I’ve got no people.’ That’s the day I told her, ‘That’s not true. Let me tell you I will never leave you.’”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Rachaelrayshow

Dr. Phil concluded, “I just shake my head at these stupid tabloids. We are not getting a divorce. And for them to obsess on something that is so at the core definition of our family is just astounding to me.” Furthermore, in 2016, the couple sued the parent company of the National Enquirer for libel over the alleged marital slurs. According to BuzzFeed, the two parties quietly resolved the case months later, with no comment over a possible settlement.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: YouTube/Robin McGraw Revelation TV

Away from the negativity, Dr. Phil and Robin’s relationship is defined by surprises as well. To give you an example of that, the father-of-two organized a treat for his wife for Valentine’s Day in 2016. As always, she was in attendance for that day’s show, completely unaware of what was coming.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: YouTube/Dr. Phil

In the segment, Dr. Phil sets the stage by telling his audience, “Well, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. And my wife Robin is always the one who surprises me. But today, I’m finally getting her! So, as my Valentine’s Day gift to her, I talked to her number one favorite artist and band of all time.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: YouTube/Dr. Phil

Following this, Dr. Phil beckons his shocked spouse on to the stage. As she approaches him, Robin can barely contain her excitement, jumping up and down on the spot. Once she composes herself, the host reveals that their youngest son Jordan is there to perform with his group Hundred Handed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: YouTube/Dr. Phil

That heartwarming segment was subsequently posted on the show’s official YouTube channel in July 2016. Since then, the video’s earned over 1.5 million views and around 12,000 likes. But that’s not the only surprise that Robin’s received from her loving partner in recent times.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Dr. Phil

Indeed, Dr. Phil posted an emotional video on his Facebook page to mark their 42nd wedding anniversary in August 2018. In the clip, he reels off some of the highlights from their time together on plain white cards. Although it wasn’t as eye-catching as the previous shock, this simple showcase of affection highlighted the strength of their bond once again.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT