Interabled couples are sharing their love on social media following a “Dr. Phil” episode that aired on Tuesday in which Dr. Phil claimed that an able-bodied woman dating a disabled man “can be his lover or you can be his caregiver, but you can’t be both… It won’t work, 100 out of 100 times this won’t work.”
Titled “I Swiped Right on My Quadriplegic Boyfriend,” the show featured Bailey, who has C5, C6 quadriplegia following an accident 11 years ago, and his girlfriend and caregiver, Harley.
The episode began with Dr. Phil asking audience members if they would date someone in a wheelchair and then if they would date a disabled person if they required full-time care. Dr. Phil then displayed the results, 58 percent said they would date a wheelchair user and 29 percent said they would date someone who required full-time care.
“You’re a young, single, attractive female. Out of all the people that you can choose, why choose someone in a wheelchair?” Dr. Phil asked Harley before having Bailey come on stage. Harley explained her attraction to Bailey, adding: “We make each other happy.”
The couple reached out to the show due to the tension surrounding Bailey’s care. Because they live in a rural area, the couple said they found it hard to hire a qualified assistant to help.
“I didn’t want her to be my caretaker,” Bailey said. “Where we live, we live so far from any kind of caretaker and the ones we have access to, they’re no good.”
Harley began assisting Bailey over the course of their relationship, becoming his full-time caregiver after failing to find someone reliable.
“I’ve dealt with this kind of situation a lot,” Dr. Phil said, noting he’s worked with people who have brain and central nervous system injuries. Dr. Phil then told Harley she had to choose between being his caretaker and his girlfriend.
“There are a lot of people that can be his caretaker, but there are not a lot of people who can be his girlfriend and his lover,” Dr. Phil said. “It’s not your job. You’re either going to be his lover or his caretaker. It’s way above your paygrade. You’re not skilled for that either.”
Disabled people and their partners were quick to respond to the episode. On Thursday, YouTubers and interabled couple Hannah Aylward and Shane Burcaw shared a video explaining why they declined to be on Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil. After watching Aylward and Burcaw’s video, disabled designer Matt Plummer shared a photo of him and his wife Bethany to show people that interabled relationships work, that you don’t have to choose between loving your partner and caring for them, and tagged Aylward and Burcaw.
By Jordan Davidson, The Mighty
Roll with Cole & Charisma made this great video: Dear Dr. Phil, #100outof100
“After much deliberation we decided to post this video in response to Dr. Phil’s recent comments regarding caregiving in interabled relationships. We felt compelled to bring a positive light to what he portrayed as a very negative situation. Dr. Phil may think that 100 out of 100 relationships involving caregiving fail, but we, and many more in our community, are proof he’s wrong! We are #1of100s that won’t fail.”