- Stage One: Crisis Mongering. As we know, Michael insisted on not wanting to consider the many suitable dwellings suggested as substitutes for Lovey Saltzmann's Death-Trap Of Love. The ostensible reason is that most of the places were too expensive, too small or too run down but he gave the game away when he objected to having to deal with a lease. Mike and Liz seem to have been brought up to think that having to deal with a legal contract that explains what they are allowed to do as being a form of tyranny because they have idiot parents who don't like having limits set on their behavior. This inability to see the world properly also explains his fear of Mira. He can't cope with generosity because it's not something he grew up with so has to assume there's a catch.
- Stage Two: Self-imposed Blindness Michael might have spent most of his time talking about how hard things were on April but he never really did anything to defend her from her persecutors because he never really bothered understanding how the others reacted. He didn't take into consideration the fact that Liz was too preoccupied with the mess she stupidly made of her love life to care, he didn't want to look at his wife and see someone who wanted to turn the child into her serf, he didn't want to look at a mother who had decided to stop being a parent and he especially didn't want to look at a father who does not want to admit that children have feelings that can be hurt because doing so would make him look in the mirror and see the ugly fool we know him to be. All he could do was wish that he could move out but he had no solution to a problem that didn't involve being enslaved to Mira's family politics.
- Stage Three: Idiotic Deus Ex Machina Luckily for him, his need for a place that had an alcove wherein he could be protected from being part of his family coincided with John's infantile need for a smaller house that had land that could be wasted idiotically. Everyone was happy expect April for some reason that was probably just teenage hormones because the alternative is that they were dicks to her and that couldn't be the case.
- Stage Four: Sordid Victory The same asshole who wrote a break-up email because he was too lazy and blind and stupid to find out what Rhetta thought thinks that his bullying his mother and kid sister out of their home because he's a lazy, ignorant shmuck is a wonderful thing that everyone loves because the alternative is seeing that people are right to see him as a repellent joke.
We can plug anything into that structure and get the same result. We can plug in Liz getting all butt-hurt because Therese doesn't like her unwelcome presence in her life into it. We can plug Mike refusing to admit that Martha isn't trying to make a fool of him and also tell a crazy lie about crazy friends who have the crazy idea that her wanting to have a private life means she thinks they're better than they are. We can plug in his stupid belief that Lawrence tried to hide his sexual orientation in order to humiliate him. We can plug in April's refusal to admit that Becky brings out the jealous idiot in her. We'll get the same result: the Pattersons making ugly fools of themselves and thinking that they're great people.