Nikol says her husband of eight years, Mark, is arrogant, narcissistic, racist and homophobic —but despite all of this, Nikol says she wants to stay with him! Mark admits to being a lousy partner and acting outrageously when he’s drunk and says even he wouldn’t want himself as a husband. Can Dr. Phil help break through Mark’s tough exterior? When he digs into this couple’s past, he uncovers two troubled childhoods fraught with hardships and abuse. Can their marriage be saved, or are they better off apart?
This program contains strong language. Viewer discretion advised.
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A Desperate Wife
“Mark and I met 10 years ago. At first, I didn’t like him because he was arrogant, but then that bad boy in him became extremely attractive,” Nikol says. “When I married Mark, I hoped that he would change his ways and stop being a wild child. And, it didn’t work. That dream got busted very quickly.”
Nikol says Mark is verbally abusive and treats her horribly. “Mark is constantly derogatory and says offensive things in public. Most of my friends won’t even come out because they can’t stand to be around him. My best friend calls him the devil. Mark is very narcissistic; he’s very full of himself,” she reveals. “When I call him and ask him where he is, he tells me, ‘I don’t have to * tell you where I am. It’s none of your damn business.’”
Another concern for Nikol is Mark’s behavior when he consumes alcohol. “Mark has driven us home drunk, and I try to stop him from driving, and then that causes a huge argument … He’s said on many occasions that he’ll just kill us both,” she shares. “One time at the bar, this girl was arguing with me, and Mark just whipped out his ‘business’ and peed up and down her. He brags about it to people because he thinks it’s funny.”
Nikol reveals her sex life is suffering as well. “I haven’t had a sex drive in about four years, because I had my thyroid removed. The only time Mark and I have sex now is when I’m drunk and usually when I’m passed out, and he still continues to have sex with me. I feel cheap when he does that,” she says. “When I got thyroid cancer, Mark wasn’t there for me at all — no doctor’s appointments. The only reason why he came in for my surgery is because I needed a ride to the hospital, and I couldn’t find a ride from anybody else.”
Although Nikol says, “Mark is truly the epitome of an *,” she says she wants to make their marriage work.
“Why has that [behavior] been OK with you for nine years?” Dr. Phil asks.
“I have a low self-esteem, and I can’t get anybody else,” Nikol says.
“I’ve always thought I’d rather be happy alone than sick with somebody else,” Dr. Phil says. “You’d rather be sick with somebody else than be alone?”
“I have a fear of being alone,” Nikol agrees.
An Inconsiderate Husband?
“I am very arrogant,” Mark admits proudly. “I don’t care what other people think about me. If you can’t handle the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen … Nikol or friends will tell me that I don’t think before I say something, and it really hurt their feelings. I’m like, ‘No, I did think. That’s why I said it. I don’t care if it hurt your feelings.'”
Mark shares insight into his drinking habits. “When I do drink, it’s ugly. It’s blackout. I’m walking around and functioning. I can drive us home safely, but I have no idea what happened,” he says.
Mark agrees that there are problems with his marriage to Nikol. “As far as me being her husband, I’m not involved in her life … I wouldn’t want to be married to me,” he admits. “When Nikol and I start to argue, I completely shut her out and ignore her. I know there is no winning in this situation.” But, Mark says he loves Nikol. “I wouldn’t want to see any harm come to her, but if I’m so bad, why don’t you just move on? Why deal with me? Just let me be an *.”
What’s behind Mark’s behavior? Does he act this way for shock value? “Maybe the window to your soul is that you’re highly abusive and latently gay?”
Nikol believes that Mark has cheated on her and fathered children with other women. “I confronted Mark on many occasions about him cheating on me, and he
swears it’s only been emotional affairs, but I just don’t believe that,” she says. “Two women have come forward stating that he’s the father of their
children. One of the babies is a mini Mark; it’s an identical Mark.”
“During Nikol and my relationship, I had several different emotional affairs with other women,” Mark admits. “They didn’t expect anything from me, and it was totally cool. When she asked me what I was doing, I said, ‘It’s none of your business what I’m doing. You don’t own me. I do what I need to do.’”
Has Mark had sexual affairs during their marriage? “She’s your wife. Do you have any regard or consideration for her feelings at all?”
Is Mark a Bigot?
Nikol says Mark is not only arrogant and rude, she says he’s also racist and homophobic. “One of my friends, she’s African-American, and Mark made comments to her, like, ‘Where’s your spear?'” she shares. “Mark says all the time, ‘If it wasn’t for gay people, there wouldn’t be any AIDS.’”
“Nikol thinks that I’m racist. She doesn’t like me using the N-word, so I’ve adapted to that to try to please her,” Mark says. “I have no problem with gay people. Don’t hit on me. I don’t want your gay ass hitting on me.”
Does Mark admit to being racist or homophobic? And, how does he feel about his marriage?
Nikol says she’s at a breaking point in her marriage. “I’m at the, it’s now, or I’m done,” she says. “I’ve got too much in my future.”
“If I didn’t care, why would I be here?” Mark says. “I do care, and I love her, and I want to see good things happen for her, and I believe she deserves happiness.”
“You get that it’s inappropriate,” Dr. Phil says, and Mark agrees. “Are you saying then that you’re doing it because you don’t know how to do differently?”
“Partially is lack of how to change it, because I’ve always been this way, and I do have some knowledge of how to control my behavioral situations, but since everybody considers me an *, why try?” Mark replies.
“When I was growing up, my mom, absolutely, did not control me as a kid. I was stubborn, and I was going to do what I wanted to anyway,” Mark says. “My dad wasn’t in the picture, except on Christmas, he would stop by and drop off $10.”
Mark says that in second grade, he almost got expelled from school for beating up a friend, and his negative behavior continued as he was growing up. “When I was about 10, one of my aunts said to my mother that if I was her child that she would pull down my pants and spank me, and I would learn who was boss. And I told her to * off.”
At 12 years old, Mark says he was sent to drug rehab, even though he didn’t have a substance abuse problem. “My mom put me there because she had no other place to put me, no other place would take me,” he shares. He moved out of his house at 15. “I just felt like I was programmed to screw up.”
Nikol has a dark past as well. “My early childhood, I have a lot of bad memories. I was sexually molested and raped as a child, from the age of 5 until 17. From an early age, I was in and out of foster care,” she says. Through tears, she recalls being tied to a bed and locked in a basement. “There was nothing down there for me to sleep on, and there was no food. There was no place to use the bathroom. In the basement, there was a small window, and I broke out the window. When I ran across the street to the neighbor’s house, she called the police, and they made me go home,” she remembers. “By the time I got out of high school, I was already sexually active. I used to poke holes in the condoms, because in my head, it was if I got pregnant, then that boy or that boy’s family would rescue me. There’s absolutely nothing happy about most of my childhood.”
Dr. Phil digs deep to determine what’s behind Mark’s behavior. “I think you go through this life petrified, horrified, scared to death every minute of every hour of every day.”
“You bring two broken souls together, and they can sometimes play into each other’s bad points.”
What brings Mark to tears? “If I let somebody get close to me and I hurt them, then it’s just one more thing I’ve screwed up.”
Dr. Phil suggests Nikol attend therapy as well. “Then, I want you two to come together and decide if you have things to offer each other in a healthy way,” he says.
Nikol and Mark agree to attend therapy.