Allan says he desperately wants a relationship with his 38-year-old twin daughters, Carol and Christine, whom he says he’s been at odds with since their mother died in a car accident more than 10 years ago. When Dr. Phil brings this fractured family together, can he help them to find forgiveness and repair their relationships?
A Family Divided
Allan says his relationship with his 38-year-old twin daughters, Carol and Christine, has been rocky since his wife of nearly 30 years, Louise, died in a car accident in 2002. “I don’t know why my girls are so, so angry at me,” he says.
About one year after the accident, Allan met his current wife, Veronica, and he says his daughters liked her at first — until he started talking about marriage. He says that’s when the twins started sending him nasty letters, calling him names and telling him he never should have been a father. “They think Veronica is a waitress bimbo, that’s it — after my money,” he says. “I am totally appalled and hurt by Christine and Carol’s behavior.” He says he feels like Dr. Phil is his only hope for bringing peace to his family.
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“The girls have always been difficult,” he tells Dr. Phil. “I, personally, feel they’re holding a lot of guilt from the relationship they had with their mom, especially near the end.” He continues, “I don’t think they’ve really resolved the grieving and the problems they’ve had.”
“And they’re taking it out on you?” Dr. Phil asks.
“Absolutely,” Allan responds. “You hurt the one you love, and it just hasn’t stopped.”
Does Allan take any ownership in the family feud? And, hear from Carol and Christine. Why are they so angry with their father?
“I asked for their respect when I started dating,” Allan says. Did Christine and Carol honor their father’s wishes?
Twins vs. Veronica
Veronica says she’s scared of Carol and Christine, who have sent her several hurtful letters, and she's not sure what they're capable of. She thinks they initially resented her because she’s 16-and-a-half years younger than Allan. “The girls think I’m a gold digger,” she says, adding that she wants what is best for the family. “I wish for Carol and Christine to just give me a chance. I’m not trying to take the place of their mother … I just want to be their friend.”
When asked if the twins have ever been disrespectful to her face, Veronica says no.
Allan says the girls have let him know how they feel about his wife. “They’ve called her every name in the book,” he says.
Carol says she hasn’t spoken negatively about Veronica in a long time. “As a person, I’m sure Veronica is great. We’ve had no problem,” she says, adding that initially, they got off on the wrong foot. “My father never introduced us to her, or me, before he moved her in.”
Veronica claims she met Carol at a party with Christine, before she moved in with Allan, but Carol insists that her first encounter with Veronica was when she stumbled upon her moving her belongings in to the family home.
Christine says she got a bad vibe from Veronica the first time they met, because she claims Veronica showed interest in Allan, who was dating another woman at the time — and stayed at his home that night. Allan and Veronica deny that Veronica slept over.
Does Christine blame Veronica for her bad relationship with her father? And, the sisters reveal a source of pain.
Emotions run high when Allan shares stories of the past, involving the twins’ mother.
The sisters claim that Allan received about $2 million after their mom died, and they each received $30,000. Christine says their father kept the rest of the money.
“He bought a BMW,” Carol says. “He knew that I was struggling with my daughter, as a single mom, and it just didn’t even faze him.”
“I had this special umbrella policy which paid off approximately $200,000,” Allan responds. “I don’t know where they think I would get millions from.” He says his daughters hired a lawyer to try and get more money out of him. “Their attitude was that they should have half of my net worth because they felt mom would want it this way,” he says, adding that he lives on social security and his pension. “I don’t work. I don’t have any other income. I don’t know what they expect out of me.”
Dr. Phil asks Allan if Louise had a will, and he says no. “I’m no lawyer, but that means that it all goes to you, and then you do what you think is best,” he tells Allan, who agrees.
Christine says that her father had about $800,000 worth of equity in the house.
“But it’s his home, right?” Dr. Phil interjects.
“It is,” she responds.
Dr. Phil turns to Allan and asks, “What could you have done, what can you do, to make this situation better?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” he responds. “I’ve tried.”
Dr. Phil tells him that his daughters feel hurt. “They feel like they lost their mother and then their father,” he says. “I’m not saying that I think they’re good at they’re expressing it well … but people do things out of anger.”
“If you take away the anger … what you see behind it is hurt and fear and frustration.”
A Granddaughter’s Perspective
Carol’s 16-year-old daughter, Kayla, says she blames Allan for the family’s problems. She says her grandfather’s focus is solely on Veronica, not his family. "In the beginning, I was really angry, and now there's a lot of disappointment," she says, adding that she doesn’t want a relationship with Veronica, but she wants Allan to be more involved in her life.
“What do you need from your grandfather that you’re not getting?” Dr. Phil asks Kayla.
She says wants him to apologize for not being there since her grandmother’s passing. “Since she died, he’s turned into a different person,” she says. “I grew up with him and my grandmother. I lived in their house, you know. I pretty much looked at him as a father-figure.”
Dr. Phil asks Allan if he misses spending time with Kayla, and he responds, “Absolutely,” adding that he lives in a different state now, for financial reasons. “She makes it sound like I just picked up and left,” he continues. “That’s just not true.”
Dr. Phil tells Allan that it doesn’t matter what’s being said about him. “What you do is you respond to what’s behind the statement,” he says. “Perception is reality.”
Allan says the feud has been going on for more than 10 years, adding “It’s getting old.”
“It’s getting old for them. It’s getting old for you,” Dr. Phil says. “When everything is old, why not try something new?”
“That’s why I’m here,” Allan responds.
Is Allan willing to put the past behind him and apologize to his daughters?