A Family Affair, Part 2: Formula for Success
Dr. Phil continues to take an in-depth look into the aftermath of an affair.
"Regardless of what your feelings are for this other woman, you absolutely must acknowledge that there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with emotions," Dr. Phil tells Ed. "You can't just do something because it feels good at the moment. I think it is patently unfair for a man or woman to compare some new, exciting, taboo, date, fantasy love with a relationship they've been in for years where there are kids, bills, a house to run, noses to wipe — that is just such an unfair, ridiculous comparison. You're not going to ever resolve this by saying, 'Well, do I feel better over here playing house with this woman that I don't have any responsibilities and history with?' Do you not think that if you leave here and go there that six, seven months from now she's going to have a screaming baby in one arm, a diaper bag on another arm and runny noses and all the same stuff you've got where you are now?"
"No, I know that I'd just be jumping into the frying pan there too," says Ed.
"Well of course you are. There's a right way and a wrong way to do this. And the first thing you've got to do if you're going to have any chance is you've got to cut off any contact with this woman unless [Kandi is] involved. If you want to talk to her about that child, then you do it with your wife there."
Dr. Phil insists that it's not a matter of willpower; Ed needs to program himself for success by, for example, making sure he and the mistress never have the same work shifts. "Tell her in the presence of your wife, 'Look, I don't want to do this anymore. I'm sorry. This was a mistake,'" Dr. Phil suggests. "'And I'm not going to continue to compound that by going forward in this situation.' If you want that other woman, then you know what? You finish this relationship first. You put 100 percent of your effort and energy into this relationship with ongoing counseling, honesty, openness, transparency, fully, openly, to deal with all the things. You have some personal problems. You are self-absorbed, you are in denial and you are amazingly immature when it comes to your emotions. I'm just telling you the truth ... I asked you up front, 'Do you want my honest opinion?' That's my honest opinion."Dr. Phil continues: "Are those things that can't be fixed and dealt with? No! Those are things you just need to deal with ... You are married to a beautiful, interesting, intelligent and vital woman here. Does that mean that you're going to love her for the rest of your life? I don't know. But you did once."
"And I did again," says Ed.
"And you felt it again after you were here before. And does she have an advocate here in me trying to put a body check on you? Yes, she does. So therefore you could leave here and say, 'I don't ever want to talk to that S.O.B. again.'"
"Believe me, he'll say that," says Kandi.
"I didn't say that," says Ed.
"I said you will say that because you didn't want to come here today."
"Who wants to come here with a target hanging around their neck? To all the guys out there, I'm taking it for you," says Ed.
The audience groans.
Dr. Phil pauses before speaking. "I'll tell you what — you may not like what I say or how I say it, but I do know what you have to do to give your children a chance. And if I were you, and cared about those children, I would want to talk to me because I will tell you the truth. Understand this, if you hear not another word I've said today: You cannot continue to work with that woman and save your marriage. Period. You've either got to sell the house and move or work in a different place or you've got to arrange your work schedule such that there is no contact. Then you have this baby on the way ... You have to be responsible in that regard. But you do it above board with [Kandi's] involvement. That baby does not have to be the end of this marriage. But it has to be something where your relationship is with the child and your relationship with that woman across time is as a co-parent ... And if you will do the things that I intend to visit upon you to try to inspire you with, you will get past your fascination with that, you will get past your lust factor because you will fall back in love with your wife. And you will look at that and say, 'It was a serious mistake, but I will pay for it responsibly.'"
At the end of the show, Dr. Phil tells them, "There definitely is a plan and a way to work through this. But both of you have to say, 'I'm just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.' And if you get to a point where you say, 'That's it, I'm done, I'm want to quit,' there's a right way and a wrong way to do that. Because your relationship will never end. You will always at least be co-parents of those children."