A Family Affair, Part 3: Joi
Dr. Phil speaks with guests on all sides of infidelity.
"For the past three years I have been having an affair with a married man," says Joi, who met this man when she was pregnant with another man's child. "When I was pregnant with my first child, he'd always ask me to lunch and I thought he was a little bit of a pervert. A few months into our relationship, I found out I was pregnant. When he told his wife, she kicked him out.

"When he saw our daughter, he cried and he wanted to be a part of her life. He wanted to have it all: a marriage with his wife and his family with me. His wife didn't want him to have anything to do with me or the baby. So the first year of her life was all on the sly," says Joi.

"It is very hard for me to end this because I do love him. We do have a child together. I feel like when I'm mean to him and try to break it off, I've crushed him and it breaks my heart. I'm 35 years old, I have two children with two different guys. I'm not a trophy wife, I'm not a catch. Who is going to want me? And he does. He stops by three to five times a week.""The wife knows exactly what's going on, but she's in complete denial," says Joi. "I have dubbed the man I'm seeing and his wife 'Dumb and Dumber.' If she's going to stay in that relationship, then she has to stop playing the victim and stop blaming me. I'm not his first affair and I don't feel I'll be his last.

"When I saw the show about Dr. Ed and Kandi, I felt that he was so cruel and so obviously not in love with her and she was trying to hold on to something that wasn't there. She should have dumped him.

"At this point, I don't want to be involved with this married man anymore and I don't really quite know how to do that," says Joi, turning to Dr. Phil.

"First off, when you got involved with this man, did you know he was married?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes," says Joi.

"So what did you say to yourself that told you that you had the right to enter into a relationship with somebody else's husband?"

"I just didn't see it like that," says Joi. "I saw it as here's someone who is paying attention to me that's saying the things I want to hear. The fact that he was married was not the first thing that I thought of."
"Look, you're in a bad situation," Dr. Phil tells her. "This is a dead-end street, do you realize that?"

"Yes," admits Joi.

"You are being used," says Dr. Phil. "And I want to go back to the origin of this. At some point, somebody else's husband was hitting on you and playing house with you. Did you have any personal standard, did you have anything at that point that just said, 'I have no right to be with another woman's husband'? ... You watch this show. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if they'll do it with you, they'll do it to you."

"And I believe it," she says.

"If he'll sneak away from her, to come be with you, he'll sneak away from you to go be with somebody else. So what have you gained here?"

"A beautiful little girl. I wouldn't take that back."
"I'm talking about you continuing to be involved with somebody else's husband," says Dr. Phil, asking Joi what she means when she calls the wife both a victim and an enabler.

"I'm not the first affair that she's caught onto. She's caught us a couple different times and just stays there," Joi explains. "And I thought, if she knew something, then why didn't she say anything to him?"

"But that's not any of your business! Your business is that you're sleeping with her husband ... Does that not register on the 'this is not OK' list?"

"Yes."

"And you say that you think Kandi is clueless and in denial, right?"

"This is just the pattern that I've seen ..."

"I'm not trying to criticize you, I'm trying to inspire you. You are selling out. You are the other woman. You are saying, 'I'll settle for the leavings. I'll settle for somebody else's husband' ... Why don't you have the personal standard that says, 'This isn't his choice.' You say it's hard to get away from him because 'he's nice to me.' Well, get a dog!""What are you modeling for your daughter?" Dr. Phil asks.

"That's why I want to get out of it," says Joi. "Because this is terrible."

"But that's got to be your choice," Dr. Phil tells her. "You've got to make that choice. It's not that 'Well, he keeps coming around.' You're home, doorbell rings, you open it, next thing you know you're in bed and you go 'Whoops! I hate it when that happens!' You've got to just not answer the door. You've got to say, 'Leave me alone.' And you say, 'Well, nobody else wants me.' You don't know that. You'll never find another relationship — a healthy, committed, loving relationship — as long as you're in this one. I just think a good philosophy in this life is 'I would rather be healthy alone than sick with somebody else.' And you're being sick with somebody else. You're better than that. You have
more to offer than that."

Dr. Phil gives Kandi a chance to respond to Joi: "What do you think about what you're hearing?"

"First of all, the husband is not going to leave his wife. And regardless if it was a bad marriage or not, that's none of your business. You knew he was married. Do they have children together?"

"No," Joi says.

"Well, when they got married, that became their family and you destroyed that family. It doesn't matter whether there's children or not," says Kandi.
"What about my child?" asks Joi.

"What about your child? A child that shouldn't be here," says Kandi.

Joi gasps.

"I saw your child, she's beautiful, but she should not be here because of that affair," explains Kandi.

Dr. Phil turns back to Joi: "Don't you need to stop this relationship?"

"Yes."

"This is an illicit relationship ... You're trespassing," he says.

"I agree," says Joi.

"And you need to say to him, 'Do not call me, do not see me, leave me alone.' And then number two: You have to get involved in your own life. And if he's going to be involved with your daughter, then have an intermediary ... so you get out of this relationship. You've got to cut it off. Don't be the victim. Don't sit around and say, 'I wish he would quit calling me.' You don't need him to quit calling you. You need to quit taking the calls. You can't control what he does, but you can control what you do."

The audience applauds.
Dr. Phil has a message for both Joi and Kandi. "You will mourn the loss. But you know what you will mourn? You will mourn the loss of the man you wish you had. You won't mourn the loss of the man you had."

He turns to Kandi: "What you do is get to thinking, 'This is who I wish Ed was. I wish he was honest, I wish he was committed, I wish he was devoted, I wish he was all of these things that a father and husband could and should be.' And when you mourn that, you will mourn the man you wish he had been — not the man you lost. Because let me ask you this. Read this résumé: 'I will lie, I will manipulate, I will deceive, I will abandon and I will attack you.' Now, what kind of résumé would that be for a husband?"

"Not a very good one," says Kandi.

"That's who you're mourning. We have real selective memory. We get away from them and we forget those things. And then you get back with them for about two days and you go 'Oh, I remember why I hate him!' And so, you have to keep that vision."
He turns back to Joi: "You have to understand, you'll have a void in your life, but you're going to be mourning the man you wish was your husband! But he's not, he's somebody else's! And if he leaves her, she shouldn't mourn him either. He's emotionally immature, he doesn't have impulse control, he doesn't have integrity. And I don't even know him!"

To Kandi: "That's what you know about him, right? So you want some more of that? 'Give me five more years of that? Let me get a little older, a little more tired, a little more deceived?'"

Kandi says just seeing Ed on the tape piece was enough to remind her.

"I'm sure, at the core of his soul, he is a decent and good human being, but he has lost his way," says Dr. Phil. "And it is not your job to be the guide."

"I would rather be single and alone and a single mother, than go through this hell that I've been going through for the past year with him," says Kandi.

"Absolutely. And you should be saying the same thing," he tells Joi. "You're selling out and you don't have to do that."