A Family Affair, Part 3: Kandi and the Kids
Dr. Phil speaks with guests on all sides of infidelity.Although Ed has moved out, their three small boys are still caught in the crossfire. The children talk to Ed on the phone and sometimes take on the role of intermediary between their mother and father.
Ed takes the kids out twice a week, usually to fun places, leaving Kandi feeling like the bad guy. "My kids have told me that this is all my fault because I won't let Daddy come home. They blame this all on me," she says. "They want us together no matter what. It makes me feel very sad for them. If we were to stay together, I feel it would only be for the kids' sake, and I don't think that's a reason to stay married. I'm not real sure how to explain to my kids that it's not OK for Daddy to have a girlfriend while he's married. I've tried to explain to them that when they do something wrong, they have to suffer the consequences, which is taking a toy away or being on restriction. So Daddy has done something very wrong and has to suffer the consequences. I was very careful to explain to the kids that we may not be married anymore. And I tried to explain to them that if Mommy and Daddy can't get along, then we might have to live apart. And they were very upset. Listening to them broke my heart.""Kandi, somebody here has to take the high road," Dr. Phil tells her. "I have two real fundamental rules that I use with kids all the time. Number one is you never ask children to deal with adult issues. And number two: Never ask them to be responsible for things they can't control. That's the greatest stress you can ever have. You cannot use them as intermediaries. You cannot pump them for information. You cannot vent your anger and bitterness and rancor toward each other in front of these children. You should never speak an ill word about your husband to those children. He should never speak a bad word about you to the children. Because whatever else you might think about him, he is their father."