What about the Kids?
Dr. Phil takes an in-depth look into the aftermath of an affair.
During a fight caught on camera, one of Ed and Kandi's children wanders into the kitchen and witnesses the anger and turmoil. Later, another child is present when Kandi asks Ed, "Do you have an STD? I wouldn't be surprised." Ed says no, but the child asks, "What do you mean by STD? What does that mean?"
Kandi admits, "My children do know about the affair, unfortunately. We have fought in front of them. It has affected them tremendously."
Not only do the children misbehave when their father is gone, but they have some very mature insight into the situation.
Kandi explains, "My middle child would say, 'Daddy, you married Mommy, not another woman. Why can't you just love Mommy? You married her.' I feel as though their father betrayed not only me, but them. Because they did not ask for any of this."
The kids remind Ed what he has done. "My oldest son has said to me that I don't need to be having a girlfriend, I need to be with Mommy," says Ed. "And at his young age, his logic is pretty impeccable. It makes you feel like you are really just being indecent. When you have your kids telling you to do the right thing and you know they're right, it really makes you think."
Dr. Phil gets right to the point: "How in the world have you two reasoned to expose these children to this?"
"We feel awful about it," says Kandi, explaining that they try to stop fighting when the kids walk into the room, but it's not always possible.
Dr. Phil shares his top two rules about children: "Number one, you never ask children to deal with adult issues. They can't get their little minds around that. Secondly, you don't burden children with things over which they have no control. They have no ability to influence this. Because children can take anything and personalize it ... I promise you, they will find a way that it's their fault ... So we have to agree that whatever happens here, in that home, you two are going to take it private and keep it private ... You got in this mess. Don't burden the children. Don't use them as pawns or as levers or to guilt-induce one another."
Ed and Kandi agree.
Dr. Phil also has an issue with Ed's habit of moving out and then returning home. "When you're gone, you just totally cut off from the children, correct?" he asks.
"Correct," Ed replies.
"You don't call them, you don't come see them, you're not there with them. You just disappear," says Dr. Phil.
"It's a double life," Ed explains. "I cannot justify what I'm doing in my mind if I come home and have to say goodbye to them over and again. That is so painful that it gets in the way of my double life."
"That is one of the reasons why where you're headed is such a dead-end street," Dr. Phil tells him. "The chance of relationships working that are born in infidelity is like one in 100. You and this mistress know one thing about each other, and that is that you're not trustworthy ... There's an old saying in relationships: 'If they'll do it with ya, they'll do it to ya.'"
Dr. Phil points out that if Ed does leave his wife for the mistress, it won't be long before he's right back to his current situation. "Because you're saying, 'Frankly, my life is boring' ... I just strongly believe something about bored people. Bored people are boring!"