A Family Divided: After the Confession: Amnesty Meeting

An "Amnesty Meeting"
Dr. Phil has a meeting with Erin and Marty and he asks Marty to tell Erin something he has been hiding.
After Marty returns home, Dr. Phil has an "amnesty meeting" with them. He wants Marty to come clean with everything he has been hiding from Erin.

"At some point, you've either got to say, 'I'm here because I want to be,' or 'I'm not going to do this anymore,' and you move on," Dr. Phil tells them. To Erin, he says, "You don't need to change him. You need to change you."

Tearfully, Erin asks, "How often am I supposed to keep getting pounded?"

Turning to Marty, Dr. Phil says, "That's where it comes back to you. While she's taking the risk I'm telling her she needs to

take, you need to be worthy of that risk ... You didn't tell her you ran into the lady at the gas station. You covered it up by omission, and it was the cover up that stung ... I keep telling you that you have to lead this family. Your girls are healthy, they're bright-eyed. Look at all the things that you've provided for these girls in terms of modeling. They have so many great qualities ... What kind of inspiration do you think it would be to them to see this turn around?"

"Tremendous," says Erin.

Dr. Phil tells Marty to give Erin an example of something that he's been hiding from her.

Turning to his wife, Marty says, "Do you remember the lawsuit I had going on about three years ago?"

When Erin says yes, Marty continues, "Well, the man was suing me for about $18,500. The day that I told you I was going to a building contractors' meeting, I didn't. That's not where I was going. I was meeting my attorney down at the courthouse at the arbitration. We went back and forth for two and a half hours. We worked it out to where I owed the man $8,500. I've already paid the man $4,500. I still owe this man $4,000."

"Tell me your thoughts and reactions to that," Dr. Phil says to Erin.

"I have asked him time and time and time again about what's going on with that lawsuit," she answers. "So I'm feeling kind of angry and extraordinarily disappointed."

"I know it makes you mad," says Dr. Phil. "But I want you to tell me how lonely it must have felt [for Marty] to be shouldering all of the threats that he was getting."

"I'm sure he felt like he was a drowning man," she admits.

Dr. Phil tells Erin to picture how Marty would have felt knowing that she supported him in his lawsuit.

"I think that would make him feel like king of the world," she says. "That no matter what happened, no matter how bad things got, I would be there for him. That would make him feel very safe. If he's going to be honest with me, and I can trust what he's going to say to me, I will support him 1000 percent. But if I can't believe in him, if I can't trust him, I'm not going to be there for him."

"If he had told you that, would you have blown up?" Dr. Phil questions.

"No, because what could I do?" she replies. "It's not his fault at this point."

Dr. Phil points out to Marty how lying by omission has damaged his relationship. "Do you get that it is the cover-up that hurts her to the core of her soul?" he asks.

"One hundred percent," Marty says.

Dr. Phil tells Erin that she can either blame Marty for covering up events, or she can change her attitude so that Marty feels more comfortable opening up to her.

"It's very scary," she admits.

Addressing Marty, Dr. Phil says, "And you have to say, 'I must be worthy of her trust and support. I have got to make it my mission in life to not violate that trust.'"

When Marty says that he understands, Dr. Phil says, "This is the time where this relationship has the best chance of turning a corner. It is also your best chance for screwing it up. Are you willing to go forward in this with an open mind?"

Marty and Erin say yes, and Dr. Phil suggests that they set aside a time to discuss their past week and upcoming week, and be honest with each other.