A Family Divided: After the Confession: Videoconference

A Tough Decision
Dr. Phil has a videoconference with Erin and the girls about allowing Marty to return home.Dr. Phil has an iChat AV videoconference with Erin and the girls when they return home.
"He is not getting it, Dr. Phil," Erin says. "I don't believe that Marty is changed. I don't believe that he's gotten anything you've told him." Marty has called her repeatedly since the show, and has left voice messages saying that he is not at fault. "I'm not mad," she says. "I'm not. I think I'm done."

Dr. Phil reassures Erin. "I do not think that Marty is now, or has at any time in the recent past, had an inappropriate relationship with another woman," he says. "Marty absolutely got the bejeebers scared out of him. And I think for the first time in his life, he saw up close and personal the immediate stupidity and effect of lying by omission."

When Erin shows her skepticism, Dr. Phil says, "It's awful easy to criticize his conduct and behavior when he's walking minute to minute thinking, 'Is my whole family disintegrating before me?' and you're home all nestled in."

Erin tells Dr. Phil, "I guess what I'm looking for is some reassurance that somehow there is going to be a difference. I don't think there is."

"First off, I am neither a history teacher nor a fortune-teller," Dr. Phil responds. "And I can't predict what's going to happen six months from now or six days or six weeks from now. Look, if you're going to quit the marriage, and you're going to divorce and be separate, there's plenty of time to do that. You've got 20 years into this mission. If you're going to do it, what's the hurry?"

When Erin reluctantly agrees to let Marty back in the house and give her marriage another shot, Dr. Phil says, "Why don't you just receive him home, and sit down and say, 'I'm glad you're home. Let's see if we can build on this'?"

Dr. Phil has made it clear to Marty that he needs to "come absolutely, drop dead 100 percent clean." He tells Erin, "He is hiding some things from you right now that there is absolutely no reason for him to hide. Once he understands that, his whole life will change."

Katherine argues that her father will never behave differently. "He's done it for over 18 years," she says. "What makes you think he's going to change? He's a jerk."

"Katherine, one of the things that you will learn as you grow up and get older is, you will be more forgiving," Dr. Phil points out. "And I'm not saying that [Marty] has earned your compassion, but you need to be good about giving him another chance. I want to try to flip the switch. I want to start the process." To Erin he says, "If it doesn't work, I will take you to the courthouse myself."

"Alright," Erin concedes. "I've nothing to lose. I'm already checked out."

Dr. Phil asks the girls, "Can y'all support her in this?" Alex nods, but Katherine doesn't want to be a part of the process. "I'm not talking to him and I'm not going to," she says. "I'm not even looking at him."

"So you can't support the decision?" Dr. Phil probes.

"I'm out," she replies. "I've already made a choice and I'm out."

Erin tries to make Katherine understand that she and Marty are at a turning point in their marriage. "Everything that could happen to Dad happened all at once," she says. "His face is in the dirt."

"He needs to stay in the dirt where he belongs," Katherine retorts.

"Katherine, I am the one who is married to him, not you," says Erin. "And he's always going to be your dad."

"No, he's not. He's not my dad," says Katherine.

Dr. Phil interjects, telling Erin, "I wish Katherine would support you, but you've got to make your decision, and do what you feel like you need to do." To Katherine, he says, "There have been a lot of people in your family that have been very forgiving of you when you have been very difficult to love and embrace ... I think Marty deserves no less than what has been extended to everyone in the family."

He reiterates that he wants Erin to give her marriage another shot. "When his car pulls up, Erin, go out and meet him and say, 'Marty, I want to take another lap around the track with you. We're going to give it a shot ... if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but we're going to give it one more shot.'"

"OK," Erin says.