A Family Divided: Alex's Dating and Birth Control: Is Alex Honest?

Truth and Honesty
Dr. Phil discusess Alex's interst in dating again, and whether she should be on birth control.Dr. Phil asks Alex if she has been completely honest
and open with her parents about who she has been seeing and what she has been doing.


She nods yes and says, "I try to be with my dad, but that's kind of hard when he doesn't want to listen about boys. I don't have any secrets from any of them, my mom or my dad."


"I think that Alexandra is not being honest with herself," Erin tells Dr. Phil. "I don't think she's really made it up in her mind not to [have sex]."


Dr. Phil asks Erin and Marty if they think Alex is sexually active now.

"She hasn't had an opportunity to be sexually active," Erin replies.


"I've got to tell you, that every fiber of my being does not believe that," Dr. Phil tells Alex. "I spend a lot of time hearing what isn't said, and I looked you right in the eye when I asked you those questions, and I don't like what I see," he says. He tells Marty and Erin, "The thing that bothers me the most is you say, 'Oh no, she couldn't be.'"


Erin adds, "If she were allowed to go out with Anthony, I think she would have sex like immediately."

 

Dr. Phil explains why he does not believe Alex. "I know the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," he says.
"What changes that equation is when something dramatic happens to alter the cause and effect relationship."


Having a baby was not a big enough wake-up call, Dr. Phil says, because the underlying issue is Alex's relationship with Marty.


He tells Marty, "You, as her father, did not instill in her enough confidence in her dealings with men that she can tell herself, 'I don't have to do this to be accepted.'" He says that when Alex became sexually active she gained a sense of power. He explains Alex's thinking, "'This is something that I have that they want, and that's currency and I control it. If I'm willing to offer that, then I'm in control.' That is a powerful, powerful thing, and I have not seen you plug in with [Alex] to the point that tells me that equation has been altered."


Marty disagrees with Dr. Phil, and Dr. Phil tells him, "I want you to believe in what you're doing, but I don't believe in what you're doing."


Later, Dr. Phil asks Marty, "Do you think the equation has changed?"


Marty pauses for a long time and shakes his head saying, "I don't know."

 

"You want these people to trust you, and I don't think you're being honest with them. I don't think you're telling them everything that's going on here," Dr. Phil tells Alex. He asks her if she is being completely honest with her parents about
boys. She says she has. Dr. Phil asks Erin and Marty if they believe Alex.


Erin shakes her head no, and Marty says, "I do believe it."


"I don't believe her," Dr. Phil says. "I don't think she trusts you enough to tell you. That's the problem."


Dr. Phil asks Alex, "Are you at all curious why I don't believe you about being able to exercise the judgment with boys and to withhold sex?"


Alex replies, "What you said, 'Past whatever predicts the future.' That's your belief and I think that's what you're stuck on."

 

Dr. Phil explains to Alex, "There is a dynamic here where that is your sense of power.
That is your entertainment, that is your escape from things right now. When we were together recently, I introduced an opportunity for you to pursue a new passion in your life, but we don't get to that until spring break."


Alex tells Dr. Phil that she loves the ocean and that is her passion. "Dating is just a side thing. I know that I'm gong to focus all my attention on marine biology, and the fact that I want to pursue that career. I'm not going to let a guy hold me back from that because they come and go," she says.


"You're not going to intend to let a guy hold you back from that," Dr. Phil says to her.


"No. I'm not going to let a guy do that period. I've made my mind up about that, whether any of you believe it or not!" Alex says.


"I am more inclined to accept and believe that today, than I was a couple months ago," Dr. Phil tells her.

 

Dr. Phil questions Alex, "I just don't think you've been forthcoming about everything with your parents." He believes she has lied about contact she has had with boys. "I think I know who it was with. I think I know where it was. I think I know when it was. I think I know everything about it, and I think I can prove it and you know I can. I don't want to because I want you to do what you have to do with your parents," he tells her.


He tells her that she has to be mature and honest with her parents, and she should

tell them what she has been keeping from them.


A stunned Alex says, "I guess so."


"Do you think there's anything to be gained by being honest with them?"


Alex answers, "No."


"Because you think that that will be leverage that they will just use against you further?"
"Absolutely," she says.


"And that's why you don't do it." Alex nods in agreement. "Do you agree that you haven't been totally forthcoming with them?" Dr. Phil asks.


"About one thing, yeah," she admits.

Dr. Phil tells both Alex and Marty that they each need to take ownership in the problem. He says to Alex that he understands her reluctance to be honest with her dad. "I think your point is, there just is no point. It isn't going to work out. It's not going to advance the ball
for me, for him, for us, for anything, so why go there," he says and asks her if that is how she is feeling.


Alex nods yes, and Dr. Phil asks Marty how he feels about that.


"It hurts me tremendously, but she has to let me into her life. I mean I've been trying," Marty explains.


"Why should I let you, give you a chance to run me down?" Alex asks Marty. "Why should I even want to be around him when I know that he's going to try and drive a stick at everyone who tries to even talk to me." She explains that Marty acts rude and embarassing whenever she is speaking to a boy.


"You think you should be entitled to have male friends as well as female friends and male companionship, and to do things in a reasonable way?" Dr. Phil asks Alex. "You think you have earned the right to do some things where you can begin to build again?"


"I think that's fair," she says.

Katherine tells Dr. Phil that she has a comment. She says it bothers her that Marty does not realize the impact he has on her and Alex,
and that he gets angry with them whenever they are critical of him on the show.


"Do you think he is one way on camera and another way off camera?" Dr. Phil asks.


"Definitely," Katherine says. "I'm sure that everybody would agree." Both Erin and Alex agree, and Marty admits, "I think I am at times."


Katherine explains that Marty gets mad at her and Alex when they tell the truth on the show. "Right after the show he's going to yell at me really bad. I know, because it happens every time. I think some things that he's doing are really stupid."


Dr. Phil asks Marty if it's true, and Marty says, "I just find that they don't tell me that to my face."


If Katherine spoke directly to her father, she says, "He would have gotten back in my face and yelled at me and grounded me."


Recognizing the importance of this issue, Dr. Phil promises to do a future show on this topic.