A Family Divided Part 4

A Family Divided Part 4
Dr. Phil continues his work with a family in crisis.
Dr. Phil concluded his one-on-one session with Martin and Erin by giving them a homework assignment: to tell each other the 10 things that they need that they are not getting in the relationship.

"I started on the assignment as soon as Dr. Phil had asked us but then it really wasn't as easy as I thought," Erin said. "I think that when he [Marty] hears my things he's going to blow me off. To be perfectly honest, I think Marty's going to go in a major cave and he's not going to come out."

But Martin was instantly enthusiastic about the assignment: "When Erin and I sit down together face to face and go over the lists that we have made up, I think it's a positive thing and I think it's an awesome start," he said.
Martin tells Erin what he would like to see from her and she responds to his requests:

Martin: The number one thing on my list is that I want you to be my friend.

Erin: Until you step up to the plate, I'm not willing to be your friend. I'm not willing to be there for you because I'm hurt and I'm angry and I'm not going to be close to you.

Martin: The second thing is, love me for the person I am; the third thing is, try not to be so controlling and nagging; the next thing is start to forgive me for what I've put you through; please try to open up to me and be intimate with me once again.

Erin: I think it's going to be really hard for me to be intimate with you when I'm so angry about how you lie.

When it's Erin's turn to discuss her 10 items, she agressively tells Marty:

"The 10 things that I want from you are honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty, honesty — truthfulness at all times, 100 percent of the time. I have zero trust and zero faith in you. If you want those things from me, you're going to have to earn them. I need for you to acknowledge some serious deep down issues that you have and I want you to listen to me, I want you to hear what I'm saying. I want respect. I want you to grow up ... I want you to have patience...I want you to be accountable for your actions ... And I want to have sex more than once a quarter and it needs to last longer than two minutes ... You told me once that you're afraid that you're going to die a lonely old man, that's exactly what's going to happen if you don't start doing these things in our marriage."

Erin joins Dr. Phil and Martin via satellite as Alexandra is just days away from giving birth. She tells Dr. Phil: "I don't want to be his [Martin's] friend right now. I think that with friends you have to be intimate and honest, you have to be close, and you have to trust that other person — and there's no level of trust between us."

"Is there something that is going to happen here that's going to allow you guys to take a step in the right direction?" Dr. Phil asks. "Erin, what are you needing?"

"I think what I'm looking for mostly is for Martin to come to me and say 'I'm really sorry that I have not been trustworthy, that I've been unfaithful and that I've hurt you, and I truly understand what I've done to you,'" she reponds. "Marty's given me some lip service about this, but I don't think he's really opened his heart."

"So you're hearing the words and not the feelings," Dr. Phil says.

"Is this marriage over Erin?" Dr. Phil asks.

"The work that we've done over the past several weeks with your guidance has had a profound effect on how I feel about our relationship," Erin tells Dr. Phil. "I'm not as angry as I was before...and I do think that Martin is desperately trying."

Dr. Phil tells Martin: "I do sense that you're plugging into this whole thing with more heart and more intimacy ... than you maybe have in the past."

Martin gratefully turns to Dr. Phil: "The input that you have put into my heart and my life is unbelievable," he says. "I have been through a lot of counseling in my life but nobody has touched me like you have."

Dr. Phil tells Erin, "This isn't a one-way street. I've heard Martin say it, I've heard Katherine say it, I've heard Alexandra say that you can be amazingly cold."

"Yes, I've heard that from many people," Erin says.

"You understand that you're asking Martin to connect with you, and he's got to come through that wall to do that?" Dr. Phil asks Erin.

"I don't think that she's [Erin] ever met you," Dr. Phil tells Martin. "And I know you've never met her. You guys came together with your social masks and started doing what you've been doing and then you just retreated ... Whether this marriage works or whether it doesn't, you are common parents of these children, you are common allies of these children and ... you have to say, 'We may not be loving each other right now, we may not be intimate with each other right now, but we do have a common denominator right now,'" Dr. Phil tells Erin and Martin.

Dr. Phil asks Erin if she hears what he is saying.

"I hear you saying that we need to put ourselves aside and we need to pay attention to these kids as a united front," Erin responds.

"Do we agree that this marriage is worth working on?" Dr. Phil asks the couple.

"Totally," says Martin.

"Yes, I've definitely changed the way I've been thinking about that. I do think that there is some hope," Erin tells Dr. Phil.

"And can you agree that the kids, particualarly in times of crisis, have to be your number one priority?" Dr. Phil asks the couple.

"Totally," Martin says.

"Completely," Erin agrees.

"So you can unselfishly say 'What as parents can we do that's the most responsible thing to do at this point?'" Dr. Phil asks. "Alexandra can't see around corners, Katherine can't see around corners. You know what's around that corner and you need to come together and resolve your differences and present a unified front to these kids."