A Family in Crisis: Meet the Family
Dr. Phil tackles Stacy's affairs.
"I think I was willing to just take anyone's attention," says Stacy of her recent affair. "And there's probably a part of it that was a game for me." She admits to cheating on Chris three times during their 5 1/2-year marriage.


Chris was infuriated not only by his wife's infidelity, but by the fact that Stacy's lover was of another race.


Remarks Chris, "It bothered me that it was a black man that she had had an affair with ... I want no part of this child."


In addition to their marital woes, the couple is on the brink of bankruptcy. They are $125,000 in debt and are not making enough to pay bills on time.


"We could be homeless in 30 days," says Stacy.

Dr. Phil begins by asking Chris and Stacy if they really want to be on the show.


"You guys are in serious trouble," says Dr. Phil. "You know that, right?"


An emotional Stacy replies, "I really want to understand and just heal and move on and make a better life for my husband and my children and my family."


Dr. Phil tells the couple that they have to be prepared to be honest and get real about their marital problems.


"When I married this woman, it was for good, bad and ugly," responds Chris.

Dr. Phil wants to get the situation clear with Stacy. "You are conning yourself. You're conning him. You're conning your family, but you ain't conning me." He asks Stacy if her infidelity has been a game for attention.


Dr. Phil says, "Isn't the price of admission that your husband and your children have to pay a pretty high ticket price for you to get in that game and be entertained?"


Turning to Chris, Dr. Phil asks him if he was aware that Stacy had had a sleepover at her lover's house with Michael and Chandler.


A teary-eyed Chris answers, "I feel pretty sick right now, Doc, to be honest with you. I can't believe all of this ... where this marriage is."


Turning back to Stacy, Dr. Phil remarks, "You say you have affairs with Chris because he pays you no attention. And you know what you said about why you had affairs in your last marriage? Because he paid you too much attention. You've got an excuse for everything and ownership of nothing."


Dr. Phil asks Chris, who left Stacy for three months when baby Bohdan was born, why he decided to return to his wife.


"I made a commitment to her. I made a commitment to myself and to the children involved in our marriage," responds Chris.


Asks Dr. Phil, "If I challenge you through the course of all of this to be the man to step up and stand up and both command and demand respect and lead this family with dignity, are you prepared to do that?"


When Chris nods, Dr. Phil tells Chris he's said some things about his marriage that are disturbing.


"You said a big part of the reason that she's had these affairs is because of you. I'm just not 'meeting her needs,'" Dr. Phil states.


"That's the message I get from her," says Chris.


Dr. Phil chimes in, "Let me tell you in case lightning hits me before I get to my next sentence — that's not true. I'm not saying you're a perfect husband because you're not. But you don't own her decision to have affairs."


Dr. Phil asks the couple if they have any specific questions for him.


"Is there any hope for me?" Stacy sobs.


Replies Dr. Phil, "Are you prepared to stop what I think is the most obvious, transparent con job ever and just grow up and get real about what you have to do as a mother and a wife and an individual?"



When Stacy says that she is ready to change, Dr. Phil remarks, "Stop hiding, stop lying, stop cheating, stop manipulating. Stop thinking 'I'm smarter than everybody else,' and recognize 'I am part of a family and I have responsibilities and a role in that family and I'm going to step up and do it.'"


"You never fix a problem by turning away from your partner," he adds. "You stay plugged in and you stay hooked up."


Pointing to Chris, Dr. Phil explains, "She breached this contract, not you. That is my first piece of advice to you, that you stop blaming yourself. You have to set a standard. The standard is 'Treat me with dignity and respect or not at all.'"


Chris comments, "I don't want to keep failing and feel like I'm losing control of everything around me."

Summing it up, Dr. Phil says to Stacy, "I get the sense that you've crossed a threshold and said, 'This is coming apart. I've just got to put my faith in something and someone and be honest here.' And that's the first step on the road."


He asks Chris if he still wants to be on the show.


"I've come too far for it to stop. I want to see this through all the way," Chris responds.


Stacy joins in, "I want to be here and I want to see it through as well."