A Family in Crisis: Stacy and Chris Face Off: Stacy, Chris, Dr. Phil

"An Emotional Divorce"
Dr. Phil discusses Chris and Stacy's marital woes.
Dr. Phil turns Chris and Stacy toward each other. Standing over the couple, Dr. Phil says, "One of the things that I feel very strongly about is that you two are absolutely living an emotional divorce."


To Stacy, he says, "You took the test in Relationship Rescue, the Relationship Health Profile, and you scored a 32. That is the high end of emotional divorce, which means you're physically occupying a space side by side, but it's emotionally barren. I don't think you two regard each other as individuals anymore."


When Chris says he's "not real keen or comfortable" sitting so close to his wife and looking her in the eye, Dr. Phil responds, "The more uncomfortable it feels, the more you need to do it ... I'm putting you in close proximity to your life partner, your wife, and you say, 'This feels uncomfortable to me.' Now is that a testimony to what's going on in this relationship?"


Dr. Phil then instructs Stacy and Chris to make eye contact. "You need to look at each other because this is something that I suspect you haven't done in a long, long time."

To Chris, Dr. Phil says, "Look her in the eye and realize this is the woman that five and a half years ago you fell in love with and chose to marry. You had hopes and you had dreams."


Dr. Phil tells Stacy, "Don't look through him. I want you to think about what's happened to those dreams and what your ownership in that is."


Placing his hand on Chris' arm, Dr. Phil says, "I want you to tell her about the hurt that you feel in your heart right now."


When Chris starts to cry and fidget in his seat, Dr. Phil is firm. "Do not hide," he insists. "Have the courage to step up, look her in the eye and give it a voice right now. I want you to tell her about the hurt that you feel when you wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning, stare at the ceiling, and feel so absolutely alone."


His voice cracking, Chris says, "Stacy, for the longest time, I have withdrawn myself emotionally from you, from this marriage. The pain that I feel inside is becoming numb. I can't really describe it to you because I don't trust you with my feelings." Sobbing, he continues, "You want my emotions. You want my feelings, but you don't deserve to have them right now."

Dr. Phil instructs Chris to tell Stacy that she's hurt him.


"You've hurt me. You've hurt me more than I can put into words right now," Chris says to Stacy. "I will be able to express to you soon just what that hurt has been."


With tears streaming down her face, Stacy says, "Chris, when I look in your eyes, I'm sorry. I'm just so sorry. It makes me just want to do anything I can to make it up to you and to be the woman that you can share your feelings with."


"I want you to be the woman, the wife, the companion that I can share everything with, everything," says Chris.

Dr. Phil asks Chris how he felt while maintaining eye contact with Stacy.


"My first reaction was of nervousness and apprehension," Chris admits. "The more time that I spent looking into her eyes, the more at peace I found myself getting, just remembering that this is the woman I fell in love with many, many years ago."


"How do you feel looking Chris in the eye?" Dr. Phil asks Stacy.


"As soon as I looked you in the eye, I just felt a deep sense of love for you," she confesses to Chris. "And I miss that regularly. I feel it, but I miss just looking at you and feeling that love."

Dr. Phil continues the exercise, telling Stacy to complete the thought, "What I want you to start doing because I need it so desperately ..."
She responds, "I really need for you to talk with me and to share your thoughts ... I need you to tell me if you disagree with me, even when I don't like it. And I need for you to be a parent in our family, for you to be invested with me together."
Dr. Phil tells Chris to repeat the same exercise, and Chris says, "Stacy, what I want you to start doing because I need it so desperately is for you to take ownership in your life, in our marriage, in the things that go on in our family. I need you to give me the space when I need it and I need you to extend some faith in me, some trust in me. I need that desperately."