Cheryl says of her son, "I don't think he is abnormally violent at all." She says Amanda doesn't help to calm the situation. "She makes things worse," she says. "If she went to the
"It does bother me that Chris' mother, Cheryl, wants to see Chris and Amanda stay together, even though she knows Chris is abusive," Debby shares. "I worry every day that I'm going to see or read about my daughter in the news."
"At some points," she says.
"Do you escalate things to the point that it gets out of control and you wish you hadn't?"
"Yes," she admits.
Turning to Cheryl, who's sitting in the audience, Dr. Phil asks, "Are you concerned about Amanda's safety?"
"I'm concerned about all their safety," she says.
"Are you concerned that your son may go too far?" Dr. Phil probes.
"I don't know," she says.
Dr. Phil shows a tape of Chris discussing the murder-suicide scenario.
"Maybe that's why you have families where there's murder-suicide, because as soon as they realize what they did " I would," he says, tears flooding his face. "I don't want to die. Honestly, I would like to tell myself that I would kill myself before I could ever kill Amanda, but if I ever killed Amanda, I would surely go right after."
As he continues to break down emotionally and wipe away tears, Chris says, "Then you're going to have thoughts crossing your mind like, â€˜What about Brookelyn? You can't leave her by herself.' That is probably the most horrible, terrifying thing that I've ever thought about in my whole life."
Cheryl says, "I had no idea," as she drops her head in her hands. "I'm shocked."
Turning to Chris, Dr. Phil asks, "Do you trust yourself?"
"I do trust myself," he says. "That can never happen, and if it ever starts looking like that, then yeah, we need to split. We need to run. That is unacceptable. That is the first time in my life that I've ever been able to make that mental connection in my head of how a situation like that could
"But you do justify to yourself things that you do to control her," Dr. Phil says, and asks Amanda if that's the case.
"All the time it's justification. I'm the one who pushes him," she says.
"If you can justify one thing, you can justify another," Dr. Phil says to Chris. "You can't be doing what you're doing unless you're feeling tremendous pain inside. You have to have some help and some relief from that before something happens here." He continues, "I am as at least concerned about you here, as I am about Amanda and the child. You don't want to wind up in jail for domestic violence."
Chris agrees that he wants to put a stop to his behavior.
Dr. Phil addresses Amanda. "This stuff about provoking the situation, that's dumb. You don't want to do that. That is not the way to resolve this," he tells her.
Dr. Phil introduces Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "This situation is a delicate one to get out of, correct?" he asks her.
"It is, and it can be. It can be dangerous for her and for her child to escap
"I don't think she can," he says.
"I agree with that," Dr. Phil says. He points out that Chris is not an evil guy. "I don't think you like yourself when you
Turning to Amanda, Dr. Phil warns, "I do not believe you are safe right now."
Chris accepts the help as tears run down his face.
Dr. Phil asks Kim Gandy to help the family create a plan to insure Amanda and Brookelyn's safety.
If you or someone you know is living in an abusive relationship, there is help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.