Fighting for a Hero

Dr. Phil asks Lawrence about using money as control " and a gambling addiction.

"I use gambling as an escape."

Sonya says she's filled out divorce papers, but Lawrence refuses to sign them. "I refuse to get divorced," Lawrence says.

Dr. Phil introduces Sue Else, president of The National Network to End Domestic Violence, who joins the show via Polycom.

Sue says all the indicators of domestic violence are present: name calling, threats to Sonya and the children, and sexual abuse, to name a few. "Love does not equal fear. It shouldn't be fearful for her," Sue says.

"You can't change what you don't acknowledge," Dr. Phil tells the couple. "This situation needs a hero, and you're the best candidate here" he says to Lawrence. "You have power that you have to manage in a relationship. If you abuse the power, you abuse the relationship. You have to be better."

Learn the six steps to protect yourself and your children in an abusive relationship.

Sonya says she's willing to work on the relationship and the family with Lawrence. Dr. Phil offers to make arrangements for the couple in their hometown, and they both agree to it.

[AD]"It's really important," Lawrence says.

Dr. Phil tells Lawrence to also stop the gambling and the other behaviors that are hurting people. "Come back and say, ‘Dr. Phil, we made this work,'" he says. He wants the couple to return and show people that situations such as theirs can be turned around. He also commends Lawrence for his appearance on the show. "I think you came here because you care about your family, and you care about your children," Dr. Phil says.


If you or someone you love is being abused, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233). For more information, visit