Alcohol and Abuse: Sheila and Steve
Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.

"My house is in chaos because my husband is an alcoholic and I have a anger problem," says Sheila. She's been married to her childhood sweetheart, Steve, for 13 years and they have two daughters. "When we were dating, he told me that he was going to stop drinking. Then we got married and he increased his drinking."


Steve has been

in rehab twice and has stayed sober 30 days before relapsing. When Sheila finds out that Steve has been drinking, she goes into an angry rage. "I kind of lose control. I've hit him, slapped him, pulled his hair, slammed his head on the floor, kicked him, scratched him, thrown things at him," she says. Steve hesitates to
go down stairs in front of her because she's pushed him down several times. "One time he hit his head and just lay there. I didn't know if he was dead, and I was scared to death. The first thing I thought of was, 'I'm going to go to jail.'"

Steve admits, "I lie about drinking to avoid my wife's anger. When she's angry, she wants to beat on me. My wife can get very nasty. My wife has knocked the s**t out of me. When she's abusing me, I think, 'I might as well go have another drink. You won't feel it,'" Steve explains. "The last time she was kicking the hell out of me, I didn't even know it until the next day."

Not long after Dr. Phil installed cameras in their home, Steve's drinking nearly killed him. "He was stumbling and I started getting angry because I realized that he'd been drinking," Sheila says. "He laid on the counter, his legs giving out and he just hit the floor." Their oldest daughter, 11, asked him if he was OK, and he didn't answer. She then stepped over him and asked her sister to go play. "Like it was normal for her to see her dad do that," says Sheila. "I was so angry."

Sheila saw that he was bleeding, but then slapped him, kicked him, banged his head against the floor and stepped on him. "I got down on the floor to look at him. His pupils were fixed and his eyes were in the back of his head. I kind of panicked." Sheila, who's a nurse, called 911. Steve's blood alcohol level was .589, more than seven times the legal limit. Doctors said it was a miracle he did not die from alcohol poisoning.

"My daughter asked him if he remembers what happened, and he said, 'No.' She said, 'I'll never forget,'" Sheila recalls. "What's it going to take for him to realize that he's killing himself?"

Sheila and Steve's two daughters, 11 and 9, often witness their father's drunken rages and their mother's violent abuse. "When my mom thinks my dad's been drinking, she throws a tantrum. My mom beats my dad really bad," says their oldest daughter. "I want to stay in school all the time, that way I don't have to come home to all the fighting."

"I see a lot of hitting," their younger daughter explains. "It makes me scared. I wish that it would stop."

"I'd like my dad to change the addiction to alcohol," their oldest daughter continues. "I hope that my family can be a family again."

Steve and Sheila turn to Dr. Phil for help. "I love Steve with all my heart, but I also hate him," says Sheila, who doesn't remember the details of her rages. "My greatest fear is losing my family," she says. "I've become physically violent with my husband because of his drinking, and my daughters have seen it. How do we become a normal family?"

Steve also wants help. "I'm so scared. I don't know what to do," he says. "My greatest fear is losing my wife and two kids."