“I want a divorce. I don’t trust my husband. He’s cheated on me three times,” Jan says. “I feel trapped because I cannot afford to get a divorce. Randy calls me stupid. He talks to me like I’m a child. I can’t take one more day of the emotional or the verbal abuse toward me or my kids. I don’t have the fight in me anymore. Randy drove the two older boys out of the house with his anger, and that kills me,” she says tearfully. “And when they hurt, it’s just unbearable.”
“I do not want a divorce. I want to save this marriage,” Randy says. “Jan is holding onto the past. She’s a very sick person. She needs help. I cook 95 percent of all the meals. I do 85 percent of all the cleaning. Jan spends a lot of time sitting on the couch. I feel like the most unappreciated person in this household. It’s been five years since Jan has asked me to make love to her. Jan says that I give her too much affection, but I find that the reason I do that is with hopes to get some of it back. I would like Dr. Phil to look Jan in the eyes and tell her that I am a great guy and to give me a chance.”
[AD]”I’ve been out of love with Randy for so long, I don’t know how to love him anymore,” Jan says. “I’m scared. I’m scared for my kids, because I don’t have the means to provide for them on my own. I have no friends and nowhere to go.”
“She’s put a brick wall around her heart. It’s keeping her from being loved or giving love,” Randy says.
Are Jan and Randy emotionally ready for divorce? It depends on how they answer the five questions in Dr. Phil’s Divorce Readiness Test.
Dr. Phil asks the couple the first question: “Have you done everything you can to save and rehabilitate your marriage?” Randy says no, but Jan says yes.
In earlier interviews, they explain who has worked harder on saving their marriage.
“I tried to save my marriage for the last 20 years, and I feel like I’ve done that by myself,” Jan says. “I give Randy my opinion, and he treats me like my opinion doesn’t matter. Randy will tell me the right way to love him. He forces his love onto me, and I just can’t love him back. The final straw for me was after we had an argument, he asked if we could still make love that night. That was very demeaning, like, he raped me. That’s how I felt. I felt dirty.”
[AD]”Jan has not forgiven me for having the affairs, and I deny having the third affair,” Randy says. “I can come home from work and not even get a hello. I walk on eggshells a lot, because I’m always afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. When I get up in the morning, Jan will tell me not to wake her up. And I’ve probably given her a thousand hugs and kisses that she’s not even aware of. When I’ve asked Jan, â€˜What more can I do?’ Jan will tell me, â€˜It’s not you; it’s me.’ I know that there were a lot of years where we were best friends, and I would do anything to get back to that part.”
Dr. Phil asks Randy, “You say that you’ve made mistakes a long the way. What are those mistakes?”
“About 16 or 17 years ago, I had an affair on Jan. And another one over 20 years ago, when we were first married,” he says.
Dr. Phil asks Jan why she says Randy is impossible to live with.
“He gets mad at the kids over simple things, like taking out the garbage,” she says.
“You’re not wanting a divorce because he wants the kids to take out the garbage and criticizes the timeliness in which they do it,” Dr. Phil says. “You say that he is emotionally and verbally abusive.”
[AD]”To my kids, yes, and to me. I did 20 years of trying to save my marriage. After the last five years, after I was pretty sure he had another affair, I lived for my kids because I couldn’t afford to leave,” she says.
“So what do you say about this?” Dr. Phil asks Randy.
“I’m going to have to disagree with that. I only found out five years ago that we had a problem for 20 years,” he says.
“Well, you had two affairs in there. That wasn’t a clue that you had a problem?”
“Yeah, that, yeah. I knew I had lost her trust with that, but I had worked on many, many things after having those affairs,” Randy says.
“So you have no idea why she’s done and wants a divorce? You don’t own any of the problems at all?” Dr. Phil asks Randy.
“I own a lot of the problems, but feel that I’ve been the one working on it. Five years ago was when I really wanted to make the change to become a better person, a better father and a better husband,” he says. “And it seems to me, as soon as I made that change to be a better person is when all this really started coming back at me. The harder I try, the farther I get pushed back.”
Dr. Phil wonders if Jan is intimidated by Randy. “What she has said to us is that you yell and scream at the kids, you do it in front of their friends, you humiliate them in front of their friends to the point that their friends don’t want to come over, they don’t want to bring their friends over, that you disregard her opinions, you tell her she’s stupid because she’s just a stay-at-home mom, doesn’t get it, and that you grind these people down,” he says.
Jan stands by Dr. Phil’s summary. “My biggest thing is why did it take him 20 years before he finally decided to try?” she asks.
[AD]Dr. Phil says emotional, verbal or physical abuse are deal-breakers in relationships.