Tug of War
Little John reads a portion of his letter to Dr. Phil.


"Didn't you kind of help him with this?" Dr. Phil asks Michele, about the letter.

Michele maintains she didn't help her son write the letter, that he wrote it on notebook paper, and she typed it up. Upon further questioning, Michele admits she may have cleaned up his sentences a little, but she didn't give him any ideas about what to say.

Christy brings up a moment when John told his mom in front of her, "See, it's OK if I can like Christy."

[AD]"It never happened, and you are lying," Michele tells her. The two women argue about their harsh words toward the other in front of the little boy.

"If you guys don't want to be friends, that's OK. Seriously, that's OK. People change, times change, you move on. You've had some history here. But you don't use a 10-year-old as a pawn in a power struggle," Dr. Phil tells them.

Michele says she called Christy names in front of her son in the beginning of the conflict, but she hasn't done it since. "She says I'm jealous. She has nothing for me to be jealous of. Nothing," she says.  

Christy says she doesn't want a relationship with Michele. "I want to be civil with her for the children's sake," she says.

Michele makes it clear she and her son will not be a part of Christy's life.

Video: Does Michele realize the bitterness she still carries?


Michele argues about instances in which she didn't react, as proof that she's no longer bitter, but Dr. Phil's not buying it.

"I'm trying to encourage you to get better, and you're trying to be right," Dr. Phil tells her. "At some point, you give up. You move on. I promise you, if you do things that impede the relationship of this 10-year-old boy with his father, that will come back to haunt you in ways you cannot imagine. As he gets older and figures this out, he will turn and resent you for that. I'm trying to keep you from being in that bad spot."

"OK. You know what? You're right. You're right," Michele says. She argues that she thinks she has moved on with her life.

"I'm just trying to make sure that I've delivered to you a North Star, a point that I want you to really consider," Dr. Phil tells Michele. "At some point, you have to forgive. That doesn't mean what she did is OK. Forgiveness is not saying, ‘All right, what you did is OK. I accept it.' It just means ‘I am no longer willing to invest this much energy and effort into you. I'm withdrawing it from you. I'm not going to do that.'"

[AD]"I thought I had done that, to be honest with you," Michele says.

"Well, when you watch this show, you're going to see that it's very raw, and it's very there. You have to really make the choice to do that, and then, if it means that your son is in the presence of her in order to see his father, that is a small price to pay " "

"But he doesn't want to be there," she says.

"Well, that will work itself out," he says.

Dr. Phil turns to Christy. "If you want to be the wicked stepmother, if you want to be that stereotypic woman that resents the relationship, that impedes the relationship of a son with a father, it will come back to haunt you," he says. 


He tells both of them, "Let me tell you, you are raising an adult, not a child, and when this boy grows up, and he starts to see these things for what they are, those who impeded that relationship with his father are going to pay a dear price for that … I wish you two could be friends. I'd be happy to send you two to dinner here in Los Angeles and let you spend time together, or we can book you at the roller derby, I don't know."


To Christy, he says, "But so far as the child is concerned, anything you can do to facilitate that boy's relationship with his father will be a jewel in your crown. Take the high ground. Take the moral high ground for the benefit of this child."

[AD]Dr. Phil implores the women to watch the show when it airs and then write him about what they've learned from taking a step back and seeing themselves.


Poll: Who do you think is more at fault for the demise of this relationship?
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