Banned from the Wedding: Shannon

Banned from the Wedding: Shannon

"I'm not really looking forward to having Jane as an in-law now, after all the horrible things that she's said about Michelle," says Shannon, Michelle's mother.

"I don't think Shannon is able to put herself into my shoes," Jane says. "My only child is getting married. It's huge."

"I see Jane as an overly-involved mother-in-law," Shannon says. "Jane sent like a seven-page e-mail. She started with ‘Your daughter is turning my son into a puppet.' Jane's just not nice to Michelle, and I don't like it."

"If I had Michelle figured out, it's almost like it's a game. How mean can you be? How low can you go?" Jane says.

"When Michelle got her wedding ring, I think Jane was jealous," Shannon says. 

Jane explains that when she was helping Jay shop for rings online, she found one she liked as well, so she sent the link to Jay as an idea for a future gift. 

"Jane's really gone out of her way to sabotage their relationship," Shannon says. "She's point-blank asked them, ‘Have you guys gotten your first fight yet?' It almost makes her sick to see the two of them as happy. I'm comfortable being the only mom at the wedding. Boy, if she didn't like me before, she's really not going to like me now," she says, laughing.

"Why do you think this relationship is unhealthy?" Dr. Phil asks Shannon, pointing to Jay and Jane.

"I just think she's not ready to let it evolve to the next level," Shannon says.

When Dr. Phil asks Shannon if she is aware of the e-mails going back and forth between her daughter and Jane, she says she is. "Have you told her, ‘You shouldn't be writing that stuff. It's his mother. I don't care what she does'?" he asks
.

"Yeah, I've told her, ‘Let it go, let it go, let it go,' until they couldn't let it go anymore," Shannon says. 

Dr. Phil turns to Gail, who has come to support Jane. "She has written some scorching e-mails in this direction," he says, pointing to Jay and Michelle. "What do you say about that?"

Jane inquires, "I have?"

Jay and Michelle laugh, saying they have copies.

 

"Don't be self-righteous about it," Dr. Phil tells Jane. "I've got a whole notebook of them. I've got, like, 70 or 80 pages of them that I can read if I need to."

"Like I already said, I have already admitted up, down and sideways to every single, solitary thing that I have said that they haven't liked, to things that they've misconstrued," Jane says. "I've written, I've talked on the phone to you guys."

"And she has written in response," Gail points out. "Who started the e-mails?"

"That's like two kids on the playground: ‘He started it.' ‘No, she started it.' That's like 5-year-old kids," Dr. Phil says.

"Dr. Phil, after the back and forth between the two of us, we would always calm down, apologize. 'Everything is fine,'" Jane says. "Then it would start up again. Since the middle of May, I told my son, when he called me to complain, I said, ‘The only thing further I know to do is to just stay out of your life because I can't do anything right with you guys.'"

"So what you're saying is, because of what the other person has done, that you're right and you're justified, but my question is how's it working for you? I mean, you are totally fractured here," Dr. Phil tells her. 

"It's not working at all. I have no relationship with my son," Jane says.

 

Jesse, the former best man, tells Dr. Phil, "He can marry whomever he wants, but what he can't do is let somebody treat his mother " it could be anybody " let somebody treat your mother like that? That's it. I don't need to do it."

"With that being said, it goes both ways," Jay says. "I can't allow her to treat [Michelle] the way she has."

"It is so over the top on your guys' side," Gail tells Jay.

"It wasn't like we sat there and schemed one night, ‘We don't like her. Let's send her nasty e-mails.' It wasn't like that," Jays says. 

"Michelle, maybe you can tell me, not Dr. Phil," Jane says, "tell me what possessed you to start writing me the day after I had the phone conversation with my son " let me finish, before you open your mouth."

The group erupts into an argument, talking over one another:

"I'm sorry, I'm an adult, I'm 25 years old, and I don't need " " Michelle begins.


"This is the first time I have talked to you this way, Michelle, and I have every right to do so!" Jane argues.

"Definitely not. No, it's not the first time " " Jay argues.

"You be quiet because I'm furious with you too!" Jane tells her son.

"I'm not going to listen to it. I'm not going to take it," Michelle says. "Look, we are not children!"

"See? She treats us like we're children," Jay says. 

"That's why she's not coming to the wedding," Shannon says.

"Yeah, because I make scenes!" Jane exclaims. "This is the first scene I've ever made with you guys and hey, I'm going to give it all I've got!"

 

Dr. Phil tries to interrupt the chaos. "Hold on. Hold on. Isn't it a fact that you really don't support this union?" he asks Jane.

"No, I don't," she says. "Why would I want my son to marry someone who has the hatred and viciousness that she does? When she gets done with me, she's going to turn it on him!"

Michelle rolls her eyes and shakes her head.

"I've never been around anyone who talks and acts the way she does!" Jane says, growing upset. Addressing her son, she says, "You were not raised like this!"

"Don't you think your son is smart enough to not let someone manipulate him?" Shannon asks.

Dr. Phil tries to interrupt again. "Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. That means stop talking."


Jane makes an inaudible comment, and Jay tells her, "Please just calm down."

"I am not calm! I should be calm? I'm not going to my son's wedding? My son has cut me off?"

"It's not really de-escalating the situation when you can't control yourself and stop freaking out," Jay tells her. "I am holding my composure, calm, perfectly fine."

"I would like to see some emotion out of you," she says.

 

"At this point, you're very close-minded about this, right?" Dr. Phil asks Michelle.

"But not just because I don't like her. It's because every time we've had contact, she's said something to upset me, said something I thought was rude or " "

"I've never been rude to you. Never," Jane says.

Michelle turns to Dr. Phil. "Can I go back to why she's not coming? She told me, ‘If I say something to upset you that day, or I'm rude to you, oh well, just ignore me. It's not just your day.'"

"Oh, my God, you are such a liar, Michelle," Jane says, and more arguing ensues.

Dr. Phil addresses Michelle. "You said if Jesus Christ told you, you would burn in hell before you'd let her come to the wedding," he says. 

"I don't want to look out into all of our guests and see her moping," Michelle says. "There's no reason at this point that she should want to be there."

 

"Is there not a point to be considered here, that you would not want people in your wedding that you know are out there seething at you?" Dr. Phil asks Jane.

"After I was uninvited," she maintains.

"But that is where you are now. I'm trying to " "

"Of course that's where I am now," Jane says, her voice shaking. "Your producers asked me repeatedly, ‘How does this make you feel?' And I can't tell you the number of times I said, ‘I don't have words for how this makes me feel.' But I have to function. Life goes on, so I have replaced the pain, the devastation, with anger, and I am now furious with both of them because that is the only way I know how to deal with it now."

 

When Dr. Phil asks Jane if there's anything Jay and Michelle could do to heal her pain, she says, "Absolutely." She looks toward Jay. "All my son has ever had to do is pick up the phone and say, ‘Mom, I'm sorry. We never meant to hurt you.' You could've gotten on a plane and gone down and said, ‘Mom, things aren't working with you and Michelle. What can we do to figure this out?'"

Dr. Phil addresses Michelle. "What is it that you think you're going to win in this power play?"

"Not having to constantly have drama with her. If we just don't have contact with her " Every time we cut it off, we're just fine," Michelle says.

"Have you made an assessment of the cost of that strategy?" he asks her.

"There have been nights and nights where I've cried to him, saying, ‘If I just shut my mouth and don't let her upset me, I don't want to put you in this position.' And he is OK with it. He doesn't want it either. And she has made comments where " "

"I don't want to hear about her comments," Dr. Phil tells her. "You want to talk about her, and I'm wanting to talk about you … This is about you. I want to know if you believe there is a cost to your strategy here."

 

"The cost would be him not having anything to do with his family," Michelle says. "She has said that she's going " "

Again, Dr. Phil stops her. "I don't want to talk about her. I want to talk about you."

"We're protecting our future because of things like, ‘I'm always going to have an opinion of where you live. I'm always going to have a say in what you do.' And we don't want that," she explains.  

"I am much older than you," Dr. Phil says, pointing to his bald head. "I've been married 31 years. Have you done an assessment of where things will be the day [Jane] drops dead, and you now have a history you cannot rewrite? You may think you know how you would feel, but you don't know how you'd feel. Robin has buried both of her parents. I have buried my father. You haven't made that assessment properly because if you had, you wouldn't even almost do what you're doing.

 

"Now, listen. She sits here like ‘I just don't know why they'd be upset with me,' and then almost has to come across here and choke the life out of you. She's so mad, she's shaking and trembling. You're pointing fingers. Everybody is self-righteous: â€˜I'm right, I'm right.' I've never seen such a bunch of right-fighters in my whole life! So, I have no doubt that she could piss off a statue," he says, pointing at Jane. "So I don't disagree with that, but at some point, somebody has to step up and say, ‘I'm not going to react to this. I'm going to take the high ground.' And right now, you have amassed a body of data that you point to that's justification. It's like, ‘I got her. I got her in writing,

man.' The high ground is finding a way to graciously de-escalate, graciously resolve the situation."

Dr. Phil turns to Jane. "He's going to marry her, whether you like it or whether you don't."

"So I should just accept that he's a completely different person to me than he used to be, just overnight?" Jane asks.

"I guess so," Dr. Phil says. "You just don't beat up each other's family."

"What can you do to de-escalate the situation?" Dr. Phil asks Jane.

"I don't know," she says. "What I tried to do was just step out, step back, step away." 

Michelle tells Dr. Phil, "When she says that, it's ‘Well, I guess I just can't have anything to do with you,' and it's snotty, and she just goes on her way." 

Jane and Michelle begin to argue, but Dr. Phil cuts them off. "No, no, no. I'm not listening to anymore of this."

"They don't want me to contact them. What can I do?" Jane asks.

 

Dr. Phil tells the women their conduct is not becoming to them. He tells all his guests, "This relationship, like so many relationships, needs a hero. Somebody who says, ‘I'm going to step up and do the right thing.' I don't want you to accept or endorse bad behavior. And I am willing to bring in professionals to sit down with each of you individually, anything in the world to try to bring some peace and harmony to this." He turns to Jane. "You're not his mother that nurtures him from 3 years old anymore. You're now the mother of an adult male who is going to have his own family and his own life. You don't become less important; you just transition to another role. That's the important thing here."


"I know that. I wish he did," Jane says.

"I don't think he knows that," Gail adds.

Dr. Phil is incredulous. "You cannot be serious. That is your response? After everything I just said, you want to point your finger across the aisle?" he asks, sitting back in resignation.

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil asks Jane, "What were you just saying to David at the break?"

"That I feel like we accomplished nothing," she says.

"You got absolutely nothing out if this?"

"Yeah. I know the wrong things I've done," Jane says. 

"That is something that you and I can agree on: I think you've gotten nothing out of this at this point," Dr. Phil tells her. He asks her to watch the recording of this show by herself five times. "Because I think you're going to see things that everybody else in this room can see at this point that can be helpful and instructive," he says.

He asks the same of Michelle. "And by the second or third time you watch it, you'll get some objectivity. It'll look like you're watching someone else. And when that happens, I want you to really be thoughtful about where things are."