A Pitbull outside the Ring

Joey says his mother was a lot like him, never able to stick to one partner, always involved in at least one or two relationships at a time. "That's how I learned. That's how I recognize what's normal," he says. 

Though normal to Joey is also being physically and mentally abusive, says Shannon. She keeps his tendencies at bay by doing everything he says to satisfy him. One time, she recalls, when he wanted her to clean, and she was consumed with other responsibilities, he choked her, punched her and kicked her. When the abuse was complete, she returned to painting.


[AD]"I admit, I have been aggressive," Joey agrees, though Joey also wants to tell Dr. Phil about times Shannon has been violent toward him. "It takes two."

"Do you think there is an imbalance of power when it comes to a physical altercation?" Dr. Phil asks Joey, referring to the difference between his and Shannon's body types and his body building physique. "Are you telling me this woman has been whipping your ass?"

Joey's shocking secret is revealed.

While Dr. Phil tells him the seriousness of his problem, Joey says he uses his MMA fighting as an outlet.

"I know those guys," Dr. Phil says referring to MMA fighters, "and they have real standards of conduct about what they do outside the ring, outside the cage," he warns Joey. The fighter is not receptive to the warnings, and claims to know those men better.

Dr. Phil wants to cut to the chase, "What are you going to do about this?" he asks Shannon.

[AD]"I want a divorce," Shannon says with no hesitation.

Dr. Phil directs his attention back to Joey, trying to help, and expressing concern over Joey's manipulation of his wife. Joey claims he was having his wife avoid "coaching," as he says relating to the show. "This is Hollywood," Joey continues.

"Does this seem like Hollywood " you and I talking?" Dr. Phil directly asks.

Joey tells Dr. Phil of growing up on the Detroit streets with a single mother who supported them, a father in prison for murder for beating someone to death, and spending most of his time at home alone.

Joey's mother told him that he lives only once and to have fun, but Dr. Phil explains fun is not inflicting pain.

"You can't feel good about seeing the pain in her eyes," Dr. Phil says, imploring Joey to understand. "You can't feel good about your daughters seeing the kind of things that go on between the two of you."

Dr. Phil explains the measure of a man. 

[AD]"Joey is done," Dr. Phil explains to Shannon. "He has been done, and he's embarrassed by you," he says further, having to deliver some very tough love. "You're not the eye-candy that's befitting his image."


Dr. Phil says to Joey, "But there's a lot more to the make up of this woman than what she weighs today … of her mind, her heart, her devotion to your children." 

"I want to sign divorce papers and move on," Shannon says.

Dr. Phil counsels the two on maturity, on topics they will face in their divorce, whether it be visitation or choosing another path. He also tells Shannon he'd like her to lose weight in an effort to become healthy.

"Life's about choices " and you're choosing infidelity, you're choosing these behaviors … and you can't do both," Dr. Phil tells Joey, referring to having a relationship with his children and the path he's journeying down. "This mistress … She does not want to raise your girls."

Dr. Phil speaks one-on-one with Joey, offering him some resources to help in his many issues, if he's open to it. He turns to Shannon and proposes the same advice, a means for her to gain confidence and independence.

[AD]"Take this help before it ruins your life … Give yourself a chance to find a new compass," Dr. Phil tells Joey. "You're all about being fit. How about being mentally fit, being emotionally fit? It doesn't do any good to pump iron if your head's spinning out of control."


Both Shannon and Joey leave the stage in agreement to end their marriage but pursue counseling for their individual issues.