"Call it Off": Jessica

Bruce
Ellen"

Jessica explains why Matt is her soul mate. "Matt has helped me overcome my self-esteem issues and my drug issues. Before I met Matt, nobody understood me, nobody was capable of helping me, and he stood through it," she says. "He was strong and helped me through it. I just love him so much for it."

"I think Jessica stays with Matt because she just wants to be loved. I think Jessica has a self-esteem issue," Ellen says. "I don't understand how somebody can come in from the outside, and just conquer and destroy. It's just wrong."

"If my family never accepts Matt, I still will marry Matt," Jessica vows. "I just wish my mother would find it in her heart to have some kind of forgiveness. I'm not asking her to forget."

Ellen doesn't foresee a bright future for her daughter and Matt. "If Jessica and Matt got married, it would be a nightmare," she says. 

"I would not be willing to give her away, nor would I pay for the expense of them getting married," says Bruce.

 

Jessica is desperate for her family's support. "Dr. Phil, I want my father to walk me down the aisle. Please help my family understand," she pleads.

"What is it that you want them to understand?" Dr. Phil asks Jessica.

"That I was willing to forgive him for all the things that we've been through. We love each other very much. There was negativity on both sides; it wasn't just him," Jessica replies. "We love each other. We've done and been through so much with each other. We want to be together."

Dr. Phil wants Jessica to put herself in her parents' shoes. "Someday, if your daughter comes to you and says, ‘OK, here's the guy that I've chosen,' and he has this history of drug abuse, physical abuse, breaking the law, disrespecting you " all of that " what are you going to say as a mother?" 

"'Are there some changes willing to be made on both parts if you're going to continue through with it?'" she replies. "You can't stop somebody once they've made up their mind that they want to be with somebody, and they love them. Love is love."

"Do you love your parents?"

"Yes, I do," Jessica answers.

Addressing Bruce and Ellen, Dr. Phil says, "Why are you so dead-set against this? What is the issue here? She's saying, ‘Look, he's changed. He's a different person now.'"

Ellen faces her daughter. "If I really felt that you had wisdom to make good instinctive choices of a mate right now, there might be less of an issue. But you have a history of making poor choices of people whom you go out with," she says. "You ought to be flicking a guy like this off your shoulder, honestly, because he does nothing for you. He doesn't build you up. You have never, ever, once told me why you loved him, other than that you just love him."

"I don't like talking to you about things because it hurts me every time you say something negative," Jessica counters. 

Ellen says, "You just don't want to face the truth."

"The reason we don't have anything positive to say is because we can't find anything positive," Bruce chimes in.

Dr. Phil turns to Bruce. "As a father, you feel protective of your daughter, of course. What is it that you object to so much about Matt?" he asks.

Bruce doubts that Matt will be able to juggle the responsibilities of a family and finances. "I see him falling apart under the stresses. This is a high-maintenance girl right here," he replies.

"What has he done that you so object to?"

"There's total disrespect for my daughter's health, well-being, safety," Bruce explains. "When he slashed her tires, when she couldn't leave the apartment to get help, those kinds of things just say, ‘My interest is in myself, not in the person that I'm with, and I'm going to keep that person under control.' She's going to college; she's doing well. He told her she could never go to school."

Jessica interjects, "No, he never said I could never go to school."

"Why was it OK with you for him to do those things?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"It's not that it was OK. I was in a sick mental state, and he was in a sick mental state," Jessica explains.

Dr. Phil questions Jessica's devotion to Matt. "He has been abusive with you, he has been negligent of you, he has been completely disrespectful of the law, of his own well-being, your well-being. He's put both of you at risk," he notes. "Why has that been OK with you?"

"I saw deeper than the issues. I saw somebody sick and suffering, just as I was," Jessica asserts. "Everybody else gave up and nobody was there to help me when I needed help."

"But you have an excuse for everything that he does. You say, ‘OK, he hit me in the arm, but he would never hit me in the face,'" Dr. Phil points out. "If the best thing you can say about your intended is, ‘Well, he doesn't hit me in the head,' that's not exactly a good résumé. The fact that that was OK with you at any time, makes me question your judgment about it now … You need to convince me that you are looking at this rationally, not defensively, and blindly sweeping it away."