"I was caught cheating on my wife," says David, who has been married to Sara for seven years. "I've never had success at being monogamous for an extended period of time."
"My husband could not deny having an affair, because I caught him in the act," says Sara. Her baby's cries woke her up in the middle of the night, and when she looked over in bed, her husband wasn't there. She investigated on the Internet and found an address for a woman David had been talking with. "He was going over there in the middle of the night, obviously to have sex," she surmises. "I got in the car with my mother and my little baby and drove to the address, banged on the door to find my husband
David recalls the night. "I was passed out drunk, and there's Sara at the front door. I sobered up fairly quickly," he says with a chuckle. "It was that air getting let out of the tire feeling, that this ain't a good situation."
When David opened the door, Sara barged in. "[The other woman] was still putting on clothes when I went through the house. I really wanted to just rip the hair out of this woman's head," she remembers. "I told her that she was trash, no better than a whore. She needed to stay away from my husband."
That incident left a permanent scar on their relationship. They fight frequently, often in front of the kids. "He has gone out of his way, at times, to make me feel like I wasn't important, or that I was worthless ... He spit in my face," Sara shares. "We have not had a sex life that is good after this, so I really don't know if he still has sex with her on occasion or not."
"It doesn't seem like [Sara's] been able to move beyond the problem," David observes.
Sara admits that she still thinks about the incident. "The image I have of my husband having sex with that other woman haunts me to this day," she reveals.
"Why are you doing what you're doing?" Dr. Phil asks David.
"I made some really low-quality decisions, and we have not been able to get it back on track," he says.
Dr. Phil brings up David's comment about not being good with monogamy, and how he laughed after he said it. "If that's who you are, why bother getting married?" he asks. "Why stay married?"
"I'm hoping that you can help me with some of these questions," David says. "I realize that this is problematic behavior."
"We have two children, and we either need to work together and resolve our marriage and raise the children or decide to work apart. But we need to figure something out for the children," Sara chimes in.
David notes that he laughed as a way of dealing with stress. "I wasn't laughing about the conduct," he says.
"That was anxiety," Dr. Phil clarifies. David agrees.
"You say that part of the reason that you've done this is that she is so difficult that you just finally said, â€˜The hell with it. Whatever,'" Dr. Phil says.
"Didn't you cheat on your first wife?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Yeah," David says. "I'm a serial philanderer, I guess."
Sara explains her behavior. "When I was being so difficult, I was pregnant," she says. "I had an excuse."
Referring to the night Sara caught David at the other woman's house, Dr. Phil asks, "This wasn't the first time [he was there], right?"
"I don't think so," Sara says.
"You say that you have cheated on her with multiple women," Dr. Phil says to David.
"No, sir," David replies.
"Really? Because I thought you said that you admitted that you've gotten hookers " you call them escorts " although you won't give a number or even a ballpark figure," Dr. Phil says. "Did you say that?"
"No," David maintains. "I am not admitting to that conduct, no."
"Did you even say Charlie Sheen was your hero?" Dr. Phil probes.
"I've said something stupid like that," David replies.
"This is a verbatim quote," Dr. Phil says. "You said that you had gotten escorts and, 'It was like the Charlie Sheen thing, but not in the same price range. He's like my idol. Ha, ha.'"
"If I've said something like that, that was a very ill-considered comment. I don't think that that fairly represents who I am," David says.
Dr. Phil explains to David why he thought it was important to mention the Charlie Sheen comment. "If you're " "
"I think that's a cheap shot a little, Dr. Phil," David says, interrupting.
"Oh, you do?" a surprised Dr. Phil asks, noting that he can read David's entire graphic statement if he wishes.
David explains that it's not easy for him to be on the show baring his soul and being humiliated. "I honestly want to get some help if there's a way to get some help, so that I can be the kind of person who I need to be if I'm going to remain in this marriage, and to be the kind of father who I need to be for my children," he says.
"What you don't like is hearing things that are unbecoming to you, but there is a reason that I am doing what I'm doing," Dr. Phil tells him. "The facts are what they are. I don't make facts. I just take them as I find them, and I have been very judicious in the things that I have talked about here." He reminds David that he can't change what he doesn't acknowledge. "You're kind of at that point where you don't really want to fully embrace your choices or the impact that it has on her," he says. "If you really want to change this, you've got to acknowledge, not only the choices that you're making, but you've got to be asking yourself why."
"You're not ever going to get along with her or anybody else until you really get right and settled with who you are and what your personal standards are," Dr. Phil continues. "This infidelity is a symptom. It's really not the problem. It's a serious enough symptom that it's going to kill the relationship if it doesn't stop." David needs to search deep within himself to find out what is driving him to cheat on his wife. If he can't answer that question, he needs to be honest with Sara.
"We've tried to talk with counselors in our home town. I found that the folks that we dealt with, I didn't get anything from those sessions," David tells Dr. Phil.
"Did you go in there really seeking help, or did you go in there in a damage control mode?" Dr. Phil asks.
Sara responds, "He wasn't being honest. When we went, he was having the affair."
Dr. Phil suggests that David approach therapy differently this time, and honestly try to figure out why he is acting this way.
"I just need a good therapist, I guess," David says.
"You need somebody like me who will throw the bulls**t flag on you," Dr. Phil tells him. "I will help find you that person."
"I would be forever in your debt," David says.
Dr. Phil assures David that he doesn't see him as an evil guy. "You have some real maturity issues. I think you have some real impulse control issues, and I think you have some real avoidance issues," he says. "You've got to be honest enough to say, 'I'm not going to lie anymore.'"
The couple agrees to work with a counselor.