Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.
“I don’t want to be divorced again, but I am certain my husband has been having extramarital affairs,” says Candace, who started dating Kevin, her third husband, when she was unaware that he was married to another woman. She says that during their marriage, he has stood her up, hidden his cell phone from her, kept his money secret, and has even disappeared for days at a time.
“I have become very secretive. I know the perception is that I’m having all these liaisons with other women. It’s not true,” says Kevin. “I understand that she may not have a lot of faith in me, but she believes everything that she hears.”
Candace has started checking Kevin’s clothes and computer for signs of cheating. “I found lots of evidence. I discovered on his computer that he had a deep interest in pornography,” she says. “I was out with a friend, and somebody approached her and asked who I was. When she told them, his response was ‘Oh, my gosh! Does she screw around on him as much as he screws around on her?'”
Candace turns to Dr. Phil for help. “It’s like this entire relationship is based on a lie, and the hardest part of all of it is that I do love him,” she says. “I know my husband’s cheating. Is this marriage even worth saving or do I just move on?”
Candace joins Dr. Phil onstage, but Kevin chose not to come to the show claiming that he “missed the flight.” He points out Kevin’s past indiscretions: He cheated on his last wife multiple times, including with Candace; he blamed Candace for his divorce; he has cheated with one of his co-workers and has a reputation as a “hound dog”; and when Candace threatens to leave him, he shows no interest in her until another man does.
“Even this morning, begging me profoundly, ‘Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. I’m going to get the help that I need.’ It is so believable when he begs and is extremely emotional. Because I want to believe him … And I want better for him than he wants for himself. I know he’s living a life of hell because of all the guilt that he is living with.”
“Oh, bless his heart,” Dr. Phil jokes.
Candace has collected evidence of her husband’s infidelity. “We can talk about that, but it doesn’t really even matter, does it?” Dr. Phil asks her. “You already know the answers.”
Candace explains that it has been hard for her because this is her third marriage and she doesn’t want it to fail. “Obviously, there’s a little bit of something wrong with me in my picking ability, right?” she says. “I know that you would clearly say that I need to move on. I need to know I’m not crazy. And I know my kids need me,” she says. “I’m really very reasonable. I’m not this stupid. I can see it, but I have felt this entire relationship that I have literally been in a tug-of-war. And if I walk away, he will never get the help he needs,” she cries as the audience gasps. “And so whether this relationship works or not is not even the point. I really want him to be OK.”
“Do you think that you are going to heal him by enabling him?”
“But I’ve tough loved him to death,” Candace says.
“No, you have not! Are you kidding me?” Dr. Phil responds, noting that Candace says Kevin has cheated on her numerous times. “It seems to me, at some point he’s going to conclude, ‘Ah, lot of bark, no bite. I can do what I want when I want.’ Because you just keep coming back for more.”
“Don’t think that I’m not worthy. That’s not the issue,” Candace says.
“You don’t think you have self-worth problems? That you’re willing to settle for somebody who continues to breach your trust, to humiliate you, to go out with other women, to lock the office door when he brings back the woman that he had the affair with that you left over?” Dr. Phil questions.
“But that was a year and a half ago. And he said, ‘OK, look, this is really, really it. I will do this. I will do this.’ He pushed every single button,” Candace defends herself. “He truly manipulated me back, and I wanted to believe in him.” She says that she’s usually a stronger person in her day-to-day life, and wonders why she lets herself be treated this way when it comes to love.
“Because that’s the only place that you are on the line,” Dr. Phil tells her. “If you’re talking about something that doesn’t involve your personal truth and your personal worth, then you can go totally intellectual, and you can problem-solve. But when it comes to what you’re entitled to, then you continue to kid yourself.”
Kevin has never admitted to cheating on Candace during their marriage, but he told Dr. Phil’s producer a different story. He reveals on camera, “I have cheated on her during our marriage. Um, it has been, uh, not a recent occurrence, and it was a very short-lived scenario.”
Candace responds through tears, “That is so what I needed … Because it’s clear, and it’s final. And I don’t have to wonder any more.”
“You didn’t wonder before,” Dr. Phil points out.
“He would never admit it to me, and that’s the answer that I’ve been looking for.”
“This is not an issue between you and him. This is an issue between you and you. That’s not a new piece of information,” Dr. Phil tells Candace. “And by the way, did you ever wonder why he said that? Do you think he knew you were going to see that tape? Of course he knew!”
“He took the easy way out,” Candace realizes.
“He fills a need in you to feel needed, so you can go fix him, and usher him around, and clean up his messes and soothe his pain when he feels so guilty over running around on you,” Dr. Phil says. “If he’s going to get healed, it ain’t going to be you that does it. It’s going to be a skilled professional that deals with his maturity issues, deals with his impulse-control issues and gets him to a point that he can stand up, be a man, and be accountable for the choices that he makes. And you are not qualified to give him that help.”
“Can you tell me that without any doubt, I need to walk today and be done? There is no hope? Just tell me, ‘There is no hope.’ I want to hear that from you. I know that’s what I feel. I know that that’s what I want to do. Why I need that affirmation from you I guess is the big question,” Candace says to Dr. Phil.
At the end of the show, Dr. Phil is about to address this question, when she says, “To walk away seems to make it all in vain, and it was all for nothing, and it was a wasted opportunity for energy I could have been putting somewhere else, without question. It seems like such a waste.”
“You’d feel really dumb after five years to just say, ‘Well, it won’t work. I’ve got to walk away,” Dr. Phil clarifies and she agrees. “So, how dumb are you going to feel after six? Seven? Or eight? Or nine?”