Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.
“My husband’s had two affairs that I know of,” says Tracy, who’s been married to Scott for eight years. His first affair lasted for six years and his second one lasted for three years. “I found out about the first lady by finding phone numbers, calling cards,” she says, explaining that finding condoms in his truck was another clue.
“Tracy accused me every day I came home from work. She would smell my clothes, search through my phone. She ended up putting enough pieces of the puzzle together and actually got me to admit to it,” explains Scott. “I knew it was wrong, but in my mind, as long as I didn’t get caught, I wasn’t hurting anyone.” His second affair was with a customer, and he ended up getting fired from his job. The other woman got pregnant and he doesn’t know if it was by him. “I had to come home and tell my wife and tell her that I got fired for cheating, and it just destroyed her.”
“I could probably cope with the affairs. It’s the child that is always there in the back of my mind,” says Tracy, who shredded all of their honeymoon pictures when she found out he had been unfaithful. “I told him he had to choose her or choose me, and he actually had said that he’d rather be friends with her and be married to me.”
“I begged Tracy not to leave me. I didn’t want to lose the children. And I had to change,” admits Scott. “Tracy has a hard time accepting the fact that I’m not cheating on her anymore. Constantly digging really aggravates me … I am a new person, and I don’t want to hurt her anymore. I don’t see things getting better. It seems to be getting worse. I can’t take much more.”
Tracy says Scott needs to help her move forward. “If it takes me knowing every move, then I feel I have the right to know,” she says.
They’ve been fighting every day, often having yelling matches in front of their kids. “Scott’s called me a bitch. He’s thrown dishes, broken glasses everywhere, and he’s actually poured hot chili down my shirt. Pulling me by my hair and yanking me down and now it’s gotten to where I’m starting to be destructive — throw the remotes or the phones or knock something over. I’ve got to vent my anger, ” Tracy explains.
Tracy, who doesn’t think the affairs have stopped, turns to Dr. Phil for help. “Will I ever be able to get past my husband cheating on me and make our marriage happy?” she asks.
“You say you’re a new man, new person, wouldn’t do this anymore,” Dr. Phil says to Scott. “Why?”
“I realized how much I hurt her. I never really thought, while I was cheating, of what could possibly happen to my marriage.
“You don’t believe that he’s actually had this transformation, that he now gets it?” Dr. Phil asks Tracy.
“Not 100 percent, because it’s been going on for so long and I’ve doubted him for so long that it’s hard to believe him,” Tracy replies.
“Why did you care so much whether it hurt her or not, because you said that you didn’t love her when you married her, that you’re not in love with her?” Dr. Phil asks.
“We got married because she got pregnant, and I was trying to do the right thing. And hopefully, I thought in my mind that we could fall in love, you know, eventually, and that did happen,” Scott explains. “The love that I have for her has grown over time.”
Pointing out that Scott gets angry whey Tracy checks up on him, Dr. Phil says, “You made this mess. You’ve got to clean it up until — if that’s a week, if it’s a month, if it’s a year.”
“But it seems to be getting worse as time goes on instead of better, and I’ve done nothing to hurt her since then,” Scott maintains.
“Do you think calling her ‘bitch’ and the C word and pouring hot chili down the front of her kind of aggravates the situation?” Dr. Phil probes. “You guys are self-destructing and other-destructing at an accelerating rate. The only person here on this stage that you control is you. And at some point — right, wrong or indifferent — somebody in a sick relationship has to step up and say, ‘I’m going to be the hero. I’m going to be the one who puts some values, some qualities, some standards in this situation.'”
“Amen. I’ll do that. I’ve been doing that,” Scott says
“You sit there and say, ‘When she’s a bitch, then I get upset!’ That ain’t being a hero, my friend! That is being demeaning, and it is being aggravating, and it is creating more problems.”
“The constant bickering and questioning, it becomes overwhelming over time,” Scott continues. “I don’t want to do that to her again. It’ll kill her. And that, in turn, will destroy my family, and those kids need me and need her to be together to be a good family.”
Dr. Phil addresses Tracy and asks her, “In the state of this marriage right now, which is in big trouble, are you contributing to the problem?”
“Yes, because when he tells me and can prove to me where he’s been and what he’s been doing, I just don’t believe him. I have the proof, but I don’t want to accept what I see,” Tracy admits.
“You use the most vile language that you could imagine. You call him every name in the book. You’ve thrown the remote, the television, golf clubs. You have physical fights,” Dr. Phil says to her, and she agrees. “When you have a child that begs you both to stop and shut up and then goes in the other room and sits down and has full-body tremors, shaking, then you know what? It’s time for you people to shut up. It’s time to stop what you’re doing, because what you’re saying is your anger is more important than your child.”
Tracy agrees and Dr. Phil continues. “Let me assure you, children would rather be from a broken home than live in one. You don’t have the right to do that to those children … you have the responsibility to mother your children in a loving, caring, peaceful and nurturing fashion.”
The audience applauds. He tells them if they must argue about it, then they need to leave the house. “At some point you’ve got to move beyond the anger and start negotiating where you’re going to go from here. You don’t solve any problems by yelling and screaming.”
“I’m so angry and so hurt that this has been done to me. I feel so betrayed and worthless,” Tracy replies.
“You are very insecure, aren’t you?” Dr. Phil asks Tracy and she agrees. “You didn’t get what you needed when you were growing up as a child. You didn’t get the love and the nurturance and the validation, all the things that make you feel good about who you are. And then, when you want it from him and you don’t get it, and you just get a lot of this put down, then you start fighting back. And you start clinging and grabbing and testing him to see if you can, in fact, run him off. Every day he stays, it’s like you get a fix of heroin. It’s catharsis. You get all that anger vented, and you feel a little better for a little while, don’t you? But then, it starts building back up and building back up.”
Dr. Phil addresses Scott: “Don’t put your kids through it. If you want to be a player, go be a player.”
“But my goal is to raise my family with her in a loving home,” Scott says. “I stepped outside the marriage. I can’t change that. I’ve done it twice. But I’m not going to do it again, and I can’t convince her otherwise.”
“You made this mess,” Dr. Phil reminds him. “It’s your job to clean it up. So, you just need to get your feelings off your sleeve, and you need to live your life as an open book … People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Just be an open book. If you change the way you are in this relationship, you will influence what you get back … If she wants to fight and yell and scream, walk away.”
Dr. Phil offers to provide them with professional help and they agree.