Cheaters: Rick and Kandice

"Kandice and I have been married four years. She has cheated on me in the past, and yes, I do have reason to believe that she could be doing it again," says Rick. Kandice started talking with a new guy around the holidays. When Rick questioned her, she denied having an affair, saying she just talked with him online. "I found out from phone records that within a month's time they had talked over 10 hours, which equaled

up to several times a day," he shares. "She says they are just friends. It's hard to say whether I believe her or not."

 

"Our marriage is horrible. Rick is very emotionally abusive. He has called me a whore, a slut, a bitch. We fight constantly," Kandice reveals. "I cheated on Rick because I was looking for a way out of my marriage. I didn't know how to leave Rick, and I thought when I cheated, he would leave me." She says that her first affair lasted only one week, and this new guy is just a friend. "I would never cheat on my husband again," she says. "Rick is very paranoid." She says Rick checks up on everything she does and she feels like she is constantly being monitored. "I have not given Rick any reason to believe that I'm not being honest."

 

On Christmas day, they both went out for a last-minute gift. "Ironically, we ended up at the same store," Rick explains. "Kandice and this other guy showed up together. When she saw me, she did have the deer-in-the-headlight look, just totally shocked ... If there's nothing going on, there's no reason to lie." When Rick viewed a Web site to see if Kandice had been speaking to this guy, he found out that she had listed herself as being divorced. "It made me feel like she had given up any hope of us repairing our relationship, like she was happy that this was happening," Rick says.

On New Year's Eve, the guy sent Kandice two text messages. "One of them was, 'I love you,' the other one was,

'Where do we meet?'" Rick shares. This led to a huge fight while they were driving.

 

"He started calling me a lot of names, and he slammed me up against the window with his shoulder in my throat," Kandice explains. "When I screamed for help, Rick jumped out of the car. I went to the nearest gas station and called the cops." After that incident, Kandice kicked Rick out of the house. 

 

"When he doesn't trust me, I pull away. I

pull away, he thinks I'm cheating, and then it starts again. It is a vicious cycle," Kandice says. However, she is willing to give her union another chance. "I still want my marriage to work for my kids, so they do not have to grow up in a divorced home."

 

Rick wants answers. "If I found out Kandice was cheating on me again, I would be totally heartbroken and devastated," he says, turning to Dr. Phil for help. "I want to keep my family together, but I need to know the truth." 

 

Dr. Phil addresses Rick, "Tell me what it is that you want to know and what it is you want to do."

"I would want to know the truth. I would want to know why," Rick says. "I want to know if I could get over that and repair our marriage to make it work."

"Why did you agree to come?" Dr. Phil asks Kandice.

"I want my marriage to work for my children. I think they deserve to grow up with a happy family, and it was not happy before," she says. "I hope I can love him again and fall back into love with him. I want it to work, I just, I don't know."

"Children would rather be from a broken home than live in one, and right now they're living in one," Dr. Phil points out to Kandice. "Are you having an affair now?"


"No, I'm not," Kandice replies.

Dr. Phil explains that he believes strongly in the institution of marriage, but if it's not working, things should be done to change it. "If you don't want to be married, then why all the games?" he asks Kandice. "If you want to go out and run around with somebody else, why not just be straight up and do it? Why sneak around and hide and lie about it?"

"I think I'm scared of what life would be like without him," Kandice admits. "I do love Rick, I'm just not in love with him anymore."

Kandice says that her affair is over, but Dr. Phil points out that from December 12 to January 6, she had 156 calls to this guy totaling 705 minutes. "And your theory is, 'Well, I just needed a friend'?" Dr. Phil asks, incredulously.

"He totally is my friend. I have not cheated physically with this man at all," Kandice says confidently.

On her anniversary, she and Rick were staying in a hotel and she called another hotel at 1:48 a.m. and then called the other guy at 1:51 a.m. She has also sent 463 text messages back and forth with him. Rick says he found Kandice connecting with the guy on the Web site MySpace, and her profile listed her as divorced.

She finds excuses to leave the house alone, and she and Rick have no sex life. "You're saying that you suspect something might be wrong?" Dr. Phil asks Rick.

"I know something's wrong," Rick replies. "I think a lot of it is love being blind. You want to think positive. You don't want to suspect the worst," he says. "I do know without a doubt there's an emotional affair that was occurring, but I don't know if anything physical happened. And yeah, emotional is just as bad."

 

Dr. Phil addresses Kandice. "You think that because he got burned before, he's now just freaky about it," he says.

"He is," Kandice agrees. "With this guy, I know there's reason to suspect, but it's not just this guy. It's anybody I talk to."

 

Dr. Phil clarifies that Kandice has told Rick and the show's producers that she is not seeing this guy, only maybe if her brother is around. "You wanted to know, so we found out," he tells Rick.

Dr. Phil plays a surveillance video of Kandice rendezvousing with the guy. On day one, at 5:15 p.m. she leaves the house with the young man,

and her brother is not there. At 8:45 p.m. they return to Kandice and Rick's house. Her brother is now there to meet them, as the guy carries
Kandice and Rick's children into the home. On day two, at 6:30 p.m., the guy arrives at their house. During the afternoon of day three, the guy comes to the house and lets himself in. Then Kandice and her male friend play tag around the car.

"This is the guy that you just told me you're not seeing anymore," Dr. Phil says to Kandice.

"What I'm really concerned about is [Rick] trying to take my kids from me, because I do want a divorce," Kandice reveals. "I just don't want
him to take my kids." 


"You are having an affair with this guy, right?"

 

She nods.


Dr. Phil lays out the facts. "You are hiding this because you are afraid for your children. You told him you're not seeing this guy, and you are. You told him you're not having an affair with him again, but you are. And you were with him alone in your home an hour and a half on day two, so we know that you're together alone, and you are having a sexual encounter with this guy," he says.

 

Kandice admits to every statement.

 

Dr. Phil looks at Rick and says, "There's the fact."

With welled eyes Rick asks Kandice, "Why? Why lie? He's a friggin' 20-year-old kid, what does he have to offer you? Have I not done enough? What are you thinking? You're running around like a kid, playing tag with the car. You have two kids there. You want to sit here and tell me that I'm not supposed to take the kids from you, but you're acting like one."

Dr. Phil addresses Kandice. "You told us that you've cheated on him so he would leave you," he says sternly.

"Yes," Kandice says. "I do not think that we should be together, but he has threatened that if he can prove it in court, he'll take my kids."

"But how gutless is that?" Dr. Phil asks. "If you're big enough to do it, be big enough to own it! If you want out, leave. But you don't cheat on him so he'll leave you." He notes that infidelity is not an issue in custody, the parenting assignment is based on the fitness of the parent.  "You talk about you want to do this for the kids, then you know what? You don't expose the kids to your paramours," he tells her. "Is that a right decision on your part?"

"Not at all," Kandice acknowledges.

"The truth is pretty obvious," Dr. Phil says. He faces Rick. "You just haven't wanted to admit the truth here."

"I think so," Rick agrees.

"But wouldn't you rather know?" Dr. Phil asks. "The sooner you know it, isn't that the better?"

"Yeah, I guess so. It's just dealing with it," Rick says.

"What are you going to do with this information?" Dr. Phil asks Rick.

"I don't know what to do anymore. I think I'm just done," Rick says. "Part of me doesn't want to be, but the other part says I don't have a choice."

Dr. Phil has a stern warning for Rick. "You get angry, and you get physical when you get angry. If that happens, you're going to jail. Do you understand that?" he asks.

"Yes sir," Rick says.

"You need to make a decision that this family needs a hero. Your children need somebody to step up and say, 'You know what? We've got to get out of this gutter activity here. We've got to get out of these lies, deception, deceit, and darkness,' and somebody needs to step up here and be a fiduciary for these children. Somebody needs to put their best interest first," Dr. Phil says to Rick.  He addresses the couple. "You have not put their best interest first."

 

Speaking on behalf of the children, Dr. Phil tells Kandice, "You don't have the right to be exposing them to this guy. You don't have the right t

o be dragging them around with him. It's confusing. You don't have the right to start a tug-of-war and those kids are the rope." Looking at Rick he says, "You don't punish her by taking the children away from her." To Kandice he says, "You don't punish him by withholding the children from him and playing house with 'Mr. Hat on Backwards.'"

Dr. Phil offers the couple advice. "If you two aren't going to stay together, if you're not going to work to reconcile this, then what you do is you get busy forming a new relationship as co-allies of these children," he says. "You will not use them as pawns. You will not run your emotional agenda at their expense."

He offers to arrange professional help for them. "I'll do whatever I can to make right decisions in this," he says. He reminds Rick, "Calling your wife names, getting physical, getting violent with her, that's off the table. It's unacceptable. You're more of a man than that. Stand up and be a man, not a bully. You need to have some integrity in this situation."

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil asks Rick for his thoughts. 

"I'm still in a lot of shock," Rick says. "I want to do whatever I can to keep my family together and keep my wife, but I look over and it's like she doesn't have any remorse or any guilt about what she's done to me. She lied continuously to me about what was going on. It's like I want to make it work, but how can I ever trust somebody like that again, especially when it doesn't seem like she's sorry for
what she's done?"

Dr. Phil asks Kandice, "Are you willing to work on this, or are you just looking for the door?"

"I'm willing to work on it, if we can get a lot of help," she says, facing her husband.

"And you understand that that means nobody else involved," Dr. Phil tells her. "It means becoming as transparent as a picture window."

"Yes," she says.