Devastating Divorce: Gretchen and Dr. Phil

One week later, Dr. Phil and Gretchen sit down " without Danny.

"How long have you known that you wanted to shut this down?" he asks her.


"You know, I think it's been awhile. I think that's why I'm handling it so well," Gretchen says. "Probably a year or two, but I was trying so hard to make it work. You know, we have two kids, and I was staying together for the kids, and ultimately, I had to leave for the kids, and it was a really hard decision."

"What pushed you over the edge finally, and why now instead of five years ago or five years later?"

"I think I felt like my situation was never going to change," she says. "I felt like it had really degenerated, and we were just fighting all the time." She reiterates that their home felt like a broken one, and she didn't want her kids to live in a broken home anymore. "I felt like I needed to go and give them a stable environment."

"I've also said the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," Dr. Phil says, "And you thought there was going to be more drama."

"I adore him. I love that man, and I just feel like he deserves better, and because there's so much damage, I can't give him what he needs anymore," Gretchen explains. "I don't trust him. He needs things that I'm not capable of anymore. I love him enough that I think he deserves that with someone else, so that's what I hope for him."

"How do you know that it can't be fixed?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"Because I'm indifferent … There's nothing he could say that would change my mind," she says.

"You told him that it was over, and you wanted a divorce on his one-year anniversary of sobriety," Dr. Phil says. "Were you waiting for him to get enough behind him before you told him?"

"I think it was a factor in my timing for sure, because he had a year of sobriety, and he had a job," she says. "Had I left the year before when he didn't have a job, and he was drinking, I knew that would be a disaster, so I was trying to wait for the right time to do it."


Dr. Phil tells her, "I told Danny that I would be happy to talk to you two again together, but that I wouldn't do that to him unless there was some hope that there was a way to find your way back together, and what you're telling me is that's not going to happen; this is over."

"Yeah, it's over," Gretchen says. "It would be unfair to him. I want him to have love, and passion and all the things that he needs, and I just don't have that anymore."

Dr. Phil asks about how Gretchen became involved in finding Danny a new girlfriend.

Gretchen laughs. "Well, I just highly encouraged a person, who " you know, she's going to be around my kids, and I wanted some say in that. And she was a teacher and seemed really nice, and, I've seen the alternative. I live in Hollywood, and half the reason Danny and I are divorced is that temptation here is awful. People cannot imagine the skanks " and I'm sorry to say that " but really, that throw themselves at men here, and they don't care. They don't care that you have kids and that you're married. I really want him to have a nice girl. That's important to me."

"Well, those are the words of a woman who is through," Dr. Phil concludes. He tells her that it seems that she has no unfinished emotional business, which is when you know you're ready to get divorced.

"I'm just ready to move on," Gretchen says.

"You know what you have to do now, of course, is " "

"Find a man brave enough in Hollywood to take me out because that has been a challenge!" Gretchen jokes.

"What you have to do is you and Danny have to have a new relationship with new rules and new guidelines, and he's not at the place you are. You are indifferent … He's not at that point. He's being rejected by the woman he loves, so he is going to go through a process. And the most important thing to do is come up with a plan you can both be excited about." Dr. Phil tells her. "You know, you can call me any time, ask any questions about the kids."

"Thank you so much," Gretchen says. "I appreciate that you've been here for Danny and myself."