Dirty Little Secrets: Lee and Kristina

Dirty Little Secrets: Lee and Kristina

"My confession has ruined my marriage," Lee says.

"After three years of marriage, I found out my husband had been married three times, and
that he had two children, whereas I thought he had been married one time and had one child," says Lee's wife, Kristina.

"Everything that I told Kristina was such a huge lie, and Kristina believed every word of it," Lee admits.

"Lee and I met doing a musical. I was 18, and he was 33. I told him I could not deal with him having more than one previous marriage because it was too much baggage for me at my age," Kristina explains.

"I was afraid to tell her about the first two marriages and my first daughter because I was afraid of losing her," Lee says.

The cat almost got out of the bag at a funeral. "His grandmother died. We went to the funeral. His 16-year-old daughter, whom I didn't know about, called him Dad. I confronted him and asked him, ‘Why is she doing that?'" Kristina remembers.

"I told Kristina that my oldest daughter was actually my godchild," Lee says.

"And I bought it," she says. "The fact that he denied his own daughter is beyond me."

Lee and Kristina's marital problems don't end there. "While I was married to Kristina, I had an affair," Lee said.

"I found these e-mails that were romantic in nature. He had bought her a dress. He had taken out a loan to go see her, and took her to a wedding," Kristina says. She confronted her husband, and he confessed. "I was absolutely shocked and devastated. I thought that he would never, ever do that. I left the very next day. Lee is trying to get me back by making amends with my family and going to therapy," she says.

"Kristina's family is not talking to me right now," Lee says. With tears in his eyes, he adds, "I desperately want Kristina back."

"I do not want to go back to Lee in any way, shape or form," Kristina says. "I'm trying to maintain a friendship with him for the sake of our daughter. I will never go back with Lee."

"As far as he's concerned, you're done?" Dr. Phil asks Kristina.

"I'm done!" she says with conviction. "I deserve way more than what he did to me."

"How did you feel when you found this out?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I felt shocked. I felt a little stupid, naïve, betrayed, probably everything you can imagine," Kristina says.

Dr. Phil addresses Lee. "Help all of us understand something here. You knew she had made a specific point of the fact that she didn't want to marry somebody who had been through a bunch of marriages, right?"

"Yes. That's correct," Lee says.


"So knowing that, you chose that to lie about. You chose this person to lie to, knowing that was something that was a core value with her," Dr. Phil says. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"I was looking at my own happiness," Lee says.

"But didn't you live constantly wondering if you were going to be found out? You denied your daughter at a funeral!" Dr. Phil exclaims. "I mean, come on, you're a grown man. You know better than that."

Dr. Phil goes over Lee's history: "Your first wife divorced you after you cheated with your second wife. Your second wife divorced you after you cheated with your third wife. Your third wife divorced you after you cheated with her," he says, pointing to Kristina, "and now you've had an affair on her while you've been married." Dr. Phil looks pointedly at Kristina.

"I had no idea about any of that. I had no clue. He told me that he had been married once, and she was mean to him, and it was a horrible relationship, and they were getting separated, and I didn't know," she explains.

"I betrayed a lot of people," Lee admits tearfully. "I want to get the help I know I need so that I don't do this to anyone anymore."

Lee's third wife, Linda, gave a statement. Dr. Phil explains, "She says that she and Lee divorced when she found out about the affair between the two of you and confronted him. He said he would end it but didn't. She also said something that I'm interested in you responding to," he tells Lee. "She said, ‘Right now, Lee does not have any contact with our daughter. Until he is stable enough to be a weekly participant in her life, he cannot have contact with our daughter.'"

"That is correct," Lee says.

 

"So, she doesn't think you're fit to be around the girl. What does she think your affliction is?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, and I thought that was my only problem. I'm thinking I have some kind of personality disorder that is making me do these things over and over again," Lee says.

Kristina tells him, "Nothing is making you do these things. You do these things because that is who you are. You know better, Lee. You're almost 40 years old."

"If I can translate, what I hear her saying is, ‘Look, Buddy, man up and quit lying your ass off,'" Dr. Phil tells Lee. 

"And that is what I want to stop doing. I want to stop lying. I want to stop hurting people," Lee says.

"You thought that maybe you were a narcissist, that you have a narcissistic personality disorder?" Dr. Phil asks him.

"Yes," he says. "I have not been actually diagnosed. In my opinion, everything I've read about it, that seems to fit."

"Are you an actor?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes."

"Oh, and he's good, isn't he?" Kristina asks sarcastically.

"So you're an actor, and you've just let that spill over, the fantasy, into the real life," Dr. Phil surmises. "But you've got to put up boundaries, right? If you want to have a quality woman in your life, you don't steal her with smoke, mirrors, lies and deceptions. You earn that relationship by becoming somebody worthy of that commitment." Dr. Phil asks about Lee's current therapy. "How's it working?"

"I've only had three sessions with her, but I think it's working well. But we haven't gotten into the … "

"Because you're lying to her," Dr. Phil guesses. "Are you lying by omission? Have you told her everything?"

"Yes, I have," Lee says. 

"She can talk about lack of self-worth, and lack of self-esteem, and embellishment, and sense of entitlement and all those things," Dr. Phil says referring to Lee's therapist. "I'm sure all of those things are true, but you know what it boils down to at the end? You're going to just have to decide that you're going to accept yourself for who and what you are, and you build your life on that person … There will never be another you. In the history of this world, you are the only one who will ever exist, and you turn your back on you and try to be somebody you're not. That's ridiculous. Ask your therapist how she feels about that. Tell her I put that on the table and maybe y'all can discuss that."

Dr. Phil turns to Kristina. "You, you're out. Stay out. Build a huge wall. Unless and until he gets himself squared around, you don't want to have anything to do with him at any level whatsoever because he is not, in my opinion, capable of being truthful and honest with you,"
he says. "And at this point, he has really stolen some time from you. He's stolen some options from you. He's stolen some opportunities from you, and you can forgive that, but don't ever forget it. And you truly do need to move on. I'm not saying he's a bad guy. I'm saying he needs to be OK with him. That's where it starts."

Dr. Phil turns back to Lee. "The next time you date somebody, just hand them this tape. Seriously. You want to be that up front. Continue your therapy. You can turn this around. And you need to respect whatever [Kristina] wants to do, which is just to be gone. She wants to move on."

"I need to move on. I have to," Kristina says.