Dirty Little Secrets: Sheri and Raymond

Dirty Little Secrets: Sheri and Raymond

"I feel like I'm sabotaging my marriage because I have casual sex with a couple friends of mine," Sheri says.

"She's my wife to a point, but she also has friends that she will have intimate relationships with. I want it stopped," says Sheri's husband,
Raymond. "She wants to have her cake and eat it too. She's changed immensely."

"I actually feel like I have to have sex with other men," she says. "Honestly, I don't know why. I've been with about 15 men. Ray does know about most of them."

"That actually hurts. It's like taking everything I have inside of me and throwing it away," Raymond says. "Some of the clues that Sheri was having an affair: She started disappearing during the day. She would go out until 3:00 in the morning. Her phone rings and, nine times out of 10, it's somebody whom she's met online."

"Right now, I'm actually only dating two men," Sheri says. "I call these other men whom I sleep with ‘friends with benefits.' One of my friends actually picks me up outside. He doesn't come to the door out of respect for Ray. I see Ray right now in my life as a friend, and a friend with benefits also."

 

"After seven years of marriage, it's kind of hard to be that just 'friend with benefits,' or for that matter, just a friend," Raymond says. "One thing I miss from her is just to hear her say she loves me. I haven't heard that in years. I want to save the marriage because I still love her. I actually think that Dr. Phil is probably the only person who can help at this point." 

"So, you don't love your husband," Dr. Phil says to Sheri.

"I don't feel like I do anymore," she admits.

"She actually slept with you a couple weeks ago for the first time in three years? And you said you did that out of wifely duty?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yeah, to make him happy," Sheri says.

"You said this as taking the moral high ground. You said, ‘I'm dating two guys right now. They don't actually come to the door out of respect for my
husband,'" Dr. Phil says. He turns to Raymond. "Did you feel respected when they pulled up out front, and [honked]?"

"No, not really," he says.

Dr. Phil turns back to Sheri. "So you've been doing this for the last four years. Let's do this for a minute: Let's forget about the marriage. What's up with you being willing to be so promiscuous?"

Sheri struggles not to cry.

"Forget the fact that you're married. Why are you willing to do this to yourself?" Dr. Phil asks Sheri.

"I think I'm having a lot of problems right now because eight years ago I was assaulted, and I think that it messed me up in the head really bad, because before it happened, I was OK. If I was in a relationship with a guy, I was with that same guy," she explains with a trembling voice.

"What we're talking about is approximately eight years ago, you met someone online, then you decided to meet them at a local casino, and then you went home with him to his apartment, where he held you prisoner for two days, raped and tortured you. And then you made your escape. Three years later, you start doing this," Dr. Phil summarizes. 

Sheri nods.

Dr. Phil asks Raymond, "And you've allowed this to go on?"

"Yes, I've allowed it to go on, mainly because we have three children that I try to keep in the idea that their family is together at this point," he says. "I don't believe in divorce."

Sheri left Raymond at one point in their marriage, but came back when Raymond gave her an ultimatum.


"Well, God bless you for that," Dr. Phil tells him. "I mean, really. You stood up and demanded something?"

"Not so much demanded," he says. "I told her, ‘I'm going to take the kids with me and move, and you can stay here, or go with me, and we can deal with this on a family basis."

"I went [back] because my kids mean everything to me," Sheri says.


Dr. Phil asks her, "Does that seem inconsistent to be sleeping with 15 men outside your marriage in the last four years?"

"I understand what you're saying, but they mean everything to me," she says. "I know it doesn't make sense maybe to you, but they're my life."

"Well, help me make sense out of it, because it seems to me that clearly, you get some payoff for sleeping with these guys, right?" Dr. Phil asks. "You get something out of it. It makes you feel better, feel loved, feel good. We only do things that work. At some level, we get a payoff. What are you getting out of sleeping with these men?"

"That's the thing. I don't know," she says, weeping. "It doesn't make me feel good. It makes me feel dirty. It's wrong. It's wrong. That's what I'm saying."

"You just said, ‘It makes me feel dirty.' That may be your payoff," Dr. Phil tells her. "You may believe that you need to feel that way to match up to who you truly believe you are. Because we all have a personal truth, and we go out and create a life that matches our personal truth ... Is that your payoff?"

"I don't know," she says.

"I don't know either, but do you agree that it's a compulsion?"

"Yeah, I agree," Sheri says.

"And do you agree that, at this point, it isn't working, or you wouldn't have to keep going back and back and back and back? It's not solving your problem," Dr. Phil says. 

"Right. I agree with that."

Dr. Phil notes that Sheri repeatedly has sex with these men, so she's probably had sex hundreds of times. "Do you worry about disease?" he asks her.

"I use protection. I'm always protecting myself," she says.

Dr. Phil looks doubtful. "You understand that this has to change. Forget about him. If you never see him again, this isn't good for you," he says. "You can't live this way. I mean, you already got burned once. You meet a guy at a casino, go home with him, and you get raped and tortured for two days. There's a clue!"

"I know," she says.

Dr. Phil turns to Raymond. "Now, I want to talk to you. You need to gut up and stand up, and you need to require that this woman get immediate help. And when somebody shows up at your curb, honking for your wife to come out, they need to get you! And you need to suggest they
move on in a really serious way. I'm just an ol' country boy, but I'd wait for that honk, and that car would look a lot different when it drove off than it did when they drove up."

"It's gotten to that point," Raymond says.

Dr. Phil addresses Sheri. "I'm telling you: You need some help."

"I know I do," she says.

 

"You are sick. You are on self-destruct, and if you think this isn't affecting your children, you are a fool," he says.  

Dr. Phil turns back to Raymond. "And there is not divided loyalty here. Your loyalty is to your kids. You need to protect them above and beyond anything else. And you need to require that she get into some intensive help. You need to require major behavioral change at this point, and if you don't get it, then you need to go to the courthouse, you need to file for divorce or annulment, and you need to get custody of those children to keep them safe. Because I guarantee you, the résumé of the guys who are sleeping with your wife are not the kind of ol' boys you want around your children," he says.

"That's one of the things that scares me," Raymond says.

"So you need to either get her immediate help, and/or you need to go to the courthouse, get a divorce, get custody of your children and protect yourself and them from her compulsion and sickness," Dr. Phil reiterates. Turning to Sheri, he adds, "That means you need to get off your butt and get yourself some help." Sheri nods. "This is wrong on so many levels, it is dangerous on so many levels, and it needs to stop here today. Will you take the help?"

"Yes," she says.