Dr. Phil Takes on a Town: Jennifer, Jim in Studio

The Waltons
Dr. Phil checks back in with the Horvath family to see how they Dr. Phil adopts the people and town of Elgin, Texas to help them with their community and family problems.

Dr. Phil asks Jennifer and Jim how they are feeling about things now.


"I feel like I'm starting to see where I'm coming from," Jennifer explains. "It's been a lot

easier to actually not fight back with Jim. I don't want to fight back. I don't want to continue in the cycle that we're in."


Jim admits that he is disappointed because they are working on themselves right now and not focusing on fixing the marriage. When they separated in March, he took to the time to heal himself. "The pornography and the masturbation has ceased, but still in Jennifer's eyes, when I get disappointed, I get angry. Or when I get hurt, I get angry, and it's still destructive to Jennifer's feelings, so we're not going anywhere," he says.


"My biggest concern for you guys as a couple is that you're going to screw this up before we get a chance to get some of the foundation laid," Dr. Phil tells them. "You say you want to reconnect, it hasn't been 24 hours since you got in her face and called her a cold-hearted bitch. And you think you're ready to plug back in here?" Dr. Phil asks Jim.


Dr. Phil points out that Jim has thrown a phone against the wall, called Jennifer names, pouted and badgered. "You've done everything because you're feeling a sense of desperation. You're hanging on so hard and so tight. I understand your anxiety, but do you understand that that very behavior is driving her further and further away?"

Dr. Phil wants to know: If Jennifer had to make a decision today, would she stay married to Jim?


"If my option was to decide right now today, are you going to stay married or are you getting a divorce, I would walk down and I would go and sign divorce papers today," she replies.

"That's in response to the persona that you have presented," Dr. Phil tells Jim, and assures him that this is not all his fault. "Any time you're in a relationship and you turn away from your partner to solve a problem, go outside the marriage, get involved with somebody else, you've made a serious error in judgment. That is wrong," he explains, referrring to Jennifer's affairs.


Dr. Phil points out that Jim has not been physically abusive with Jennifer for quite a few years, but "Every other aspect of the abuse and the control and the isolation, has continued, and in fact, escalated. Is that correct?" he asks Jim.


"That is very correct," Jim replies.


"That's a deal-breaker. If that continues, my counsel to her is to end this relationship," Dr. Phil tells him.

"Jim, when you come into a relationship, you either contribute to it, or contaminate it every waking moment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Dr. Phil says. "Every time you guys interact at this point, every time you have these exchanges, you're getting
deeper and deeper and deeper down ... At this point, my sense is you are within reach. But you've got to quit digging deeper and deeper every day."

Dr. Phil suggests Jim take a close look at himself to get things figured out and get himself straightened out. "I've said from the beginning, that I sense in your husband, a good and caring and clean heart," Dr. Phil says. "But that's not what you're living." Dr. Phil offers to work with Jim to help him figure out what he has been through and move forward.

Jennifer explains that the most difficult part is that Jim is detaching from the children. "He's pushing our children further away, and it breaks my heart because I know he loves his kids and I know they love him, and it's gotten to where they don't want to go with him," a tearful Jennifer says. They have told her that they feel pressure from Jim and they are nervous they are going to be put in between their parents. "They're to the point where they just would rather stay with me and not go with him, and that breaks my heart," she says.

"Jim, you've just got to calm down. You've got to back off of this," Dr. Phil tells him, asking if he is willing to do that.

"I'm going to try. I don't know how. I don't know how to let

go," he tells Dr. Phil. He misses seeing and being with his kids, but every time he goes to the house, he says, "I blow up."


"What you need to do with them is just be their dad," Dr. Phil says.

"I don't even know how right now," Jim replies.


"Are you willing to learn?"

"Yeah," Jim tells him. "I'm willing to do whatever it takes; I just don't know how."

Dr. Phil suggests that the first step for Jim is to put up some boundaries, and decide that when he is with his kids, he will not have any conflicts with the kids about his relationship with Jennifer. If Jim can't go to the house without getting frustrated or angry, then he needs to make that a boundary and keep himself away from the house for now.