Is it Really the End?
Dr. Phil asks Mark and Sabrina why they decided to have children after so many marital conflicts. “He files for divorce, then you file for divorce. Then you just wake up and say, 'The smart thing for us to do is to have some children,'” Dr. Phil muses.
“I thought things were good. We both made mistakes during the first part of our marriage,” Sabrina explains.
“It didn’t hurt that I was making a butt load of money at the time either,” Mark interjects.
“We decided to have a baby because we thought all this garbage was behind us,” Sabrina shoots back.
“But you’re saying she’s a gold digger?” Dr. Phil asks Mark.
“I’m not saying she’s a gold digger, but if you ask any of the people in my life prior to [us being] together, they would say she is,” he replies, explaining that since their split, Sabrina continually asks him for more money.
“Are you feeling used?” Dr. Phil asks Mark.
“I think the more money that was around, the more ease there was in our lives. It’s when I said no for the first time that things went downhill,” he explains.
[AD]Turning to Sabrina, Dr. Phil recounts some hurtful comments she made about Mark. “You said, ‘You’re a deadbeat and a piece of s*. I wish you would kill yourself. You’ve ruined your children’s lives.'"
Sabrina claims she never told Mark to kill himself, and that she frequently asks for money because she’s raising his children. “It’s not about the money,” she insists.
Dr. Phil explains to Mark and Sabrina that their children are trapped in the middle of their marital crossfire. “How do you feel about those children?” he asks Mark.
Mark begins to cry. “I don’t care about anything else but those children,” he says, “If there’s anything I was born to be, it was a dad, and I think I’m a pretty damn good one.”
“Do you think he loves his children?” Dr. Phil asks Sabrina.
“Absolutely,” she says.
Glancing at the couple, Dr. Phil explains, “So, this all went really, really wrong. I think the big problem here is that you all are still very much in love. If we were in the fourth grade, he’d be pulling your pigtail instead of putting an ad out on eBay. He would be chasing you around the lunchroom.”
Sabrina confides that to this day, she still gets emotional when she remembers Mark’s proposal.
“So, why did you say yes?” Dr. Phil asks Sabrina of the proposal.
“Because I loved him,” she says.
“What did you love about him?”
“Everything,” she says, holding back tears. “He was my knight in shining armor. He was who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
[AD]“Merging two lives together isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do,” Dr. Phil tells Sabrina. “Is it possible that you’re just two or three decisions away from having had the dream [husband] you wanted?”
“Absolutely,” she replies.
“It wasn’t that you found out that he wasn’t who you thought he was,” Dr. Phil says. “You found out that he had some flaws you didn’t anticipate, and as a result, [you’re in this divorce].”
“I’ve said that people in America get divorced too soon, and that the only time you’re ever ready to get a divorce is when you can honestly say that you have absolutely no unfinished emotional business with your partner. Neither of you are in that position,” Dr. Phil says.
He advises the couple to work through their problems before divorcing, especially for the sake of their children.
“You are immature,” Dr. Phil says to Mark, noting that it’s childish for him to seek other women for attention. “The dumbest thing you said on this show was, ‘I put that ad up to get back at my soon-to-be ex wife.’ What you were basically saying was this was the latest way to hurt my children’s mother … Your measure of success is how much you can hurt the mother of your children. How sick does that sound?”
“It sounds horrible,” he says.
“But that’s exactly what you’re doing. And tell me that I’m wrong when I say that in your absolute heart of hearts you want to say, ‘I have been childish because you have hurt me with rejection, and I’m sorry.’ Tell me that’s not how you feel,” Dr. Phil exclaims.
[AD]“That’s exactly how I feel,” Mark admits.
“Then tell her that. Man up right now and tell the woman.”
“It means everything in the world to know you’re proud of me,” Mark confesses to Sabrina. “And when I didn’t feel [that], it killed me.”
“What do you think about what he’s saying?” Dr. Phil asks Sabrina.
“I just wish you would have told me sooner,” she tells Mark.
“I didn’t know how to say it until [Dr. Phil] put it in words for me,” he admits.
“I mean, I hope that’s the truth. I hope that’s really how you feel,” she says.
Turning to Sabrina, Dr. Phil offers to give her and Mark marriage counseling before finalizing the divorce. “I want you to do something for me," he says."I want you to put your mind, your heart and your divorce on hold — and it’s on hold anyway — for six weeks, and let me hand-pick someone to sit down with the two of you at our expense and [help you both] unravel this ball of yarn. So, that if you make the decision to go forth with [this divorce], you meet the criteria that I set forth, because I suspect that you may come back here after six weeks and say, ‘You stopped us from making the biggest mistake our little family could have ever made.’”
[AD]Nodding, Sabrina grows tearful. “OK,” she says.
“Will you give me that six weeks?” Dr. Phil asks Mark.
“Absolutely,” he says.