Her ex-spouse, Ted, adds his thoughts. "I think life might be hitting Stacie pretty hard right now," he says. "I provided for things that she was used to having, and now she has to fend for herself."
She got so frustrated that she called his boss to complain, and Ted subsequently got fired. "He's going to blame me for the rest of my life for that phone call," she says. "Ted would tell me on a daily basis how much he hated me, how much I f**ked up his life, how much I f**ked up his career. I 'm a piss-poor mom. I'm a piss-poor wife. He will accept no blame."
Stacie now fears that Ted is trying to sabotage her as a mother. "When he left the house, there were all these bills that weren't paid, the mortgage wasn't paid. I hid from the repo man so they wouldn't take the car from me. I am on food stamps right now," she says.
Stacie says their shared animosity has even escalated to violence. "One weekend, I went over to my mom's house, and I noticed Ted was walking up the stairs. He said, 'I'm here to get the keys to the car,' and I said, 'No.' He chased me into the house, got on top of me, and he was trying to get the keys from me," she remembers. "I felt two of his hands on my back shove me so hard, and I flew down the stairs."
In tears, Stacie says, "He totally shoved me down the stairs. I had severe whiplash and contusions on my chin."
Now, she worries because Ted is not paying child support, and she wonders how she and their three kids will survive. "I'm about to lose everything," she frets. "I feel alone and overwhelmed."
Dr. Phil explains that Stacie still feels uncomfortable being around Ted, so they are seated apart from each other. "Why did you want to be here today?" he asks her.
Dr. Phil wants to get the facts straight. "Are you saying that he pushed you down the stairs?" he asks.
"He shoved me down the stairs, yes," she answers.
Ted speaks up. "It's completely untrue," he insists.
"It sounds like you tried to kill her, if you did that. I'm not saying you did," Dr. Phil stresses. Turning to Stacie, he says, "Was he trying to kill you?"
"I don't know if that's what his intention was. He came over there very pissed off, very angry," she recalls. "He definitely wanted to hurt me."
"I'm just worried about my sons," Ted reveals, explaining that he's not earning the salary he used to.
Stacie shakes her head. "If you were so worried about your sons, why would you call their mother and yell at her, and scream at her for 20 minutes straight when they're sitting right next to me in the car?" she inquires.
"That's completely untrue," Ted says.
The couple bickers back and forth. "You would say you hate me. I'm a f**king bitch. I f**ked up our lives," Stacie elaborates.
Dr. Phil steps in. "You say you want the best for your boys. Are you conducting yourself consistent with that?" he asks Ted.
"Yes, I am," Ted assures him. "We're trying to keep it separate from the kids. I think we're doing a pretty good job of that."
"Did you say to your wife and three boys: 'I am divorcing you and you and you and you'?" Dr. Phil asks Ted.
"No, I did not," he replies.
"So, she is just totally fabricating that?" Dr. Phil presses.
Dr. Phil turns to Stacie. "At this point, you're having to rely on food stamps to feed the children."
"Yes," she says.
"How do you feel about that, Dad?" Dr. Phil asks Ted.
"It sucks. I hate it," he admits. "But I can't pay her the money that she says that I'm making because I'm not making that much money."
Dr. Phil tallied up Ted and Stacie's bills and discovered that they are running $2,000 in debt each month. "I'm only making half of what they think I'm making," Ted insists.
"It is hard for me to see my parents fighting a lot. It's hard for me to ignore because it's really loud," says one son. "I don't appreciate my dad calling my mom names, and my mom calling my dad names. I feel hurt, because well, basically, when my dad calls my mom names, he's basically calling me names. That's what I feel."
Without hesitation, she replies, "Yes, I do."
Dr. Phil poses the same question to Ted and he responds in kind. "That's what I wanted to know, because if that's true, then both of you are going to have on a filter that causes you to see threat and danger and attack from the other person," he explains.
Despite Stacie and Ted's differences, they need to maintain a united front for the children. "Neither one of you, in my opinion, even almost has the right to take the position and choose the behaviors that you're
"Yeah, but I think a lot of it is coaching from her," Ted replies.
"I don't care where it comes from, that's their experience," Dr. Phil shoots back.
"Do you feel a duty and responsibility to your children to put their interests first?" Dr. Phil asks Stacie and Ted.
Dr. Phil stresses that he isn't blaming the couple. Turning to Stacie, he says, "He has betrayed everything that was supposed to happen in your life. He has failed to do the things that he is required by the court to do. He is sabotaging you with your children, and you resent that so much that you just see red when you see him. And you resent her. She called and got you fired ... you just see red when you see her."
He implores Stacie to get a job, and tells Ted to find another job, if necessary. "Those are your children, you don't just quit them," he says. "You need a financial consultant. You need a family consultant. Whatever you need, I will bring those resources, because I do care about those children."
Both Stacie and Ted agree to accept the help.