Family Drama

A Drama King?

"The primary source of our family drama is Devin," says Loretta of her spouse of 23 years. "We fight every day about something. I'm living with turmoil every day. I'm ready to bail. Devin is self-absorbed. He always thinks I should back him " even when he's not right " because I'm his wife. I don't think he values anything that I say. Devin is sucking the entire life out of me. I want a divorce."

Devin doesn't think he's the problem. "I don't consider myself a bad guy. The house is divided. It's them against me. I've said to them before, ‘That really hurts,' but I don't think it really matters to them," he says. "Loretta has undermined my parenting. I don't ever see myself provoking bad behavior. What have I done so wrong to make them hate me?"

"My father just makes me really feel low about myself. When I go out to the club, he'll say things like, ‘You look like a hooker. You're not leaving the house wearing that, because if you do, you can't come back,'" says 18-year-old Ashley. "I just tell him to shut the hell up. He yells at my mom all the time. He doesn't really show her that he loves her. He only puts on a show so people think he's picture perfect. I hate my father."

Amy, Ashley's twin, says her relationship with Devin is strained as well. "On my wedding day, I wouldn't have had my father walk me down the aisle. Why would I stand up on that day and be two-faced and have him walk me down the aisle? My mom told me I would break her heart if I didn't do that, and so I did it," she says. She explains how her dad hurts her feelings. "My father calls me a pig, a witch, he's called me a bitch, a donkey."

Amy says that when she hit her teens, her father became distant. "A father is supposed to give you affection. I didn't receive that from him," she laments. "I have called my father a dumb ass, arrogant, selfish. I can't stand him. I just look at him as a sperm donor."

Dr. Phil addresses Devin. "What do you think is going on?" he asks.

"I think a lot of the issues that we've had arose from the children, discipline, how our house is run," Devin replies.

Dr. Phil gestures to Devin's daughters. "Do you call her a hooker? Have you said she looks like a prostitute? Have you called her a whale? Have you called them every name you can imagine?" he asks.

"No, sir," Devin answers.

Dr. Phil consults his notes. "I want to tell you what they're saying. They say you are an abuser. I'm not saying you are. I don't know that, but they say you are. You admitted that you said Ashley looks like a prostitute," he reads. "That you raise your voice, that you yell at them, that, according to your wife, you've said to Amy, ‘You are a grazing whale.'"

"I don't ever recall saying that," Devin says.

"He tells Amy and I all the time that we're grazing," Loretta says.

Dr. Phil hands his note card to Loretta. "You told us that he said that you were a grazing whale. The reason it's in quotes is because it's a specific statement that you made. Now when I just asked you about it, you backed up and said, ‘Well, he says that we're always grazing.' Now did he call you a grazing whale or did he not?"

"He's called [Amy] a whale, but he also tells her that she's grazing all the time," Loretta clarifies. "He's called her a donkey. He's called her a pig."

"Do you do that?" Dr. Phil asks Devin.

"I honestly don't think I have," he replies. "If it was in a fit of rage or we were in the midst of a heated conversation, if they're alleging it, then maybe I have."

Devin's daughter, Amy, says he calls her a donkey. She demonstrates how her father follows her around the house making a braying noise. "It's really not funny. I'm his daughter," she replies.

"Does that jog your memory?" Dr. Phil asks Devin.

"There are a lot of things that my daughters allege that I have said to them that are never quite the truth," Devin replies.

"Have you said to Ashley, ‘You want to fight? Then man up. Fight me and man up'?" Dr. Phil asks.

"And you took your glasses off," Ashley adds.

"Yes, sir. I do believe," Devin replies.

"On January 6, did you slam Amy against the wall and say, ‘Get your [expletive] in the room,' and then throw her on the bed?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"The wording I don't know, but yes, she was pushed on her bed," Devin answers.