First Wives Club: Holly

First Wives Club: Holly


"I feel like I'm the one to blame for all of it," Holly tells Dr. Phil and Robin. "It's my fault. It's easier for me to take the blame, rather than blame someone else, because he was a man that I trusted. I trusted him with my family, my life, my health, and so it must be me."

Holly's story:

"After 25 years of marriage, my husband walked out. I had a tough childhood. I was physically and sexually abused from the time I was 2 until the time I was 16. I wanted to get married and forget about my past. It was like he was the answer to my prayers. After my third child, I gave birth to a stillborn baby. I was 36 years old. I went into a spiral of a very serious depression. My husband thought I was going off the deep end. Rather than try and help, he chose to have an affair. I was numb, and I rationalized that he deserved to have some happiness, because I was such a rotten person. If I were him, I probably would've had an affair too."


And then Holly received a bombshell. "A year later, I was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. While I was in chemotherapy, my daughter had the chance to go to Europe. My husband went on this trip, supposedly to chaperone my daughter, and ended up having an affair. And it's still going on. It makes me sick in my stomach. He told me that I reminded him of a stray dog he had on the farm, that everyone wanted to kick because it was so pathetic."

Holly still doesn't feel like she's divorced. "Legally, we were divorced last year. But in my eyes, and in the eyes of the church, I am still married. I still wear my wedding ring." She looks around her house, and everything reminds her of her ex-husband. "There's nothing in this house that doesn't remind me of him. I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and I realize I'm alone. I fear that I will die an old, and lonely, and bitter woman because my divorce destroys a little part of me every day." She cries, "He's my husband. And I trusted him, and I loved him. And I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him."


"Do you really think this is your fault?" Dr. Phil asks Holly.

"Yes. I do," she says.

"OK, then, good. Tell us how. We just want to know, so we can convict you of being to blame."

"I went into this relationship depressed. I didn't recognize my depression. I didn't get help for it," says Holly.

"That doesn't justify somebody going out and having an affair with somebody else!" Dr. Phil stresses.