For Better or Worse: Lancine and Daughters

Is There Something Wrong With Mom?

"My mother has a long history of picking the wrong men," Lancine reveals. "My mother's boyfriend's wife found the e-mails that he was sending to my mother. They were love letters. He was encouraging her to leave her husband before she was really ready to. When my mother's boyfriend left, he didn't take any money, he didn't take any possessions. He just took the camping trailer."

"I think, in some way, they think he is going to try and take advantage of me even though I have nothing," says the senior Lancine. "I think my daughters feel as though they can set the rules for me. My daughters constantly try to give me advice. I would use the word badger." 

"My mother comes across as being dignified and educated. He's more of a Harley biker guy," Lancine shares. "I would never describe my mother's boyfriend as distinguished. My first impression was that he looked sloppy, had long hair, very overweight, much younger. It was a surprise when he walked in the door."

 

"The man whom I am seeing right now is very kind, very intelligent. He has never been critical," says the elder Lancine.  

 

"My sister, Megan, is worried that my mother's boyfriend might be using her financially, because he doesn't make enough money to support himself. She's concerned that maybe he is looking at her as the breadwinner," Lancine says. "I told [my mom] that she needed to let him live in the tent trailer, and she could stay with my dad, or my sister or me."

[AD]"I told Lancine, ‘You just don't understand. When I fall asleep at night in my new boyfriend's arms, there is such peace that there's no way that I'm ever going to go back,'" Lancine says. "They don't want me to be with this new gentleman in my life, and it's just mind-boggling to me."

 

"I think that my mother is seeing the world through rose-colored glasses," Lancine shares. "She is now being controlled by this guy, and she doesn't see it."

 

"I would say to my daughters, ‘Just let me be. Let me go find my own way,'" the elder Lancine pleads. 

The senior Lancine's husband declined to appear on the show, but told producers that he still wants their marriage to succeed. "You're saying that's off the table," Dr. Phil says to Lancine.

"Yes," she replies.

"You're escaping what?" Dr. Phil asks. "What is it that made it so hard to stay there, that living in a tent looks better?"

"I was hardly able to have any social relationships at all. He had become very reclusive in the last several years. He's extremely controlling," Lancine says of her husband. "I had no access to any of the funds. I was given an allowance of $100 a week to run the house on."

"Do y'all have a lot of people stopping by the tent?" Dr. Phil joshes.

"On the weekends, I can go and visit friends," Lancine says.

"Where did you meet this guy?" Dr. Phil asks.

[AD]Lancine says she and her new boyfriend, who is 13 years younger than she, took an adult education oil painting class.

"Would you agree that maybe your ability to pick them is not necessarily among your strong suits?" Dr. Phil asks the thrice wed Lancine.

"That's probably true," she admits. "But I must say, I'm an optimist. I think they're all going to work out."

Dr. Phil reiterates that this new man lives in a trailer and takes oil painting classes, which doesn't make for a compelling résumé.

"He has a profession," Lancine says.

"He doesn't have a job. He's an intern," Bonnie chimes in.

"He gets paid for being an intern," the elder Lancine says.

"Obviously, he doesn't get paid enough to support you," Bonnie says to her mother. "You make this man seem like he's God's gift to earth, and it's just not like that."

 

Dr. Phil points out that Lancine's daughters love her and have her best interest in mind. "If he is a caring guy, he would want to provide for you, and they say they're concerned that he may be using you," he says. "You said, ‘I'm only going to be in the tent for about a week more, and then I intend to lay claim to one of the three properties that we own, and move in there and reestablish myself in a more basic way.'"

[AD]Lancine addresses her daughters. "When I mentioned to him that I wanted to move to be near you, he immediately said that would be fine," she says. "My husband never, ever said that he would do that, because he refused to live next to you."

"Could that be because you're going to have a house with bricks, mortar, a roof and plumbing, and he's living in a tent?" Dr. Phil asks Lancine. "I'm not saying that he's using you. I'm just saying is that a possibility that you have considered?"

"Yes," Lancine says.

"Is it a possibility that you need to be cautious about his motivations?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes," the elder Lancine replies.

"Would you at least consider that?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, I'll consider that," she says.

Dr. Phil mentions that once Lancine moves into one of her houses, her boyfriend will be moving in with her. "So that's to his advantage, because he's upgrading substantially from a tent," he says.

"Yes, you're right," she says.

 

Dr. Phil asks her what motives her daughters would have against her.

"I think they're very concerned for me," she acknowledges. Turning to her daughters, she continues. "You guys don't know him."

"That's true. We don't," Megan says.

[AD]Dr. Phil addresses the daughters. "Y'all are concerned she didn't finish one relationship before she started another one. You think that's self-destructive as well," he says.

 

The girls agree.

The elder Lancine explains that her relationship with her husband may have appeared to be happy, but it wasn't. "There had been quite a track record, especially over the previous six or seven months, that really led up to this," she says.

"Did you or did you not start a relationship with Mr. Charming here while you were still married and in your relationship?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I had spiritually, emotionally and physically separated from my husband. I was merely living in the house," she says.

"You haven't finished the other one yet," Dr. Phil points out. "What time period was there between the last time you slept in your house [under the same roof] with your husband and the first time you slept in the tent with your boyfriend?"

"One day to the next," Lancine says.

Dr. Phil tells Lancine that her daughters are not hung up on this man's profession, where he lives or how much money he has, but they are more concerned about their mother's behavior. "It's important to finish one relationship before you start another one," he says.

[AD]"She thinks that we want her to go back to her husband, and that's not at all what we're saying," Megan says. "We were happy when they were broken up."

"How long were you involved with the tent guy while you were still living at home?" Dr. Phil asks Lancine.

She admits they were writing letters to each other for three or four weeks, but they knew of each other for three years.

"You have to realize that at your age, you can't afford to be dividing things in half every couple of years," Dr. Phil tells Lancine. "When you keep dividing things in half the older you get, it's harder to replenish that, which means that as your earning capacity diminishes, and as your needs for support and care increase, you've got things moving in bad directions. What they're saying is, ‘Mom, protect yourself, not just financially, but emotionally, mentally, physically. Protect yourself in every possible way.'" He notes that he doesn't know what her new boyfriend's motivations are, but she should still move forward with caution. "If he's a wonderful guy and going to be around forever, it won't matter. If he isn't and flakes out and rolls down the road, then you are protected."

Lancine's daughters agree that they would be happy if their mother protected her assets and did not expose herself to financial exploitation.

"That's very logical," Lancine says.

[AD]"When she talks about their future plans, she's also talking about building a dream home with him, and he's going to get this job, and he's going to contribute to the household building and maintenance, and like you were saying, that's going to become community property, if he's putting his money into it," Megan says.

"You can't do that," Dr. Phil tells Lancine. "If you do get involved with him, you've got to have a prenuptial agreement."

"I hear you," Lancine says.