For Better or Worse: Lancine

A Wake-Up Call for Mom

"My mother is currently married to her husband, yet she is living with her boyfriend," says Lancine. "She gave up a nice place to live and a retirement, almost all her worldly possessions."

 

"I have made it clear to my girls that I have severed one and moved on to the other. Yes, it was rather immediate. That's very true, and they can't handle that," says Lancine's mother, also named Lancine. "They wanted me to be by myself, rather than hook up with another man."

 

[AD]"My sister, Megan, was more concerned that Mom finish her relationship with her husband before she move on to be with anybody else," Lancine shares. "I wanted her to stay with her husband until she saw a divorce attorney."

 

"My husband's life definitely revolved around work, counting how much money he had. He tended to control me with both anger and sarcasm, and the anger pervaded our lives. It was very difficult for me to live with that," the senior Lancine explains. "So what do I do? I stay in the relationship and become frustrated, or I break out, and I seek my own happiness." 

 

 

Mother Lancine left her husband and their accumulated wealth to live with her younger boyfriend in a tent on a campground. She shows the Dr. Phil cameras what life is like living in a portable home.

 

"I moved into County Regional Park, and I have a tent trailer. I think my daughters are shocked that I'm living in a tent, but for me, this is not a really big deal," she shares. "Living in a tent is very different from living in our home. I do my cooking on a propane stove outside. I don't have a refrigerator. I've lost a couple of pounds. That's a good thing."

 

One drawback about tent life is that Lancine is at the mercy of the weather. "When it's 31 degrees outside, you need a heater in a tent trailer," she says, and when the Santa Ana winds blew in, she was worried about her tent blowing away.

 

Lancine uses the public restrooms to bathe and go to the bathroom, where the showers cost 25 cents for two minutes of water, and the stalls have no doors.

 

"When I first came to the park, I was very insecure here. It's so funny, but I have peace in the tent. I love listening to the animals, being in the green. It's been wonderful," Lancine reflects. "I would rather be in a tent, living with a man who is kind and loving to me, rather than be in a beautiful home with a man whom I just can't be with any longer."

 

[AD]Lancine wants her three daughters to learn to accept the situation, but the girls say their mom acts like she's been bitten by puppy love.

 

"My mom is acting like she is 16 again. She jumped into this relationship like a teenager. She wants to be around him all the time. She talks about him all the time. She'd rather be with him in the tent trailer and not really thinking about her future," Lancine says. "I think it's crazy that she's living in a tent with her boyfriend. I thought she had lost her mind. I called my sister, Megan, and she agreed that we need to do something quick, because something's wrong with Mom."

Dr. Phil asks Lancine's daughters, "What do you think about this?"

"I think she's acting like an irrational teenager, and I think she needs to stop substituting her love or need for support through men," says Bonnie. "We're here for her, and she's not taking it. She'd just rather go find marriage after marriage, man after man."

"Maybe she'd rather have an intimate relationship and be with somebody, instead of hanging out with her kids," Dr. Phil points out.

"She's still married. She doesn't need to be [separated for ] five weeks, living in a tent trailer with a man whom she thinks is like Jesus Christ," Bonnie says.

"We were just concerned because it happened so fast," Megan says. "There was no natural progression of events. It was just she's out with her husband, she's in with her boyfriend. There was not a lot of thought process."

"Is there any speed at which she could move into a tent with some guy younger than she that would have been OK with you?" Dr. Phil says. "It's really not the speed; it's where she wound up."

Lancine adds, "We weren't upset that she left her husband, and we weren't upset that she found somebody else. It's just who she found, I think, that concerned us, and where they're living."

 

[AD]"I had lots of people, just in this last week, tell me that I was welcome to live in their spare room or in their garage," the elder Lancine interjects.

"Including your daughters," Dr. Phil says.

"But she wouldn't do it, because she wanted to be in the tent with him," Lancine says.

"This must be a really charming guy," Dr. Phil says to the mother. "I think Robin just loves me famously, but I think she would give pause to a tent move."

"At the end of the day, I'm going to tell you that your kids don't run your life, and if you want to go live in a tent, or stand on your head, or whatever you want to do, you have the right to do that," Dr. Phil says to Lancine. "But let's take them out of the mix for a minute. What are you doing living in a tent?"

"It's a nice tent," she says.

"When it comes to talking about your home, nice and tent don't go in the same sentence," Dr. Phil says. He notes that most women Lancine's age, who have worked and accumulated belongings, look forward to waking up in the morning, strolling to their kitchen and preparing a meal. "Is [living in a tent] what you worked for? Is this it?" he asks.

[AD]"This is a stopgap for five weeks, and then I'm going to be moving into one of those wonderful homes, as soon as I can convince my husband that he's going to let me," Lancine explains.

Turning to the daughters, Dr. Phil asks, "Y'all are concerned about her decision-making, right? About her priorities, her values." Facing Lancine, he says, "They're concerned about you."