Get Over It: Nicole and Fritz

Get Over It: Nicole and Fritz
Dr. Phil explains how to overcome what's holding you back so you can be happy and move on with your life.

"I've wanted to be a mom all of my life," says Nicole, who's 37 and has been married for four years. Nicole placed a baby for adoption when she was 18 years old, and always believed parenthood would happen for her again someday. A few months ago, Nicole had a hysterectomy, but her desire to be a mom has gotten even stronger. "I desperately want to share parenthood with my husband," says Nicole, who would like to adopt a child.


Nicole's husband, Fritz, has three children from a previous marriage, and feels he's too old, at 44, to be a parent once more. "I have told her over and over that I don't want another child," he says. "Her strong desire to adopt has really torn us apart."


Nicole feels lonely and betrayed. "My husband gave me three months to deal with not being able to be a mom," she explains. "If I can't, he has asked me to walk out of this marriage. I love Fritz, I love his children, but I just want to experience being a mom."

"I want him to change his position," says Nicole. "Even before we got married, he said if having children was so important to me, he would even think about getting his vasectomy reversed. That tells me that he would be open to doing this."

 

Fritz explains that he never wanted to adopt, but he felt pressured to tell Nicole that he would look into it someday. When Dr. Phil asks Fritz why he's sticking to his guns now, he explains, "It's a lifelong decision. I don't want to hold any resentment for the child that comes into this relationship because I don't really want the child. It's not fair to the child."

 

Getting emotional, Nicole says, "It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a mom. I had a child when I was 18 and gave her up for adoption ... That makes my longing to be a mom that much greater."

 

Fritz says that her calling to be a mom has changed from being a strong desire to an obsession.

Dr. Phil asks Fritz, "So, you basically said, 'You need to get over this or we're going to end the marriage'?"

 

"Well, at least fix the marriage first," says Fritz. "I don't see having a troubled marriage and bringing another child into this relationship when the marriage is not strong."

 

Dr. Phil clarifies Fritz's position: Even if the marriage was stable and healthy, he's not interested in having a child.

 

"When I was reading about your relationship, I kept coming across words like betrayal, manipulation, theft, lies, selfishness," says Dr. Phil. "All of those sorts of thing from both of you when describing the other person's behavior ... Clearly an unhealthy situation."

Dr. Phil points out that Fritz gave Nicole 90 days to "get over" her need to have a child.

 

"I had filed for divorce," Fritz explains. "I couldn't take this turmoil any longer. It was destroying our marriage."

 

Dr. Phil tells him: "If you love and care about your partner, then you wake up every morning saying, 'What can I do to make her life better?'"

 

Dr. Phil turns to Nicole: "What he's telling you is 'I have a shift in priorities here, and you aren't making the short list.' He's telling you that he has priorities, and having you as a wife — if the price of admission is to bring a child into the marriage — is not making it." He tells Fritz, "You have decided, in the grand scheme of things, that the things you want at 44 years of life outweigh the sacrifices you would have to make for her to be happy."

 

Fritz agrees with Dr. Phil's evaluation.

"And how that makes me feel," says Nicole, "is he doesn't view our marriage as important or as valued as his first wife. He was willing and wanting to share parenting with her, and he's not willing to do that with me."

 

Dr. Phil concludes, "Your marriage is over ... He's telling you: You are not worth the sacrifice that you are asking him to make."

 

Dr. Phil shares his story of when he was married to Robin with one child. "We agreed to have one child. I had a vasectomy. And not terribly long after that, I heard her saying to someone else, 'I'm sorry I ever agreed to that because I didn't want to have just one child.'" But because it was an eight out of 10 in importance to Robin, and not having another child was a two out of 10 for Dr. Phil, he had his vasectomy reversed. "We had another child because I didn't think a two should control an eight."

 

"It's not like I didn't love her," says Fritz about Nicole. "I cherished her. We were soul mates, but that was a decision I don't think I was willing to make at that time."

 

Dr. Phil tells Nicole, "Everything he just said ended in 'ed.' 'I cherished her.' ... Wake up. He's saying, 'I'm not willing to go forward with this.'"

 

"Right," agrees Nicole.

After the show, Dr. Phil speaks with Nicole and Fritz backstage. "You guys have to make a decision about whether you want to work on this situation or whether you don't," he tells them. "What do you think about what you're hearing?" he asks Nicole.

 

"It just makes me very, very sad," she replies.

 

"If this wasn't going to go where you wanted it to go, don't you wish you had known that a year ago instead of wasting a year?" asks Dr. Phil.

 

"Absolutely," says Nicole.

 

"Don't waste another year," he tells her. "It's about choices, and I think your call to be a mom at this point is primary. And to just say, 'Well, I'll just give that up because you don't love me enough to want me to have that,' that is not the basis upon which you build a marriage."

 

Dr. Phil asks Fritz, "What do you think the chances are that you're going to want to adopt a baby a year from now?"

 

"Not very good," replies Fritz.

Dr. Phil concludes: "I think what you're faced with is your husband telling you, 'I don't want to be married to you anymore. And particularly with a baby looming in it, I for sure don't want to be.' ... You either make an agreement to work on it, or you start the process to dissolve the marriage and to pursue what you want, which is to adopt a child. Alone or with someone else, but at this point, there's no basis for this."

 

"OK," says Nicole, sadly.

 

Dr. Phil gives her a hug. "If I can help you in some way, you tell me."