Hell Weddings: Janae and Michael

Hell Weddings: Janae and Michael

"My wedding was hell because my husband showed up to our wedding drunk. It was completely disastrous," says Janae. "I tried to call him because he was late, and he was stumbling over his words. I was panicked. I was a nervous wreck."

"I admit it. I was very drunk on my wedding day. I took a shot of Crown Royal, and one after the other they followed. I took about seven shots," Michael says. "Because I was so drunk, my dad had to shower me and dress me up in my tux."

Janae knew her big day was in big trouble the moment she arrived at the church. "As I was walking down the aisle, I saw Michael swaying back and forth. I was mortified," she says. "When we exchanged rings, Michael got on his knee like he was proposing to me and grabbed the wrong hand. I wanted to run. I was looking for the closest exit. That was the angriest I've ever been."

 

But the matrimonial madness didn't stop there. "When we got in the car to go to the reception, he started throwing up out of the window," Janae says. "His groomsmen yanked him out of the car. I went to the reception by myself. I ended up spending my wedding night with my bridesmaids at the hotel."

"My friend took me home, and I passed out on my own lawn in my tuxedo," Michael says. "I woke up that night sleeping on a couch with a garbage can at my side."

Although the wedding took place two years ago, Janae is still haunted by memories of that fateful day. She uses every opportunity to throw the botched nuptials in her husband's face.

 

"We were thinking about buying a house. I said, ‘Remember our wedding day? Were you there?' And we bought it. I wanted a new SUV. I said, ‘Remember our wedding?' and I got the SUV," she says with a tiny smile.

"She resents me. She will resent me, probably, for the rest of my life," Michael says miserably.

"I still get very mad when the wedding is brought up. It still is in the back of my mind, all the time," Janae says. She bites her lip, fighting tears. "I still hold resentment over this. I absolutely want to re-do my wedding.

 


 

When the videotape of her story, which includes footage taken at the ceremony ends, Janae dabs at her eyes with a tissue. Dr. Phil addresses her. "In all this time, you've never seen the actual wedding video," he says. "You can't heal what you don't acknowledge. You're not over this." 

He turns to Michael. "Is it odd as you see it?" he asks.

"Very odd," Michael replies. "The night before, I did not drink at all, so I was not going to be this way for my own wedding. It was very disappointing to me."

Janae shares her reaction. "It's horrible. I can't believe that that happened to me, and I can't believe that he did that to me," she says. "It just brings back a lot of emotion."

 

Michael explains why he was inebriated before the ceremony. "My best man was late trying to write his speech, and one of my groomsmen was trying to make him drink a shot because he was drunk from the night before. I told him, ‘Leave him alone. I'll take the shot for him,'" he says. "As the guests were flowing in, they all wanted to take a shot with me, and it kind of cooled me off, drinking it, but it really knocked me out really fast.

"You could see as you were walking up the aisle that he was swaying up there, right?" Dr. Phil asks Janae. "What did you say to him when you got up there?"

"When I got up there, I just said, ‘What the hell? What's wrong with you? What are you doing?'" Janae replies. She gives a sarcastic laugh. "The groomsmen were all laughing and elbowing each other. It was so funny."  

 

"It wasn't funny to you at all," Dr. Phil says.

"I was absolutely hurt, embarrassed, shocked, humiliated," Janae says. The memory brings her to tears.

  

"I was ashamed of myself. Obviously, I didn't know it at the time, but when you wake up, it's a very big shock to know that you've just ruined your best friend/wife's dream," Michael says. "I drink once in a while, and to drink on that day, it was embarrassing."

Dr. Phil chides Michael. "You had to know, ‘This is stupid,'" he says.

"It is," he replies.

"But didn't you know it at the time?"

"I should have, but I didn't know," Michael says.

Dr. Phil notes that Janae is still nursing her wedding wounds. "This has left you really altered. You won't go to a wedding," he says. "You can't watch somebody else be happy and excited, and have the dream wedding that you were looking for."

"No," she replies.

"You went to a wedding for his best friend, and you just decided to do what?" Dr. Phil asks.

Janae gives a sheepish laugh. "I got drunk, and I threw up at their wedding," she says.

 

"I think it's just because it's a sore memory in her mind," Michael says.

"What do you want to see happen?" Dr. Phil asks Janae. "Do you want to stay angry the rest of your life, the rest of your marriage?"

"No. I don't like to be angry. We have a fairytale marriage that most people want."

 

"Yeah, because you get what you want!" Dr. Phil says. "You go over and say, ‘OK, you owe me, Buddy! I want a house. I want a car.' Do you realize that people only hold on to emotions if there's a payoff? It serves a purpose for you in some way."

"It does."

Dr. Phil gets to the source of Janae's anguish. "If you ever forgive him, if you ever let him off the hook and forgive him, that doesn't mean what he did was OK," he says, "it just means you don't want to stay in that emotional prison for the rest of your life."

"She would always get what she wants; it doesn't matter. Whether the wedding was that way or not," Michael says.

"Don't suck up now," Dr. Phil says, smiling. "You want to give it to her. You don't want it demanded from you."

He turns to Janae. "You've got to be willing to lay the hammer down. To forgive someone says, ‘I'm not saying what you did was OK; I'm just saying I am unwilling to let this dominate my mind, heart, soul, spirit and marriage for the rest of my life. I have to forgive you and move on,'" he says.

"I don't want to keep living like this. I want to just let it go and make new memories," Janae responds.

"Are you willing to say, ‘I've said it enough. I've complained enough. I've beat you and myself up enough. I don't need this anymore'?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I don't know how to get past the emotional part of seeing a wedding and thinking of mine," she says, face crumpling in pain. "We have no good pictures. We have nothing."

Dr. Phil wants Janae to understand that Michael owns his role in the wedding fiasco. "He's saying, ‘I get what I did to her,'" he says.

"Yes. I owned what I've done, I'm very sorry for it," Michael says.

"You realize this hurt her in more ways than one," Dr. Phil tells him. "Publicly, it was humiliating, family-wise."

"His father flew from Canada to see his only child get married," Janae says.

"That was embarrassing for my dad too," Michael says.

"Do you trust yourself enough to say, ‘I can let this go and put my trust in him'?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I think I have forgiven him. I want to be able to move on and get past the emotional hurt. It's hard talking to people about it," Janae says. "I've let my guard down with him. I've opened up myself with him. I mean, he's been the most amazing husband, ever. I hope it's not just because of the wedding. I hope it's because he loves me."

"I always tell people if you want a new future, create a new history. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," Dr. Phil explains. "You've got to replace memories with better memories. You've got memories of resentment. You've got to replace them with memories of love."

Dr. Phil wants to help the couple create beautiful memories. The Countryside Country Club in Clearwater Florida will give Janae and Michael a dream wedding for up to 75 people. They will receive appetizers, a three-course sit-down dinner, wedding cake, music and photography.

"Thank you, so much," Janae says, smiling through her tears.

 

She turns to her husband with a surprise of her own. "I want to start a new memory. I want to just let the past go," she says, holding up a new wedding band.

Michael accepts her offer of a new life, and they embrace.