In-law Intervention

In-law Intervention
Dr. Phil tries to keep the peace between feuding in-laws.
"Wanda would do anything to start a conflict," says Ernie. He and his mother-in-law have never seen eye-to-eye, and he blames her for many of the family's feuds.

Wanda disagrees. "I'm outspoken, and some people love me for it and some people hate me for it," she says.

Ernie paints a different picture. "She said, 'I treat him like one of my own sons.' I bet her own sons never got a set of Florida toenail clippers for Christmas as the only gift," he says. "You're never going to get the right story from her. You're only allowed two stories, her version and the wrong version."

Kerry stands by her husband. "I think Ernie has every right to be upset with my mom because she has done a lot of bad things to him," she says.

Wanda maintains her innocence. "I don't expect Ernie to love me, but on the other hand, he should have a little respect for me."

Tearfully, Ernie pleads, "I don't want to start a family feud. I want help here."Turning to Wanda, Dr. Phil asks, "Are you in denial here?"

"I'm sure I am."

"Because you say you treat Ernie like your own son, and there's just no problem with him, and your own daughter says that you think Ernie is a lazy slob and she married below her class."

Wanda replies, "I don't remember saying that she married below her class. I truly don't remember that." She's offended at the suggestion that she instigates fights with Carol. Turning to Ernie, Wanda says, "I would like to know when I've treated you bad at my house."

When Ernie explains that he will never be alone in Wanda's house for fear of being verbally attacked, Wanda says, "I'm sorry Ernie, if you took me wrong, if I spoke wrong."
"Do you acknowledge that you were not thrilled about Kerry's choice for a husband?" Dr. Phil presses Wanda. "I have you on tape saying that he's a slob."

"I'm saying he's a slob because my daughter calls me every day at lunch time, she always tells me how dirty Ernie is," Wanda explains. "I can only go by what my daughter tell me."

"I never said he was dirty. I said he doesn't help me around the house, and he fully admits that," Kerry counters.

Dr. Phil explains that couples shouldn't let their extended family into their personal business. "You've got to take these fights private and keep it private," he admonishes Kerry. "You can go ask for support. You can go ask for help, but you don't go dog on your mate to somebody else, because then they wind up keeping that opinion of them, and then you live with that forevermore."
"Do you call Carol names?" Dr. Phil asks Wanda.

Wanda wants clarification. "Behind her back or to her face?" she asks. When she admits that she does, Dr. Phil observes, "The most vile word to any female is the C-word. Do you refer to her in that way?"

"I say 'Crabby Carol,'" Wanda makes clear, as Carol laughs.

Dr. Phil takes her to task. "That's not the way it got reported back to me. It got reported back to me as Carol 'C,' and that C was neither Crabby nor Carol."

"That's true," Wanda admits. "I haven't said it in front of the grandkids. I call her 'Grandma CC,' Crabby Carol. I don't say the word in front of the grandkids."

"Who do you say that to?" Dr. Phil probes.

"My daughter."

"How about the grandkids?"

"I hope not. I really hope not. I probably have said it in front of the grandkids then," she admits.