"In 2002, I received a call from a woman. She just told me that she had been f***ing my husband for the last nine months," says Camille. She was pregnant at the time with their third son. "It just made me very upset that he could do this while I was pregnant," she says.
"My first affair was very secretive," says Camille's husband, Albert. "It was something that I didn't want the wife to know about. I thought it was just going to be a freebie, and I would be done with it."
"About a year later, I got suspicious, so I started to check his cell phone bill, and I noticed a phone number that was called at all different hours of the night," says Camille. "The number was a woman who works with Albert. I asked Albert if he was having an affair with this woman. He finally told me that he did kiss her. These affairs have totally destroyed any trust that I had in him."
"I've had these affairs because I was looking for some kind of attention, something that I was missing," explains Albert. He admits, "I would probably have another affair if nobody would get hurt, and I wouldn't get caught."
Recently, Camille opened up Albert's e-mail and discovered a message from another woman. "It just said, 'Good morning, Albert.' I wrote to her pretending to be him, and I wrote, 'My wife's been on my ass about what time I get off work.' And then she wrote back, 'Well, do you think we should stop seeing each other?' My heart started beating really fast. It just really threw me into a rage at that time." So Camille logged onto his work computer and sent out a message to his entire company. "I put in the subject line, '[Her name] is a whore and a home wrecker.' And then I pressed send."
"It made for a real uncomfortable next day," says Albert. "It was real disturbing that she would do that."
"It just kills me to know that every day he goes to work and sees her," says Camille. "I always tell him, 'I don't want to be this crazy wife chasing you, hounding you.'" Still, she's not going blame herself. "I'm not going to say that it's my fault he did this. I will not take any responsibility for it," she says.
"I'm tired of Camille tracking my every move," says Albert. "She is driving me crazy. Camille's convinced that I've slept with these other women, and I haven't. I've just kissed a few of them, but I haven't gone further than that. I don't want to cheat on Camille. I want to stay with her. I want to stay with the kids."
"To this day, when I see Albert drive in the driveway, my heart still skips a beat. I'm still madly in love with him. I want him to stop cheating on me. I want Albert be a good husband. A faithful husband," says Camille.
"I want to get help, to make things better between us," Albert tells Dr. Phil. "I've had a lot of things that I've done in the past that have been really bad. And I don't want to see her like this. I know it hurts her. It really bothers me to see her like this."
"Really? It bothers you?" Dr. Phil asks doubtfully.
"A lot," says Albert.
"Why have you been putting up with this?" Dr. Phil asks Camille.
"Because of our boys, for now. And, I have to say that the only thing that is wrong in the marriage is these other women," she says.
"Other than the fact that there are lies, deception, infidelity, disrespect, insensitivity and complete and utter disregard for your feelings, things are fine?" Dr. Phil asks her. Turning to Albert, he asks, "Do you deny that?"
"No, I've done that," he says. "I've lied to her. I've done things in the past that have been really bad."
"But she's driving you crazy by bugging you about this?" asks Dr. Phil.
"It's not just bugging, I mean, she constantly tracks me. She calls me at work," says Albert. "And she'll call me five or six times before 6:00, to see if I've left already, what time I'm going to get home. She checks my cell phone bill."
"Can she trust you?" Dr. Phil asks.
"No, I don't think in the past she could. I think right now it's better because I know we have those three boys, and I know she wants to work on this and make things better," he says.
"You admit, 'I'm not having any affairs, but, I do occasionally kiss other women'?"
"Before we had the boys, I had some friends that I'd kiss once in a while," explains Albert. "And currently, I don't have anybody that I kiss. I've kissed one, two people at work that are female, but it's been one of those things where I got congratulated on something, I've sent a reference off for somebody, and they came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek, I gave them a kiss on the cheek back."
But Camille doesn't believe him, especially after reading the e-mail from his coworker.
"You admit to four or five, 'friendships'?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Yes," he says.
"You said, 'I would have another affair if no one would get hurt, or if I wouldn't get caught, I would probably do it.' Did I read that right?" Dr. Phil asks.
"That's correct, I probably would do it," says Albert. "That's why I was willing to come here and get some help. I want to see what I'm doing wrong that's making me want to go out there and just be curious, or check on the freebie."
Dr. Phil quotes Albert again, "'When women pay attention to me, I just respond. I mean, it's friendships with no strings attached.' And, you really like that? That's the freebie part of it? You don't have to do anything, you just have the sex and then it's over?"
"The freebie would be the sex thing, yes," Albert explains. "I do like the friendships. I do like people to give me attention, and I like giving attention back to people. I'm pretty friendly. I don't know where to draw the line."
"You say, 'Camille doesn't trust me and she's right not to.' 'I don't think flirting is a problem. I'm just flirty.' You don't think you're doing anything wrong when you do that?"
"I don't believe I'm doing anything wrong, no," says Albert.
"I've got a real good definition of flirting," Dr. Phil tells Albert. "If you wouldn't do it if she was standing right there beside you, then you shouldn't do it when she's not standing right there beside you. OK? Now, using that definition, is flirting a problem? Do you do things when she's not there that you wouldn't do if she was there?"
"Yes. It's a huge problem then," says Albert.
"So you know where the line is," says Dr. Phil. "You just choose to cross it because as you said earlier, 'I just really thought I'd get away with it, and nobody would be hurt.'"
Camille says she's hurt, but she's also tired. "I feel like I just want answers to know if he wants to be in this marriage."
Dr. Phil brings up the point that Albert sometimes goes to lunch with female coworkers and they park and talk in his car.
"Yes, he's told me that," says Camille.
Albert argues with his wife. "We talked in the car while the two of us were in there, yes. And then we'd park and come back to the office. We weren't making out in the car, Camille."
"Here's the thing that I'm trying to get to," Dr. Phil tells Albert. "If that's what you want to do, I mean seriously, you just have this insatiable need for attention from women, you have this insatiable need to have these non-committal freebies, then why don't you just go do that?"
"I want it with her," Albert says about Camille. "I would love to meet her at lunch. I would love to have a freebie at lunch with her."
"But in her absence, what are you saying, if you're not with the woman you love, love the woman you're with?" Dr. Phil asks. "That's not any kind of commitment that people call marriage."
Albert still says he wants to be married to Camille. "I love her. She's the one who gave me three beautiful boys. And we're very good together. When we're not together, it's not the same," he admits.
"You want your cake and eat it too," Dr. Phil surmises. "You want to have your children, you want to have your wife to raise your children, make your home, do all of those sorts of things, but then you want to be free to go do what you want to do." Dr. Phil wants Albert to realize that he can't change what he doesn't acknowledge.
Dr. Phil talks to Camille. "You say you stay with him because of the boys and, 'Because I don't think I'll meet anyone who makes me feel the way he does.' I would hope not! You want him to decide whether or not to stay together. 'He should just let me go with dignity.'"
"Yes," she says.
"Why is it his decision?" he asks. "You're waiting for him to decide what to do with your life?"
"With our life. With our family," she says sadly.
"But hasn't he already made that decision? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you want to know what the boy is going to do tomorrow, you have to look at what he did yesterday." He turns to Albert. "You know as well as I do that you do this because you can."
"Yes," he agrees.
"Because you know she isn't going to do a damn thing about it. And you don't want her to know because you don't want to hear the noise. But bottom line: You so take her for granted. You know she's in love with you, she's in love with those boys and would not disrupt this situation for a million bucks. And so you're basically operating with impunity," says Dr. Phil.
"That's true," says Albert.
Dr. Phil returns to Camille. "You teach people how to treat you. You've taught him, 'You don't have to respect me. You can just tell me anything and I'll go right along with it.' Is that OK?"
"No," she says, crying.
"You don't start healing until you stop bleeding. You've got to stop the problem before you can start to heal the wounds." He tells Camille, "First thing you've got to understand is this is not about you. It has nothing to do with how pretty you are, how smart you are, how interesting you are." He turns to Albert, "This is totally about you. This is because you are too immature to control your impulses and tell yourself no and appreciate the value and gravity of the commitment that you've made to this woman and these children."
But Camille still wonders. "I know that it's not my fault, but wouldn't any woman ask themselves at one point, 'What is it?' Maybe it is something. I have to take responsibility for my part in the marriage. Marriage is 50/50," she says.
"No it isn't. Marriage is not 50/50, it's 100/100," says Dr. Phil. He tells her that her abilities as a wife are not an excuse for Albert to make bad choices. "Would any woman start to think that? Would it begin to erode your self-esteem, your value, your worth? Of course it would, which is why I'm glad you're here making eye contact with me telling you: don't you believe it. It's not about you."
Dr. Phil does caution Camille against allowing Albert's behavior to erode her abilities as a mother. "This has gotten to the point that this is starting to change who you are. Do you even remember who you were?" He asks her to think back to the beginning of their relationship. "This isn't how you expected to find yourself after 11 years of marriage, is it? With three children, saying, 'I even question my ability to mother these children. I can't keep my man satisfied and at home. What's wrong with me?' You have to be your own best friend. You've got to stand up and say, 'Why am I standing around waiting for him to decide what's going to happen with my life?' Go, 'Hell, don't let the door hit you in the ass, Jack!'"
But Camille is concerned for what that would do to her children.
"It will affect your boys, but I'll guarantee you, children would rather be from a broken home than live in one," says Dr. Phil.
He turns back to Albert, "For some reason, you have a woman who is willing to give you a fresh start. But let me tell you, when you're cheating on her, you're cheating on the children as well. You are putting their happiness, their tranquility, their peace, their harmony, their future in jeopardy every time you do that. You're not doing it just to her, you're doing it to them, and they can and will pay the price for it. You've got their mother so turned upside down right now that those children are getting cheated."
Dr. Phil doesn't think Albert is an evil person, but he's got problems with maturity, impulse control and honesty. He offers to get Albert guidance in those areas. And Camille will get some support and counseling as well.
Albert and Camille accept the help.