"Danielle has cheated on me at least a dozen times," says Chris, about his wife of five years. "The first time, she was having a coworker come over to talk and she asked me to stay in the bedroom. So I went to bed, and when I woke up 30 minutes later, they had locked themselves in the spare bedroom and wouldn't open the door. After I beat on the door, they came out laughing, acting like it was a joke. I've forgiven her for cheating on me with the guy from work, cheating on me several times when I was in bootcamp, cheating on
And they fight at least once a day. "She nags at me all the time. She'll call me a 'fag' or 'queer.' She will threaten me with breaking my things, tearing up my clothes," says Chris.
Danielle is now pregnant with another man's baby. "When she told me she was pregnant, I flipped out. I yelled and screamed. I was outraged," says Chris. And they can't hide the affair because the baby is going to be biracial. "No matter where we go, people are going to see that she had an affair."
"I feel I need the attention from other men," says Danielle. "I like the feeling that somebody else other than him wants me. Most of the times I've cheated on Chris, I've never felt guilty. When I look at Chris, I see him as very weak, not a man. Most men would've left me a long time ago." About the affair that resulted in pregnancy, Danielle says, "We weren't using protection at all. I knew what was going to happen. I know Chris is struggling with the baby because he can't pretend this baby is his."
About the future, Danielle says, "I don't know if I'm going to be able to stop cheating. I'm afraid of the temptation. That is one thing that scares me."
"Danielle says that she's remorseful, but I don't feel that she is," says Chris. "If I had done to Danielle what she did to me, I would be doing everything I could to make it up to her. I want her to prove to me that she is sorry for what she did. This is her last chance."
"The truth is, you've said that you feel no guilt about this at all, correct?" Dr. Phil asks Danielle.
"I do now. I didn't before," she says.
"You mean, as of today?"
"Well, since I've gotten pregnant."
"I've got to ask you, Chris, why is this now, or has this been, the twelfth, eleventh, tenth, ninth, eighth, seventh, sixth, right down to the first time, why is this OK?" asks Dr. Phil.
"It's not that I'm OK with it," says Chris. "I've convinced myself that it won't happen again, and we can be a happy family together."
"But along about six, seven, eight, nine, didn't that start wearing a little thin?"
"A majority of the affairs happened at the very first of the marriage," says Chris. "She was faithful to me for about the last three years until just recently."
Dr. Phil is not so sure. "You ever hear that old saying, for every rat you see, there's 50 you don't?" he asks Chris.
When Dr. Phil asks why she cheats, Danielle answers, "Partly because he lets me. And I like the attention."
"And there's no price to pay," says Dr. Phil.
"Pretty much," she agrees.
Dr. Phil is concerned. "There is abuse going on in this relationship," he tells her. "Your weapons are these sexual affairs that you have in this random fashion that works on [Chris] psychologically. That's abuse. And you're doing this with an element of viciousness. I mean, you're having unprotected sex, right? Even on the tape you said, 'I knew I was going to get pregnant.'"
"Yes," she agrees.
"That was the one that was going to give you this biracial baby. Do you see that as the ultimate humiliation attempt for you?" he asks Chris. "It's like, 'I'm going to go do this. I'm not going to protect myself. I'm probably going to get pregnant with a baby that he can't even pretend is his. Let's see you handle that one, Bucko!' Do you get that that's the message here?"
"Yes," he says.
"That is abuse," says Dr. Phil.
Dr. Phil tells Danielle, "You've got problems here. You've got problems with impulse control. I think you've got problems with rage. I think you've got a lot of problems that need to be solved on your behalf. And I will help you to do that."
He turns to Chris, "You've got to pull your head out. You say, 'Well, I've just convinced myself that she's telling the truth this time.' Like she says, 'I'm going to go spend the night at my friend's house.' I don't believe I've ever had my wife come to me in all these years and say, 'Well, I'm not going to be home tonight. I'm going to spend the night over at Karen's.'"
"Well, she would tell me she was going over to study for a test," says Chris.
"Come on, Chris! You can't not know!"
"In the back of my head, I knew what was going on," he admits. "But I just kept telling myself, because she swore she wouldn't cheat on me again after we had kids. She swore. And I wanted that to be true."
Dr. Phil asks Danielle, "If this is what you want to do, why are you going through the sham of being married?"
"Because I wanted my cake, and I wanted to eat it too," she says, quoting what Dr. Phil said to his previous guests.
"You've eaten a lot of cake. That's 13 times!" exclaims Dr. Phil. "Five years. Thirteen times. That's quarterly! Come on, you've got to know that's not good for you."
He tells Chris, "You've got to get some backbone here. And you have to protect your children, and you have to protect yourself, Chris. If you're going to contemplate staying with her, then you need to require that she get some professional help."
Dr. Phil turns to Danielle with a stern warning. "Let me tell you, you go sleep with enough guys, you're going to grab a hold of the wrong 'ol boy at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and your world could change. You cannot continue to do this. You are a mother. You have children. You have responsibilities. And if you keep playing with fire, you're going to get burned."
Dr. Phil offers to get them some counseling, but if they don't actively participate, the offer will be gone.