Lost the Trust
Dr. Phil speaks with guests about the pain, turmoil and deception that go hand in hand with loving someone who is married to someone else.

Craig cheated on his wife, Shalon, for a year and a half of their marriage. "I had an affair because I felt rushed into marriage and I was honestly jealous of my single friends who could date and I couldn't," says Craig. "I've been with this other woman six to eight times. I was having the affair purely for fantasy. I thought my mistress would fulfill needs that I had, but she didn't." Craig admits that he confessed to cheating because he got caught. Now that Shalon knows, he wants to get past this issue. "I do feel guilty, but I don't want to beat myself up over the guilt."


Shalon found out that Craig was having an affair when she found provocative instant messages on his computer. "My heart just dropped and I got physically sick," says Shalon, who just had their first baby. "Never in a million years would I have thought that he would cheat on me."
Shalon has lost a lot of trust in her husband, and is having a hard time forgiving him. "Craig gets very defensive when I bring up his cheating. He always throws it back on me," she says. Shalon believes that Craig blames her for his affairs. "Our marriage hasn't been solid from the beginning. When I needed him the most, he was out cheating on me." Shalon wants to move forward, but needs help getting over the hurt. She turns to Dr. Phil for help.

"If you hadn't been caught, would you still be doing it?" Dr. Phil asks Craig.
"I think that's really a hypothetical kind of question," says Craig. "I'm a realist. I don't know where our relationship would be. And I think I wanted to get caught."


Dr. Phil gets right to the point with Craig: "I, frankly, don't believe that you're being fair with your wife. I don't think you're being honest with your wife, and I don't think you're where you need to be in order for this relationship to have a chance ... I don't think you're dealing with this at all." He tells Craig that his rationale for the affair is inconsistent. "Which tells me that you're either not being honest with her or us or yourself or everybody because you're just emotionally confused about it."

Dr. Phil tells Craig, "At this point you've got to tell the truth. What have you got to lose at this point?"


"I have her to lose," answers Craig.


Dr. Phil questions how important that really is to Craig because of some inconsistencies in his interviews prior to the show.


Looking at the transcripts of Craig's interviews, Dr. Phil says, "We asked you, 'Will you ever cheat again?' and you said, 'Well, I can never say never. I'm tempted if a girl is hot.' Then in [a follow-up] interview you said, 'Now that I'm on tape, I'm really trying to make sure I'm saying it properly. I don't think I would ever cheat on Shalon again, the only reason I said never is because you just can't predict the future.' The next question was, 'Why did you cheat?' 'Well, my wife gained weight. I wanted her to be sexy. I wondered why I didn't have a hot wife.' Then [later] you said, 'I know I said that, but I didn't mean it.'"


"I have a tendency to talk before thinking," Craig justifies.

Dr. Phil also points out that Craig's timeline of when the affair started was contradictory. He told the producers it started the summer before they got married, but when Shalon was on the phone, he said it started two months after they got married.


"I didn't write it all down," says Craig. "I don't have an exact timeline." The audience responds in disbelief.


Dr. Phil explains that he doesn't want to read any more of his inconsistencies because he thinks they're really insensitive to Shalon.


"I was horrible," admits Craig. "I'm admitting that I was horrible, that I took her love for me for granted. I'm admitting I was shallow and selfish, but that's why I'm here, to prove to her on national TV that I love her."


Dr. Phil tells Craig, "You have to stop dancing and get no kidding, bottom line, drop-dead honest about this situation." Dr. Phil thinks Craig has maturity issues with impulse control, since he was having the affair while his wife was having a challenging pregnancy. "That's a difficult time for a couple, but you don't fix that by turning outside the marriage. Those are very insensitive things to think about and do to your partner."

Dr. Phil tells Shalon she needs to stick to her convictions about leaving her husband if he cheats again. "How do you expect him to respect you if you don't respect yourself?" he asks her.
The audience applauds.


Dr. Phil tells Shalon that Craig's affair was not her fault. "You don't own that, he owns that. But you do own what you do about it now ... You need to put the bar very high and he needs to be honest with himself and you."


Turning to Craig, he continues: "Because you can never ever rebuild trust with half-truths, contradictions, inconsistencies, and not being where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there," he says, explaining that it's Craig's job to make his wife feel reassured when he's late. "You need to become a picture window. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. You need to be in a position where she can find you, know where things are with you, and I think you've got some serious commitment issues that you need to deal with here."

Dr. Phil tells Shalon, "And you don't want to be so lacking in self-respect that you teach people to treat you with a lack of respect. You deserve better than that. For you, for the baby, for that marriage."


Dr. Phil offers Craig and Shalon counseling in their hometown, to get

to the real issues of the affair, so they can have a chance to rebuild their marriage. "An affair is not just sexual. It includes betrayal, withdrawal, withholding, all sorts of ugly and aggressive behaviors and none of those have been dealt with here," he tells them.


Craig and Shalon accept the counseling offer.