Letting Go of Love: Doryanna and Chris

Letting Go of Love: Doryanna and Chris
An NFL player can't trust women again after a bitter divorce and custody battle.
"I was this hopeless romantic. I mean, I believe in love and I believe in the fairy tale," says Doryanna, who met her first love, Chris, when she was 13. She still has hopes of marrying him. "I have loved him for as long as I can remember," she admits.

Doryanna and Chris lost touch when they were teenagers. Doryanna moved away and has since been married and divorced twice and had a daughter. "I moved back to the area and I reconnected with Chris. It seemed so right because we had this history. When he saw me as an adult it was like, 'Oh, wow, you've grown up.' You always hear about people having a chemistry and we had that. I still think we have it."

Less than a year into their reunited relationship, they moved in together. "It was a little bit sooner than I wanted," says Chris, who was apprehensive about their future. "I really didn't plan on getting married and I definitely didn't want to have kids."

But Doryanna sees it differently. "I want to have more children. I cook, I clean, I do your laundry. We have a marriage. People call me his wife, why can't it be?"
When it seemed clear that they had different goals for the future, Doryanna moved upstairs in the house, and Chris took the downstairs. "Doryanna and I do live a life like we're married," says Chris. "Other than the affection, the physical part of it is not there. It's definitely unique. Why would you live with your ex-girlfriend, yet not be in a relationship?" As for their future, he says, "I do see that our roadblocks are too big to overcome."

Doryanna doesn't want to give up. "Why are we torturing ourselves like this? I love him so much and I cannot comprehend why he doesn't want a child," she says. "When I think about moving on and finding someone else, it seems impossible. It seems like this road ahead that I don't even know how to get on."
Doryanna turns to Dr. Phil: "Is there any hope for this relationship, or do I need to cut my losses and get out while I still can?"
"The greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior," Dr. Phil tells them. "And to the extent that there's some history, you don't have to speculate, you just have to measure. So here's what we know about you guys so far: You have such a great relationship that you can't even live on the same floor of a house ... Does this tell you that this doesn't predict great things for your future?"

"When we are home, we are together," says Doryanna. "The only time we are apart is when we're sleeping. That's why it is very confusing. I don't understand why it can't work."

"Let me see if I can shed a little light on it," Dr. Phil says. He confirms with Doryanna: "You said, 'I want to be married. I want to expand my family.'" He turns to Chris: "And you said, 'I do not want to have kids.'"

"Right. Absolutely," says Chris.

"Okay. There's a clue," he tells Doryanna.
Chris wants to feel better about his decision to not have kids. Dr. Phil tells him, "I'm not going to do anything to make you feel better about that and I'll tell you why. Because that's OK. If you don't have children with this woman and you don't want to have children period, then that's just where you are. And you don't have to apologize or defend that."
Doryanna considers Chris her best friend. She explains, "What I'm looking for at this point is if we're not going to be in a romantic relationship, how do I just focus on the friendship and move on to building onto a new relationship?"

"First off, you don't have to live with your best friend. Because you guys have had a romantic relationship before and now you are best friends living together in the same house. How do you explain that to your dates?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Right. Exactly. And that's one of the issues," says Doryanna.

"Which is why we haven't dated anyone in over a year," explains Chris.

Dr. Phil tells Doryanna: "So you're just on the sidelines. You're not in a romantic relationship with him, and you're not pursuing one with anyone else. You have a goal of expanding your family — what part of 'it's time to get out of this' is unclear?"
"I guess it's just hope of thinking that it could work out. I carry that hope and I can't let go of that," she says.
Dr. Phil asks Doryanna how her current situation with Chris is meeting her needs.

"He's the only person that I can be completely honest with and be myself around," she says.

"Do you know what I hear you saying? I hear you saying that this is comfortable, that this is safe, and you're willing to settle and waste your life away so you don't have to get back in the game," says Dr. Phil.

"And Chris, you said that you are willing to compromise and marry her even if it's not what you want."

Doryanna interrupts, "I told him I don't want him to compromise marriage. That's not something he should compromise."

"Yes you do!" argues Dr. Phil. "That's why you're like a dog on his cuff. He has said, 'It would be a compromise to marry you, I don't want to have children' — at least not with you, maybe he would with someone else is the future — and you're saying, 'Gee, Dr. Phil, is it time to move on?' What do you think?"

"I know. I don't know how," says Doryanna. "I don't know how to say, 'OK, that's fine.' Because in my heart I feel that I still have to have the acceptance from him."
"Alright. I'm going to be real specific, OK?" says Dr. Phil. "First off, there's a 50/50 chance a marriage is going to work if both people are head over heels in love, passionate and willing to climb the mountain, swim the river and slay the dragon to get to each other. Fifty percent divorce rate in America. That's with everybody crazy in love and running toward each other in that field that we see in the commercials."

"I understand that," says Doryanna.

"The problem you've got here is he's running the other way in the field ... He's not your guy. You came here to ask me and you want clear answers. You said, 'How do I move on?' Admit 'He's not my guy.' And then the second thing you've got to do is recognize you came into this relationship seriously damaged. You had a difficult relationship with your father, difficult relationship with your brother and you've been through marriage twice. You've had four significant relationships with males and every one of them has damaged you in some way, correct?"

"Yes," she agrees.
"And you've never gotten closure on that," says Dr. Phil. "Unless and until you get closure on those, you will never come into a relationship with a fresh and clean heart and mind and expectancy and attitude. You're not ready to get into a relationship. You've got to heal the wounds of the past. You've got to forgive, you've got to do whatever you have to do to get past that so you come fresh and unencumbered without baggage to any relationship that you get into. And it won't be with Chris ... You two, if you get married, it will be a trainwreck. It will be a disaster."