Meddling Mother-in-law

Meddling Mother-in-law
Tara says her husband's mom intrudes on their lives.Kathy is added to the discussion. "You have a boy in a man's role here. You can't be proud of that," Dr. Phil says to her.

She agrees. "I had the same reaction that she had. I was very upset," she reveals. Turning to her son, she has some harsh words. "I love you, but you just disappoint me. If you don't want to be in a marriage, you need to step up and say, 'I don't' so she can deal with what she has to deal with and move on. But to cause somebody this kind of pain? I don't approve of that at all, and you know that. The only thing I can credit you with is that you told the truth."

Dr. Phil takes her to task. "No, he didn't. He lied! He finally just 'fessed up," he says. To Steve, he continues, "It's not just about being hedonistic and doing what feels good at the time. Sometimes, the best feeling is going to bed at night, pulling those covers up around your neck, and knowing that you have been the man that your children deserve as their father, the man that your wife deserves as the husband." He suggests that Steve explore every avenue to reconnect with his wife, such as therapy, talking to his pastor and communicating more.
Steve has to earn his way out of the relationship. "That's what a man does. You don't sneak around like a coward and go screw somebody. You do what a man does, and that is you stand up and meet your responsibilities," Dr. Phil stresses.

Addressing Kathy, Dr. Phil asks, "Does that mean that you can't and shouldn't play an important role in their life? Absolutely not. There is no greater gift to those children than to crawl up in grandma's lap. But you've got to put up some boundaries. You walk in there in and say, 'Oh, she's messy! Oh, she's gaining weight!' ... You know what you need to do? Stuff that, and go back home."

Kathy defends her behavior. "I do it out of love. I don't want to see them have a failed marriage. I don't want to see my grandchildren not have their mom and dad in the same house," she says.

Dr. Phil doesn't buy her excuses. "You've lost objectivity here. You've got to know that. You walk into their home without knocking and start moving the dishes ... Do you know what that says to a young bride?"

Kathy acknowledges that she's taken things too far. "I need to let them keep their own house," she says.
"You need to step out, way out of this," Dr. Phil instructs Kathy. Turning to Steve and Tara he says, "If you want to quit, quit. But just like I said, you've got to own your part of this."

Dr. Phil emphasizes that Tara has no responsibility for her husband's infidelity. "He'll say 'Well, you gained weight. You weren't passionate. You weren't a good housekeeper' ... That's probably all true in some part. That is no excuse for the decision Steve made. You two need to
roll your sleeves up and try to create a bond and a marriage here. Your children deserve no less. And if it doesn't work, then get out. You don't stay together for the children. I don't want them growing up in an emotionally barren environment with deceit and infidelity and coldness."

Dr. Phil offers to get the couple professional marital counseling. He tells Tara that she needs to stand up for herself more. "Part of it is you getting some backbone, taking some pride in yourself and requiring more of everybody around you, because let me tell you, you ain't dumb. You're not unworthy. You are a beautiful spirit. And you need to start treating yourself better."

Steve tells Dr. Phil that he'll take the professional help, even if his wife doesn't participate with him.