Relationship Rescue Retreat: Infidelity: Donna and Vinnie

Relationship Rescue Retreat: Infidelity: Donna and Vinnie
Dr. Phil continues his intense workshop with six couples on the verge of divorce.
With the entire group together, Dr. Phil asks Donna, "What do you need to hear from him?"

"I really want to know if he had sex with this girl," says Donna.

"Did you?" Dr. Phil asks Vinnie.

"No," says Vinnie.

Dr. Phil tells Donna that knowing all the details is not going to help her. "There's nothing short of him saying, 'We just had sex until sun up a half dozen times,' there's not anything short of that that you're going to believe, is there?"

"No," admits Donna.

"OK. Let's assume that's true. Now what?"

"Then things aren't the same," says Donna, emotional.

When Dr. Phil asks Vinnie about what really happened with the other woman, he explains, "I stayed in a separate room. She was a good listener, she was a friend. We kissed a few times ... I'm not innocent. I admit to what I did wrong. But I tried to be straightforward. I tried to be honest. It made me realize how dysfunctional my life at home was."
"You're going to just assume that he did, and there's no way he can prove that he didn't," Dr. Phil tells Donna. "So what's next? ... Whether you get a divorce or whether you choose to go forward, this has to stop now."

"I can't stop talking about it," admits Donna.

"You know why? Because you're addicted to it. If you give this up, the silence will be deafening," Dr. Phil tells her. "What are you afraid of if you let him off the hook?"

"That it will happen again."

Dr. Phil tells Donna that he's inclined to believe Vinnie. "Because he has no motive to lie at this point ... It would be easier to say, 'Yeah, I slept with her.' You know what my attitude would be? 'Either file for divorce or let me back in. Do one or the other, but get off my ass.'"

"I can't get off it," says Donna, asking for help.

"Have you ever had more help than you've got right here, right now?" Dr. Phil asks. "You don't want to do it."

"I need help," Donna repeats.

"You need a divorce," Dr. Phil tells her.
"How many times have you had restraining orders on guys in your life?" Dr. Phil asks Donna.

The point is taken. "Because they aggravate me," she justifies.

"Because you go out and attract those kind of people! Because you need the drama! You're a melodramatic drama queen! You create it everywhere you go," says Dr. Phil, pointing out a fight Donna had on New Year's Eve with a woman who wanted to get past her.

"She started it," says Donna.

"Of course she did because you are a victim. Have you noticed there's a common denominator here?" asks Dr. Phil, who brings up Donna's past with the fights, domestic violence and restraining orders. "So, you're just the victim, right?"

"Pretty much."

"If you believe that, you're not smart enough for me to talk to."

"I just don't see how it happens that way," says Donna."Is there anybody in your life that you haven't alienated yet?" Dr. Phil asks Donna.

"My baby," she says.

"You just need a little time. The baby doesn't have word power or mobility yet," says Dr. Phil. He asks about her other child. "How about the 13-year-old? The 13-year-old resides where?"

"With his father," says Donna, crying. Vinnie puts his arm around her. "He doesn't want to live with us anymore," she explains.

"Can you blame him?"

"No," she says.

"Living with you two is like waking up every morning and setting your hair on fire," says Dr. Phil. When Donna asks what she should do, he tells her, "You either live with your bitterness, or you live with your husband. And you're saying, 'I choose bitterness.'"

"I'm here because I don't want to do that," she says.

"Then why won't you take the step and let it go?" Dr. Phil asks. When Donna says she doesn't want it to happen again, Dr. Phil tells her, "There are no guarantees. If you're looking for an insurance policy, I'm fresh out."Dr. Phil addresses Vinnie: "She will never, ever forgive you unless and until she fully believes that you understand the indignity of what you did to her. When you went not only with another woman, but a younger woman, and took her baby to the other
woman, and discussed her with the other woman ... You keep wanting to defend it. It doesn't matter how it happened, what matters is that it did. And whatever ego you're protecting, I hope it's worth it."

"I am genuinely sorry," says Vinnie.

Dr. Phil turns Vinnie toward Donna. "I want you to look at this woman. You fell in love with her. And she fell in love with you right back, didn't she?"

"Yes."

"So why can't you let her know you're sorry?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I've told her a million times," says Vinnie, getting emotional. "I've cried a million times. I don't get emotional anymore, I feel like I'm cried out. I am genuinely sorry," he tells Donna, and embraces her in a hug. "I'm sorry. We have to move on, baby, please."
Dr. Phil motions for the other couples to surround Vinnie and Donna in support. "Ask her to give you another chance," Dr. Phil tells Vinnie.

"Give me another chance," Vinnie implores.

"What do you have to lose, Donna?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Nothing," she says. "Promise me you won't do it again. I can't ""

"I promise you," Vinnie tells her. "If anything ever gets that bad we'll figure something out." They hug. "It won't ever happen again. I'll write you a guarantee," says Vinnie.

"I forgive you," says Donna.

"Thank you," says Vinnie.

"Donna, you need to be really careful because you just smiled for real," Dr. Phil jokes. "This could get to be a habit. And then what are you going to do with all your free time?"

"Go to Wal-Mart," she jokes.