Scandal in the Ministry, Part 2: Tim, Stacy

Deceit, Manipulation and Lies
"I looked at myself as being a perfect minister," Tim says. "I prided myself in not making mistakes in the pulpit. Sixteen months ago, I was arrested for being in a place I shouldn't be and involved in inappropriate sexual behavior."

News reports reveal that Tim was arrested with another man in a park.

"At that moment, I knew that my life as I knew it had come to an end," Tim remembers. "The day that I had to explain all this to my family " they'd rather have gotten the news that I had been killed or had died, than hearing what they had to hear, because it was totally opposite from everything that they had believed about me."

His wife of 31 years, Stacy, says, "I thought it was a joke. It's so unlike anything that he had ever been a part of. I was very angry at him. The first statement that I said to him was, ‘I've done everything right for 30 years. How could you do this to me?' It's hard to accept."

[AD]"Knowing the church congregation, that with as many people as we had loving us and supporting us, I knew that there were others who did not feel the same way," Tim says. "I didn't want to further hurt the church by dividing [it], so I submitted my resignation and stepped out of the church. I'd inflicted enough pain, and I didn't want to be responsible for any more.

"Hiding a sexual addiction requires a tremendous amount of deceitfulness, manipulation and lying," Tim says. "Many times, when I stood in the pulpit on Sunday, I looked at the congregation, and even while I was speaking, a thought would be in the back of my mind: If you really knew me, you wouldn't like me. But I actually had pride that I was juggling two opposing lifestyles successfully."
Stacy tells Dr. Phil that the sting of her husband's betrayal is gone but not forgotten. She explains how she found out his secret. "I'm a schoolteacher, and he came to school to get me one day, and he had a look of distress on his face. We have two children, and the first thing I thought of was, something's happened to one of the children, and he assured me that they were fine, and then he proceeded to tell me what had happened," she says.

"What did he tell you?" Dr. Phil asks.

"He told me that he had been arrested in a park with a man," she says. "As time went on, he told me more and more, but he knew at that point that that was probably all I could handle, because I was so shocked. I couldn't believe this was happening." Stacy says she really thought it was a joke because they had the perfect life. "Things had gone so well for us. We've been married for 30 years. He's always been my best friend. Still is. But I found out he's been hiding a piece of him away from me," she says.

"When you realized it wasn't a joke, what was your reaction?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Well, at first, I was sick," she says. "The hurt was just so great, and I have to say that after the shock and the hurt, there was a lot of anger. And I did say things to him like, ‘How could you do this to me, after 30 years?' And then there was the shame … I felt that I had been living with a man that I didn't even know."

Dr. Phil asks Tim, "How did you describe and reveal this to her?"

"At first, I tried to protect myself by not telling her any more than I had to," he says. "She knew enough. I had been arrested. She knew that there was a sexual problem, and I was hoping that as time went on, that we could just leave it at that. But as time rolled on, I realized that we would never be able to overcome this, that we'd never be able to have the kind of marriage that we needed to have, I would never be able to be the kind of man that I needed to be until I just totally came clean. So, I told her that I'd been hiding a 20-year addiction to Internet pornography. And the addiction to pornography was the catalyst which led me to places where I didn't need to be and doing things that I didn't need to be doing."

[AD]"How did you wind up in the park that day with another man in the car?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I just knew that this was a place where those kinds of things happened," Tim says. "I was not there actually looking for what actually happened " and that's still very painful to talk about."
Dr. Phil asks Tim the hard questions.

"Are you gay?"


Dr. Phil asks Stacy if she believes she knows the whole truth now.

[AD]"I do now, because of the relationship we have now, a very honest, authentic and real relationship," she says. "There've been several questions that I've asked more than once. I ask it over and over again. And one of those questions is, what did I do? Women want to take ownership, because we automatically think it's our fault. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't a good enough wife. I didn't do everything right." Stacy says she questions her husband every time she feels insecure, and Tim assures her over and over that it wasn't her fault.


Tim and Stacy's daughter, Alston, 23, joins the conversation via phone. Dr. Phil asks for her reaction when she heard about her father's arrest.

"At first I was very hurt, somewhat confused, because this had come out of left field, and [I was] pretty shocked," she says. "My parents always had a good relationship. There had never been any fighting or any harsh words shared between them, so this was very confusing and very shocking to me." Alston admits it was also embarrassing. "I think we all wanted to hide under a rock, but unfortunately, there was no way of escaping it."

Alston says the family got together to talk about it, and her father confessed his addiction. She says Tim answered their questions, asked for forgiveness and asked for their support while he sought treatment.

Tim says it was a relief to finally be open about his secret. "I didn't realize how tiring, how exhausting it was, to try to juggle those two opposing lifestyles. I was so tired of the lying, the deception and the manipulation, and I knew at that point that it was over," he says. Tim says he would never go back to the way things were before he was exposed. "For the first time in my life, I feel free."

"Do you still have temptation?" Dr. Phil asks.

"There are things in our life that tempt us," he says. "You can't even look through a magazine or turn on a TV and not see things that are arousing and stimulating, but you just have to get to the point in your life where you realize it's not worth it."

Stacy explains how they keep Tim accountable.


[AD]Tim says he sometimes feels judged by people in his closest circle, but he tries to be understanding, especially given his career and the difficulty people have grasping his bad choices.

Dr. Phil tells Tim, "Be honest with yourself, and be honest with her, because every day won't be like the last. There will be days that are harder than others, and you've got to be willing to tell the truth."

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