Settle Your Disputes

Settle Your Disputes
Dr. Phil talks to feuding families and friends who want to bury the hatchet and settle their disputes.
Darlene, Denise and Roger
Darlene's marriage to Roger lasted 11 years and produced two children. Her ex-husband Roger is now married to Denise.

"I didn't like Denise from the start and I still don't like her," says Darlene. "She is turning my son on me. I think Denise is the crazy one. I know she is afraid of me. And I guess if I was her I would be too. I did chase her down one day but I stopped because she wasn't worth it."
Denise says that Roger's ex-wife Darlene has tried to destroy every aspect of her life.

"Darlene hates me," says Denise. "My husband is a wonderful man but he has done nothing to stop the conflict. Denise opened a business less than 100 yards from where I work. I feel like I'm being stalked. I can't control my fear of her. I feel like a trapped rat. How can we settle this dispute?"
"Why ride the roller coaster with your children?" asks Dr. Phil. "Let them ride it while you stand on the side platform. When they [stop fighting] and are rational people again, pick up the relationship. Let the kids negotiate their own relationship."
He encourages Janice and Donna to set boundaries with their children, forgive each other for what has transpired, and start over.

Both ladies agree to do just that and shake on it.

Darlene and Denise have never been in same room together for more than five minutes, except in the courtroom and during one dinner a year-and-a-half ago. They have come to the show because they are sick and tired of fighting and want to make amends but don't know how.
Dr. Phil turns to Roger (the husband of Denise and ex-husband of Darlene) to say, "You're the father in this situation. You need to lead this and be the objective one. You can't stand on the sidelines. Get in the game and stand between them. If there is a problem that involves your ex-wife and your new wife, that's your job to fix. You're the one who has the existing relationship."
Mickey, Georgia and Diane
Georgia and Mickey came to Dr. Phil because they hadn't seen their sister Diane in 18 years and wanted to reconnect with her.

"I felt she didn't want us in her life," says Mickey.

"She hasn't talked to us," adds Georgia. "She disowned us."
Diane tries to explain that she "divorced" her family and hasn't spoken to them for almost two decades because she was cut out of a family picture that she received as a Christmas gift in 1976.

"I was devastated," says Diane. "They didn't want me in the family photo because of my weight."
"Diane has never seen my daughter," says Georgia. "She doesn't know my husband. She didn't come to my wedding. Dr. Phil, we'd like to be a family again. Can you help us?"
Dr. Phil brings Diane onto the stage and the sisters see each other for the first time in almost two decades.
"I'm not even sure I want to talk about how you got to this point," says Dr. Phil. "I don't mean to trivialize your life. I mean to trivialize your fight. You are fighting about nothing. I worry about what will happen if something tragic happens to one of you. When you lose someone you love and they're dead and gone, they're gone. You don't want to have guilt, shame and emptiness and regret. Because at that point you may have the objectivity that I have now: that family is very important. Resolve your differences and close the gap."
Donna and Janice
Donna and Janice became best friends after their children, who are dating each other, had a baby together. When Donna and Janice began to side with their own children during the young couple's arguments, a rift formed in their friendship. They have been fighting with each other via e-mail ever since. Both Donna and Janice hope to repair the friendship and hope that Dr. Phil can help.