Sister-in-Law from Hell: Austin and Lynn

"My daughter-in-law, Kelly, has a history of causing strife and dissension in our family," says Lynn.

Austin reveals how his daughter-in-law contributes to the chaos. "She will gossip. She will take information about one family member and twist it. She may reveal confidences to pit one family member against another," he says.

"She slanders our family without seeking the truth. A lot of things are lies, and it's very hurtful," says Lynn.

"The relationship issues that Kelly has caused have just devastated Lynn. She's broken. She's crying. She's hurt. It affects her heart and her spirit so badly that she can't even sleep," Austin reveals.


"Kelly has never liked me, and she treats me very poorly," says Lynn. "My daughter-in-law's impacts have destroyed the relationship that I have with my sons. I don't think she sees that life just doesn't revolve around Kelly."

"I don't think she has any compassion," Austin adds.

On the verge of tears, Lynn says, "I think the saddest thing is that I don't have my family."

Dr. Phil tells Austin and Lynn he will address their complaints momentarily, but first, he wants Marlo's opinion of her sister-in-law. "You say she's a borderline psychopath?" he asks.


"Sociopath, psychopath," Marlo replies.

"Do you have training in this area?" Dr. Phil inquires. He shuffles through his notes, then addresses Kelly. "They say you are the most selfish, self-centered, obsessive-compulsive, psychotic, evil person on earth, that you send e-mails pretending to be a Beverly Hills actress looking for a home."

"I don't even know what that means," Kelly says.

"I was the recipient of that e-mail," Tim interjects.

"That you made fake appointments on Tim's site using another name," Dr. Phil continues.

 

"Absolutely not."

"That you send harassing e-mails from fake accounts to Greg's cell phone."

"Absolutely not," Kelly says.

"Did you say that Greg told you he was going to have the Mexican Mafia kill you?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

"Oh, no. That's what I told his parents that someone told me," she replies.

 

Dr. Phil faces Greg. "Are you in the Mexican Mafia?" he asks, trying to keep a straight face.

"What is the Mexican Mafia?" Greg asks his sister-in-law. "That is ridiculous. Where do you come up with this?"

"Did you testify on behalf of Greg's ex-wife in the hearing?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

 

"I showed up. I was not asked to testify," Kelly responds.

Austin can't contain his anger. "She showed up. She wanted to. She was gleeful. She wanted to testify against him. She wanted to take him down," he chimes in.

"Were you there as an adverse witness to this family member?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

"Yes."

"So that's not something that's going to endear you to the group."

"No, and I didn't feel comfortable about it," Kelly admits. "I knew that if I had to testify, not only was I testifying against my brother-in-law, I was also going to testify in front of my father-in-law."

"You looked comfortable, Kelly. I was there," Tim says. "She was gloating in the hallway, cackling."

The family bickers about the incident.

"Were you yukking it up in the hallway and looking forward to going in there and taking [Greg] down?" Dr. Phil asks Kelly.

"I wasn't looking forward to taking him down," she replies.

When the family starts to quarrel again, Dr. Phil puts his foot down. "I'm not going to do this. Everyone is yelling, and screaming and talking over each other. I'm not going to do this," he warns. "If we get into another one of these yelling things, I'm done."

"Dr. Phil, we are tired of Kelly destroying our family," Tim says.

"We've covered that," Kelly says.

Dr. Phil turns to her, incredulous. "Was I, perhaps, unclear in what I just said? Let him finish," he admonishes.


Tim continues his indictment of his sister-in-law. "We're just tired of being pushed around by Kelly. We are always at fault. There's nothing we can do. We can't reach out to her," he tells Dr. Phil. "For 15 years, no one has been able to stand up to Kelly, and finally we are given a medium to do that, and we're tired. We're fed up."

"I think words are very powerful. They have a lot of baggage and meaning to them," Dr. Phil explains. "You may think that she is just bitchy, and mean and evil, but y'all are using words that just load everything up."


He turns to Greg. "She may have been supporting your ex-wife, Greg. I don't know. You've got a drinking problem, right?" he inquires.

 

"No," he replies.

"You don't have one now. You're over it? Did you have one?"

"I used to abuse alcohol, yes," Greg admits.

"And you're cured?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I have my drinking under control. Yes, I do."

"If you think she's out to lunch, why do you give her the power to get you so upset?" Dr. Phil asks the relatives.

"I think we've become accustomed to just ignoring it," Marlo says. 

"There is a point at which you just have to say, ‘Hey, I refuse to give my power away to another person,'" Dr. Phil tells the family. "If y'all believe everything y'all are saying about her, aren't you giving her the power to control you? Why do you care?"

Tim gestures to Kelly's husband, Bill. "This is my older brother. We have no relationship anymore because they have chosen not to be around the family," he says. "It's a direct result of her actions and behaviors."

"It's a direct result of Greg's behavior," Bill counters. "When he told me to * off that night, I said, ‘Fine. Either you get your drinking under control or I'm done.' That's what I told you, Greg. That was six months ago, and after that, Kelly and I made the decision, ‘You know what? We're not going to be around it anymore.'"

Lynn says she's desperate for a reconciliation among her children. "They will not allow the opportunity to take place," she says. "My husband has talked with our son and said, ‘Bill, please let me set up a time where we can get together, and we can sit down and talk. This is important.' We want our family together, and Kelly will not have anything to do with him."

"This is not about Greg's drinking. That's a rabbit trail. We have an oldest son who can't even come around us and our family because he catches hell when he goes home. He catches hell from his wife," Austin adds. "I've got a daughter-in-law who has threatened that I'll never get to see my grandson because of the relationship issues. I've got one son who won't even speak to another son. I've talked with him for over an hour, trying to affect reconciliation, and he said, 'There is nothing to reconcile.' This is The Destroyer at work."

"A destroyer is a big boat with large guns," Dr. Phil corrects. "People only have as much power as you assign them."