The Real Lives of Desperate Housewives: Rita
Dr. Phil helps seven women to stop living a lie and start revealing the truth.
"I was a kid that had to quit school and start working at McDonald's to support a family," says Rita. "Now I live in the mansion on the hill. On the outside, it looks good, but when nobody's looking, there's nothing. I'm a mother and I have a secret nobody knows about. Confessions of a lonely housewife."
Rita tells Dr. Phil, "I think what people see of me is completely different than these other women. I have my guard up at all times."
"Why?" asks Dr. Phil.
"So nobody can see the pain that I feel," says Rita, emotional.
"And what if they did? What if they saw the pain that you feel?"
"I don't want to hurt anybody else," she says. "I'll carry my burden alone."
"So you'll just handle everything by yourself," says Dr. Phil. "So why did you want to come here?"
"Because it's getting worse," she says. "Because you can put so many layers in front of yourself so you don't get hurt. And nobody sees you."
Dr. Phil asks Rita about how her husband treats her. "What did he say to you on your honeymoon?"
"I said at the ceremony, 'What were you looking at?' Because he wasn't looking at me. And he said, 'I was looking out the window, wondering if I ran fast enough and hard enough, if I could jump out the window and keep going.'"
"And he's just pretty much been the same since then?"
"Right. Right."
Rita reveals what she's been hiding. "I have been with someone for 24 years who never wanted to be with me from the day he met me. We live like brother and sister or roommates. Last time we had sex was probably four years ago."
Rita suspects her husband is having an affair, though she doesn't know for sure because she's never confronted him about it. "He's talking to somebody almost every night on the cell phone. One day, when he came back from a trip, I decided to look in his travel bag and in there were empty packages, except for one, of condoms. And obviously, he's not using those condoms on me," she says.
But Rita also has a secret of her own. "I had a horrible, nasty fling with some guy and he actually said, 'I'm not attracted to you.' And then he still wanted to have sex with me. And made me initiate everything. So it was just like being slapped again and again, just constant rejection. I'm not a happy person, but I don't think anybody knows how unhappy. Nobody knows the pain that I actually feel." Rita also fears that if she gets divorced, she will lose her house and the security that she has.
Dr. Phil has some words for her: "You went from working at McDonald's to the big house and you don't want to give it up no matter what. So you're going to sell out for a stack of bricks, that's the deal? 'I'll sell out my life. I'll sell out my happiness. I'll sell out what I want for a stack of bricks.'"
"What I can't figure out is if I were to get out of the marriage, I would end up losing everything. And I know I'm shrinking down, but I can't see how I'd be happier. How's my life going to be better?" Rita questions.
"Well, what are we comparing it to?" Dr. Phil asks. "The first year of your marriage he called you an 'F-ing whore retard.' Did I get that right?"
"So that's where we started," says Dr. Phil. "And you said, 'OK, as long as I get to stay.'"
"When he's not there, I am happy," says Rita. "I'm happy in my home. I lived giving up everything. I lived that. I don't want to do it again!"
"What you get in this life, at the most, is what you ask for," Dr. Phil tells her. "If you ask for nothing, you get nothing. Don't tell me you don't have needs. I'm not saying that you should get a divorce. But that's not the only option, is it? Letting someone disrespect you and treat you like gum on their shoe is not the only alternative to getting a divorce."
Dr. Phil brings up Rita's affair that she had with a man in Australia.
"It was repeating what I'm already living. It was just more rejection," she says.
"What are you going to do if your husband decides that his girlfriend is better?" asks Dr. Phil.
"It's cool," she says, nonchalant. "That's his decision. He knows that I'm lonely. He knows that I'd stay for the house, the kids and the land."
"Y'all talk about divorce every three to four years. Why do you do that?" Dr. Phil asks.
"I'm lonely. Yeah, I'd like intimacy, I'd like to be touched. I'd like to be desired," she says, getting choked up.

"That's the only issue? His girlfriend doesn't make the radar screen?"
"No, it really doesn't. It just bugs me to get my hopes up because every single time that I do, I come crashing down."
"So you don't even want to want anything."
"I make goals though, and I go for them," says Rita. "I do."
"Just being happy and treated with dignity and respect and a peaceful life is not one of them that's made the list," says Dr. Phil.
"I don't want to get my expectations up and have them crushed again," says Rita.
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