Sarah's mother, Bonnie, 48, met Justin, 29, two years ago and their friendship developed into a relationship that Sarah did not approve of. After many arguments with her mother, Bonnie asked her daughter to move out. "She kicked me out of the house and Justin moved in two days later. I felt neglected. I felt abandoned. I want to see her in a healthy relationship and I don't see this as being a healthy relationship," says Sarah.
Recently, Bonnie moved to another state to live with Justin. "My mother, for the first time, had a good, stable job, she bought a home, and she has basically given all of this up for this young guy. If he leaves her, then she has nothing," Sarah says.
"Couple times," says Bonnie.
"How many?" persists Dr. Phil.
"Three," says Bonnie.
"Three times before and those weren't soul mates? You married them because they were just handy?" He asks Bonnie if she looks at this as a long-term relationship. Bonnie agrees she does see it that way.
Sarah sees it as repeating history. "What's different with him?" she asks. "I see this as a way for her to feel youthful again and maybe that's the bottom line. I don't understand when she says he's her soul mate. What is so great about him that makes you love him so much? I don't know."
Sarah admits, "In this situation, it would be nice."
"But how can I be out of line for caring about her so much and worrying about her?" asks Sarah.
"You're not out of line for caring so much," says Dr. Phil. "You're out of line for expecting your mother to do exactly what you tell her whenever you tell her to do it. Can you care? Yes. Can you hurt? Yes. Can you be there to catch her when she falls, if she does? I hope so. But it's her life. She's a grown woman."
Dr. Phil addresses Bonnie and Justin: "You guys just need to do what you're doing with an open mind and an eye toward the future. If you're looking at this as a long-term relationship, here's the problem. Between 30 and 50 there is not a lot of difference in terms of health and energy and vitality and the ability to share and have camaraderie. But the difference between 50 and 70, which is still just 20 years chronologically, is dramatic. The aging process accelerates dramatically."
"Not really," she admits.
"She's got a lot more energy than I do," Dr. Phil jokes with the audience. Turning back to Bonnie, Dr. Phil says, "This is you and someone 20 years younger, in 20 years. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with aging and I'm not saying you wouldn't gracefully age, but those differences become pronounced so you need to think about that going forward."