Lexi and Jared, who have been married for five years, admit they fight viciously in front of their young children. Jared, who acknowledges that he has an anger problem, has punched holes in walls, slammed doors, broken glass, and describes himself as a “tornado” who gets out of control to the point that he can’t remember the details of his behavior afterward.
“This is impacting our children,” says Lexi, whose daughter Charley describes her dad as “The Hulk” when he’s angry. “Ella lost all her hair when she was about 4 1/2. She’s going on 9, and it hasn’t grown back. We’ve been told it’s a stress condition,” Lexi explains of her daughter from a previous relationship who lives with her and Jared. Ella has also lost her eyebrows and eyelashes.
Lexi, who recovered from a drug addiction over a decade ago with Dr. Phil’s help
, says the kids are creating excuses for Jared — just like Lexi does. “They’re making up stories for Daddy,” she says. “I’m starting to wonder if I’m teaching them to be abused.”
She adds, “Charley was telling me that Daddy doesn’t mean to act like that. It’s that Hulk picture that makes Daddy do that.”
The police and Child Protective Services have been involved, but Lexi says, “The only thing they found us guilty of is that the kids have been around an angry man and that is not good for them.”
Dr. Phil reviews the kids’ behavior, including Ella running away, contemplating stabbing herself, and asking, “Is love really that hard?” Charley has said that a monster lives inside her father. Then Dr. Phil pulls out a picture made by Ella when Jared, who has served in Iraq, Kuwait, and as a firefighter, was in a VA treatment center. The picture includes a message for him: “1. Be happy. 2. Be nice. 3. Don’t hurt people.”
Dr. Phil tells Lexi and Jared, "At this point, you have to have an undivided loyalty to your children. If you’re in a situation where there is screaming, yelling, rage, knives are coming out, it’s unpredictable, he can’t stop it, you can’t stop it, deadly weapons are involved, and you are putting the children in that environment, in harm’s way, you are not doing your job. You have a job to protect those children." He tells Lexi, "You can’t love him through this. You can’t fix this for him. You don’t have the skill set, the training, and you don’t have the objectivity to do that. In fact you may be a trigger for some of this."
On Wednesday's episode of Dr. Phil
, Jared gets the help he needs for this family to live in peace. "This situation needs a hero, and you're the guy to be that hero," Dr. Phil tells him.