Caitlin and Robert say their marriage is filled with fighting, often in front of their 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Caitlin claims Robert has been verbally and physically abusive toward her, and Robert says that his wife of seven years is violent, controlling and antagonizes him to get a reaction.
TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Marriage on the rocks?
Caitlin also claims that her husband has been aggressive toward their children. She claims that while their son was having a tantrum, Robert placed him on the ground and wouldn’t let him up and that he put his hands on their daughter and pushed her against a wall.
“He threatens he’s going to whoop their ass, calls them stupid, idiot,” she says. “He thinks that if he isn’t physically hitting a child that he’s not abusing them.”
WATCH: Dad Caught On Video Telling Daughter: ‘The Best Thing That Could Happen Is Your Mom Passes Away’
Robert, however, denies Caitlin’s claims. “Catlin’s accused me of being abusive toward the kids. That has not happened,” he says.
In the video above, Dr. Phil asks Robert, “Have you been inappropriate with your children?”
“Verbally, for sure. Physically, a little bit. No more than my father was with me, that’s for sure,” Robert replies. “That’s what’s lost on America today – discipline without the abuse. I mean, a lot of people take it too far and take it to abuse, but there’s a lack of discipline for sure.”WATCH: How A 4- And 7-Year-Old React To Their Parents’ Fighting
“What you’re doing is a drop-dead deal-breaker,” Dr. Phil warns the father. To both parents, he says, “So you love each other. What the hell difference does that make? That does not give you the right to subject these children to what you are subjecting them to.”
Dr. Phil explains to Caitlin that child abuse includes neglect. “If you know there is danger, if you know there is volatility, you know that those children are in danger and you failed to remove them from that situation, that is the definition of negligence,” he says. “You owe the children better than that.”WATCH: Man Describes Incident With Wife When He Says He Acted Out In Anger
He continues speaking to Robert. “I think you are mentally and emotionally abusive with your children,” he tells him. “That is grounds for removing those children from your custody.”
Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, created When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation
which is devoted to helping men, women, and children who are victims of domestic violence. The Foundation created the Aspire Initiative
, a free, interactive domestic violence education curriculum which aims to reduce the level of intimate relationship violence in the United States. Dr. Phil says to Robin, “This is clearly abuse, on both of their parts.”
“True,” Robin agrees. “Both of them are guilty of it.”
This episode of Dr. Phil
airs Monday. Watch more here.
Two Things Kids Say To Themselves When They Watch Their Parents Fight