Dr Phil: I Married My Sister’s Boyfriend
Sibling rivalries are nothing new. Throughout history, brothers and sisters have butted heads over just about everything you can imagine. But Dr Phil’s guests, Angel and Amber, had a disagreement that transcended name-calling. Amber stole Angel’s boyfriend (who is also the father of Angel’s two children), and now Amber is expecting a third child of her own with Brian. That means these five children are not only cousins, but also stepsiblings.
As you can imagine, Angel felt betrayed to learn that her sister and the father of her children stepped out on her. They went behind her back and carried on an affair that has torn the family apart. She feels that she cannot trust her family anymore, which seems understandable to me. Angel is also still waiting on an apology from Amber, but Amber thinks she is in the right somehow.
Dr Phil: Her Sister Stole Her Family
Amber conceded that this may have started out as a mistake. But seven years later, she thinks Angel needs to move on. That has to be hard to do when any contact you have with your family is a reminder of this horrible situation. The affair had been going on for a year when Amber got pregnant, and the rest is history. The sisters have had a bad relationship ever since.
Angel was with Brian for seven years before Amber interloped in their relationship. Amber put the blame on Brian for initiating the affair, but Dr Phil was not buying her excuses. Amber initially intended for the relationship to be casual, but things changed when she found out she was pregnant. Angel feels that her sister is selfish and stole her happy future of a family life.
Dr Phil: Vulnerable and Betrayed By Family
In addition, Angel said she confided a lot in her sister Amber. Amber was helping Angel recover from back surgery, and during this vulnerable time, Angel confided in her sister about her relationship with Brian. Now she feels that those personal admissions were used against her when her sister moved in on her boyfriend.
“How did it happen for a year?” Angel wondered. If she felt guilty initially, why did she continue to carry on the affair? She wishes that her sister would have owned up to the situation early on, before things escalated to the point they have. Dr Phil also wanted to know what Amber expected to happen when the truth finally came out.
Dr Phil: Their Father Is Also Their Uncle
Amber said she knew Angel would be upset. But she is tired of the family fighting, which has now gone on for years. “The kids are being affected,” Amber said. Angel pointed out that Chris’s relationship with Amber has turned him into an uncle and a father to his own growing families of children. The sisters screamed at one another while Dr Phil buried his face in his hands.
Dr Phil pointed out that if Amber didn’t want anything serious with Chris, she sure wasn’t acting like it. She tried to defend herself by saying that she was on birth control for most of the time the affair was going on, though admittedly she dropped the ball at the end.
Dr Phil: Accidentally Pregnant?
“It was an accident. I accidentally got pregnant,” Amber said. Dr Phil pointed out that this was an entirely foreseeable outcome, even if she didn’t intentionally get pregnant. “To get past this, you’ve got to get real,” Dr Phil said.
“I did screw up. I made a huge mistake,” Amber said, finally telling her sister what she wanted to hear. Dr Phil also invited the sisters’ mother, Sandra, to join the conversation via videoconference. She had to take time out from her honeymoon to participate in the show.
Dr Phil: A Family Divided
Dr Phil wondered what the family dynamics are like for holidays. Sandra said that the family has separate holiday gatherings at Thanksgiving or Christmas, because it’s too toxic to bring the families all together. “What happened to Angel is not right,” Sandra said. However, as a self-described Christian woman, Sandra thinks that everyone needs to move forward, and that Amber deserves a second chance.
Sandra told Dr Phil that she believes Amber is remorseful about what has happened. Angel wasn’t buying her mother’s defenses at all. Sandra is also concerned about the situation for the children. As you might guess, Angel has a hard time when her kids are visiting her ex and her sister. “The anger and the way they treat each other is really affecting the children,” Sandra said.
Dr Phil: Forgiveness & Family?
“You’ve got to let it go. You’ve got to forgive,” Sandra said, before launching into more preaching. Sandra is in a tough spot, but it has got to be even more difficult for Angel. How is she supposed to get closure and move on when everyday activities and family events only open up old wounds?
What advice would you suggest for this family? Typically, Dr Phil’s advice to someone who has been cheated on is to move forward with your life. It seems like Angel has not been able to do that so far in seven years. Do you think there is hope for her?
For more of Dr Phil’s advice about relationships, read Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner.