Dr Phil: I’ve Divorced My Ex Twice, But I’m Still In Love
Remember that couple from high school that was always breaking up and getting back together again? Gwen and Derrick have taken that concept to new extremes as adults. These two have been married and divorced twice, but Gwen is ready for a third wedding if Derrick can admit to his past mistakes.
Gwen’s accusations include that Derrick was an abusive thief who often disappeared and even missed their child’s birth. So far none of this sounds like “third chance” material to me. Derrick’s perspective is that Gwen is vindictive and bent on ruining his life. However, if she changes that, he would like to reunite with her.
Dr Phil: Husband Frequently Disappears
According to Gwen, the first time Derrick disappeared was after they had been married for two months. At the time, she was four months pregnant, and she said he was falling all over himself to apologize when he returned home. However, the disappearances didn’t end there.
Derrick was absent for the first three and a half months of his daughter’s life. Later, the family received a large insurance check for damage from Hurricane Katrina. According to Gwen, Derrick disappeared with $65,000. When he returned, he was lashing out against her, and that eventually led to their first divorce.
Dr Phil: Second Marriage To Sadistic Succubus
It would be another six years before Derrick’s apologies and pleas were convincing enough for Gwen to give him a second chance and a second marriage. However, she quickly started to feel like nothing she could offer him was good enough to meet his demands. When she started to suspect he was cheating, she took a look at his Facebook messages and her suspicions were confirmed.
After finding evidence of his private conversations with other women, Gwen divorced Derrick for the second time. Derrick’s account of their second marriage was that he wanted to make their co-parenting work. He remembered her as being controlling and paranoid. Even though he admits he made attempts to cheat on her, he did not appreciate her being suspicious of him.
It seems like Derrick’s favorite nickname for Gwen is “sadistic succubus,” which does not seem like it would prime the pump for this couple’s third crack at making a marriage work. The wisest thing Derrick had to say was that he isn’t sure whether he would actually want to be married to Gwen for a third time.
Dr Phil: What is Leveling in a Relationship?
As a caveat, I think if you are turning to Dr Phil for an opinion on whether you should get married to a person for the third time, I can save you the LA visit and hotel stay: don’t marry that person a third time. When the couple came face to face on the stage, Derrick told Dr Phil he does want to patch things up with Gwen.
Dr Phil explained the concept of Leveling, where the person who feels weaker in a relationship either tears their partner down to his level or artificially inflates himself to her level. He said that this type of behavior, which has been going on between Gwen and Derrick, is unhealthy, and sometimes signals other problems. Derrick admitted that he does have low self-esteem.
Dr Phil: Messaging Other Women on Valentine’s Day
Derrick said that he does not trust Gwen, but he thinks that she should be able to trust him. That’s when Dr Phil put some of Derrick’s text messages on the big video screen. First, Dr Phil showed everyone all of the genuinely loving examples of things he has been saying to Gwen recently.
But meanwhile, in the personals section of Craigslist, Derrick has apparently been making himself available for romantic encounters with other women, even in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day. I’d say this is not making a strong case for Gwen and Derrick’s third trip down the aisle.
Dr Phil: What Does Your Relationship Resume Look Like?
To help Gwen consider all the facts and determine whether she really wants to cast her lot with Derrick for a third time, Dr Phil took the things she has told his producers about Derrick and assembled them into a functional husband resume, with attributes or examples classified under easy-to-navigate categories like: Abandoner, Liar, Thief, Adulterer, Physical Abuser, Child Abuser, Emotional Abuser, Verbal Abuser, and someone who has demonstrated Questionable Behavior, among other undesirable traits.
“This is the man you say that you still love,” Dr Phil said. Gwen said she wants to know the truth, but Dr Phil pointed out that she has more than enough information to come to some conclusions. Gwen claimed that Derrick has told her to believe him as her husband over evidence she is unsure about. Gwen said all she needs to know is whether Derrick can be a good father.
Dr Phil: Should They Get Married Again?
“I miss being there,” Gwen said about Derrick. “I miss having the good moments that we did have.” Since turnabout is fair play, Dr Phil also composed a functional wife resume for Gwen based on Derrick’s complaints. Her featured categories were: Law Breaker, Hacker, Controlling, Money Hungry, Obsessive, Verbal Abuser, Physical Abuser, Adulterer, Saboteur, and Promiscuous.
Once again, Dr Phil wondered what it is that Derrick doesn’t know that would help him make a decision about how to move forward in his life, and whether he really needs a third marriage license to get to the bottom of what does not seem like much of a mystery to me. I guess it’s always hard to see what’s going on when you are in the middle of a situation.
Dr Phil: Too Toxic To Be a Parent?
Gwen and Derrick have a 10-year-old daughter together, and Gwen had one question in particular that she hoped to get answered during her time with Dr Phil. She needed to know whether Derrick is just too toxic to be around such an impressionable child.
Dr Phil made it explicitly clear that, based on some of the particularly egregious accusations Gwen has made (and which Derrick denied), she is failing her daughter if she lets Derrick be a part of the household. But if she is just saying these things to bolster her case, Dr Phil told Gwen that would be failing her daughter also.
Dr Phil #MaritalChaos: Therapy for Everyone
Gwen seemed resolved in her position that she truly believed the accusations she had made. Thankfully, Dr Phil brought the hammer down and hopefully it will get through to these two. “Both of you are bad for each other. You do not need to be together. You should not get into a third marriage,” Dr Phil said. He also suggested that Gwen seek therapy for the daughter to follow up on what Gwen suspects may have been going on.
Dr Phil also encouraged both parents to put their 10-year-old daughter first. But they each wanted to just argue about that. Props to all the co-parents out there, because if this is what you’re dealing with, I don’t know how you do it. “You do not ask children to deal with adult issues,” Dr Phil said.
He also recommended that Gwen and Derrick both stay in therapy, and advised them to take a tape of this Dr Phil episode to their next session. Ultimately, his biggest piece of advice was to put the children first. Would you get married to an ex for the third time? Share your thoughts on this episode in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #MaritalChaos.