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Topic : 07/22 Child Caught in the Middle

Number of Replies: 71
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Created on : Friday, January 30, 2009, 02:16:36 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/04/09) Divorce is well known to be a source of pain, bitterness and often conflict. When parents who have split up carry their fight beyond the courtroom, the child is usually the one caught in the crossfire. Dr. Phil sits down with Ronald and Cathie, who say they both love their 15-year-old son, Matthew, tremendously, though what they feel for each other is a different story. After a tumultuous divorce, Ronald says Cathie abandoned Matthew and has been out of his life for nearly 10 years. Cathie says Ronald is the one responsible for that separation. She claims he did everything he could to get in the way of her relationship with her son. Now, Cathie is back in the picture, but Matthew is having a hard time adjusting. In fact, the stress is making him literally sick, and he vomits up to 40 times a day. Matthew has a list of pressing questions for his mom, including why she has been gone for so long. With Dr. Phil’s help, will this young man get to the bottom of the mysteries in his life, and can he ever trust his mother again? Share your thoughts here.

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February 4, 2009, 2:57 pm CST

About : Matthew

Hello Dr Phil


I don't usully tend to speak up or write but this just shook me to to the core. I have children that I brought up by myself and it was difficult , my children were the most important thing in my life they came before anything or anyone else no matter what the situation, I have been there all the time oh I have made mistakes but I find there is no excuse possible for someone to do this to a child,,  briken promises hurt so much.My heart goes out to this wonderful young man .



February 4, 2009, 3:00 pm CST

02/04 Child Caught in the Middle

Dr. Phil i hope you get a chance to read this and respond. I am a stepmom of two terrific girls, they are 18 and 14, there Dad and i have been married since they were 7 and 3. there mom has been in and out of there lives for years and lived with several different men and has a 10 year old daughter that lives with her dad also. The girls always wanted to have a connection with there mom and in there eyes could do no wrong. Broken promises, missed holidays birthdays etc.. there mom always had a excuse and they always wanted to believe it. My situation is that there was no custody agreement set up so when they wanted to see there mom we always allowed it, if not they would get angry at us. My husband was giving her 800.00 a month even though the girls lived with us. This was set up with domestics when they were first divorced. We figured as long as we had the girls we would let it go. Oct. 2007 we finally filed papers to have the support stopped, at that time she suddenly wanted to have her kids back. We took her to court and they granted us a stay so she could not take the kids from us until a hearing, at which point the kids said they wanted to live with us but also wanted to visit with there mom. We set up 2 days a week and every other weekend for her to spend with the kids. Once the support was dropped she once again became uninterested in the girls, My 18 year old is attending college and has very little interest in her mom, my 14 year old on the other hand, i told her when her mom calls and wants to see her she  can go, but the situation has turned into her calling her mom frequently to see if she can go over to see her, these visits have become tue evenings.   I am afraid because she is so defensive of her mom, saying that her mom wants her and would never lie to her. Im afraid if her mom walks out of her life again it will be detramental to her. I always tell her i think her mom is doing the best she can, it hurts me terribly to see her wanting her mom to be in her life so much, and her mom just doesnt  care. any suggestions for me as a stepmom?? I love my girls and they love me we have always had a good relationship and they have told me we have a mom but you are our mom.
February 4, 2009, 3:01 pm CST

should she be a mom

I watched the entire episode of Dr Phil and I feel for Matthew.  I also feel for his father.  The mother was out of Matthew's life for 10 years.  She gave up her right to be a mother the day she walked away from her child.  I have 4 children and would never of dreamed of walking away from my kids ever.  I really feel the father should put his foot down and not allow  Matthew  to see his mother until he is  18 and more mature to deal with the feeling he has towards his "mother" .  This situation is making him physically sick and the father has the right to say NO.  I did not like Dr Phil not including the father in the conversation. The dad has every right to say who has a relationship with his son.  After all he has been mother and father for 10 years of this boys life.  I was very dissappointed in this show.
February 4, 2009, 3:05 pm CST

the MOM who is clueless

Dr. Phil, are you and the husband and the whole audience BLIND??? this woman/mother/ is a fking DRUG ADDICT...I have a heroin addicted daughter who is 21 and is again as of today in her 4th psych stay with an extremely infected neck from shooting in her neck, had attempted suicide 5 times, cut her wrists in my bathroom and I found her the next morning and went to rehab and detoxing and sober living and I KNOW I KNOW what a drug addict looks like. That Mom IS self absorbed and why did she not see her son? cause she had/has a relationship with drugs....drug addicts LIE< LIE< LIE..make excuse after excuse,  YOU (dr phil) should have called her on it.
Take it from someone who is LIVING it for the last 6 years with someone whom her whole family (she has a loving Dad, and 3 siblings and YEA, came from a divorced family at the age of 11) but we kept our family together as much as possible for our children. we have supported her in all the ways the program tells us to, and then some. yes, we've enabled, yes, we've loved her too much, but only when she is doing HER part and stays in program, we support her but, when she starts shooting again, and living on the street, we only say "love you and get help" believe me, she knows the system and the drill. OH and have I mentioned she has 4 juvenile arrests and 4 adult arrests??? misdeameanors, meaning, the courts ONLY care about getting the drug fines and just send her ON HER WAY....gotta love it
drug addicts DON"T take advice easily. THAT MOM needs rehab, treatment or at least come clean to her son "Honey, I wasn't part of your life for 10 yrs, cause I've been addicted to drugs and could barely LOVE myself, much less YOU"
UGH.....I could hardly stand that show today. Sorry, got carried away, maybe cause its so fresh what is happening right this moment with my little girl.
February 4, 2009, 3:09 pm CST

i feel for him...

I feel for the boy & understand were he is coming from I myself just last year begun to have a relationship with my father after 16 years and i just look at it this way i have been told everything you can imagine from my mom & dad. But i tell them both to this day i don't care. I have my father & mother. I don't want to know the truth cause that means someone is lying. <3
February 4, 2009, 3:09 pm CST


I barely made it through the entire show.  It was so upsetting to watch Matthew hold his mom's hand and try to laugh with her. You can see the hope in his eyes when he looks at her, and she does not see it.  I hope for his sake this situation improves with Dr. phil's help.  I wish Dr. Phil was around when I was 15. 


I was abandoned by my biological father at 3 years old, he came back at 9 to visit (introduce his new wife) and never came back again. At 17 years old was told he had cancer, so I wrote him a letter telling him how I wished him well (never heard back).  I did see him at a funeral at 28 years old, and he approached my brother and I (he knew who my brother was), but he turned to me and said "and you are"...I politely smiled and told him I was his daughter. 


I am 40 and thank god every day that he was NOT a part of my life, and that my "real father" picked me to be his daughter.  But at 10, 15, 18 years old it was not easy to accept the fact that my biological father did not want to see me. When I was younger I thought it would have been easier if he had died because then he would not have a choice. I have wonderful parents and to this day neither one of them will say anything negative about my biological father because (as they say) that would be like putting me down. I am going to call my parents and thank them right now :-) Thank you Dr. Phil for trying to help this family, and good luck to them. 

February 4, 2009, 3:26 pm CST

What is wrong with you women

If that was a man, you would have said that you understand him not keeping in touch with the child.


If you have never been dragged through the courts by a man who looks nice but is eviil incarnate and who is beleived by thereapists and the system until years later when it is too late, you can't judge this woman.


I have seen this before. the man goes into court and has more money than the wife. He is making her destitute and craazy and he continues until she has no more money, self-esteem or stability.


This boy has been brainwashed by his father. Dr. Phil always disappoints me on shows like this.


He did not once question why a father would take complete custody away from the mother.

February 4, 2009, 3:30 pm CST

Sorry excuses from that "mother"

Listen Cathie; if you are any type of mother, you would put your sons desires, wants, needs and feelings, mountaintops above your own!!!  As a mother of three and my oldest being 12, I would walk through heaven, hell and their father to be with them!!!  Whenever any of my children were in the hospital - I DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL THEY DO!!!  If I had a boss who did not understand that my kids are my priority, then I would find a new job!  Think of what you are putting that child through!  Everytime he looked at you and smiled so beautifully at you, I wanted to vomit!  You do not deserve he's admiration and his attention!  I could not imagine the crushing feeling that you cause your son each time you let him down.

Frankly, I think you are unfit, however, for your son's sake, I hope you get your head in the game soon!  If you can't, at least have the guts to look your son in the face and tell him the truth:  "He's just not that important to you!"  STOP hurting him!

February 4, 2009, 3:31 pm CST

Intereting but true.

Watched  the show today.  Was very upset how this woman say she is a mom.  To be a mom you need to act like one as I see it.  I am in the same way here other then with my ex.  I have been going though the same thing now for 3 years.  And in the last year my ex has not seen his boys and I am the bad one.  Come on if you are a father or mother you would do anything to see your children no matter what the case maybe.  Busy or not you children need you.  I value my children and there needs and it is now to the point the boys dont even want to see him.  That is sad for like I have said to many of people to be a father/ mother you need to act like one.  Todays show made me see that I act as a mother and a father to my boys.  I agree with Dr. Phill the mother could have done more but didnt.  Sad for there are I am sure more people just like this one.  Sad really sad.  I felt very sorry for the boy for he too lost out on time that should have been with his mom and she was not there.  I too would not be sure if I would ever trust her.  Just like my children they dont trust there father for he makes many of many promises and breaks them all the time.  Good luck.  God Bless.

February 4, 2009, 3:43 pm CST

02/04 Child Caught in the Middle

"I sure do hope Dr. Phil McGraw gets an opportunity to see this message because these latter tendencies toward political correctness have caused me to be quite disenchanted with him."


I sure DO hope Dr.Phil McGraw gets an opportunity to see THIS message before yours then!!


"If you are to change anything about the show, ONLY change the fat episode days"!

Everything else is totally A-1-like steak sauce bliss as far television goes!


Can't believe i used to watch Oprah, now that the Phil man has arrived onto the scene!

I absolutly l-o-v-e they way Phil show what tommorrow's topic will be after the first commercial break!!Kudo's! to 'King of Queens', Phil is recorded daily for this appreciative viewer!


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