Love: The Good, The Bad and The Painful

March 15, 2013
Newlyweds Kayla and Travis have been married for just a year but say their marriage is already unraveling. Kayla says Travis is physically and mentally abusive, and she caught him kissing another girl. Travis admits that he's been abusive and unfaithful, but says he cheats because Kayla is boring and that oftentimes, hitting her is the only way he can get her to stop talking. “When you back a dog into a corner, he’s going to bite,” Travis says. Why won’t Kayla leave? Can Dr. Phil get this young couple back on track? Then, Amanda says after having five children, including twins, she's unhappy with her body and she wants plastic surgery — but, her fiancé, Ali, says if she goes through with it, he’ll call off the engagement. “My philosophy about women is: All natural and no preservatives,” Ali says. Amanda says Ali never compliments her, yet praises other women’s appearances — and it’s taking a toll on her self-esteem. Is she willing to risk losing the man she loves? And, is she considering the surgery for the right reasons?

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Kayla and TravisTravisKaylaAli and AmandaAmandaAmanda's stomachAmandaAliAmanda's mom, Sue

Abusive Love?

“He’s probably hit me over 20 times,” Kayla says of her husband of a year, Travis. “He’s shoved me, punched me, slapped me.”

“When you back a dog into a corner, he’s going to bite,” Travis responds.

Kayla says the first time Travis hit her, they had been arguing over his ex, who she says was causing drama. “I asked him about it, and he took his anger out on me by punching me with a closed fist,” she explains.

“It happened so fast,” Travis admits.

Kayla says just last week, she caught Travis kissing another woman.

“I met this girl at the casino. We were gambling. She bought me some beer. She dropped me off by my car, and we kissed,” Travis deadpans.

Kayla says she confronted Travis about the kiss. “His excuse was that he had a few beers, and he didn’t know what he was doing,” she says.

“When I was with this woman, she wasn’t nagging me,” Travis says, adding that that's one of his biggest complaints about Kayla. He says that Kayla constantly asks him where he is, and whom he's with, and it causes him to snap. “The way I act is, shut the * up.”


“If you knew then what you know now, would you have married him?”

Does Travis really want to be married to Kayla? Plus, what really happened with the woman from the casino?

Why are Kayla and Travis still together?



“Marriage is a partnership,” Dr. Phil says. “I think nobody really taught him how to be married,” he tells Kayla. “I think nobody taught him where the boundaries are."

“That’s why I want him to change,” Kayla says. “I want him to change so he can be there for his son, so our son knows what a good marriage is.”

“This is a partnership; and there is no theory ever, under any circumstance, that you are justified in putting your hands on a woman in anger. You should never ever slap this woman. You should never slap her, push her, punch her, pull her hair, throw her down — anything,” Dr. Phil tells Travis, adding that his behavior is not only unacceptable, but it’s also criminal. “If you have issues in your marriage, then you work on those.”

Dr. Phil mentions a section of his book, Relationship Rescue, which lists deal-breakers in a relationship. “One of those deal-breakers is physical abuse, one of those deal-breakers is mental and emotional abuse,” he tells Kayla. “And you are getting subjected to all of that. That is a drop dead deal-breaker.” Dr. Phil tells Kayla that Travis either needs to be willing to work on the issue and make some changes or face the consequences: “You need to kick his arrogant ass to the curb.” Dr. Phil offers to set up counseling for Kayla and Travis, as long as Travis is serious about making a change. When asked if he’ll participate in counseling, Travis responds, “It has to be around my [work] schedule. I can’t lose work."

He quickly adds, "I have every Thursday off.”

“We will do Thursdays,” Dr. Phil reassures Travis, who then agrees.



Surgery or Split?

Amanda says she wants a tummy tuck, breast implants and a breast lift before marrying her fiancé, Ali — but he doesn’t approve.

“If Amanda got the surgery, I told her the engagement would be off, and I would leave,” Ali says. “I don’t think it’s realistic for her to even be focused on plastic surgery. I think we should be saving money for our kids’ future — period.”

Amanda says having five children, including a set of twins, really took a toll on her body. “My stomach skin sags, my boobs droop,” she says. “They just are very repulsive to me.” She says Ali checks out other women who have flat stomachs and full breasts, which makes her feel insecure. “They don’t look like me.”

“Why do you want to give me an ultimatum?” Amanda asks Ali. “This is something that I want to do. I wish you could have five kids, deliver them all and breastfeed them for a year.”

“If Amanda wants to make her body look better, Ali should support her,” says Amanda’s mother, Sue. “Ali needs to man up and accept the fact that it’s Amanda’s body and her right.”

“Amanda’s mom went so far as to co-sign for a $16,000 surgery, and I fully disagree with that,” Ali says. “Sue should mind her own business.”


If money was not a factor, would Ali still disapprove of Amanda’s surgery?

“I never get compliments from you.”

Does Dr. Phil think Amanda wants the surgery for the right reasons?

“It’s your body, and you need to do what you need to do to feel good, and healthy, and sound, and solid in your own body,” Dr. Phil tells Amanda. “I’m not saying you need to do it to feel OK about yourself, but if that’s what you want to do, I think you are entitled to do what you want to do with your body.” He tells Amanda that her self-image should not depend on her body image. “You should love yourself the same either way.”

Dr. Phil tells Ali that he should embrace Amanda’s confidence, not begrudge her for it. He then tells the couple, “The reality of the finances is a very real reality.” He says he will urge his son and executive producer of The Doctors, Jay McGraw, to consider Amanda for a Mommy Makeover. “I can’t make you any promises other than you will be on top of the stack.”