Broken Nose, Broken Marriage

January 20, 2014

Danielle says her estranged husband, Luis, is jealous and abusive and was recently arrested for assaulting her — but she still wants to save their marriage. Luis denies being abusive and says he accidentally head-butted her in the face. Should they stay together?  







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DanielleDanielle's broken noseLuisDanielle and Luis in happier times

A Broken Marriage

Danielle says the first six years of her marriage to Luis were wonderful, but things started to change after he left the military in 2005. She says when she found out Luis had been contacting his ex-girlfriend on Facebook, she felt betrayed — and started an emotional affair of her own with an ex-boyfriend. “There was constant fighting between the two of us talking to our exes,” she says. “Our marriage completely fell apart.”

Danielle says around the time of her son’s first birthday, Luis became enraged after he saw her playing a “completely innocent” game on her cell phone with another guy. “He went off the deep end. He was screaming at me, yelling at me, right in my face, like a drill sergeant,” she says, adding that she called 911. After the incident, she says she filed a restraining order against Luis and moved out with the kids.

“She said that I put a gun to her head,” Luis says. “I’ve never done that in my life.”

A couple years into their separation, Luis says he moved his girlfriend into his house, making Danielle jealous. Two months ago, he says Danielle broke into his home in the middle of the night and attacked him. “From the shadows comes Danielle, just swinging at me,” he says, adding that during the struggle, he accidentally head-butted her, leaving her with a broken nose and two black eyes. He spent two days in jail and was charged with domestic assault.

“I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe my husband did this,” Danielle says, adding that despite the chaos, she still loves Luis and wants to see if they can save their marriage. She says that in order to appear on Dr. Phil, she willingly dropped a restraining order against him — something she has done once before. “The first time he hadn’t actually hit me. It was more of a threatening situation,” she says. “After about a month and a half of the restraining order, I guess I missed him and not having communication. He obviously wasn’t doing anything bad to me, so at the time, I felt like it was OK to drop.”

  Why does Luis say he accidentally broke Danielle's nose?

Danielle and Luis accuse each other of cheating. How do they defend themselves?

Hear from Danielle and Luis’ mothers — do they think the couple should stay together? 

“Your last effort to save your marriage was to get a three-way?”


Luis’ Struggles

“Ever since Luis got out of the military, he’s had problems with PTSD,” Danielle says. “He’s very paranoid. He became really jealous.” She says he’s on edge, all the time.

“When I walk in a room, if I see a dark area, like, I get nervous,” Luis says, adding that the fear has to do with snipers. He says he suffers from anxiety, panic attacks and nightmares. “It’s like you go to Iraq, and you never come back.” He says once he is back with his children and Danielle, he’ll feel whole again.

Dr. Phil addresses the couple, saying, “If you two can’t be together without it escalating from yelling, fighting, accusing and jealousy, without somebody getting physically hurt, then you need to not be in each other’s presence.” He turns to Danielle and says, “I don’t want you to be hurt, injured, killed, whatever,” then turns to Luis and adds, “If you do that, you’re going to end up in jail for a long, long time.”

“If I was going to do something like that, it would’ve happened by now," Luis responds. "I have nothing but love for Danielle.”

“Well, then, calm down,” Dr. Phil tells Luis.

Dr. Phil offers advice to Luis and Danielle for moving forward. And, he lists the symptoms of PTSD — does Luis fit the criteria?

Domestic Violence Help

Dr. Phil and Robin introduce the ASPIRE Initiative, from Robin’s new foundation, When Georgia Smiled, along with a groundbreaking new app for smartphones that could save lives in the fight against domestic violence.