Nicole and Danny have been married just a year. But Danny says they have discussed divorce because he claims Nicole’s mother, Alana, monopolizes his wife’s time, often leaving him to care for the couple’s young daughter on his own. Danny says Nicole drives over to Alana’s house - over an hour away – at least four times a week to check on her mother, thinking something terrible has happened to her.
Nicole says she’s exhausted by the tug-of-war between her husband and her mother, but even though she says she’s torn between Danny and Alana, she says she won’t abandon her mother, and has good reason to be concerned about her.
“On my mom’s worst days she has had me come over and read suicide notes that she has written,” says Nicole, adding she believes she is responsible for her mother’s life. “If I wasn’t there for her she would probably die.”
Nicole says she worries about Alana’s health, and also, because she says her mom is lonely.
Alana says she rarely eats and admits to consuming mass quantities of sugary soda every day. She also says she’s angry with Danny for “taking Nicole away.”
In the above video from Wednesday’s Dr. Phil, Nicole is told things have escalated to the point that she has convinced herself that she is responsible for Alana’s happiness.
Addressing Nicole, Dr. Phil says “You’ve heard the term codependency, right? It’s when another person affects you to the point of losing control of your own life.”
Describing Alana’s behavior as “one-sided, emotionally-destructive abuse,” Dr. Phil warns Nicole, “You don’t have the ability to fix this and you know it.”
Will Nicole be able to continue caring for her mom without risking her marriage to Danny? What else has Dr. Phil uncovered about Alana that he believes could be affecting her health? Watch more on Wednesday’s episode. Check here for local listings.