UNLOCKED FULL EPISODE: "Save My Marriage After Affair" | The Oprah Winfrey Show

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[theme music] My guests today and many members of my audience have a warning for all of you who are watching. And that is if an affair has not yet hit your marriage, chances are it will. As we speak, I know of an affair taking place right now at this lunch hour in an office, where other people have left to eat lunch. The boss's door is locked. Secretary has stayed after her and, well, she's going to have her lunch with him. And you can take it from there. OPRAH WINFREY: Here are the cold, hard, horrifying facts. 70% of all men cheat, and 50% of all women have had affairs, while others are thinking about it. If I was going to have an affair, I would pull it off in a love motel. The environment's good. There's that excitement there of going to a place, checking in under an assumed name. It's just a whole sense of excitement. You bring a bottle of champagne. You don't know what the woman's going to be wearing. You don't know what she's going to be wearing in bed. I mean, there's just the pink sheets, the heart-shaped bed. I mean, that-- that's exciting. That's like, man, that's man macho. MELVIN KINDER: Couples that come in and there has been an affair, they no longer come in saying, we're going to get a divorce. This is it. I can no longer forgive him. They come in saying, this is a crisis. We've got to do something about it. I may be furious with him or her, but I know we've got to do something about it. And the subtext is I want to save this marriage. Well, that's what we're talking about today, whether or not your marriage can survive an affair. Later in this program, we will offer advice on how you can save your marriage. And we're going to introduce you to a couple whose marriage has survived the absolute unthinkable, because they are now raising the husband's child from an affair. But first, I'd like you to meet two couples who are right this moment in crisis. Francis and Dale Borcherding have had many ups and downs during their marriage. But after the recent birth of her daughter, Francis believed that their marriage was getting back on track, until she walked in and caught her husband in bed with another woman. Teresa and Douglas Griffin were married five years ago. But now, they are separated. They came here on separate planes, stayed in separate hotels, because of Teresa's affair. Doug is so angry, he doubts, he says, that the marriage can be saved. But that's what we're talking about today. Welcome them to the show. I-- I have heard that the moment that you walk in and you see it for yourself, you actually see him in bed in the act, is-- is a visual that you can never ever get out of your mind. Is that true? I'll never forget. Mm-hmm. Never. OPRAH WINFREY: Can you forgive him, though? I'm trying. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. When did it happen? How long ago? Two weeks ago. OPRAH WINFREY: Two weeks. Mm-hmm. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah, that's pretty tough. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: Yeah, it's there. It's in my mind. OPRAH WINFREY: And I'm sure it flashes over and over and over and over. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: All the time. I can't sleep. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And you feel betrayed? Angry? Betrayed, angry, hurt, like I was stepped on, like I was kicked. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. It hurts. OPRAH WINFREY: I would think that what you would feel is even something that goes a little bit beyond that. But it's like-- it's like a rage inside you that you can't even begin to express. Is that true? FRANCIS BORCHERDING: That's true. Yeah. I took a lot of rage out on our car. OPRAH WINFREY: On your car. Our car. OPRAH WINFREY: Your car. So tell tell us what happened. You were-- Well, I got up in the morning. And something was telling me that something was happening that wasn't right. And he had purchased-- he bought me a-- a two-year membership at a health club. So I thought, well, I'll go over. And something was telling-- because I hadn't gone over and checked it. And I thought, well, I'll go over and I'll see if he wants to go with me. And I knew he was home because I called work. He was supposed to be in at 4:30 in the morning. Were you-- are you all living in separate houses? Were you in separate homes? FRANCIS BORCHERDING: We're separating. Yeah. So I called work. He wasn't in at work. And that's when something started hitting me. And I thought, well, something's going on. He said that the car broke down, that he wasn't going to be able to make it in. I thought, well, OK. If he's there, then I'll go over and see if he wants to come to the club with me. And I brought my daughter along. And I got to the house, and I knocked. And I rang the doorbell several times. OPRAH WINFREY: Is it just your daughter or your-- - Our daughter. - Your daughter. OK. But now, she's your daughter. OK. Our daughter, yeah. Well, my daughter when she's good. She's always good. So I rang the doorbell several times, and his car was in the driveway. And I kept ringing. And the door was ajar somewhat, so I walked in. And I walked in one bedroom, and it was his friend and his friend's girlfriend.

I got the wrong bedroom. OPRAH WINFREY: His friend and his friend's girlfriend. OK. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: Right. And I asked where Dale's room was. And he said it was in the middle. So I walked in. And-- I got the wrong bedroom. OPRAH WINFREY: His friend and his friend's girlfriend. OK. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: Right. And I asked where Dale's room was. And he said it was in the middle. So I walked in. And-- OPRAH WINFREY: They were in bed. - They were in bed. They were sleeping. They were sleeping. And I was-- OPRAH WINFREY: Maybe that's all they were doing. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: I wasn't born with this color yesterday. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. So how did this happen? Had you all been-- OK. So obviously, if you were separated, things had gone wrong. And you decided, what, to make them different? Or what was the situation? I moved out approximately about five weeks ago to-- we have arguments and stuff. And I just-- I thought some time away might help. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. I kicked him out. So I moved out. How it happened, I was going to work at 4:00 in the morning. My car broke down on the freeway. I went to a gas station to make a call to work to tell them that I wouldn't be in. And I made the call, and there was a girl there at the gas station. I asked her if she would give me a ride home about five blocks down the way. She gave me a ride home, and she asked if I had a beer. And I said, sure, come on in. And we had a couple beers. We played some darts. There were some other people there when I got home. And she was tired. And she said, do you mind if I spend the night? I said, no. And she laid on the couch. And I said, you can stay in the room. And-- FRANCIS BORCHERDING: He's so generous to offer the room. OPRAH WINFREY: Dale, this-- this isn't going over too well here. I can see. Believe it or not, that's what happened. I've never had-- cheated on my wife. I love her. You know, I mean, I've been trying to work things out. And I really don't know if we did have an affair, because when I woke up, I-- I don't remember. I really don't. I have a drinking problem. And when I get drunk, you know, I black out. OPRAH WINFREY: But you were on your way to work, though. DALE BORCHERDING: Right. Were you-- had you been drinking before going to work? DALE BORCHERDING: No. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. So you drank-- After 4 o'clock when I got back, when she gave me a ride home. OPRAH WINFREY: So you were drinking a lot. DALE BORCHERDING: Yeah, we were. After you got home. Do you believe this story? I'm not talking to y'all. I'm talking to his wife. Do you believe the story? I don't believe it. But when I walked in, her panties were still on. I don't know what to believe, because I've asked him several times, have you ever cheated on me? And he's always said, no. I'll take a lie detector test. I haven't. And then to walk in and see it and holding my daughter, I told him to get a good look at her-- at his daughter, because he was never going to see her again. But you've since changed your mind about that. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: I have. Yes, I hope, because you can't use the children. All my friends were telling me, you know he's cheating on you. You don't need him. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. And I didn't need to hear that because I have to make up for my own mind. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. My one sister's the only one that said, stick with him. He's got a problem. He doesn't remember. She's the only one. And it hurts. It really hurts, Oprah. I'll never forget it. OPRAH WINFREY: I know you won't. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: Never. I know you won't. And I look at my daughter. I want her to grow up with a mother and a father like I did, that were happy. OPRAH WINFREY: I know. She's only eight months old. OPRAH WINFREY: But see, you are still-- I mean, I think-- I think it's great that you are on this show and that you're able to talk about it, because I really do believe this is going to help you a lot. But you are really still in a state of shock. God says he'll dish out as much as you can take. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. But you're still in this state of shock. When something like this happens to you, it's like having your head blown off. And so you're still walking around without your head off. And so two weeks is-- two weeks is not even enough time to even know what you want. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: My daughter. My daughter. That's all. I got to look at her. I got to look at her. OPRAH WINFREY: When we come back, we'll finish this conversation and talk about how would you react if you caught your mate in the act of cheating. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. If I found my woman in bed with somebody else when I came home, we'd be having this interview from San Quentin Prison, you know? I mean, I'm sure I would be very, very-- I'd be furious. But the question is-- and this is the big question. Who do you kill, you know? And I came in, and I caught him in the bedroom. She didn't expect me. And I threw the guy through a window. I choked her. I was choking her, and then my mother picked up the pistol and put it up to my head and told me not to kill her right now. I would have gone downstairs, let her leave.

I would have come back in 10 minutes. She would have been gone. And I would have made love to him like he had never had it before. I would have come back in 10 minutes. She would have been gone. And I would have made love to him like he had never had it before. How does it make you feel to have your wife, who you promised to love, honor, and cherish, now feel this way, feel this kind of pain that was brought on by you? It hurts me a lot. I love her. You know, I mean, it really hurts me a lot. And I mean, it's hard to express how I feel. I mean, I feel very bad. I really do. I mean, I don't know what to do. We've had problems. I always say I'm sorry and stuff, you know? I don't know what to say to her. OPRAH WINFREY: Let me ask you this. Did you ever think before you did it? Did you ever think of the pain that it would cause? No. OPRAH WINFREY: Or did you just think you wouldn't get caught? You didn't plan on getting caught? I didn't plan on getting caught, really. I didn't-- I didn't plan on really doing it. See, I have a drinking problem. When I drink, I-- OPRAH WINFREY: You do things that you don't remember. Right. OPRAH WINFREY: So what have you done to remedy the drinking problem? Anything? I was going to AA meetings. And I stopped about four months ago going to them. And I hadn't drank-- since I've moved out, I've drank a few times. OPRAH WINFREY: Do you want the marriage to be saved? Yes, I do. OPRAH WINFREY: Do you want the marriage to be saved? Yeah, I want it. OPRAH WINFREY: You do? Mm-hmm. OPRAH WINFREY: But right now, you just don't see how. It's-- I want it because I stood in a church and I gave my vows to him. And I just-- I can't believe that he broke them. He didn't believe in them as strongly as I did. And I've always told him I've loved him and to be honest with me. OPRAH WINFREY: Do you want your marriage to be saved, Doug? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Not at the moment, I don't. OPRAH WINFREY: You don't. - I don't think it's a chance. OPRAH WINFREY: You don't. Why? Why? Why? Yes. WOMAN 1: You know, that really aggravates me because women are always so forgiving. And when you turn it around, they can't save it. When-- when the woman's cheating, the man doesn't want to save it. When the man's cheating, the woman's able to make concessions. And she wants to make it work. Double standards. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: I tried to make it work. It's a double standard, but who created the standard? Go ahead, Doug. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: I tried to make it work. I tried before she moved out. And I tried to make it work. We tried talking. OPRAH WINFREY: What happened? Did you catch her in the act? Did you catch her in the act? No, I didn't catch her in the act. How did you know she was cheating? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: I had somebody else that seen them. OPRAH WINFREY: You had somebody else that saw? Somebody watched them. He never talked. He never, ever talked. We did not have an honest relationship. He lied. We had-- we discussed things. He totally went against the things that we discussed. We discussed plans. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Her plans, not mine. They didn't include-- It was all her plan. No, it's not-- the family's plans, plans for the family. OPRAH WINFREY: Are there children here? Yes, we have a son. If I made plans, it wasn't for me. It was for us, all three of us. OPRAH WINFREY: How old is your son? He'll be three in December. Mm-hmm. And you know, that's the thing. Everything is my fault. His-- he-- he didn't communicate with me. He wasn't honest. He lied. I didn't sleep with my best friend. He should have been on the show last week with pathological liars. Yeah. So did you-- was she with your best friend? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Oh, yes. You found her with your best-- you heard it was your-- TERESA GRIFFIN: It's not his best friend. OPRAH WINFREY: It was not. He knew him eight months. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: He was a pretty good friend. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. He cheated. If you're saying he was not honest, he didn't-- he didn't do all those things, that still doesn't give you the right to cheat. TERESA GRIFFIN: That's right. I was wrong. And that's why I'm on this show. OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. I never have admitted until now to him that I had the affair. And he never even talked to me about it. Never ever once was it discussed. I told him, we are having problems. We argued and fought in front of our little boy. The-- the tension in the house was so bad. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Is that why you just went up, moved out, and took all the money out of the bank account? I told him. I said, look, I-- we've got to separate if we want to raise this son right. And I said, I'm looking for a place to live. I've taken the money out of the bank. I think I found an apartment. And he moved out the next day. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Well, as soon as I found out, I was like, I'm not going to hang around. And he left, didn't talk about it. We tried for six months to talk about it. No, we didn't. He-- OK. We didn't try to talk about it. At that point, when I found out-- OPRAH WINFREY: How did you find out she was having an affair, Doug? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: I had somebody spy on her. OPRAH WINFREY: You had somebody spy on her. Who? This is the first time I've heard this. OPRAH WINFREY: So you had somebody spy on her. And they came back and told you, yes, indeed, there is an affair going on. - Uh-huh. OPRAH WINFREY: And there was an affair going-- Well, she lives right next door to him. OPRAH WINFREY: Uh-huh. So there was an affair going on. I confided-- this person, I confided in him about Doug.

Doug was having problems, and I was so frustrated. And he wouldn't talk to me, and I knew there was something wrong. And I had problems, too. I had a lot of problems with substance abuse. Doug was having problems, and I was so frustrated. And he wouldn't talk to me, and I knew there was something wrong. And I had problems, too. I had a lot of problems with substance abuse. And I wanted to get help. And I begged him for help. And I realized that I couldn't get-- he's not going to give me the help. I got to get it myself. So I-- I got help. I started going to meetings. I-- and confided in a friend of his that had been sober five years. And that was initially how it started out, not as an affair. I-- OPRAH WINFREY: But one thing led to another and it became an affair. TERESA GRIFFIN: It became-- well, it didn't actually even become an affair. That did happen. The sexual thing did happen. But this person, I confided in him as a friend to talk about Doug. And when I realized that he's not going to talk to me and he's not going to take care of his own problems, then I moved out. And then I had the affair. OPRAH WINFREY: Do you want the marriage to be saved? Absolutely. OPRAH WINFREY: You do. I want my family. It horrifies me to think that I could move back in with him. It absolutely scares me. But I want my family, not even so much him. But I want my family. I want a healthy family. He is my family. He's all I have. OPRAH WINFREY: But it horrifies you, the thought of moving back. TERESA GRIFFIN: Well, we had a lot of problems. No, I'm not. I've saved every dime. I am not-- that is-- that-- that has nothing to do with it. I'm working. I'm supporting my son. You're-- He gives me child support and alimony. And I have $1,000 saved. I've only been out two months. And he-- and I work full-time. I have my son in daycare. I pay for that. I pay for everything. And I've always budgeted the money. He-- he's terrible with money. That was one of our main problems. He bounced checks. He made purchases behind my back, took out loans. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. You're shaking your head because-- And never even consulted me. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: I'm bad. OPRAH WINFREY: Well, here are some of the warning signs of a cheating mate. We'll be right back. [theme music] I think some of the warning signs in a relationship that one of the partners might be having an outside relationship are vagueness, remoteness, strange changes in schedule, such as longer hours, a diminution of sexual desire, increased anger or criticism. They suddenly are losing a lot of weight and working out and all that. Sometimes, you do wonder, like, what's-- what's going on here? Why is this person suddenly looking as though they're getting prepared for a single life? There is no marriage that is immune to an affair. But most marriages can survive one. Only 10% of the married men who cheat end up divorcing. My next guest says that he has a proven plan for restoring trust and love to a marriage. He is a counseling specialist and the author of "How to Save Your Marriage From an Affair." Please welcome Dr. Ron Edell. We're glad to have you here. Before you speak, this gentleman here had something to say. Stand up. I'd like to hear you say it. One of the things that really galls me about this whole bit is he messed up and she messed up. But it's his fault and it's his fault. And I don't think that's right. She has to-- no, I'm sorry. If you had an affair on your husband, you took the vow. TERESA GRIFFIN: I take full responsibility. MAN 1: Hey, you took the vow before God and before a group of people to love, honor-- DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: That's right. But there's so much anger built up in me right now. And I made a mistake. MAN 1: Oh, hey, I understand anger, man. My wife cheated on me with my best friend, too. I know exactly how you feel. And it's not easy. And the thing that really, really burns is when people say, if he had an affair, he was pulling something macho. If she has an affair, he was a bad husband. And that's wrong. That's not right. I don't think I was a bad husband. And that is-- and that is because of our double standard. Is it not, Dr. Edell? RON EDELL: That's very true. What you're seeing here right now is as I was watching in the green room, I noticed that you're very, very caught up in holding your feelings back. And you're really not communicating to your wife at all. And that doesn't do anything for you. You don't let him speak, and you speak for him constantly. How can the man communicate to you if you don't give him an opportunity? I'd like to know what you feel, what you really feel inside, instead of just going inside and going like this. What do you really feel about what happened? You were raped. I'm angry, really angry. That's a word. What do you feel? Do you feel devastated? Do you feel-- Yeah, devastated, you know, like, hey my life-- I've got to start my life over again. There's nothing-- you know, what happened to my life? I had a nice life at one time, I thought. And now, it's all suddenly gone.

It's gone. Well, it's gone only if you choose to have it gone. I mean, what's underneath the anger? Do you know? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: No, not at the moment. RON EDELL: You might love her. You might not. That I'm not sure of right at the moment. It's gone. Well, it's gone only if you choose to have it gone. I mean, what's underneath the anger? Do you know? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: No, not at the moment. RON EDELL: You might love her. You might not. That I'm not sure of right at the moment. I-- I-- probably deep down, I love her. But right now, I don't love her at the moment. RON EDELL: OK, that's important. Why are you so afraid to let your anger out at her? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Because I'm not really sure on that one. RON EDELL: OK. Will you do something for me? Will you do something? Will you tell her how you feel when you think about her touching another man? Look her in the eye and tell her. Angry. RON EDELL: What else? Hurt inside. I mean, you know, I'm just-- RON EDELL: Look her in the eye and tell her. Feel angry about it. RON EDELL: How does that make you feel? How does that make you feel? Hurt that I could do what I did. RON EDELL: Now, that's talking to him softly with feeling. That's different than before. Is it not? Is her voice different? DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Mm-hmm. When you see her in this soft mode, what does it do to you? Does it make you feel differently than when she's being aggressive and dominant and telling you what to say and how to feel? No, I still feel the same way toward her, I mean, at moment. I just-- RON EDELL: At the moment, I can understand. But this is a different form. And it makes it easy for you to express yourself. How do you feel about walking away from a marriage with a child? Oh, I'm-- I'm hurt, crushed, because I love my son dearly. I don't want him to grow up in an unhappy environment. You know, the two of us together at the time were so unhappy, you know? And I don't want him seeing that. And I got to be happy myself before I can-- before I can go on my life. And I wasn't happy in that relationship even before she had the affair. Did you ever seek help? No. Well, how can you make a decision of something so important when you have a child not to seek help? You said earlier, you might love her underneath the anger. You're walking around like a volcano-- very unhealthy to carry all of that garbage and that weight. And you can't possibly have an effective relationship. If your wife was in some form of substance abuse, there was a problem that heightened and amplified the other communication problems. And you might have a marriage that has conceivably great possibilities to work if you give it a chance. And you work through your anger, you can effectively bond. To give up is easy. OPRAH WINFREY: But he doesn't know whether he wants to give up or not. RON EDELL: He knows. He knows deep inside he doesn't want to leave. It's very evident. He's holding it in, and that denial prevents him from taking ownership of what he really would like. And they definitely need to get some professional help. Without that, the marriage will not survive. And he has to deal with his child after that. Certainly, what she did is wrong. And it's a tremendous violation of trust and a breach. But if you have to look beyond that and say, where are you going, if you give this an opportunity to change and then you walk, then you know for sure. And you can leave with dignity and respect and always let your child know, I gave it my best. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. When we come back, I want to talk about I think a feeling that is shared by most people who have been betrayed in an affair, the rage. How do you get over the rage? We'll be back. [theme music] Saving your marriage from an affair-- the question I think that comes up with most couples is the rage. I mean, and it really is just a raging, angry craziness that comes over you. How do you get over that? The explosivity doesn't go away at all until a person chooses to really vent their feelings, which is very, very difficult. The reason people tend to deny is out of fear. My marriage will end. What will I do? The economics of it, the children-- many, many excuses. We heard when Francis was talking, the children. I took my vows. But what does that do to her inside? It keeps her stuck in a situation where she's filled with tremendous explosive anger. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: She exploded. OPRAH WINFREY: But she also wants to-- I mean, and I hear this time and again, though. I hear it over and over, that once it happens, people want to stay together because they want to save their family. RON EDELL: Well, that's a poor excuse, because you can't save a family until you save yourself. OPRAH WINFREY: Yep. You're walking around in prison. OPRAH WINFREY: But why is that a poor excuse, though, because a lot of what-- both Teresa and Francis have said, I want my child to grow up in a home with a family, a normal family. They don't want a broken family. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Is it better to stay together unhappy or be separated and happy? Together, we fought like cats and dogs half the time. RON EDELL: You should have made your marriage work, though. You never put the energy in to communicate and do the things. You don't know that. That's speculation on your behalf. So you're choosing to give up a family before you effort.

DALE BORCHERDING: We fight like cats and dogs. I mean, that's why we're trying to work things out. I mean, you've got to make an attempt to-- you know, if you-- just-- just because you fight don't mean you throw away a marriage. TERESA GRIFFIN: I think it does boil down to self-esteem. DALE BORCHERDING: We fight like cats and dogs. I mean, that's why we're trying to work things out. I mean, you've got to make an attempt to-- you know, if you-- just-- just because you fight don't mean you throw away a marriage. TERESA GRIFFIN: I think it does boil down to self-esteem. And I think that if two people have low self-esteem, there is no way you can have a marriage. RON EDELL: You have to restore your dignity, without question. Exactly. What I heard from you was that I heard you really in a thought pattern. I heard Francis really communicating feelings and her pain. It didn't appear to me that you were being sensitive. I saw you holding her hand and just like, OK, I was drinking. Therefore, this justifies the act. And that's an excuse. Many, many situations in infidelity occur through drug abuse, substance abuse. And that's ridiculous. If you say to me, I'm sorry to my wife, what does that really mean? Why is she still hurting so badly? Why is it that she is putting the children before herself? What about her own dignity? What about her own self-respect? What about her femininity? Did you ask her how her femininity is since this happened? DALE BORCHERDING: No. Try it. How do you feel about your femininity? Try it. How do you feel about your "feminity," "femidilty"? RON EDELL: Femininity since he cheated on you? That's a hard question because when I saw her, I felt I was no good. RON EDELL: Exactly. I was no good at all. RON EDELL: How do you re-own that feeling of being OK? OPRAH WINFREY: What made you feel that you were no good? Why? You thought she was cuter than you or something? No, I've always been self-conscious of my breasts. And when I saw her-- So that created a-- OPRAH WINFREY: Hubbida-hubbida-hubbida. Yeah, I think I got you. Yeah. Yeah. Let her finish. It hurt bad because he knows how I feel about myself. OPRAH WINFREY: So you thought that he went out and chose her because of her breasts. She does. Not only that. I mean, he chose her and asked her to come back. She was maybe more petite. RON EDELL: So your self-image is the issue for you to a great extent, on top of the infidelity. But those problems existed before he had the infidelity, obviously. They were just dormant and was brought up by this situation. Right. You have to look at that as something that predisposed him possibly. OPRAH WINFREY: Now, let me finish this, because I do want to address the question. You say the way to get rid of the rage is-- RON EDELL: To actually vent and really let it go, to speak the unspeakable. And when people just get angry and they're yelling and screaming, it's not what I'm speaking about. In reality, Francis probably would want to know what happened. Each detail, they want to know the whole laundry list of what happened from A to Z. DALE BORCHERDING: She asked that. RON EDELL: I'm sorry? DALE BORCHERDING: She did. She asked. She wanted to know everything. So that's good or not good? RON EDELL: That's good, because if not, those questions lie in the mind forever and a day. You've got to get it cleaned out, completely cleansed. OPRAH WINFREY: And you give them more power than they have-- RON EDELL: Exactly-- Because what you create in your mind is-- RON EDELL: 100 times more amplified than the actual reality. So the way to get rid of the rage is to let it go, is to be able to be allowed. Now, what if you're in a situation where the person who's been cheated on, be it male or female, says, look, I did it. I'm sorry. I don't want to hear it anymore. RON EDELL: Then you have to look at the situation. You really have to have the strength to say, I want a separation. I want to leave, because it's a dead-end street at that particular point, because that person is feeling justified in their infidelity and is really saying, I don't care about you and your feelings. It's a dead-end street. All you can do is be frustrated, wounded, and hurt. OPRAH WINFREY: So the person who did the cheating has to be willing to hear it and hear it and hear it and hear it again, until that person has vented. RON EDELL: And it could take a week. It could take a year. It could take months. It doesn't matter. If you're going to make the relationship work, you must purge and cleanse yourself and get it all out until there is nothing left, because you can never ever overcome an affair. You can only come to terms with it. OPRAH WINFREY: OK. Next, the couple who are raising the husband's child of an affair and what you can do about the other woman. Back in a moment. [theme music] You can't do away with the other woman. She was there. She is a reality. Most women say, I don't even want to know about her. I don't want to deal with it. Forget about it. You can't just erase her.

The other woman is as much your problem as it is his. Don't say to a guy, if you'll-- you never can see her again. If you offer an ultimatum, the chances are it will backfire. The other woman is as much your problem as it is his. Don't say to a guy, if you'll-- you never can see her again. If you offer an ultimatum, the chances are it will backfire. When Ann married Joe, she never dreamed that someday, her wonderful husband would have an affair with her best friend and from the affair would come a child. Their marriage has survived against all of those odds. We're glad to have you join the show. You knew-- when did you know that your best friend was having an affair with your husband? How'd you find out? How did I find out? OPRAH WINFREY: Mm-hmm. Eventually, he called me at work and had me meet him so that he could tell me. He didn't quite get to tell me, though, because where I met him, I opened his car door to get in. And her wallet fell out on my feet. And so I knew immediately. You knew. ANN CHUNESTUDY: Uh-huh. Well, had the best friend still been coming around you being your best friend? Yes, she had. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: Her friend's nice. RON EDELL: That's an extremely common pattern. OPRAH WINFREY: I hear about this. RON EDELL: Always. It's amazing to me. OPRAH WINFREY: But I always say then that wasn't a best friend, because I could not-- I couldn't conceive of that for a best-- you weren't really best friends. RON EDELL: You only know that after the fact, though. DOUGLAS GRIFFIN: How are you supposed to tell if someone's-- you know, you think you're good friends with this person. Then they do this to you. You know, it's going, yeah, take the knock to me. ANN CHUNESTUDY: Well, we went places together. We did things together. We talked to each other. OPRAH WINFREY: Was it your best, best friend? ANN CHUNESTUDY: Yes. She was the only person that I felt I could confide in about the problems we were having. FRANCIS BORCHERDING: She didn't know. RON EDELL: You never suspected anything? You never saw the way she might have looked at your husband or anything of that nature? You never saw anything? If you look back now in retrospect, are there things you recognize at that time now? Oh, yes. Uh-huh. RON EDELL: But not at the time, because you didn't want to see it, obviously. - Right. No, you go through a period of denial, where you don't want to believe that your husband could do something like this with your best friend. I mean-- RON EDELL: That's where your senses get really numb because in denial. Well, I would say your senses would be numb because I would-- you don't know anything anymore. I mean, if my best friend ended up in bed with-- I'm not married. But I would-- or if I ended up in bed with her husband, I would say, bring on the straightjackets. Take me away now. I mean-- because it would mean I don't know anything about anything anymore. Who I thought I was, I'm not that person or anything anymore. - Right. I didn't-- OPRAH WINFREY: So I'm sure you go through all of that. Yeah. I didn't think I knew either one of them anymore. I didn't think I knew myself. OPRAH WINFREY: Right. Basically, I couldn't believe this was all happening, you know? And-- OPRAH WINFREY: And she was pregnant, too. Well, she-- she became pregnant after I found out about the affair. OPRAH WINFREY: Now, who-- oh my goodness. ANN CHUNESTUDY: Because he continued the affair. Because he then continued the affair. And you all are sitting here holding hands. Well-- ANN CHUNESTUDY: That's because-- I believe anything now. That's because-- ANN CHUNESTUDY: Because we both really love each other. And at the point where he had the affair, we were having hard times in our marriage. And we didn't know how to handle those-- those times. I mean, I became a ragging nag like you wouldn't believe. RON EDELL: What were those hard times about? OPRAH WINFREY: What were the hard times about? Yeah. We were separating in our lives. She started working, and there were a lot of single people. And they would go partying. And-- and she wanted to go partying without me. RON EDELL: Did that threaten you? Pardon? RON EDELL: Did that threaten you? Yeah, it did. Until that point, there was no-- you know, we did everything together. RON EDELL: Did you have a fear she was going to cheat on you? I was convinced she was. That's why I did it. RON EDELL: So you did a retaliatory thing in some sense? And she told him that I was. Yeah, she-- she told me that-- you know, one night they came in after 4 o'clock. I knew the bars had been closed at 2:00. And she said-- RON EDELL: You were set up. You were set up real good. JOE CHUNESTUDY: Yeah. You had a pro. We'll continue this story in just a moment. Back in a moment. [theme music] And so the best friend became pregnant after you found out about the affair because the affair continued. And you are now-- the both of you are raising that child. Yes, that is correct. OPRAH WINFREY: How did that happen? Well, the child-- she would refuse to let me see the child for the first six months. And then it was just intermittent, here and there, that I got visitation. And her sister called me and said that they had some pictures to show us of some abuse that was going on with the child. So we took that to the police. And then events-- we found out there was more abuse going on in the house and neglect. And we took her to court and got custody of the child.

Now, was there a point when you and the best friend confronted him? Yes, there was. Yes. At that point, he had moved upstairs. He refused to leave. I had tried to get him to leave, OK? Now, was there a point when you and the best friend confronted him? Yes, there was. Yes. At that point, he had moved upstairs. He refused to leave. I had tried to get him to leave, OK? Believe me. And-- OPRAH WINFREY: Why wouldn't you leave? JOE CHUNESTUDY: My house, too. She wanted to be away, I figured she could live. OK. So you couldn't get him to leave and-- Well, he was upstairs asleep. And she called and wanted to talk to him. And basically, what I did was I told her. I said, you know, he's lying to you and he's lying to me. And I think we ought to do something about that. He's got to make a decision on whether he wants me or he wants you, because I can't put up with this anymore. And I basically talked her into coming over and confronting him. He was still asleep upstairs. And he woke up to find both of us sitting there in front of him going, OK, what's it going to be? OPRAH WINFREY: Surprise, surprise. And so you obviously chose your wife. JOE CHUNESTUDY: Yeah. OPRAH WINFREY: You said then, I want my wife. And the other woman left. The best friend left. And that was it? No. No. As she walked out the door, she told me to call her. OPRAH WINFREY: Oh. So he did. OPRAH WINFREY: So he did. How then-- OK. This-- this brings the question. How do you ever trust him? How do you ever trust him? It took a while. This-- this all happened in 1986. And it took at least a year before the first thought in my mind if he was two minutes late home from work wasn't, OK, is he back over there fooling around? OPRAH WINFREY: That's an interesting point, because I think that the people who really cheat the best are the ones who are never late. They don't change their patterns. They don't get-- they don't change their hairdos. They don't get new underwear. They don't go out and get new cologne. RON EDELL: They wear the same boxer shorts all the time. Wear the same kind every day, and they never change their schedule. And you never know. RON EDELL: That's correct, because those are-- OPRAH WINFREY: The sloppy ones are the ones who are changing their hair and singing in the rain, you know? Let me ask you. ANN CHUNESTUDY: He was sloppy. I mean, notes from her in his pocket. RON EDELL: But he wanted to get caught. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. RON EDELL: You see, he wanted to get caught. What happened to your perception of the girlfriend after you made the decision? How did you see her versus your feelings about her before? You obviously had some very negative feelings about her that made you decide to stay with your wife. Well, she started giving indications that she was cheating on me. So I just-- RON EDELL: What indications? Oh, just, you know, dates that we had made, rendezvous that she wouldn't make and then finding out later that she was with other people. RON EDELL: Is that what made you end it? Pretty much, yeah. I just realized how stupid it was all being. And you know, I also had two children that came into it. RON EDELL: What would have happened if she was not cheating on you and she was the ideal person? Well, she wasn't an ideal person. So I-- OPRAH WINFREY: See, this would be ticking me off right now if it was me, because I would want him to say, I-- I decided that you were the person for me and I was all wrong and not, oh, she didn't work out. And so now, I'm back here. But I'll let you address that when we come back. Back in a moment. [theme music] Every marriage that goes through an affair goes through its own aftermath. It's sort of like the stages of grieving, is it not? RON EDELL: That's very, very true. There's a strong process at first of deep hurt, deep pain. Then we move into a mourning process. And the idea of this whole process is to try to get back to a bond stronger than before. There has to be a strong commitment on both parties. And we can see conflicts here as we look across the board at these couples. And here, we see a situation where he doesn't want to really feel. If I take my hand and I go like this, he's going to feel something immediately. Yet when it comes to Francis, he's not giving her the kind of feeling she needs. When she spoke before about her breasts, there should have been a conversation on his behalf at home about implants, something to give her the value, what she wants to feel in her body. - There was. There was. We talked about it quite a bit. RON EDELL: Well, why didn't you get her to go? Money. RON EDELL: You can talk, and you can work something out. You can pay something out. They have plans like that. If it's that important to her, you as the man should be in touch with those feelings and support her in a loving way. From an emotional standpoint, think about if your penis was really tiny, how you would feel. One of the most important words in the infidelity vocabulary is "remorse." Again, it must be connected to an emotion. The lady-- OPRAH WINFREY: And that's why that upset me, because that isn't remorse. That is, oh, it didn't work out with her. So I'm back here. Exactly. OPRAH WINFREY: You know, that's what it sounded like. That may not be the truth, but it didn't sound remorseful to me. Vocally, that's right. OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. Yeah. What'd you want to say? Yes. WOMAN 2: I had a question for the lady there. I realize that it wasn't the fault of the child. But how can you look every day at the child and not feel a sense of resentment, you know? How can-- what do you do to stop-- To not take it out on the child? Yes. I feel like this. The child is a product of what two adults did. She has no blame or fault herself. If you could see the child, it would be easier for you to understand. She's beautiful, bright, intelligent, loving. And how can you hold what two adults did against a child like that? OPRAH WINFREY: Yeah. Edell-- RON EDELL: That's true. That's true. And that's a beautiful, beautiful thought. As that child gets older, there are other children in that family. The other children will tend to resent. And it's very hard not to have a constant reminder if there is some situation that prevails that provokes some of the old memories in their marriage. OPRAH WINFREY: Absolutely. We'll be right back. [theme music] We're talking today with Dr. Edell about his book, "How to Save Your Marriage From an Affair." You wanted to say what? The thing that the doctor said about getting the rage out is very important because that's the only thing that saved our marriage. He listened to me scream and be abusive and thing-- I thought I was losing my mind. I didn't think I was capable of being that cruel. RON EDELL: That's great, though. But it's the only thing that saved it was him listening to it and coming back home and putting up with hearing it again and again. And it's been since December. And we really don't talk about it until I heard the show coming on. But I mean, we talk about it. But we don't fight about it. That's great. That shows you have a great deal of love that was there to begin with to be able to go through that. And it says a lot about you to be able to allow her that opportunity to express her feelings. And that's the key, and I thank you for saying that. [theme music]

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