Jen is 23, has a successful business and a healthy 3-year-old daughter. Some may say she appears to have it all. But Jen says her life is a mess. “I’m struggling to move forward with my ex-boyfriend, Chris, the father of our daughter,” Jen says. Jen says she and Chris have had a rocky relationship since their daughter was born. She claims he would take off and leave for months at a time, leaving her to raise the little girl as a single parent. She says they haven’t seen each other in almost a year and only recently started talking again. “Chris wants to be back. He wants to be a part of my life and our daughter’s life,” Jen says. “My feeling is if Chris wants a relationship with me, then he better go do what I told him from the start and be a co-parent.” In the video above, hear what Chris says about his relationship with Jen – and about his own behavior. On Thursday’s episode of Dr. Phil, hear from Jen’s father and her best friend and why they both say Jen should not be in a relationship with Chris. Are Jen and Chris able to move forward and learn to co-parent? Hear what Dr. Phil says he believes they both must do. Check local listings to see where you can watch "'My Dad Can’t Stand My Ex-Boyfriend.'" TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Hopelessly in need of Dr. Phil's Help?
- I'm struggling to move forward with my ex-boyfriend, Chris, the father of our daughter. Chris and I met when I was in high school and he was in college. After dating for about a year, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 19 years old and Chris was not too supportive of it. I just felt like I was dealing with a lot.
After our daughter was born, things were tough. Our relationship was a mess, trying to raise a daughter, Chris and I were constantly fighting. And my biggest thing was, don't yell in front of the baby, and he did. He would just take off. He would just leave for months at a time, just living his best life. He took zero responsibility for raising our daughter. I was doing it single-handedly. I was angry and I wanted nothing to do with Chris.
A few weeks ago, we started talking on the phone. Chris wants to be back, he wants to be a part of my life and our daughter's life. My feeling is if Chris wants a relationship with me, then he better go do what I told him from the start and be a co-parent. I just feel like I need Dr. Phil's advice, untangle this, and figure out how to move forward.
- Jen feels like she hit a brick wall in this co-parenting relationship. Chris says his door is still open for shared child rearing, but hopefully a whole lot more.
- My relationship with my ex-girlfriend, Jen, is extremely emotional and we jump from being best friends, soulmates, to worst enemies. At this moment, I have let go of all of our past and have been trying to move forward. Being apart from her made me look back and see how I contributed to the toxic aspects.
When I think about us three being together again, it makes me extremely happy. I've matured a lot emotionally and we don't fight nearly as much anymore. I'd be a great dad and a great influence on our daughter because I put her first at all times. I'd love to get married and have a future together. I'm in love with Jen and I just want to make things right.
- OK. Now, you two were never married, right? OK. And you've just been talking for the last few weeks.
- Yeah. Yes.
- And-- and how old is your daughter?
- She's three.
- She's three. OK. And Chris, when the baby was born, were you two in an active relationship at the time?
- OK. And-- but did you have an active relationship with the child?
- Yes, but it wasn't where it should have been. Things got really toxic at times and we went to court, where she tried getting custody of the child because I wasn't present enough and she felt that I wasn't a good dad. And now--
- You tried to get full custody?
- Yes, I did.
- And him just had visitation or not at all.
- I reached out multiple times. I said, be a co-parent with me. This is-- I literally warned him. I was like, one day, Chris, enough is going to be enough and I'm never going to come back. And I made that so clear to him. The day that I decided to leave, I left and-- yeah, I wanted full custody. He just-- you went out for three months, you were out frickin' partying, took, uh, cash advances out for strippers, you were just out living your best life, vacations, fancy big nice cars, being all flashy. You became all Instagram famous out of nowhere like-- and you like totally hated social media.
Like you just like-- like you were trying to play this act like you didn't care. I wrote the blueprint for you, how to be together again. Like be a dad. Why are you asking to see me? Why are you asking to see-- why aren't you asking about Aerie? You're asking to see me, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen.