Betty and Dan’s marriage is tested while Dan works day and night to build his solo practice in Episode 203 of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story. But when Betty finally gets to enjoy the luxuries that come from his (or technically, their) hard work and sacrifice, she learns that the rules of the game do not work in her favor.
Betty is disappointed to learn that she’s the only one of their friends who’s willing to support Yvonne through her divorce from Martin. While Karen and Evelyn cave to what’s expected of them as dutiful wives by attending Martin’s sudden wedding to another woman, Betty refuses to go. She is even more upset that Dan is willing to turn a blind eye to Martin’s hurtful and humiliating actions—and that’s without knowing how much Dan has been privy to Martin’s behind-the-scenes maneuverings.
Climbing the Ladder
Betty is still wide-eyed about the little luxuries they now get to enjoy as a result of Dan’s solo practice beginning to take off, such as regularly going to a popular but very expensive restaurant that their crowd and Dan’s potential clients frequent. However, unlike Betty, Dan doesn’t want to dwell on the sacrifices they made to get there—or even let anyone know that they had to struggle. He’s still more concerned about optics than the truth and tells Betty to keep those details under wraps.
After sensing that Dan’s attentions have drifted away from her, Betty suggests they attend a marriage counseling session with the priest from their church. To Betty’s dismay, Dan admits that he has lost his faith in religion, but agrees to attend the session. During their “Marriage Encounter,” Betty takes a major leap by confessing her grievances about their relationship, while harshly criticizing herself for not being perfect. She holds her breath while she waits for Dan’s response. To her relief, Dan admits that he has prioritized building their nest egg over spending meaningful time with her and the kids. He promises to do more to make her feel happy and secure, so that she knows the sacrifice was worth it, because she deserves love. Betty is overjoyed and for a while, their relationship is more loving.
As Dan’s law practice expands, so too do the credit card bills. Betty giddily shops for clothes and gifts, redecorates the house, and evaluates beach clubs. But Betty isn’t the only one who’s indulging: Dan buys an expensive new car and custom-made European shirts and suits. Betty finally gets her sectional sofa—the one she said during Marriage Encounter that they “needed” so Dan could sit with her—but most nights she still finds herself sitting alone.
“Something with an L”
When Betty overhears Dan talking to Mitch about a “beautiful” woman in his office building, her radar goes off. Later that night, she asks him about the woman in question, but the details he provides don’t add up. So she goes to the office to do some recon and discovers that the receptionist he mentioned, Linda, is in fact beautiful. Soon after, Dan announces that he has finally hired an assistant—Linda. Knowing that a receptionist is not qualified for that position, Betty gives Dan an ultimatum. “Get rid of her before the end of the month or get out of this house,” Betty warns. But Dan doesn’t fire Linda. When Betty confronts him, he tells her that he’s the one who makes the decisions at his practice, not her. “I pay for your life….So if anyone’s going to be getting out...it's you.”