Teen Mom fans have looked on with frustration as Gary Shirley supported Amber Portwood.after she made Andrew Glennon's life into a horror show.
In a statement released directly to fans, Gary is trying to explain why he's siding with a woman who, after all, pleaded guilty to her crime.
Last July, Andrew Glennon had the fright of his life.
He accused Amber of losing her mind with anger and striking him with a shoe while he held their baby.
At one point, Amber was allegedly wielding a machete, making a scary situation that much worse -- and all because of botched July 4th plans.
Amber pleaded guilty to the domestic violence. But why is her ex, fellow victim Gary Shirley, so firmly in her corner?
Gary Shirley left his statement in the form of an Instagram comment below the official Teen Mom Instagram, knowing that fans would see it.
"In support of Leah," he begins, "having both her parents is very important.”
“Amber’s happiness is a huge key to her children’s happiness," Gary explains.
Right or not, we all know that many children are unhappy when their mothers are unhappy.
"Amber comes over regularly with James for visits to see Leah and our family," Gary describes.
"When James sees Leah," he reveals, "his eyes get big and he runs to her…"
Gary shares that "Amber is always saying, ‘Are you sure you don’t mind? I don’t want to intrude.’"
"However," he adds, "we encourage her to visit."
As Gary's post continues, he makes it clear thet there are added benefits for everyone when Amber visits.
'And," he shares, "this also gives us a chance to see little man (baby James.)"
"Amber made some heller mistakes," Gary acknowledges.
That is a bit of an understatement.
Gary admits that Amber made some catastrophic mistkaes "and is PAYING for them."
Is she? We only ask because she struck a deal to avoid prison time.
2.5 years of probation for domestic violence would be a joke ... except that it's not funny.
"And," Gary insists, Amber is "getting the help she needs."
"And for that I’m thankful,” Gary affirms.
He proclaims that “She knows this CAN’T happen again."
Did she not know that the last time, when MTV's own cameras filmed her striking Gary himself?
People make mistakes. Domestic violence is not a mistake -- it's an evil deed, but Amber is getting yet another chance.
"My support doesn’t mean I condone her actions towards Andrew," Gary emphasizes.
He correctly proclaims that "Domestic violence is NEVER OK."
"In the end I want to know I did everything I could to help my daughter & James," Gary explains.
He opines that "Supporting their mother HAS to be part of that."
"I’m proud of the steps Amber has taken for herself and for her kids," Gary announces.
He concludes by praising that "She has come a long way."
It sounds like Gary has thought about this a great deal.
But, if we read between the lines, is he telling fans something else?
Some fans took a good, hard look at his words and concluded that Gary feels like his hands are tied.
In order to see James and for Leah and James to have healthy sibling interactions, he feels like he has to be on Amber's good side.
Since the courts failed to lock her away, it falls on Gary to make the tough call -- to side with her for the sake of the kids.
We don't know that Gary sees it that way, but the characterization seems to be pretty fair.
There is, of course, nothing to say that Andrew Glennon couldn't bring James by for a visit.
Sure, Leah isn't his kid, but people in much stranger situations than this family's have made sure that siblings have playdates.
That's likely what Gary and Andrew would have relied upon had Amber been locked away with other violent criminals.
But since she's on probation, fans imagine that Gary chose the path of least resistance and stayed in her corner.
Andrew loves his son and wants to ensure that James has the best possible upbringing.
He has described Amber's demeanor during the harrowing incident from July as monstrous and frightening.
It particularly disturbed him that Amber chose to strike him even while he held the baby.
Domestic violence is always a horror, but endangering a child during the process is more alarming.
The hope is that Amber can ensure that this never, ever happens again through therapy.
There is no question that she loves her children, but it takes more than love (or money) to provide a stable, healthy environment.
In time, Andrew and Amber may get along as well as she is getting on with Gary, and it will be for James' sake.
For the moment, Andrew is still processing his trauma. As with all survivors, it will take time for him to heal and recover.