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If you’re a Teen Mom 2 fan, then by now, you’ve likely caught wind of this week’s shocking development.

After a full decade of sharing her life with fans, Chelsea Houska is leaving the show that made her famous in order to focus on her family and her other business pursuits.

Chelsea Houska and Cole DeBoer as a Pair
Photo via Instagram

Of course, that’s the official reason provided in Chelsea’s farewell address.

But it’s not hard to see why fans might think there’s more to the story.

After all, TM2 only films for a few months a year, and both Chelsea and her husband, Cole DeBoer, earned upwards of $400,000 a season.

Chelsea Houska Kisses Cole
Photo via Instagram

Generally one doesn’t walk away from that sort of cash simply because the gig is a bit too time-consuming.

So Mrs. Houska-DeBoer and her family have been under greater scrutiny than ever this week as fans attempt to answer one very intriguing question:

Why would Chelsea quit a show that’s provided her with wealth and fame far beyond the imaginings of most South Dakota housewives?

Chelsea Houska on Insta

The earliest theories had to do with Chelsea’s eldest daughter, Aubree.

Chelsea has been accused of exploiting Aubree in order to add drama to her Teen Mom 2 storylines.

Viewers accused Houska of creating false conflict with Aubree’s father, Adam Lind, so that producers would have something to focus on other than her life of domestic contentment.

Photo via Instagram

This gave rise to a different theory, which held that the Aubree storylines attracted negative attention to Cole, who was seen by some as having overstepped his bounds as Aubree’s stepfather by attempting to take the place of her biological father.

In the past, Cole has spoken of his desire to adopt Aubree, but he was widely praised for his comments.

More recent episodes drew a mixed response, as some viewers felt that Cole hoped to crowd Adam out of Aubree’s life entirely.

Photo via Instagram

But a new report from The Ashley’s Reality Roundup puts those rumors to rest.

Insiders have confirmed to The Ashley that Cole and Chelsea reached the decision to quit well before the current slate of episodes aired.

That means that the current criticism of Cole could not have been a factor (although it probably serves as confirmation to the couple that they made the right decision).

Cole and Aubree Go Fishing
Photo via Instagram

“Chelsea was actually quite shocked when she saw people speculating that the negativity toward Cole had anything to do with that decision,” a source close to the situation told The Ashley.

“She wants Aubree to go into her teenage years with privacy, and not be on reality TV anymore. If Chelsea were to do any more television shows in the future, she would not do anything about her personal life.” 

So while criticism of Cole did not enter into the decision, it seems that increased scrutiny of Aubree did factor in:

Photo via Instagram

“Chelsea was becoming more and more concerned about Aubree being on-camera, now that she’s older,” says the insider.

“Chelsea didn’t like that her segments were becoming more and more about Aubree’s personal life and her relationship with Adam’s family. She always knew she would leave the show once Aubree reached a certain age," the source adds.

"She didn’t want her to go through puberty on-camera and be subjected to hurtful and sometimes creepy comments from viewers.

Cole DeBoer. Chelsea Houska. Happiness.
Photo via Instagram

When she announced her departure, Chelsea was careful to note that she and Cole had made the decision jointly:

"MTV’s ‘Teen Mom 2’ has been a big part of my life for almost 11 years. After much thought and discussion with my family and friends, Cole and I have decided that this season will be our last,” Chelsea wrote on Instagram.

“We are forever thankful to MTV and our crew, who are like family to us.”

Chelsea Houska and Cole DeBoer, Halloween
Photo via Instagram

She continued:

"We’re parting on the best of terms and will stay in touch long after this. We’re proud to have been able to share our story and are so grateful to the fans who have followed our journey from the beginning. 

"Our next chapter in life will focus on developing our brand and taking things to the next level with new endeavors and expanding family businesses.”

Sounds like Chelsea and Cole are stepping away from this job at just the right time and for all the right reasons.

We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.