There’s no denying that Ryan Edwards of Teen Mom fame is a deeply, deeply troubled man. And has been for years.
But unlike so many other Teen Mom baby daddies, Ryan at least has moments where it seems that he wants to do better.
Those moments might be few and far between, but "troubled" Ryan benefits from comparisons to dads like David Eason.
You know, people who are actively evil.
That said, we can certainly see why Maci Bookout would want to prevent her eldest son, Bentley, from spending time with Ryan.
In addition to the fact that Ryan has been arrested numerous times in recent years, his life has been ravaged by drug addiction.
Beyond that, there are times when he’s either totally inconsiderate of others or just flat-out mean to the people in his life.
Fans were shocked by Teen Mom OG scenes in which Ryan bullied Bentley, and it seems that Maci was no less appalled.
She’d been putting up with Ryan not showing up for his kid for years. Then when he does show up, bullying ensues.
For Maci, that behavior from Ryan (pictured with current wife Mackenzie Standifer, below) was the final straw.
Remember, Bookout had already been put to the test by her former lover on countless occasions – and we’re not talking about ways that all exes in the midst of co-parenting are tested.
At one point, Maci was forced to file for a restraining order against Ryan for her own safety, a move that she says "caused a lot of strain between our families."
And so, she made the difficult decision to strip Ryan of the right to visit Bentley.
Maci made that call several months ago, and it seems she has no regrets.
"I couldn’t tell you the last time the words, ‘I wanna see my dad’ came out of his mouth," Bookout said on Tuesday’s season premiere of Teen Mom OG.
According to Maci, Bentley feels that he’s better off without his dad in his life.
However, the 11-year-old would be willing to give Ryan a second chance … on one condition:
"He doesn’t want to see his dad anymore unless he gets therapy," Maci said.
Ryan, meanwhile stated that he has no intention of reaching out to Maci.
Why? Because by reaching out in order to work out a compromise, he feels he would be accomplishing nothing, given that "she did an order of protection with about 30 lies last time."
As a result, he says he doesn’t "feel the need to speak to her and bring some of that back in my life again."’
Of course, "go to therapy, damnit!" is a pretty unusual demand for a 11-year-old adolescent boy to make.
Which is one reason that a lot of people – including Ryan’s parents – think Maci is secretly behind the ultimatum.
"Sometimes it’s pretty easy to convince children and bend their minds how you want it." Larry Edwards said, in conversation with Ryan.
The emotional episode concluded with Maci speaking with Bentley (and a television crew) about the situation.
She asked him if anyone in Ryan’s family had mentioned the therapy compromise, and Bentley said no.
She then asked if he felt that the Edwards family had been "respecting what you’ve said," to which he also replied no.
Bentley added that he hoped therapy would help "work things out between us, and I would get to see him more."
The conversation seemed to have taken a heavy emotional toll on Maci.
Ultimately, she decided to take action. But not in a way that you might have expected even half an hour earlier.
Bookout simply went ahead and made an appointment on Ryan’s behalf and told him where and when to show up.
Yes, she went from filing a restraining order against Ryan to making his doctor’s appointments.
If that’s enough to make your head spin, you’re not alone.
And the sad part is, there are children involved in this situation.
With all the mixed messages he’s receiving from the adults in his life, we’re pretty sure Bentley’s gonna need therapy of his own.