Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Ryan Edwards has suffered tremendously during his years on MTV’s Teen Mom OG.
Although it’s worth noting that most of that suffering was self-created.
Edwards has been arrested; he’s gone to rehab; he’s gotten married in a bizarre parking lot wedding he may not even remember.
He’s even lost the right to visit his eldest son, a development that caused him to go months without even laying eyes on the boy.
Through it all, Edwards has maintained an unfeeling exterior, acting as though he’s unbothered by the many troubled he’s seen.
On last night’s episode of Teen Mom OG, Ryan doubled down on his tough guy act – and it’s not likely to win him any fans.
It all started when Edwards’ eldest son, Bentley, that he wanted to begin seeing a therapist, largely as a result of the trauma he’s suffered due to his relationship (or lack thereof) with Ryan.
Upon hearing this news, his mother, Maci Bookout, contacted her longtime Teen Mom co-star Tyler Baltierra to seek his advice.
"That, by itself, I think is amazing," Tyler said.
"When I was young and I was a boy, I knew my mom didn’t care if I talked about my dad, but I knew it wasn’t her favorite thing to talk about."
"I would keep it in."
"I want him to be able to figure out how he feels, what’s behind his anger, the sad," said Maci. "It’s such a big deal for a kid."
Ryan, of course, was far less open to his son’s mental health needs.
In fact, he doubted that his son had asked to see a therapist and alleged that the whole thing was Maci Bookout’s idea.
"Maci had come to mom and said that Bentley wanted us to do counseling. If he says that’s how he feels, that’s fine," he said.
"But is it all your momma’s bull—t? I don’t know which one it is."
Edwards went on to say that he feels Maci – who has primarily raised the boy – is a negative influence in his son’s life.
"I’m tired of having made-up stories and lies and problems, I’m over that. I’m not gonna do it," he continued.
"If I continue to play into this shit, we’ll have a damn problem. I feel sorry for Bentley that he has to grow up like that and grow up with that kind of person raising him," Ryan went on.
"I’m sure it’s just gonna be worse and worse."
The therapist, meanwhile, stated that Bentley "seems to feel neglected by his father and he has a hard time knowing what to do about it."
"It’s a difficult thing for a kid to feel that they need to teach their dad how to be a dad, that’s not their job," the therapist continued.
"It does seem like there’s some very real emotional needs Ryan isn’t meeting in Bentley."
"He’s not going to give the attention and interest in his life that Bentley naturally needs and wants from his biological father."
Meanwhile, Jen and Larry Edwards tried to play both sides of the fence by expressing their love for Bentley, while ultimately siding with Ryan.
"I think Ryan needs to be honest and talk to him to help Bentley understand what has been happening all these years," explained Larry.
"Ryan loves Bentley more than you can ever imagine."
While Larry recognized the necessity of Ryan taking a more active role in his son’s life, it seems he also remained firm in his belief that it’s Ryan who needs to be protected in all of this, not Bentley:
In this surprising clip, Jen and Larry shocked fans by revealing that their loyalty is to Ryan, no matter what he does.
The revelation was met with an overwhelmingly negative response from fans.
"Wow I always loved Jen & Larry smh definitely look at them differently now," wrote one commenter on the Teen Tom Tea Instagram page.
"This whole entire scene was disgusting. Ryan really did manipulate his parents into thinking he was right this whole time," another wrote.
"Wow. Maci did nothing wrong. It was all Ryan!!! Maybe Benny is better off without that part of his family in his life," a third chimed in.
All we have to say here is that we’re exhausted and sad, and we’re not even the ones in the middle of this cascading drama.
The idea of Ryan not being in Bentley’s life at all sounds like such a harsh way to resolve the situation … but will it come to that?
More and more, it looks like it might be the only way.
It’s a sad situation, but it’s one that was created entirely by Ryan and his too-permissive parents.