Ryan Edwards has undergone a lot of changes recently.
In just the past six months Edwards has gone to rehab, overcome a life-threatening addiction, gotten married twice (same girl, two separate ceremonies), and launched a concerted effort to become more of a presence in the life of his son, Bentley.
Unfortunately, Ryan's relationship with his baby mama, Maci Bookout, hasn't improved along with the rest of his circumstances.
In fact, relations between the exes have hit a new rock bottom, and Ryan and Maci aren't the only one suffering for it...
Over the summer, Ryan checked into rehab after becoming addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers. He's been sober for several months now, but he's still struggling to regain Maci's trust.
Father's Day Showdown
On a recent episode of Teen Mom 2, Maci brought Bentley to Ryan's parents house for Father's Day. The visit did not go smoothly.
Custody Battle Brewing?
Ryan vaguely threatened Maci with a court battle before she left his parents' house with Bentley in tow. The scene confirmed what many viewers had feared--the fight over Bentley is soon to get even uglier.
A Silver Lining?
Ryan supporters were hopeful that his eagerness to fight for increased parental rights was a sign that Edwards would begin taking a more active role in Bentley's life. As this week's episode of TM2 showed us, however, that doesn't appear to be the case.
Drug Test Drama
Ever since Ryan left rehab, Maci has been clear about what she expects from him as a father. Her trust is understandably shaken, and she wants Edwards to submit to drug testing before he's permitted to spend time alone with Bentley. On this week's episode, he appeared reluctant to do so.
Many fans expressed disappointment in Ryan, particularly after being reminded that he, Maci, and Bentley aren't the only ones who's lives are affected by his bad behavior...
Jen and Larry Are Struggling
Ryan's parents, Jen and Larry, are beloved by TM2 fans for the love and support they've shown their son and grandson.
In one of this season's most moving scenes, Larry opened up about his hopes and fears for Ryan's future. “I love the fact that if he calls me or I call him, and he’s on the phone, I can understand every word that he says. I love it," Larry said. "And for the thirty days he was in rehab, it was the best I’ve ever felt because I knew he was gonna be OK. I knew that I wasn’t going to get a call and somebody tell me that I needed to come to the hospital, or whatever.”
Mom to Mom
Jen Edwards is similarly hopeful for her son's future, but she's also sympathetic toward Maci. “I know as a mom Maci wants the best for Bentley, and I know she’s probably scared. We’re all scared," Jen said this week.
Rising to the Occasion?
Needless to say, a lot of people are depending on Ryan to do the right thing. And so far, they're receiving mixed results.
In the most recent episode, Maci slammed Ryan as Bentley's "biological father" and criticized him for failing to do “what he was suppose to do" as the boy prepares to enter third grade.
Expecting Too Much?
Though most fans seem to sympathize with her plight, some feel that Maci is expecting too much from Ryan and being too critical when he fails.
Jen and Larry's discussion of Ryan's addiction triggers cemented the opinion of viewers who felt that Maci is demanding too much, and should be grateful for the progress he's made in recent weeks.
Holding It Together
"I have to hold it together, which is hard," Jen said. Larry clarified that any drama involving Ryan's mom or son might set him on a downward spiral: “You make her cry, it’s a trigger. You use Bentley, it’s a trigger. So you can imagine how many triggers we’ve been fighting here lately. Yeah, it’s been tough," he told producers.
Ryan's wife, Mackenzie Standifer, has also been caught up in the ongoing drama. And the show's audience is split on the question of whether she's helping or hurting.
Mackenzie clearly wants Ryan to have a close relationship with Bentley, but she also seems to have bitter feelings toward Maci.
Giving In For Bentley
Many fans credit Mackenzie, Jen, and Larry for convincing Ryan to undergo a hair follicle test. Of course, at the end of this week's episode, the results of the test remained in question.
Families at Stake
The battle between Ryan and Maci is particularly high stakes, as the fates of multiple families hang in the balance. It's impossible to say where things will go from here, but one thing seems certain...
Bentley Is One Beloved Boy
Two parents, two step-parents, and several grandparents all want what's best for young Bentley. Unfortunately. they frequently disagree on exactly what that means.