“Teen Mom” life coach Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, who is leading the retreat in Bend, Oregon, during season 2 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion,” says fans are going to see Ryan Edwards as they have never seen him before. Bryant teased that Edwards will return to the show, for the first time since he was fired from “Teen Mom OG” in 2021.
“Ryan is definitely in a form that no one — including the producers who have been on the show for 13 years — has ever seen him be in,” Bryant told Heavy during a phone interview.
While speaking with The Sun, Bryant said the most “growth” on season 2 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” was had by Edwards and his ex, “Teen Mom” star Maci Bookout — who share a 14-year-old son, Bentley.
“Ryan showed up in a way that people have never seen him show up,” Bryant told the publication. “It just was so beautiful to see Ryan in the space where he was really wanting this relationship with Bentley and not having the tools to do so, and extremely open to succeeding. You know, ‘How do I do it? I want it so bad.'”
The former couple have had a tense relationship throughout their son’s childhood. Edwards and Bookout were briefly engaged in 2009, but Bookout ended the relationship when Bentley was a baby. Since then, Bookout has criticized Edwards’ role as Bentley’s father.
The Tennessee native has struggled with addiction and has gone to rehab multiple times to battle his substance abuse. In 2017, an MTV camera caught Edwards nodding off while driving to his wedding to Mackenzie Standifer. In an interview with The Sun in 2021, Edwards said he was three years sober.
At the “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter” reunion Bentley didn’t answer questions from Dr. Drew Pinsky about his strained relationship with his father, but Bentley’s stepfather, Taylor McKinney, said Bentley only sees Edwards if he goes to his paternal grandparents’ house.
Bookout Has Been Working on Herself, Bryant Says
Edwards isn’t the only person in the situation who needs to change if co-parenting Bentley is going to become easier, Bryant told Heavy. Bookout also had to do a lot of work on herself during season 2 of “Family Reunion.”
“Maci has to overcome a lot of her own issues and concerns and resentments that she’s had toward Ryan,” Bryant told Heavy. “Not only in regard to their co-parenting relationship, but in regard to how he hasn’t shown up for Bentley.
“And Maci has taken on a lot of Bentley’s pain at the expense of that relationship,” Bryant continued. “So a lot of our work was her moving past that so she can have a healthy relationship with Ryan.”
In the January 31 episode of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion,” Bookout literally and metaphorically buried the hatchet with Edwards. She wrote down some of her grievances on the hatchet and then threw it in the dirt.
“I want to let go of the anger I have for Ryan. But I don’t feel like I’m angry for myself. I feel like I’m angry for Bentley, so I’m not sure I can bury that,” Bookout told Bryant during the episode. “There have been times when he wanted to throw in the towel on Ryan.”
Bookout hinted that her views of Edwards might be impacting her son after Bryant asked Bookout if she felt guilty about the anger she has towards her son’s father.
“I felt like because of my choices and relationships, it just hurts everybody. Everybody that loves me hurts because of it,” Bookout said in the January 31 episode.
It Was ‘Challenging’ for the Adults to Move On
Bentley might be willing to move forward with his father, but it’s not as easy for Bookout and her husband, McKinney.
“Coming into this new place, if Bentley’s willing to give Ryan a new fresh start because it means that much to his heartbreak healing, then collectively as parents, everyone has to be on board with that,” Bryant told Heavy.
The life coach recognizes there are difficulties with allowing Edwards back into McKinney and Bookout’s life. “That is so easy said and not easily done,” she said. “There are a lot of challenges with that, as well as with Taylor moving past what had already happened.”
Bryant said one of the biggest “hurdles” for parents is moving past the resentment and putting the child first.
“At the end of the day, [Bentley] is the nucleus of that relationship, and his well-being … is what matters when it comes to the relationship between Ryan, Maci, and Taylor,” she said.
Season 2 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV.