Teen Mom: Relocating for romance, repeating rehab, etc.

In this week’s episode of Teen Mom, Maci decides to move two hours away from her hometown to be closer to Kyle, Tyler’s dad goes to rehab and Catelynn’s mom doesn’t handle it too well, Amber decides to go for her GED, and Farrah tries speed dating. (Doesn’t that cost money? Isn’t she $3,000 in the hole?)

1. Relocating for romance

Kyle and Maci have known each other for years and been dating for a few months, and Maci noted last night that they’ve “never spent more than like, a week together.” So what better way to test the strength of their relationship — which is currently long-distance as they live two hours apart — than for Maci to pick up and move to Nashville to be with Kyle? Oy …

I get that Maci is eager to make sure that Kyle and her work as a couple when they see each other all the time and not just when they see each other every weekend or every other weekend. She sees how well he gets along with Bentley and doesn’t want to waste her time with him if they can’t make things work living in the same city.

But they are also in the “honeymoon” phase — this phase lasts until at most the six-month mark, and it’s filled with happy times, passion, and few fights. Couples can mislead themselves into thinking that this phase is characteristic of how their entire relationship will be — and then a rude awakening comes when both people start to feel more comfortable in the relationship, start to live together, etc.

It’s not that the relationship necessarily becomes doomed and isn’t happy — but it becomes more multidimensional and doesn’t just focus on going out on dates and spending time together. Both people feel more secure in the relationship so they are more open about their feelings (especially negative ones); they’ve dated for a while so they notice more annoying habits; and if you live together, you see new sides to the person and need to deal with issues like finances and respecting each other’s space.

Anyway, I’m wary when people relocate for romance after such a short time of dating — Maci is transferring schools, leaving her job, and leaving her friends and family behind so that she can be near someone who she’s been dating for a few months. Between her and Kyle rarely spending a lot of time together and Kyle never having a girlfriend before, relocating is quite a leap of faith just to “see if it works.” But as Maci says, “Am I scared? Yeah. Do I really care? No.” 

It’s especially concerning also because Maci is leaving her support system behind — in Chattanooga, she has her family, Ryan (as much as he can be relied on), Ryan’s family, and her friends. In Nashville, she’ll only have Kyle.

Update: As my fellow Teen Mom enthusiast Erin points out, Maci also has several friends in Nashville.

2. Dealing with drug dependency

Tyler’s dad, Butch, went to rehab for his cocaine use, and the cyclical nature of drug abuse/rehab was highlighted. Butch is likely in his 40s and has been to rehab several times, and Tyler shows his frustration with his dad about his revolving-door relationship with rehab, asking if he’s finally going to stay clean and learn from rehab this time. His dad simply replies that he will use whatever tools the treatment center gives him.

“How sick and tired can you be if you’re still doing it?” Tyler asks in response to his dad’s complaining about drug use and rehab. He tells Catelynn that it’s the same cycle — his dad screwing up, going back to rehab, screwing up, going back to rehab, etc. Although rehab can be a revolving door for some, Tyler’s dad’s persistent stints in rehab could be attributed to the fact that he uses cocaine. Studies show that people in treatment for cocaine or opiate use have the worst success rates because the addiction is so strong

Tyler’s statement shows the disconnect between Butch’s feelings toward the addiction and his inability to stop the addiction, something that is difficult for family and friends to understand and sympathize with if they haven’t experienced addiction themselves. It’s frustrating for Tyler to hear his dad’s articulation and awareness of how bad his addiction is and the toll it takes on his family, but then watch him continue to use.

This is just speculation, but judging from her physical appearance and attitude, I wouldn’t be surprised if Catelynn’s mom (who’s married to Tyler’s dad) also uses cocaine. Catelynn has admitted that her mom was an alcoholic, but her outrageous behavior (screaming at Catelynn for not doing the dishes, the fight escalating though Catelynn doesn’t yell back) after Butch leaves for rehab makes me wonder if they have a relationship where they are both dependent on each other and on the drug.

3. GED vs. high school diploma

Amber was adamant about getting her high school diploma — not her GED — because she felt there was a stigma toward getting a GED. She said that people see you have a GED and immediately wonder what you did wrong or what you screwed up that forced you to get a GED and miss out on the diploma. Many articles online confirm this stigma, but they also agree that getting a GED is better than remaining a high school dropout.

And, as Amber’s counselor told her, employers are going to look at your education as a whole — if Amber wants her GED so she can continue to get a college degree, then employers will easily overlook the GED because they are most concerned with her college education.

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One Response to “Teen Mom: Relocating for romance, repeating rehab, etc.”

  1. Teen Mom: Self-blaming, the honeymoon stage, selflessness « i, sandwich Says:

    […] Chattanooga, Tenn. so she could move two hours away to Nashville to be closer to Kyle. I’ve discussed earlier that the move was premature because they had not been dating that long and were still under the […]

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