By Hannah Green
This season of Teen Mom 2 has been especially dramatic (let’s not kid ourselves, Teen Mom is always dramatic). Our advocates have been watching along on #TeenMomTuesdays and talking about the healthy and not-so-healthy behaviors we’ve been seeing so far. Since the first episodes of Teen Mom 2, things have seemed to constantly change for Kailyn, Jenelle, Chelsea and Leah. Let’s discuss some of the stuff we’ve noticed:
Dating Abuse (follow up with Dr. Drew)!
Kailyn was physically abusive to her now husband Javi in an earlier season of TM2. There was a big fight where we saw her react violently, which is never an acceptable way to behave. During the check-up with Dr. Drew after this season’s finale, he asked Kailyn if anything like that happened since. Kail was hesitant to disclose that they had been fighting at the hotel just the night before, among a few other times where she abused him. We can see from the way she avoids the questions that it was hard for her to admit she is abusive and that she doesn’t like to talk about it. However, we know that the first step to changing abusive behaviors is to take responsibility for the actions and acknowledge that they are abusive. If you feel like you might be abusive, having a support system around to hold you accountable is a crucial part of changing. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later because, as we know, abuse tends to escalate over time. If your partner is the abusive one, here is a quiz you can take when/if they are in the process of changing. As always, loveisrespect advocates are happy to talk to each partner individually about it.
This season, we saw a big disagreement between Leah and Jeremy when we learned that he was going to New Mexico for work. Leah didn’t like him being away from home and brought up an agreement that they made prior to getting married: that Jeremy wouldn’t travel a certain distance away from home for work. Leah seemed to feel like she wasn’t being heard by him, since he turned down a job that was closer to home. However, Jeremy argues that he was taking the job that would make more money for his family. Communication is a big part of a healthy relationship and should be open, honest and fair. Partners should be able to hear each other out, respect each other’s feelings and hopefully be able to compromise.
Leah crossed some important boundaries by checking Jeremy’s phone to find out about his job situation. It was a violation of his privacy and it shows a lack of trust and communication in the relationship.
When Jenelle got out of jail for failing her drug test, we saw her raising her voice in an argument with her partner Nathan when she found out he had been complaining about Jenelle to another girl (who happened to be Jenelle’s ex-boyfriend’s best friend). We don’t know exactly what the conversation between Nathan and the girl was about, but we heard some unhealthy things when they yelled at each other about Nathan “talking to other girls” or Jenelle “talking to other guys.” We know that in a healthy relationship, restrictions like that are not only unrealistic but also very controlling and isolating, as a lot of people could end up losing good friends if they tried to live up to that. This post has some good ideas on how to set boundaries in a relationship.
During this season of Teen Mom 2, we saw Jenelle and Nathan decide to have a baby after a couple months of dating. We encourage people in relationships talk about possible outcomes and responsibilities of having a child before deciding to have one, if the situation allows for a conversation like that to happen. If you feel like your partner is putting pressure on you to get pregnant, to stop taking birth control, telling you what type of birth control method to use, or makes you feel like you have to get (or not get) an abortion when you don’t want to; that could be a red flag for a form of sexual abuse called reproductive coercion.
Feel free to chat with a loveisrespect advocate if you feel like there are any of these things going on in YOUR relationship, or if something just doesn’t feel right. We are here 24/7 for you to call, chat or text us.