Teen Mom stars Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra seem like the perfect couple — two young people who overcame very difficult family backgrounds and have supported each other through the very difficult decision to place their daughter Carly for adoption and the emotional toll that decision has taken on their lives since.
Tyler won over viewers with his big heart that he was always willing to wear on his sleeve, even when cameras were rolling, a trait he continued to demonstrate on last week’s episode of Couples Therapy. On the episode Tyler had a brutally honest therapy session with Dr. Jenn Berman in which he revealed his love for Catelynn, but also that he wasn’t really ready to get married, and he was only going through with it at the time because he didn’t want to “crush” Catelynn or disappoint fans who viewed them as the “perfect couple.”
In the clip, Tyler begins by clarifying his and Catelynn’s background a little for Dr. Berman, explaining that his dad Butch Baltierra and Catelynn’s mom April were introduced after Tyler and Catelynn began dating and Butch had just gotten out of jail. Butch and April would be married five months later, while Catelynn was pregnant and dealing with the difficult decision of whether or not to place her child for adoption — something both Butch and April were adamantly opposed to, as viewers of Teen Mom are well aware.
He then goes into exactly why he doesn’t feel ready to get married to Catelynn. That part of the conversation is transcribed below.
Dr. Berman: And this is probably another thing that bonds you [and Catelynn] together — that you went through that together.
Tyler: She’s the only one that really understands me because we grew up together. Like, no one understands the troubles I went through. I had a child with her, and it’s like, who else could understand that?
Dr. Berman: Yeah.
Tyler: And so I feel like if I’m not with her, where — who am I? You know? That’s why I wanted to come here, though, because I knew we were going to get married and I was just — Am I doing the right thing? Like, do I need to go on a soul search? Do I need to go find myself a little bit more instead of getting stuck in this rut, because I feel that once we’re married, then I’m going to be stuck in this rut forever, and this is how my life’s going to be for the rest of my life. And I don’t know if I’m OK with that.
Dr. Berman: You may need to do some soul searching. I believe in ‘listen to your gut.’
Tyler: The more I think about it, the more it’s like she de-motivates me. She’s not motivated to do things herself. She’s not independent.
Dr. Berman: You don’t bring out the healthiest in one another.
Tyler: She’d probably never admit it, but I feel like sometimes she ‘puts up’ with me. I believe we’re both doing the same thing — that our self esteem is so low we’re just dealing and saying, ‘well she’s probably the best I can get.’ ‘He’s probably the best I can get.’ And that we’re just kind of settling. And I always told myself I was never going to settle. And I feel really, really bad saying this, but sometimes I feel like I should have you know, just left her and been done with it.
Tyler: But then I just feel like, ‘OK, no Tyler. You made this commitment to her. You’re going to stick to it. You gotta make it work. If you leave right now you’re giving up on everything that you guys have created together.’
Dr. Berman: But it sounds like you are more than thinking about it, it sounds like there’s a part of you that’s kind of yearning for that — to have those experiences of being on your own. That it scares you, but that you feel instinctually that it’s something that’s important for you.
Tyler: Yeah. I think so. But I just don’t — then I think, like —
Dr. Berman: You feel like you’re so deep in that you can’t do that.
Tyler: Yeah. I can’t do that. She will be so crushed. I cannot imagine doing that to her.
Dr. Berman: I get your bind. You love her.
Tyler: I really do.
Dr. Berman: I can see it. It’s obvious how much you love her.
Tyler: It’s overwhelming how much I love her.
Dr. Berman: And also, all you’ve been through together from such an early age, and the decision about the baby, it’s so clear how bonded you are. But I also think that when you really love someone you give them the respect of being honest with them. You owe her that.
Tyler: But, I just don’t think I can do it. I feel like it’s almost easier just to deal and, I don’t know, it’s so, so confusing and weird.
Dr. Berman: It’s not confusing to me and it’s not weird to me, just for the record.
Dr. Berman: To me it makes complete sense.
Tyler: And a lot of it has to do with the TV show I was on. I mean we were portrayed as the perfect couple and we were so happy, and so it’s almost like subconsciously I feel like we need to, like, always be like that. I mean, to make sure that we’re always happy … Everyone’s like, ‘Oh you guys are so cute! Oh you guys are so perfect for each other!’ And it’s like, there’s so much stuff that I feel so committed that if I don’t do it I’m going to fail every single person around me.
Dr. Berman: F*** everybody else.
Tyler: I know. I just don’t know — I dunno. I just worry about her a lot, you know? I don’t want her to be —
Dr. Berman: Of course! you love her!
Tyler: Yeah. I don’t want her to be heartbroken or —
Dr. Berman: Don’t lie to her. Tell her the truth.
Tyler: I know, but that’s going to be hard to do.
Dr. Berman: It’s the bravest thing you’ve ever been called to do.
Tyler: [sigh] Yeah.
Dr. Berman: [voiceover] I really feel for Tyler and I don’t envy his position, but he couldn’t have been more clear in our session. He may love Catelynn, but he’s not ready to marry her.