Maci Bookout and Ryan Edwards Have Emotional Coparenting Conversation About Son Bentley

Maci Bookout and ex Ryan Edwards haven’t seen eye-to-eye in years when it comes to coparenting their son Bentley … but the pair had a major breakthrough on Tuesday’s “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” special.

Though Ryan didn’t appear on the most recent season of either “Teen Mom OG” or “Family Reunion,” Bookout did invite him and his mother Jen to participate in the latter, believing it could be a good way for them to “work through some things or at least put some stuff on the table and see where it went.”

While they didn’t join the rest of the crew for the therapy-filled retreat — with Ryan saying he couldn’t because he’s “got a job I’ve got to go to” — they did join Maci for a two-part “Aftermath” special on Tuesday night.

Saying that “it’s been a long time” since they last spoke, Maci explained that her relationship with Ryan is “kind of nonexistent.” She added that while things were better with Jen compared to where they were a few years ago, they too had “a lot of stuff we have to sift through.”

“I’d just like to be able to, for Maci to be okay with being able to see him. Hell, I haven’t got to spend any time with him, just me, in a long time,” Ryan said, crying as he spoke about the former couple’s 14-year-old son. “Hell, I just miss him. There’s a lot of times I wasn’t there just to see him play ball, just putting myself first.”

Hearing that even made Maci cry, as Ryan said he would commit to showing up more in the future. He added, however, that it would only work if he didn’t “have to deal with everything else that I’ve had to in the past, just everyone else in the way.”

“I just looked at him and I could see the pain and honestly I felt like I was staring at Bentley,” Maci responded. “It’s obviously bittersweet, but I really appreciate the vulnerability and the ownership, where he maybe came up short, what he could have done differently. Everything he was committing to, it just felt little by little, a breath of fresh air, because it would absolutely make Bentley’s heart so whole.”

“Ryan, there’s a part of Bentley that is hurting, he loves you so much and there is only one person who can help that hurt and it’s you,” she added. “He wants a relationship with you more than anything else.”

As Ryan again committed to being a more consistent presence in his son’s life, Maci opened up about what she could do to help them have a healthier coparenting relationship going forward as well.

“I think one of them is making sure that I’m keeping Ryan all the way in the loop as it pertains to anything Bentley has going on, so he as the option to support and be there,” she said, before acknowledging that, in the past, they had a lot of “trouble communicating with each other respectfully.”

“I agree, I said some things that were hateful. Yes, I’m sorry for that,” Ryan said, before Maci copped to also saying “many things too that were hurtful and disrespectful, with blatant disregard for your feelings.”

“I also want to apologize for not putting in more of an effort to understand the battles you were fighting and struggles you were going through,” she added, likely referring to his issues with substance abuse. “I should have treated you more like a human being and if I could go back and do it different, I definitely would, but I’m going to do it different moving forward and I’m sorry.”

The pair agreed to work on their coparenting relationship between just the two of them for now, before adding others into the mix, with Maci adding that their son “would love” more one-on-one time with his father in the future.

The coparenting relationship between Maci and Ryan has always been a tense one, amid Ryan’s past struggles with substance abuse and arrests. Throughout the more recent seasons, Maci and her husband Taylor also felt that Edwards showed little initiative in having a relationship with his son, with Ryan allegedly refusing to go to therapy with Bentley to work on things between them.

Maci’s relationship with his parents, Jen and Larry, however always seemed more cordial … until Season 9, at least. During a reunion for the first-half of the season, Maci and Ryan got into it with Bentley’s grandparents, accusing them of guilt-tripping the boy into hanging out with his dad. It got pretty explosive between them and the four really hadn’t smoothed things over by the time the show wrapped.

Speaking with TooFab back in September, Maci said their relationship with Jen and Larry was “definitely not what it used to be in the past years, but it’s definitely not, I would not say it’s anywhere close to how we left the reunion.”

At the time, she said she and Ryan also didn’t see or speak to each other — so this new development is some serious progress.

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