Catelynn and Tyler have not seen their little girl Carly in two years, and during tonight's brand-new Teen Mom OG episode, the longtime couple addressed their current situation with the 12-year-old and how all conversations need to be coordinated through her parents Brandon and Teresa.
"It's hard because I feel like [Brandon and Teresa] don't want us super-involved," Cate told their longtime adoption counselor Dawn about FaceTiming Carly. "Space sometimes feels like the best thing for them, maybe."
Dawn stressed that this would not be effective in having a relationship, and the responsibility was on Cate and Tyler "to ask."
"You have to step into that space and just try to start the communication so that it's not going to be so insurmountable," Dawn said. "Because that's what it feels like right now. There is a child that you both love tremendously. Everyone knows their position in the relationship right now, but in order to build the relationship with Carly as a person and as an individual, that's going to require you two to come out of your comfort zone."
Cate took action after the meeting and texted Teresa about buying Carly a digital picture frame, and Teresa was receptive. But Tyler had a much more difficult time establishing contact.
"I think what bugs you is that you can't be your true, authentic self without being afraid of...them getting offended or hurt," Cate articulated, noting that the way Tyler communicates can be "loud."
"It's gotten me into trouble," he replied. "I feel like every time I get involved, things just don't go good. I think it's why it's the hardest for me ... I feel like if I don't tame down, I risk the relationship with my daughter."
He continued: "I guess I never felt like having anything held over my head -- where if I don't perform the right way, something will be taken. Nothing has even been that important to me ... So I feel like this is the only thing I've ever had that was like, 'Oh no, no, no.' Sh*t, I'm vulnerable as hell."
Cate validated his feelings and expressed that his fears were "understandable" as a birth parent. However, her efforts to get Tyler more involved (starting a new text with Tyler included) did not change anything.
"I should probably say something," he told Cate, to which she simply responded, "Yeah, you should."
But eventually, he decided, "I think it's safer not to. I don't want to mess anything up for you. I'm good. I don't know what else to say."
Will Tyler have a change of heart, or will he maintain his stance of allowing Cate to handle the outreach? Offer your comments, and don't miss the season finale of Teen Mom OG next Tuesday at 8/7c.