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Gary Shirley Joins Amber Portwood in Therapy, Leaves Kristina on the Back Burner


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On this week’s Teen Mom OG, Amber Portwood addressed her mental illness and how it impacts her life.

Up to a point, that is commendable.

She also asked her ex, Gary Shirley, to accompany her to therapy.

Where does this leave Gary’s wife, Kristina? In an awkward place, that’s for sure.

On Episode 23 of this season of Teen Mom OG, Gary Shirley sat down for a conversation with his wife.

But before he could share his plans with Kristina, we heard a voiceover from Amber.

“I haven’t seen any progress with Leah since I saw her last,” she complained.

“So,” Amber explained, “I want Gary to go to therapy with me.”

She added: “I’m hoping that if he gains a bit more perspective, he might be open to Leah speaking with someone, too.”

In other words, this therapy is just a stepping stone, in her mind, to getting Leah into a room with her.

“She had also mentioned to me about going with her to her psychiatrist,” Gary related to his wife about Amber’s past desires.

He indicated to Kristina that he intended to agree to do this with Amber.

Kristina half-jokingly exclaimed: “Once again I get put on the back burner!”

At this point, as you can see in the clip, Gary repeatedly asked if Kristina was opposed.

Gary promised that if Kristina did not want him to go, he would not go with Amber.

Despite her obvious polite misgivings about Gary devoting even more of his time and energy to his ex, Kristina did not object.

Kristina signaled that it was okay “if it’s gonna help.”

She emphasized: “I’m not going to stop you!”

Kristian asked for clarification, though, about what exactly this whole thing will be about.

Would the sessions be about co-parenting Leah?

Not exactly. Not directly, anyway.

Instead, Gary explained, the session would probably have more to do with Amber and her mental health strugges.

“That way, maybe I don’t hold anything against her,” Gary described.

His goal, he told his wife, is for this to ultimately benefit Leah.

“I know you understand that,” Gary affirmed. “And I know you’re positive in that.”

Kristina has been extremely patient and supportive despite a lot of bad behavior from Amber and a lot of time lost to Gary catering to her.

As Gary admits, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

He will always be linked to Amber because they had Leah together, and he’ll do anything that he can for Leah.

Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley in therapy (Teen Mom throwback)

Gary also described to Kristina how he and Amber had, long ago, gone to therapy together.

At that time, this was after Amber had attacked him in a domestic violence incident.

(Not to be confused with her domestic violence incident with Andrew Glennon, her other baby daddy … this seems to be a pattern of hers)

Amber Portwood in therapy (teen mom throwback)

Of course, what gets Amber the most criticism here and now isn’t dragging Gary away from family time to hear about her mental health.

Instead, it’s her obvious goal of getting Leah into a room with a therapist.

To many, it sounds like she wants to manipulate her tween daughter into giving her acceptance, forgiveness, and love that she frankly may not deserve.

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