Breaking up is hard to do, especially when there are children involved, but it’s almost unbearable when people are judging your every move. Teen Mom 2 star Javi Marroquin knows a little something about the ugly speculation that can accompany a split. He’s in the middle of a messy divorce with soon-to-be ex Kailyn Lowry, and he’s speaking out this week after fans of the show accused him of “abandoning” his stepson, Isaac.
Marroquin is a stepdad to 6-year-old Isaac, Lowry’s son from a previous relationship, and the biological father of their 2-year-old, Lincoln. Last week he returned home from a months-long Air Force deployment to Qatar and drove his sons to their summer day camp, then took them out shopping.
Afterward Marroquin dropped Isaac off with his mom and took Lincoln to his house for a sleepover and a special father-son breakfast. It’s normal for parents to spend one-on-one time with their kids, especially when they’re dividing their time between siblings, but many Teen Mom 2 fans rushed to judgment. Instead of seeing an innocent night of bonding, they accused Marroquin of “abandoning” his obligations to Isaac and choosing his biological child over his stepson.
It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and hurl judgments about the way a couple chooses to handle a divorce, but anyone who’s ever been in Marroquin’s shoes will tell you, this is not an easy road. A divorce with children is not just about two people separating; it also involves reassuring children that your love for them hasn’t changed, figuring out how best to divide time between parents and their kids and navigating the very difficult path of co-parenting so children still feel cared for and secure.
All those things are made even harder in a situation like this one, where a child shares a very close relationship with someone who is not their biological parent and who may have different rights to visitation, depending on the custody agreement the court lays out. Divorce is stressful and painful, and the last thing any divorced couple needs is people spreading vicious rumors about their personal lives or judging the way they adjust to their new roles as single parents.
When couples split up, it’s often their kids who have the hardest time coping. Lowry and Marroquin are undoubtedly already worried about doing what’s best for their sons and making sure neither of them feels left out or less loved. It can be tempting to draw conclusions about other people’s relationships or to point out the things we’d do differently if we were in their shoes, but it’s important to be compassionate and empathetic when people are going through something so emotionally difficult.
Marroquin seems like a devoted dad who’s trying to support both his sons while also recovering from the end of his marriage. That’s a struggle for any parent, and the only people who deserve any kind of explanation of his actions or his feelings are the two little boys who know him as Dad.
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