Bristol Palin is joining the cast of Teen Mom OG when it returns to MTV for its eighth season on Oct. 1, despite the fact that she isn't an "OG" member of the franchise. Bristol gave birth to her first child when she was a teenager, and she has since had two more kids with her husband. But who is Bristol's husband on Teen Mom OG?
Bristol welcomed her son Tripp Johnston-Palin in 2008 with then-partner Levi Johnston; though Bristol and Johnston were engaged for a time, they never actually tied the knot. After they broke up, she started dating Dakota Meyer, whom she married in 2016. They have two daughters together, Sailor Grace and Atlee Bay, but recently finalized their divorce in August 2018. Meyer will still appear on Teen Mom OG, but Bristol is currently single.
Bristol's divorce from Meyer was one of the reasons she wanted to join the series. As she told Entertainment Tonight, she thought it would be helpful for viewers to see her turn her pain into something positive, saying, "So that is why I decided to do it. It was to hopefully encourage others and to let them know that life isn't over after a divorce."
Meyer is a United States Marine and a veteran; according to Page Six, he received the Medal of Honor after taking part in the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan in 2009. Since returning home, he has dealt with PTSD, which put a strain on his marriage to Bristol. In one of the promos for Teen Mom OG, Bristol says, "My husband, Dakota, has been struggling with PTSD and it's been hard on our marriage. We don't know how to co-exist together. I don't want to raise my kids to think this is what a marriage looks like, you know."
Meyer was initially resistant about appearing on Teen Mom, but came to change his mind. During an AMA on Instagram, he wrote that he was "kind of forced into it" but after meeting and getting along with the crew, he decided to "use the platform to show and shed light on living with PTSD, anxiety and having a family, and what that looks like and try to help and make the world a better place."
According to Meyer, he and Bristol chose to divorce because she "wasn't happy with [him]" and it was ultimately for the best. While talking to Entertainment Tonight, Bristol expanded on her reasons for separating from Meyer. She said they had rushed into marriage and even though she had been ready for more kids, "the marriage part of it just didn't work out." Bristol said:
I think that our marriage was something that was very fast, and he would agree too. There's a lot of things that we probably both wished that we would have done differently. I think there's a lot of things that we would advise our children to do different, absolutely.
In another Instagram Q&A session in September 2018, Meyer noted that he and Bristol no longer speak, though they continue to share custody of their two daughters. Their relationship seems to be a complicated one, and viewers can see how they navigate all the obstacles on Teen Mom OG.