Vicki Gunvalson’s daughter, Briana Culberson, is taking to a Bravo Blog to discuss why she and her husband, Ryan, are living with Vicki. Briana insists they did not move in with Vicki out of necessity. She is an RN and Ryan is in The Marine Corp. Briana explains they carefully discussed their living arrangements and decided it was the best thing for everyone; based on Ryan’s upcoming deployment, Briana’s health, and Baby Troy. Briana also talks about why she is so skeptical of Brooks, and discusses what Vicki told her regarding her relationship with Brooks when they moved in.
Briana writes, “Troy has opened my eyes to a whole new kind of love that I couldn’t have imagined. I want to be the best mom that I can be for him, and with every decision I make, I have him in mind. I want him to be proud of me and know how much I love him.
I want to have a strong marriage with Ryan and continue to build on our relationship to give Troy a good, stable household filled with love. Having Troy has allowed me to feel more empathetic for my mom and how amazing she is as a mother. Throughout my life she has always put my brother and myself first and was always focused on our happiness. If I’m half as good of a mom as she is, then I’ll have done something right.
The decision to move into my mom’s house was not an easy one to make. While I was pregnant, Ryan and I were house hunting and put a few offers on homes nearby and came very close to purchasing a home for our family. Ryan got orders to move to another base almost three hours away, so we cancelled our house hunt and started brainstorming on our options. At that time, Donn was still living with my mom and getting ready to move out, which was going to leave my mom physically, emotionally, and financially alone in the large house.
Rumors began to fly at Ryan’s work of an upcoming deployment and he received unofficial word that he would be deployed October 14, and my due date for the baby to arrive was October 10! Ryan and I sat down with my mom and the three of us came to an agreement that seemed to solve all problems, we would move into my mom’s house so we could help my mom financially and I would have support from my mom while Ryan was in Afghanistan. My only concern with moving back home with my mom was that I didn’t want whomever my mom was dating to be coming in and out of the house with the baby and I living there because I want a stable, positive environment for Troy.
My mom and Brooks have a very drama packed relationship and are frequently “on and off.” I didn’t want Troy (or myself) to be around any fighting or any men coming in and out and in and out of the house. My mom told Ryan and I before we moved in that she had no plans to move Brooks in and that their relationship wasn’t at that level. I would have NEVER moved into the home if I was going to get in the way of my mom’s relationship moving forward, which she assured me that I wouldn’t. The decision to move into my mom’s house was out of pure convenience and not necessity. Between my health problems related to my thyroidectomy, becoming a first-time mother, and Ryan preparing to deploy to Afghanistan for a year, I had a lot to worry about and my focus was on a positive home environment. I told my mom on Day 1, “If you feel like I’m getting in the way of your life or your relationship, give me the word and I will happily get an apartment down the street, no argument!”
This week, Ryan exposed one of the shocking experiences we’ve had with Brooks within the past year. Ryan and myself have both had interactions with Brooks that made us question his character and his intentions with my mom. I am extremely protective of those that I love, and my mom is high up on that list. Ryan quickly adopted the same kind of worry for my mom regarding her dating life. Ryan spent a lot of time one on one with Brooks and saw some red flags regarding his behavior behind my mom’s back. At the end of the day, Ryan and I want the best for my mom. I will always be picky about who my mom dates, as she was picky for me. My biggest concern for my mom is that she ends up with a genuine man who has her best interest in mind.
My brother Mike and I have very different approaches when it comes to Brooks. Mike moved out of the house before I moved in, and he lives an exciting busy life by the beach. Besides working with my mom, Mike doesn’t spend too much personal time with her and therefore doesn’t particularly concern himself with who she is dating. I, on the other hand, moved in with my mom and am more involved in her dating life since I’m so close with her, and therefore have more involvement than my brother.
At the end of the day, Ryan and I are in NO position to tell my mom what to do with her life and who to date. My decision to request that Brooks is not in the house as long as I am home all stems from my desire to create the most positive home environment that I can for my son. The Marine Corps has forced me to become a “single mom” for a year while Ryan is off serving our country and this is the time for me to be selfish and focus on my family. I love my mom dearly and want her to be the happiest she can be. If she were to tell me to move out of the house so she can move Brooks in, I would be happy for her and not argue one bit. I am more than happy to step aside so she can move forward in her relationship.
For now, our living situation works for us and I will honor whatever my mom wishes for her home, because it is just that. . .HER HOME.”
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