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This week's episode is one that I wished had never happened. I actually have not watched this episode and most likely will never. I have just returned from my daughter's destination wedding, and I am still on "happy thoughts." This episode tonight featured a strong exchange between Briana and myself, which was painful when it happened and I don't know if I am ready to re-live it again.
My children are my driving force and my reason, actually, for my own success. I want everything for them, and I want them to have everything I never had. Isn't that what all parents want? As parents, we (even I) do not always get what we want at all. Every parent that is divorced and enters the dating world will come across resistance from their children. This is inevitable. No one can hurt you more than your children, and Briana said some things to me that were shocking, but also painful. I have come to realize over the last couple of months, that Briana is still processing my separation from Donn and most likely her biological father. As you saw, this week my daughter and I hit a wall full speed ahead and it hurt. It hurt bad!
Donn is loved by my family, friends, and viewers, and some people are having trouble with me moving on with my life and getting involved with another man. Consequently, Brooks is being judged unfairly and should not be blamed for people missing Donn.
Here's the thing I'd like all of you to know: I DID want my daughter to have a traditional wedding -- not a drive through. She deserved better than that. And, yes, I admit I wanted to experience the thrill of all the excitement and joy that comes with my only daughter getting married. I did not expect my daughter to take this away from me. After the dust had settled, I realized I had to move past that. I love my daughter, and I chose to support her decision. I must also support her choice for her husband. I did not really know Ryan, and I certainly did not expect him to take my only daughter to Vegas to get married. But the reality is it's done and I must forget my own feelings and show my daughter I love her unconditionally regardless of her choices.
I believe the part of being a good mother is that you must love them, regardless of the hurt they have caused you. Here is where being a good parent comes in: I am a fierce warrior, and I can and will protect my children as long as there is breath in me. When Briana told me she got married, I wondered if there was an ulterior motive on Ryan's part. I had hoped there wasn't. . .but what if there was? I was scared out of my mind for her and our family.
The blowup tonight had been festering for weeks. Briana had very strong feelings about me dating so soon after Donn and I separated, and I had very strong feelings of her marrying a man she didn't date consistently. We both had fears, and I believe they came purely from LOVE.
When I was in Briana's condo having this terribly heated discussion with her, I knew no matter what I said, I wasn't going to convince her to accept Brooks and I dating. For that matter, no matter what she said was not going to convince me that marrying Ryan so quickly was the best decision either. I believe no matter who I was dating, she would have reacted the same way. It wasn't Brooks in particular; it was me dating in general.
What you didn't see is I left her home in tears, and just sat in the street and prayed, cried, and prayed some more. I realized it was not the end of the world if my daughter does not like the man I am dating.
I say dating -- because Brooks and I are “dating.” We are not living together. We are taking our relationship slow. We enjoy spending time together. We haven't commingled any finances (nor do I ever plan to), and I sure the heck am not ready for marriage or even an engagement. I'm taking the relationship for what it is, which is two grown people who love and respect each other. I'm dating Brooks because he makes me extremely happy, doesn't lie to me, and is treating me with the respect and love that I deserve. That's it.
For those of you that wonder if my divorce is finalized yet it isn't. We haven't finalized our divorce yet because I am still fighting paying spousal support, as well as because some of our properties still need to be sold and settled. Both Donn and I are NOT in a hurry to get a divorce piece of paper hastily. It is inevitable we will be divorced, but we are doing it on OUR terms, not anyone else's, and we won't be influenced by anyone to rush it. We want the best for each other, and the best for each other is to remain friends, with our business hats on, and to attempt to keep the emotions aside.
My relationship with Brooks is far greater than what has been shown. Everyone should wait and see. I would like for my daughter to understand how I feel, and maybe I should have told her in a better way than I did.Briana has to trust me as I do her with her own choices. I am a serious businesswoman who makes good decisions in life. I am smart, accomplished, and have my feet squarely planted on the ground. I am not being impulsive or insecure by dating Brooks. I am human though, and I am not right every time, for certain.
My decision to date Brooks is something that I think is much like a road under construction. There will be some bumps -- and maybe some detours but I will always come out ahead. What I want all of you to know is I am definitely not stupid and neither is my daughter. Through my 50 years of life, I have a very good instinct on people. I know Brooks more than most, and what I see is an amazing man that has gotten a bad "rap." I challenge any of you that have the urge to write a bad blog comment about him, Briana, or myself to refrain. I challenge any of you that have the urge to write a bad blog comment about him, Briana or myself to refrain. I ask that you see my side in this situation, and just have some compassion for me as well as Brooks. It's very difficult for Brooks to be constantly "on trial" about him, without really having full knowledge of HIS side of the story. Put yourself in his shoes. Here are the facts: He didn't sign up for this show. He appeared with me because I asked him to. I wanted to show the "world" that you can be happy and find a true partner and soul mate at this age. Unfortunately, because you don't see everything and with my other 'Wives trying to sabotage him, he didn't have the platform or forum to show the REAL Brooks.
What's wonderful about my relationship with Brooks, is he is truly my best friend. His children come before me, and mine come before him. I will never choose between my significant other or my children, because my kids will always prevail.
So, in closing, I have chosen to accept Ryan into our family and I am proud to announce this past weekend we celebrated a beautiful destination wedding with 75 family members and their closest friends. It was a beautiful ceremony and celebration, one filled with love, dancing, and wonderful food. Brooks was in attendance, and so was Donn with his girlfriend. It was a bit uncomfortable at first having them meet, but at the end of the day it was for Briana and Ryan. Donn and Brooks shook hands, and both were very respectful of each other. The episode you saw tonight, happened well over seven months ago, and TIME does heal. We are in a much better place today, and I am grateful for that.
I am so happy for Briana and Ryan, and I know Briana is happy for me. I don't know what my future holds, but all that I do know is life is short. . .or life is long. None of us really know when we will be called home to our Lord. Live each day as if it's your last, surround yourself with positive people, and let the haters be haters. I choose not to listen to it, and to follow my own heart. It's never let me down yet.
I wish all of you an amazing week, and thank you for your support.