Three seasons into "Real Housewives of Dallas," and Carey Deuber is still learning to navigate the best way to showcase her multi-faceted life on reality television.
The licensed nurse went into the current third season of the franchise after dodging allegations last year about her husband's sexuality and the origins of their marriage, so, as she put it, there was nowhere to go for her but up.
With a new laser center and a home renovation on the horizon, too, Deuber has a lot in the cards this season, which she promises will result in some major changes that even she didn't see coming.
Cary Deuber recently sat down with AOL to talk about the third season of "Real Housewives of Dallas," what it's like being the most liberal cast member on the show and how she and LeeAnne were able to see past their differences this year.
Check out our full conversation below:
Congratulations on this third season! With multiple "to be continued" episodes already, it's clearly been a great season so far. What's the reaction been from what you've seen?
It’s been really positive. Last year was a great one, and coming off of that it’s going to be even better this year. From a personal standpoint for me, it’s better because it couldn’t have gotten worse. It’s been a much more even-keel year for me.
You and your husband, Mark, fought off a ton of allegations last year that kind of took things to another level for you guys. After going through something like that, do you step back and consider not coming back to the show?
Hell yeah! My husband and I are like, “We don’t need this, this isn’t something that we need to do.” We did it for something fun and something to help our business. We wanted to try it. It’s not every day that Bravo calls you and asks if you want to be on a show, and I decided that it’s worth the risk. With every risk, there’s always a downside. My husband and I went through that and came out stronger on the other side, but it was definitely a struggle. We had a few discussions and a lot of tough, dark days. Our kids did, too. I think some people don’t think about that impact on your family and the impact it has on your people. My step-kids are adults, so they got it and it was a struggle for them.
You have some exciting things going on this season, including professionally with your new laser center, even though you said last year that you were going to take a step back from work. Is that just the work horse inside you that can't stay away?
I’m just a really driven person, and I can’t sit still for five minutes. I’m aways going, I’m early everywhere and I think that’s because I’m from the east coast. My husband was right that I can’t be a stay-at-home mom. It’s just not in the cards for me. But, I’ve made it more flexible in that I now own the laser center and I’m able to be at home in the morning and drive carpool and be there for [my daughter]. It’s a win-win.
You and LeeAnne had a conversation in the first episode, which was really the first time that you were both able to sit down and come to the agreement to ... agree to disagree?
That was my goal with it, to coexist and not be nervous and scared and be fearful, but I think that I was very honest.
How did you get past that fear when it comes to LeeAnne?
I showed her who I really am. I was scared for a couple of years: I’m a nurse, I’m a normal person and I have a normal life, so for me to jump into this and be on TV and have people watching me, I was probably in my shell a bit more. When I was in a shell, I thought I would protect myself, but I think I shot myself in the foot because I wouldn’t say things that were on my mind, because I was scared of what the reaction might be. Instead, a lot of things were inferred that weren’t true, and now I think I just have more open communication and a better dialogue.
Is that truce going to hold up moving forward this season?
You’ll have to wait and see, but we take it one day at a time. It’s a work in progress every day. I want to move forward in a positive direction and I don’t want history to repeat itself.
Brandi and Stephanie are clearly best friends on the show and in real life, but you are often also lumped in with them. What do you make of the pairing off that seems to happen on your franchise?
I don’t really have a pair. I’m my own person no matter what, and I don’t like being lumped in with people. They’re great people to be lumped in with, and they’re fun girls -- we are friends -- but I pretty much have always stood on my own. I didn’t come into this show having a bestie. [Kameron] and I joke around about how Stephanie and Brandi are best friends, D’Andra and LeeAnne are also besties, so I ask her if she’ll be my bestie. It’s not third grade, though, and I don’t need a bestie. I’m friends with everybody to the extent that I can be.
Talk to me about the D'Andra and Brandi debacle about D'Andra's alleged Adderall comment. I liked that you admitted that you told Brandi about it, instead of denying it.
I will say that I think I run my mouth a little too much this year. [Laughs] There’s a point where I say, “Maybe I shouldn’t have said all of that,” because at this point in the game I think that I should just be honest. Before, I feel like I haven’t been as forthcoming and was lying by omission. I felt like saying, “Here’s the deal. You totally talked to me about this, D’Andra, and I told Brandi what we were talking about. I told her what I said, what you said, and if you have an issue, I want you to be able to talk to me.” If you don’t like it, then …
It's also hard when the original conversation happens off-camera...
You just have to take someone’s word for it. I don’t care anymore, because I know my truth. Love me or hate me, I am who I am.
Do you think you overcorrected this season when it came to being forthcoming? Did you say too much?
Well, there might be a moment coming. I haven’t seen it, either, but I do recall that I might have bit myself in the butt by trying to be too honest, but then I think I come back around. I don’t sign an NDA with these girls, but maybe there's a point that, when they tell me something, there is a line that I’m trying to navigate.
At the beginning of the series, it seemed as though there was some hesitance from the greater Dallas community about embracing this series. Has Dallas society come around on the show?
You know, I don’t know. I seldom leave the house, unless I’m going to work or bringing my kid to school. I am not big in the social scene in Dallas anymore. I don’t have time for it. We donate money and don’t go to a whole lot. Dallas is an ultra-conservative place still -- there’s a subset of people who are ultra-conservative -- but there is also a subset who are more liberal, and I’m definitely one of those more liberal people. Probably the most [liberal] on our show. For sure, like not even close. I’m sure there are still some of those old school people that have their panties in a wad about it, but I think it’s generally more accepted.
Do you think you're the most liberal cast member because you're from the east coast?
I think so. And because my husband is Swiss. We’re more European, our household is more European and you’ll see me naked a little bit. [Laughs] My family is from Europe, which you’ll see this year. It’s interesting, because America is very much accepting of violence, but not of nudity and sexuality and those kinds of things, and I think I’m the opposite of that. I’m not accepting of violence; I’m more of a peaceful person and I’m not into all of that -- it’s not my jam -- but I’m much more accepting. I think I just live my life a little differently than a lot of other Americans.
It's kind of fun that you've been slowly able to let us see all aspects of your life over the years.
Slowly! This year is the first year that I look like myself, and I don’t know if that’s because I’ve held back and been so nervous and in my shell. I think I shot myself in the foot with [not being] as forthcoming, where I just sort of stood there and thought, “Girl, you shouldn’t be saying that,” where I should've just said, “Girl, you shouldn’t be saying that.” Now I’ve learned that, you’re on TV and people aren’t in your head and you need to voice your opinion and how you’re feeling. This year you get to see more of me and who I am, my family and my husband and who he really is.
What's still to come from season three? What's going to change?
You’ll see how the dynamics between the girls change, because I feel like there’s a lot of change this year. I didn’t expect it. It was out of nowhere, so it’s very interesting.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
"Real Housewives of Dallas" airs on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo