Bobby Brown's Wife Alicia Doesn't Focus on His Past: 'Bobby and Whitney Were Their Time — I'm the Yin to His Yang'

The couple of nearly 10 years share their love story ahead of new A&E reality series Bobby Brown: Every Little Step, out May 31

Bobby Brown knows what it feels like to get a second chance at love and life.

Ahead of his new A&E documentary Biography: Bobby Brown, premiering May 30, the 53-year-old singer and his wife and manager Alicia Etheredge-Brown, opened up to PEOPLE about their surprising love story and what it's like raising three young children together.

Brown and Etheredge first met in the late '80s, not long after he was ousted from the hit R&B group New Edition. As she remembers "He was fun and crazy and full of energy," she says. Interjects Brown, who chuckles thinking back on his "bad boy" persona: "I was full of something."

The two formed a platonic friendship at the time that lasted decades. After his split from Houston in 2007, Etheredge-Brown says she noticed that the spark within him had died.

She tells PEOPLE, "He was in a pretty sad place. I saw him dealing with heartbreak. I saw him fighting to get back to his music and to what he loves."

Bobby Brown and famil shot at a location home in Bel Air, CA on April 19, 2022. Photographer: Nolwen Cifuentes Hair: Mona Shabazz Makeup: Ronald Herrera Stylist: Kenya Ware Watches: Rolex
Alicia Etheredge-Brown and Bobby Brown. Nolwen Cifuentes

Brown recalls living out of his car at the time. In his despair, the two began working together and it wasn't long until sparks began to fly. The pair married in 2012 and have welcomed three children together: Cassius, 13, Bodhi, 6, and Hendrix, 5.

"I am the yin to his yang," Etherege-Brown says of their relationship, which will be on full display in the new A&E reality series Bobby Brown: Every Little Step, premiering just after his documentary airs on May 31. Through the years the couple have faced the worst life has to offer, including Brown's battle with addiction and the loss of his children Bobbi Kristina and Bobby Jr. to drug abuse.

But they've also carried the burden of living in the shadow of Brown's previous marriage to late superstar Whitney Houston. As they near their 10-year anniversary, Etheredge-Brown says she's long since arrived at a place of understanding and contentment when it comes to the memory of Houston and Brown's never-ending connection to the late star.

"Bobby and Whitney were their time," she says. "I also came from a place. So knowing that he loved hard and came out the other end and somehow we were meant to be and found each other again, that's what I focus on."

While the pair is bringing cameras into their home for the 12-episode reality series, Brown set out clear parameters. "There's certain times we can be filmed and certain times that you've got to cut the cameras off," he says.

Bobby Brown and family shot at a location home in Bel Air, CA on April 19, 2022. Photographer: Nolwen Cifuentes Hair: Mona Shabazz Makeup: Ronald Herrera Stylist: Kenya Ware Watches: Rolex
Bobby Brown. Nolwen Cifuentes

Back in the early '00s, he and Houston put their marriage on display for the world, starring in the highly-criticized show Being Bobby Brown, which many said spotlighted their addiction and marriage struggles and helped tarnish Houston's sterling image.

Etheredge-Brown says of their new show, "We walked into it of course with caution. We've been approached a few times, but A&E gave us the privilege to produce and have a say in what we're doing. We're really proud of it."

A main focus of the series will be Brown's kids, including adult son Landon and daughter LaPrincia from previous relationships. "It's rewarding, but so exhausting," Brown says of fatherhood, especially with his littlest ones.

Still, he adds, "My kids are just everything to me."

For more on Bobby Brown's life, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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