It’s no secret that Tammy Rivera and her husband, rapper and fellow reality star Waka Flocka, have had their fair share of marital woes. 

Chronicled on the VH1 hit show Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta the pair doesn’t hold back as they deal with the reality of Waka’s infidelities which prompted the West Baltimore native to stand on her own two feet. 

In a candid conversation with ESSENCE, Rivera kept it all the way real about her passions. She touched on being a mother to her 12-year-old daughter Charlie, her faith walk with God, designing her swimsuit line and pursuing music, her first love. Rivera also further explained why she took her husband back in the wake of trolls calling her “weak.”

“One thing I can say that’s hard about repairing a marriage when it’s been broken is the trust part,” the 31-year-old admitted. “Being able to trust them because once you’ve faced infidelity, it’s hard. Having a positive mindset really helped me because if you think nothing but positive thoughts then that’s what’s going to happen. But he changed completely.”

Keeping positive thoughts in mind helped Tammy not only repair things with her husband, who she wed in 2014 and separated from in June of 2016, but also to move on and focus on herself. Having since reconciled, the “All These Kisses” songbird says getting back to a happy place with Waka meant she had to teach him a valuable lesson. 

“I was not playing [when] I left. In order for him to show me [he was serious], he had to be consistent and it was like there were months when he was in the house where he was sleeping on the couch [and] I was evil. I was like, ‘you can get out.’ He was just like, ‘no, I’m going to show you. I’m going to show you.’ When we separated, right before I left him, I said ‘I promise to God, I’ll never love you the same.’ So when we got back together I had that in my head. I was like, ‘I can lie to myself but I can’t lie to God.’ Afterwards I told him I meant what I said when I told you I would never love you the same.” And he was like, ‘I know. Because you’re going to love me more. And I promise you that.'”

Although her heart was with Waka–during their separation and their reunion–most importantly it was with her daughter, who she has set her spirit on being an example for. 

“I try to explain to people that it was so important for my child to see that during my separation with my husband that nothing was gonna change financially for her, so that made me step up and say, ‘You know what? I can’t allow my daughter to feel like, oh, when a man left…my life changed.’ No, I couldn’t let that happen. I wanted her to know, nothing is a void. I wanted her life to stay the same so that pushed me to stand up and everything that I was afraid to do.”

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