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Finding love once more

For a long time following the tragic death of the love of her life, Kloof’s Tori Celliers was forced to put on a brave face for her children. Now, years later, her journey of healing and desire to find love again has landed her a role on M-Net’s new reality show, The Single Wives SA.

Based on the popular Australian show with the same name, The Single Wives SA features six previously married women who have been unlucky in their search for love. The show sees them embarking on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, offering them real-life tools to possibly find love once more. “The show is ultimately not just about competing for an object of affection or finding ‘Mr Right’, it’s about brave women willing to be vulnerable, share their anxieties, shed their fears and face the stumbling blocks to get to a point where they’re ready for a healthy and potentially long-lasting relationship again,” says 47-year-old Bodytec Hillcrest fitness studio owner Tori.

A BROKEN MARRIAGE

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Tori is a passionate, kind and driven people’s person with a genuinely contagious laugh. When her marriage of eight-and-a-half-years ended after a series of infidelities, the mother of two says she walked away not because she did not love her ex-husband any more, but because she knew she had to stop hurting herself. “Steven and I had a very tumultuous marriage and, while both climbing the corporate ladder, our relationship was placed under pressure. As I became increasingly independent and driven, his affairs increased. We decided to end our marriage and Steven and I remained apart, but continued our friendship. We soon realised how much we missed and genuinely loved one another and considered reconciling, but decided to take things slowly. I did not want the children to get hurt.” But, before their love could take flight for a second time, Steven was tragically murdered.

UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY

“I’ll never forget that day on 1 June 2018. Steven was shot once in the neck and four times in the chest. It was the most awful time of my life. Our chance at becoming a family again was ripped away and my soul mate was dead. It made me angry and I went into autopilot.”

The first few months were horrific for Tori who suffered terrible nightmares, constantly imagining the fear Steven must have had that morning the real-life nightmare unfolded. “I felt robbed of love. No one can prepare you for this.” Tori managed to keep her career in corporate going for six months after Steven’s death, but by January 2019, she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and resigned. She took three months off to delve into self-help and meditation. “I lost my father when I was seven, so I knew what I needed to do to ensure my kids, Cameron (now 22) and Emma (now 15), were as little traumatized by this as possible. Leaving the pharmaceutical industry and being there for my children was what got me through the rough road of loss.”

A HEALING JOURNEY

It has been difficult for Tori to find closure and move forward. “Over time I have learnt to appreciate and embrace life’s challenges and joys. I’ve also taught myself new ways of dealing with stress and coping with my emotions, including meditating, gardening and spending time with my dogs.”

Tori also enjoys reading and spends lots of time on the beach. Her favourite space, she says, is her patio, where she and her children spend many hours sitting around the table, talking about life. “We also always eat at least one meal a day together. I obviously train at my studio regularly. It is an incredible workout in just 20 minutes, and makes me feel on top of the world.” Tori has also found a special interest in psychology, and has completed several counselling courses.

SIGNING UP FOR THE SHOW

It was while she was browsing social media one Friday that Tori came across an advert for The Single Wives SA. She was intrigued when she saw that it was about more than just finding love, but also finding yourself. Confident she was ready for both, she signed up. “I’m embarking on this journey to find myself. I know I carry a lot of baggage and have found it extremely difficult to move forward. I’ve needed to accept and open myself up to new things. I was especially excited by the prospect of learning new coping tools to enable me to move beyond this stagnant space I’ve been in.” Going into The Single Wives SA, Tori says she has absolutely no fear. Eager for her journey of self-discovery to be reignited, she looks forward to nothing more than a happier, more confident future in which she can learn to love again with all of her heart and soul. “I’m looking forward to my journey on The Single Wives SA, and am hopeful that my life will change for the better. I’d like to blossom as a person, and am definitely ready to love again.”

The Single Wives SA is produced by Black Swan Media and will be screened on M-Net Channel 101 every Thursday at 7pm starting on 3 September 2020. Details: Follow #TheSingleWivesSA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@Mnet)

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