From in-law problems to financial issues and arguments over gender roles and household labor, Kalani Faagata and Asuelu Pulaa have struggled greatly in their marriage on the fifth season of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After.
After a major showdown between Kalani and Asuelu’s family over their refusal to send money back to Asuelu’s home country of Samoa, the Utah-based couple and parents of two finally decided to head to marital counseling. Their relationship seemed to be on its way to better days after a few sessions of therapy.
But, on the most recent episode of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After, Kalani revealed that her marriage took a nosedive after the COVID-19 crisis hit their area. When she found out that Asuelu was going out with his friends and lying about his whereabouts during the pandemic, Kalani felt she had to protect their young sons, Oliver and Kennedy, by kicking Asuelu out of the house.
90 Day Fiancé fans reacted to Kalani’s decision on social media, with the vast majority of viewers siding with Kalani due to Asuelu’s apparent carelessness about a major public health issue.
Kalani accused Asuelu of exposing himself, and potentially their kids, to COVID-19 risks
On the Sept. 20 episode of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After, Kalani opened up about her decision to buy Asuelu a one-way ticket to his mom’s house amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s almost like he’s trying to purposely expose himself to get coronavirus,” Kalani said, adding that she even put a tracker on his phone to try to keep up with his lies. “He keeps going out with his friends, and then he’ll lie about where he is.”
The mom of two said she couldn’t justify risking her kids’ health. Ultimately, she asked Asuelu to spend some time away from her and the boys.
“I’m done with it,” Kalani said. “I need to protect my kids. I can’t keep letting him do whatever the hell he wants. I’m not gonna let him just get back in the house with the babies.”
Asuelu’s wife admitted that she didn’t even know when—or if—she wanted her husband to return.
“I don’t know when he’s coming back, because this is not working,” Kalani confessed.
Many fans supported Kalani’s decision due to the couple’s young children
In one Reddit thread about Kalani’s decision to separate from Asuelu (at least temporarily), many fans derided Asuelu’s choice to party with friends during the height of the COVID-19 crisis—especially because he’s a dad to two small children.
“He’s not taking the pandemic seriously even though he has young kids at home?” one Reddit user wrote. “Yikes. Hope she leaves him out.”
Another fan argued that it was particularly reckless to ignore social distancing guidelines with children at home, and Asuelu’s actions might suggest something selfish in his character.
“I was watching this video and I was feeling enraged for Kalani and her little kids!” they wrote. “Children can get horribly sick with coronavirus and the consequences they face are horrendous.”
Other Redditors drew the comparison between Asuelu’s attitude towards the measles outbreak in Samoa—which he wanted to ignore in favor of traveling there with his family.
“Sounds like the same story with the measles outbreak, he wants to do what he wants regardless,” one critic pointed out.
Some ’90 Day Fiancé’ viewers pointed out that Asuelu and Kalani’s problems had been going on for some time
While some 90 Day Fiancé fans accused Kalani of being overly “controlling” or hypercautious when it came to COVID-19 and potential health issues, the majority seemed to take her side. Others pointed out that this was far from the first major marital issue Asuelu and Kalani had faced.
In another Reddit thread, a fan pushed back against Kalani’s assertion that her marriage “wasn’t working anymore,” arguing that it hadn’t been for a long time.
“It’s sad when she says ‘it’s not working anymore,’” they wrote. “It was never working. It was never going to work.”
“I think the pandemic made a lot of people take a good hard look at their relationships, and hopefully Kalani came up with a solution that works for them,” another Reddit user agreed.
Other viewers thought the COVID-19 crisis had simply thrown Kalani and Asuelu’s underlying, ongoing marital problems into high relief.
“He treats her like garbage and puts himself before his kids,” one Reddit user wrote of Asuelu.
Many fans have long accused Asuelu of being too immature and self-centered to make a long-term relationship work. Others think the couple is simply a bad match in terms of their respective personalities and cultural differences. Whatever the case, it seems that the pair might have had to come to a final reckoning about what was really going on in their marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.