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How Nadia Sawalha and husband Mark saved their marriage

The couple have been together for nearly two decades

Sharnaz Shahid

Nadia Sawalha has never shied away from discussing her personal life with her fans, from her husband's alcoholism to having marriage counselling.

The Loose Women star recently sparked concern from her friends and followers after she posted a video that showed her breaking down in tears as she discussed "compromise" in her marriage. However, it turns out she had just been made to watch the football.

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Despite doing the video as a joke, over the years Nadia has been extremely honest about the realities of marriage with second husband Mark Adderley. They tied the knot in 2002, and now share two daughters together.

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In a searingly candid home video, the couple shared their thoughts on Mark's addiction in the early stages of their marriage. The Youtube video, which shared on Nadia and Kaye Adams' channel back in 2016, saw the couple open up about Marks' battle with alcoholism, describing every day as a "struggle".

He explained: "Every day is a struggle. Every day is a huge effort, to not get up literally, but a huge effort to tackle the day. The whole day is to be attacked, to be grappled with, it's to be fought. It is exhausting. I always say to Nadia and the girls, 'Look you're all finding me irritating now, you can all walk through that door and leave me, I can't, I have to stay in the same room as me.'"

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Nadia has been married to husband Mark since 2002

Mark continued: "The most important thing they used to say in the Priory you need to need to do it for yourself, you're not getting sober for your wife, you're not getting sober for your children, and I've said this many times, I differ from that. There's no better reason to get sober for your wife, your children, your family because I struggle to do it for myself because I think I could cope, I could carry on."

MORE: Loose Women's Nadia Sawalha shares rare family photos with fans

READ: Nadia Sawalha sparks reaction with 'really tough' marriage confession

TV producer Mark, who was caught drink-driving by police in 2003, has remained sober. In 2019, Nadia bravely touched on her past relationship with alcohol, revealing that had she not fallen pregnant, both she and her husband "probably would have died".

The TV star admitted that she was "emotionally and physically unwell" when she first met Mark, and "hadn't been dealing with grief" following the death of her first husband Justin Mildwater, who had taken his own life in 1997.

"There was a lot of drink and a lot of late nights," Nadia, 56, said. The couple fell pregnant in 2002 with daughter Maddie - now 18 - and later welcomed their second daughter, Kiki, 13.

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The couple share two daughters together

Nadia made the comments while speaking to Mark on their podcast, How To Stay Married (So Far). "Getting together with you and getting pregnant made me go, 'Jesus Christ, ok, all that's gone before has to stop'," she expressed.

"I was such a different person since getting pregnant with Maddie. Because it was like, 'I've got this child and I've got to look after her', and I immediately stopped drinking... And I was pregnant and you were still drinking, and I think that was probably the beginning of us saving our lives. If I hadn't got pregnant, we probably would have died. We probably would have gone crazy on the alcohol," she concluded.

Last month for their 19th anniversary, Nadia uploaded a series of photos and credited marriage counselling for saving their relationship. "Nineteen years married today… We almost didn’t make it. Too often when people post about their relationships on here it can all be a bit hearts and flowers! And that can be so damn intimidating and depressing for those that might be struggling with their own relationship.

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They recently celebrated their 19th anniversary

"So here’s the truth. Mark and I were always going to be together. I think we knew that the minute we met. We kind of crashed into each other really. At the time we were both so unhappy for very different reasons.

"We were self-medicating our feelings with bottles of booze and crazy behaviours. It's a miracle we didn't both snuff it in those first few months."

Touching on their struggles, she added: "The first few years of our marriage were really really tough. If I'm honest we were [explicit] miserable a lot of the time. Eventually, after a whole heap of hell, we came to the realisation that we were going to have to get on with the graft of making it work because actually we loved each other and would have been as miserable as sin if we’d broken up."

On how they survived the hardships, Nadia said: "And we have actually worked our arses off to keep this relationship alive and fizzing. Couples counselling, staying when we’ve wanted to leave, listening when we’ve not wanted to, compromising when we’d rather have died!

"And here we are 19 years on off the back of a very challenging, frightening few weeks. And I love Mark more than I ever have. Our marriage in some ways is a beautiful disaster and I wouldn’t have had it any other way."

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