I FELL madly in love with my first husband Nick Green the moment I laid eyes on him. It was 1987 and my family had just moved from Leicestershire to Cheshire.
I joined the local college halfway through my A levels and was this really nerdy 17 year old with a huge perm and terrible acne.
Andrea McLean admits she was embarrassed by problems in my second marriage
Nick, on the other hand, was one of the most popular boys because of his swishy brown hair and handsome smile.
On my first day, a girl caught me looking at him across the common room and said: “Don’t even think about it!” There were already so many girls lining up to date him.
I was very shy and kept my distance. But as luck would have it, we were assigned a geography project to work on together and hit it off. We were inseparable from then on.
Growing up, I clearly watched too many Disney movies and thought I’d found my Prince Charming. I wanted the big wedding and to live happily ever after – like my parents, who have been together almost 56 years.
But Nick wasn’t sure he wanted to settle down. In 1998, I gave him an ultimatum, and said: “We’ve been together for 11 years, if you don’t know by now, then why are we doing this?”
Looking back, I pressured him to commit. I couldn’t be honest with myself, but it was clear we’d drifted apart before our wedding in 2000.
We welcomed our son Finlay two years later and I hoped becoming parents would bring us closer. But sadly, that didn’t happen.
The following year, I met my second husband Steve Toms on the set of [home makeover show] Our House. I was still married to Nick at the time, but we’d reached a place of absolute disconnect.
People think loneliness is being by yourself. To me, it’s feeling alone in a relationship, and I was drawn to Steve because I felt like he’d look after me.
We got on so well as co-hosts that we began speaking on the phone outside of work, before sleeping together a few months later.
I confessed everything to Nick during a trip to Paris for Valentine’s Day. He was so hurt and we separated not long after, divorcing in 2005.
Steve and I decided to give it a real go in 2006. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make my second marriage work.
I was still desperate for that happy ending. But the cracks started to show early on. Due to the way our relationship overlapped with my previous marriage, I was embarrassed to talk about how incompatible we were with friends.
Our relationship ended on Boxing Day 2011 and I left the family home with Finn and my daughter with Steve, Amy [now 15].
I didn’t give the kids much detail about the divorce. All they needed to know was that they were loved and it wasn’t their fault.
After Steve and I ended, I thought love just wasn’t for me. But in 2013, I agreed to go on a blind date set up by a Loose Women make-up artist out of politeness.
My first impression of my now third husband Nick [Feeney, 49] was that he had a kind face. We went for drinks at a bar in Brighton and I was so shy that I could barely look him in the eye.
Later that night, he took my hand to lead me across the dance floor and this huge electric shock jolted through us both. He leaned in and kissed me like in the movies.
It didn’t take long to realise he was The One. We married four years after our first date, on November 30, 2017.
I couldn’t care less what people thought about it being my third time. All I know is that Nick is my soulmate.
He’s the first person I want to speak to in the mornings and the last one I want to see at night.
That said, I’m a huge believer in therapy and we go for a catch-up with our counsellor every few months.
We originally started going after my breakdown in 2018 to learn how to communicate better, and now see it like a relationship MOT. I’d recommend it to all couples.
- Andrea is CEO of female-empowerment platform This Girl Is On Fire and author of You Just Need to Believe It (£12.99, Hay House).