Inside Andrea McLean and husband Nick Feeney’s stunning garden which brings Loose Women star ‘so much happiness’

They’ve been married less than three years, but Andrea McLean and Nick Feeney have already battled through their fair share of challenges. Speaking to OK! magazine in an exclusive interview, the couple reveal why they decided to seek marriage counselling after Andrea went through a breakdown last year.

While the Loose Women favourite was her usual upbeat self on the programme, she was secretly suffering from depression.

Only her husband was aware of the situation. “I wanted to go to counselling before our relationship got bad,” Nick, 47, explains.

The couple had three sessions so that he could better understand what Andrea was going through. “The biggest compliment for Nick is that I felt safe enough to fall with him,” Andrea, 50, tells us.

The couple are currently isolating in Surrey with Andrea’s children, Finlay, 18, and Amy, 13, from previous marriages, while Nick’s daughters, Tia-Lily, 17, and Sienna, 15, have been spending some time at the house. Along with their Cavapoo dog Teddy, it makes their household very busy, but they still had time to pose for some photos in their garden.

Here, the pair chat about their joint business venture and why they’re sure they’ll be together for ever…

  • Andrea McLean reveals how ‘lost and vulnerable’ she was before marriage counselling with husband Nick and says they'll be ‘together forever’

  • Andrea McLean reveals she had therapy after a secret breakdown last year: 'I was in a really dark place'

Andrea, when did you realise you needed help?

I just hit a wall one day. I came home and said to Nick, “We need to talk.” I was giving everything 120 per cent, and I wasn’t looking after myself. We have our website, This Girl Is On Fire, which aims to empower women by giving them expert advice, but I wasn’t following that myself. It was a stark warning to both of us that we needed to take stock of everything. Fun was something I forgot about because my focus was on surviving.

Nick, how did you feel watching her go through it?

When Andrea first opened up, she told me there were a few things I was doing that weren’t helping, and that she felt I wasn’t hearing her. I thought we had an amazing relationship, so for my wife to tell me that was devastating.

What prompted you both to go to marriage counselling?

Nick: It was me that suggested we got some counselling. Andrea said, “Oh no, it’s not that bad”, but I thought we needed help before our relationship turned bad. I’d previously had counselling after the breakdown of
my first marriage. We’d been together 25 years and always thought it was forever so I had to deal with that.

Andrea: I’d never had any counselling before so it was new to me.

Nick: We actually only had three sessions together, and then Andrea went through a good amount more to learn about herself. I needed to learn that a lot of Andrea’s situation had nothing to do with me. It’s easy for people to make it about themselves and say, “I haven’t done anything.
Why are you being like that?”

Was there a point when you thought you might divorce?

Andrea: Absolutely not. We’ll be together forever.

Nick: Even when we first got together, Andrea wasn’t in a great place, and neither was I. We could have easily said, “Let’s just leave it, we’ve got enough of our own s**t,” but we didn’t.

Why did you decide to open up about your breakdown on Loose Women, Andrea?

I didn’t decide. During lockdown I’ve been writing a book about how I put myself back together after a breakdown so that was at the forefront of my mind when I was recording Loose Women. As soon as the words came out my mouth, I thought, “What have I said on live TV?” but I don’t regret opening up. I just hope people will have got some kind of comfort from it. I’m not this woman who’s got it all together – I have my struggles the same as everyone else.

Nick: Andrea has been through so much in the last couple of years, but now she’s building herself back up into a much stronger woman. She is flourishing.

Is that nice to hear, Andrea?

It is actually quite emotional because when I was going through it, I felt really guilty for making the person that I love go through it with me. I’m the kind of person that holds everything in and keeps smiling, but inside I was really lost, scared and feeling vulnerable.

Do you feel proud that you got through this together?

Andrea: Yes, definitely. The biggest compliment for Nick is that I felt safe enough to fall with him.

Read More

Latest OK! Exclusives

  • Michelle Keegan front-runner to repl…
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's ado…
  • Amy Hart reveals why she’s ‘starting…
  • Love Island's Paige Turley and Finn …

Nick: I take it as an honour that she was able to break down to me. That takes a lot of trust.

Do you feel you’re in a good place now?

Definitely. I see each day as an opportunity for a fresh start. I do struggle with always staying positive, but I practise gratitude every day.

Are you still having any therapy?

Andrea: No, we stopped last year. It feels like such a long time ago as we’ve come so far.

Nick: Any time we want to dip back in, we can. We do argue, but we’re always kind to each other.

What is the best thing about your marriage?

Andrea: I feel like I can be me and there are no repercussions.

Nick: Without sounding too cheesy, Andrea has allowed me to find myself.

How have you been spending your days in lockdown?

Andrea: I haven’t had a minute because I was in the final stages of finishing my book. Usually we do a workout in the morning, and then do some work. At 10.30am we meet for our morning coffee and then head back to our rooms. In the afternoons we meet to talk about the website. Nick works on it in our converted garage.

How long have you lived in this house?

Andrea: I moved here in 2012, and then I think Nick arrived in 2016.

Nick: I started out with a bathroom shelf, and even now that I live here I still only have one!

How did you find living with a partner again?

Nick: I’ll tell you what she found hardest – giving up the pink wallpaper and curtains!

Andrea: Many women who’ve got divorced will understand that when you move into somewhere on your own, you feel a real ownership. I thought, this is my house and I’ll decorate it in a really girly way with lots of pink.

Nick: When Andrea was ready to let go, we decorated together, and we do actually have similar tastes.

Your garden looks lovely…

Andrea: I love my garden – it brings me so much happiness. We’ve used lockdown to work on it and buy some lovely garden furniture. We’re contemplating getting a hot tub, too, or possibly a small pool. The way we see it, we’re not going on holiday, so we wanted to bring the holiday to our back garden.

How have you found having a blended family at this time?

Andrea: We are all on the same page in trying to make sure the kids are making the most of this time. I’m very aware of everybody’s mental health and want to make sure the children are achieving something every day so they get that feeling of satisfaction.

Nick: It’s a really well-oiled machine. We’ve all got our differences as people, but as long as everyone behaves like adults, then we’ve got no problems. Everyone’s focus is always on what’s the best for the children.

Do the children get along with each other?

Andrea: They all do! Amy and Sienna are best friends, and they talk about stuff that we have no idea about! When they heard we were getting married, they were screaming, “We’re going to be sisters.”

Nick: They all genuinely look after each other. They even look similar, so you’d never know we were a blended family. Andrea’s children have their dad and I’d never try to replace him, but I do love them as if they’re my own.

Are you able to have any quality time together at the moment?

Andrea: Before lockdown we had to make a real effort to have a family dinner once a week – now they are nearly every night! We have to remember to get time for just us two.

Nick: We have had some date nights and made an effort for each other. We’ll tell the children to go up to their rooms, and we’ll open a bottle of wine.

  • Download OK! magazine's FREE app and get all the latest gossip straight to your phone

  • Get celebrity exclusives, at home tours, fashion and beauty news and clever cleaning hacks straight to your inbox!

Andrea, have you enjoyed having a break from always getting glammed up?

Nick: She’s enjoying the break from bras. It was the first thing that came off after the shoot!

Andrea: It’s been lovely to not have to get glammed up every single day. But I really enjoyed doing it for this shoot. We also get dressed up for family themed nights. I organised some drinks for the older children and us because Nick was getting too serious with work. We had piña coladas and rum punches. We then decided to dye Finlay’s hair pink. Another evening we decided to have a dance-off, and the girls’ team won! Although I have to say that had nothing to do with me. I was definitely the weakest link.

Andrea, have you enjoyed being back in the Loose Women studio?

When I heard we were going back I was really nervous. I was used to lockdown, and I didn’t want to put my children in any kind of danger, but ITV has taken the correct precautions and now I’m three weeks in, it’s nice to be back. It’s lovely to be around the other women. We did stay in touch on our WhatsApp group, and even had a Zoom party for Saira Khan’s 50th birthday.

Why did you decide to start your podcast This Girl Is On Fire?

Andrea: My goal is ultimately to empower 100 million women around the world. That sounds like such a bold claim, but I’ve always been very grateful for the fact that I’ve been able to provide for myself and my children – I want other women to have that opportunity. I’ve tried to explain to my daughter that I’m immensely privileged to live in a society where I could make a decision to walk away from a marriage that wasn’t healthy. Many women aren’t in that position, so that’s the reason I feel so passionate about This Girl Is On Fire. Many people might think, “Why do you have your husband working on it?” but if you can find a male who will lift you up, then you need to utilise it.

Nick: I love what I do and I genuinely look forward to work every day. The reason we get so much feedback on our website is because Andrea is honest about her experiences. I can’t personally help everyone, but I want to reach people by providing wonderful information
and tips on our website.

Andrea McLean’s second book, This Girl is on Fire: How to Live, Learn and Thrive in a Life You Love, is available for pre-order.

Source: Read Full Article