Nadia Sawalha admits the first few years of her marriage were "difficult".

Nadia Sawalha

Nadia Sawalha

The 55-year-old actress married her second husband, Mark Adderley, in 2002 - but she acknowledges that his battle with alcoholism made their relationship extremely challenging.

Asked whether she knew it was a case of true love right away, Nadia - who has Maddy, 18, and Kiki, 12, with Mark - shared: "Yes, but we were also very chaotic people back then. Very impulsive and both had suffered hurt in the past.

"It's not necessarily the best way to do it. Certainly the first few years of our marriage were difficult."

Mark was also battling depression at the height of his drinking woes.

And Nadia admits she didn't realise the scale of the problem at the time.

She told OK! magazine: "Now I realise he had depression but it was undiagnosed.

"In regards to his drinking, I realised around Maddie's first birthday that Mark was an alcoholic. None of his friends or family realised. It was a shock when he went to rehab.

"He was a high-functioning alcoholic. People would go home and he would carry on drinking. I'd go to sleep and he'd still be going. Once I realised, I made it clear that he had to change and he went to rehab. He hasn't touched a drop in 16 years."

Asked if she ever thought about leaving her huband, the actress said: "If I hadn't fallen pregnant with Maddie, our marriage would not have worked. Because it would have been so easy to walk away when things got tough. But I knew Mark had a heart of gold and I held on to that.

"So many people think if you have to work at a relationship, it doesn't hold any real value. But love is about working hard. It's not solely about compromise, but compromise has to play a part."

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