Michelle Heaton's husband feared she'd end up dead if he ended their marriage.
The 42-year-old singer sought help for alcoholism in April 2021 when her health hit rock bottom and Hugh Hanley admitted that, although standing by her was difficult, he feared the worst if he walked away with their two children, Faith, nine, and seven-year-old AJ.
He said: “At the start of last year, I didn’t know if Michelle could survive. Her body was shutting down and she was drinking more than ever.
“We were heading to a final outcome because everyone was at breaking point.
“She was choosing darkness and I was trying to deal with the chaos of her spiralling and worrying about where it was going to end for her, me and the kids...
“There was a desire to make sure the kids didn’t grow up without a mum.
“I knew if I left, Michelle wouldn’t have made it much longer. I was very aware that I was there to help keep her alive.”
Michelle was hospitalised and put on a drip one day in December 2020 but even stark warnings from her doctor and a pancreas and liver specialist couldn't stop the Liberty X star from drinking, much to her husband's frustration.
Hugh told The Sun newspaper: “Hearing two senior doctors say your wife is going to die and then watching her go home and continue to drink, just felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.
“I’d ask, ‘What is it going to take for you to realise how bad this is?’ But she wasn’t taking it on board.”
Michelle - who was drinking two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka a day at her lowest point - added: “I did try to stop. I really did. I’d have a couple of good days and when I say good days, I don’t mean sober days.
"But I just couldn’t stop. Now I understand addiction, I know this is a disease and it can happen to anyone.”
The 'Just A Little' singer sought help following an intervention from Hugh and her friends and she knew her month-long stint in rehab was her last chance.
She said: “I was going to die if I didn’t get help. I knew we could never afford this again because it was very expensive, We had to borrow the money, which we’re still paying back.”
And now the couple's marriage is stronger than ever
Hugh said: “As soon as she got sober, we slotted back into our groove and things are the best they’ve been.”