‘The next step is a trial separation’ Coleen Nolan opens up about marriage ‘crisis’

Coleen Nolan has opened up about her marriage troubles with partner of 17 years, Ray Fensome.

The Loose Women panellist spoke to the Sunday Mirror about the issues the couple were facing, saying that it was ‘decision time’ for the pair, who have been married for eight years.

Coleen, 51, added that she and Ray, 58, will spend Christmas together with their daughter Ciara, 15, as well as her sons Shane and Jake from her previous marriage to Shane Ritchie, but have a lot to figure out in the New Year.

‘My marriage is in crisis and I won’t lie about it,’ she admitted to the paper. ‘We’re going to do a lot of talking over the next couple of weeks, but if we can’t fix it then I want us to have counselling. The next step is a trial separation.’

‘But I don’t see that as a failure. It’s important to know what it would be like not to have each other in our lives and it’s a chance to reflect.’

‘It would be more of a failure if we just ignored it and carried on. We’ve been in this position before and hopefully we can come through it again.’

The mum-of-three blamed work commitments for the problems, as Ray, a musician, has been on tour with Rick Astley, leading to extended periods of time apart.

‘The kids are older and need us less and Ray’s job has taken him away more. But instead of evolving with those changes, our relationship has just hit a wall and it’s only when you’re thrown together again you realise the connection you once had is gone.’

‘We’d spend hours sitting at opposite ends of the couch not talking and we’d go to bed at different times. The house would be empty apart from the two of us and I’d realise we hadn’t spoken to each other for days.’

Coleen also revealed that her confidence had taken a knock since turning 50: ‘I suddenly felt invisible as a woman and was looking for ­reassurance from Ray. Six months ago I said to him, “I don’t feel like you fancy me any more” and I told him he had to answer me honestly.’

‘I was totally devastated when he said, “The thing is, men are visual”. He meant that when he looks at me, he doesn’t fancy me.’

‘It was very tough to hear, but I’d asked him for the truth and sometimes the truth bloody hurts! He went through a period – perhaps still is – where that physical attraction just wasn’t there for him.’

However, despite the battles ahead, Coleen stressed that she had the support of her family, and was determined to try her best to save the relationship.

‘The boys and Ciara have been amazing,’ she said. ‘We’ve been honest that we’re having problems, although we’ve never made it their problem, and they’re supporting us.’

‘Ciara has been amazingly mature and said, “Look, I just want you both to be happy – I’ll always love you no matter what because you’re my mum and dad.” I’m determined to set a good example to her.’

‘If you’re not happy in a relationship, you do everything you can to sort it out and if it doesn’t work you can walk away head held high, knowing you’ve really tried.’