SHEENA LYNCH seems to have it made with her husband, Boyzone singer Shane.
But the latest recruit to ITVBe reality show Real Housewives Of Cheshire has confessed that lockdown nearly broke their 14-year marriage.
Shane, 45, moved out for two months as he struggled with the pressures of being cooped up, only to later return to Sheena, 42, and their daughters Billie Rae, 12, and Marley Mae, nine.
They had moved from Surrey to Cheshire in 2019. But after Irish band Boyzone’s farewell tour ended that October, and the country was plunged into Covid chaos in March last year, it put a strain on the Lynch household.
Former backing singer Sheena says: “Before lockdown, I would see Shane two or three times a week, as he was always on the road.
“The kids were very used to him not being here and I like things to run a certain way. I have my routine.
“He was trying to fit in but he didn’t know how to fill the time.
“I wouldn’t say he was irritating as I’m the one with the annoying habits.
“I’m constantly clearing up and it drives Shane nuts. Before he’s finished with something, I’ve taken it away. I also talk to myself out loud, so Shane thinks I’m having a conversation with him. Things were tense in the house and, after a while, it just wasn’t working.”
The pair, who married in the summer of 2007, decided to have a break from each other.
Sheena says: “There was no shouting or screaming but we made a really adult decision that we needed to take some time out.
“We still have property down south so I said, ‘Why don’t you go down there so we can have a breather?’
“I think he was gone for about two months but we would still talk on FaceTime. He then started visiting and eventually I was like, ‘I don’t want you to go now’.
“I think the break helped us. It was lovely when he came home.
“Now, we are really enjoying life in Cheshire. It’s more cosmopolitan than Surrey and the people are lovely here.
“We have lots of famous neighbours including former England footballer John Barnes, who has been round for tea and a barbecue.”
The couple moved north to be closer to Shane’s sisters Tara and Edele, who was in Nineties girlband B*Witched with her twin Keavy. They are now building two new businesses, an Irish bar and a supercar centre. More importantly, their relationship is back on track.
Sheena says: “Shane is my best friend but it’s never just mates because you don’t want to jump on your mate — and I want to jump on Shane all the time.
“He used to be more boyish, I guess. Now he is rugged and sexy, so I love him to bits.
“I’m not romantic and not into all that fluffy Hollywood romance you see on TV.
“But what makes me melt is when Shane gets up really early to make sure my car has petrol in it and it is really clean and tidy.
‘I WANT TO CHANCE PERCEPTIONS OF ME’
“Or, when I say a shelf is too high, before I know it he’s adjusted it so it’s just right.
“For me, you can take all the flowers and chocolates. DIY is real romance because you’ve actually thought about me.”
Sheena debuted on The Real Housewives Of Cheshire this month, replacing show stalwart Dawn Ward, 48, who left earlier in the year.
She says: “I’m hoping to bring a bit of London to Cheshire.”
The cast, including socialites such as model Tanya Bardsley, 40, and Seema Malhotra, 50, owner of Manchester fashion store Forever Unique, have already shot scenes on a girls’ trip to Edinburgh.
And Sheena admits they all got along famously.
Of her decision to join the show, she says: “There was a lot of reflecting during the first lockdown and I started to think about all the exciting things I had turned down because I was afraid.
"The whole entertainment industry scares the hell out of me. Generally, I’m a private person, so I left that to Shane. But I decided, ‘The next thing I get offered I’m going to do it’.
“It’s jumping in at the deep end and I am apprehensive. I want to change people’s perceptions of who I am, as a pop star’s wife, and to show I’m just like any other woman out there who is married with children.
“I’m very hands-on with my kids. We don’t have a nanny, no help. I’m a control freak and want everything done the way I want.
What makes me melt is when Shane gets up really early to make sure my car has petrol in it.
“I have a cleaner but as soon as I get in from work, I’m on my hands and knees scrubbing a floor. That’s why my family calls me Monica from Friends. I don’t think I’m OCD but I can’t concentrate if the place is a mess. My older daughter thinks I’m the most embarrassing person in the world and is always saying, ‘Mum, stop it’.
“People will also see what a great dad Shane is. He is very calm and down to earth. It can be going off around him and out of nowhere he’ll come out with a pearl of wisdom and I will be like, ‘You’re right’.
“But he is lots of fun and does silly things with the kids.
“Shane is my first serious relationship and my first love. We are absolute chalk and cheese and don’t even like the same TV shows.
“I like a good drama and dating shows, while he loves the Discovery Channel survival show Naked And Afraid and anything to do with cars and blokes.
“But it is our differences that make us right for each other.
“We’re in a really good place at the moment and trying to make more time to do the things that make us happy, like sneaking off to the cinema in the afternoon.
“He’s the best guy, the best dad and a beautiful man. I’m happy I can still see that.”