Rio Ferdinand has admitted he feared he would “never be happy again” following the death of his wife Rebecca in 2015.
His confession comes in an emotional film in which he says he was not looking for love, but focusing on his three grieving children.
Rio, 41, admits in the BBC documentary, made in the run-up to his wedding to Kate Wright, that she has brought joy to all their lives.
He said: "I thought I’m never going to be happy again."
"I’ll never meet anyone, I was just really content with just being me and the kids and that’s all I thought it was going to be. And then something just happened."
“When you speak to the kids and the response is much more fun in the house, like – what dad couldn’t want that? She’s uplifting, she’s added value to this house given where it was. It was at a low ebb."
The ex-England ace added: "You feel you’ve been dealt a terrible hand, but your luck can change."
Former Towie star Kate, 28, confesses she doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to being a step-mum to Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11 and eight-year old Tia.
Opening up about being a step-mother, the star admitted that she felt like she's 'winging it'.
"I do feel like I am winging it. I can’t ring my mate and say, ‘what do I do?’ No one’s with someone and their partner’s passed away and their kids haven’t got a mum."
She added: "No one really knows what to say. I know I’m caring and I just go with that and hope it’s right..."
In the film, Kate bursts into tears as she says: "I just want the children to be happy. It’s hard for us so I can’t imagine how hard it is for the kids."
In the emotive documentary Kate Ferdinand also breaks down in tears and sobs as she opens up about her stepchildren's happiness after marrying their dad, Rio.
The ex-TOWIE star, 28, speaks honestly and emotionally about the difficulty in becoming a stepmum to three grieving children after they lost their own mum nearly five years ago.
Emotions get the better of her in the teaser clip and she breaks down as she discusses what she wants for Rio's brood.
In the trailer, Rio sits in the back of the cab and admits to the camera: "There ain't no manual on how to be a step-mum."
Kate confesses: "It's hard for us so I cant imagine how hard it is for the kids."
She then breaks down and cries: "I just want the children to be happy."
The documentary is a follow-up to the BAFTA-winning Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, which was made following the loss of Rebecca to breast cancer.
Rio & Kate: Becoming a Step family airs on BBC1, Monday at 9pm.