Faryal Makhdoom is still struggling to come to terms with husband Amir Khan’s cheating ways.
The influencer and businesswoman, who was just 19 when she got engaged to the British boxer, admits the couple “went to hell and back” in their new fly on the wall BBC series Meet The Khans.
Amir has been accused of cheating more than nine times and the pair had a very public split in August 2017 that exploded on social media.
Shocking tweets from Amir’s Twitter account claimed they were splitting and accused Faryal of cheating on him with fellow boxer Anthony Joshua, something which both parties deny.
Their marriage appeared to be breaking down spectacularly but the couple managed to salvage their relationship, although the pain is still very raw for Faryal.
Wiping away tears, she heartbreakingly says: “Me being a young girl felt betrayed and thought ‘this is bulls***’ until my marriage really kind of did go into a really bad place where it was like ‘that’s it, there’s no turning back’.
While visiting her therapist in the second episode of the new series, Faryal explains why she stood by her man while being hurtfully branded a “doormat” and “gold digger”.
Speaking to This Morning psychologist Emma Kenny, Faryal admits it’s been hard dealing with her marriage woes while in the public eye.
“I think my relationship still gets judged for what its been through. As much as you want to forget a bad part of your life you can’t because you’re constantly reminded of it.
“A lot of people go through ups and downs but the only difference is my marriage is quite public.”
Faryal confesses they barely spent any time together as a couple because she was engaged at 19, married at 21 and had their first baby at 22.
She had aspirations of becoming a corporate lawyer, but left her hometown of New York to move to Bolton to be with Amir.
As well as having to adjust to living in a different country, Faryal had to deal with the pressures of dating a celebrity who had women asking for pics and sitting on his lap.
Faryal claims she is a “cool wife”, but says there is a limit to what she can accept from her husband.
“My husband is such an amazing guy but he was never really able to enjoy his youth because of all the hard work he did so he kind of never got it out of his system and got caught in the wrong place,” she explains while trying to justify his behaviour.
“Obviously when you hear people say ‘she’s a gold digger’ or ‘doormat’ it’s so hurtful.”
Faryal explains that the turning point came when she found out she was pregnant with their second child, Alayna, who was “such a blessing”.
And she was determined to rebuild her marriage for the sake of their kids.
“I saw a great guy who had potential to change and being the father of my children it was like I wanted to try harder. I didn’t want to give up,” she adds.
The couple speak candidly about the breakdown in their marriage and how they worked things out during the Kardashians-style series.
Faryal explains that there was a period of six months where they were no longer living together.
“I thought ‘I can’t live like this’. It was destroying me. Day by day it was hurting me,” admits 34-year-old Amir, who accepts he was “young and silly” during those days.
They’ve been married for seven years and now have three children together, but feel they didn’t spend much time alone at the start of their relationship.
“Everything in our relationship happened very fast,” admits Amir.
“Me and Faryal got married at a very young age and then we had the baby very young.
“I was so focused on the boxing. We never got time to spend with each other properly.”
The couple were introduced by a mutual friend and explain how they first met on a date in Manchester in September 2011, which nearly ended in disaster when Amir got pulled over by the police while driving a Rolls Royce.
The following week he came and surprised her in New York and just two years later they were married.
Faryal says she liked his British accent but couldn’t even understand him when first started talking so would say ‘yes’ to everything.
“Growing up I was pretty good in school. I was always an A-student. I wanted to be a lawyer and go into corporate law,” explains Faryal.
“Then when Amir came into my life I went, ‘forget school I’ve got myself a millionaire’.”
While she hasn’t become corporate lawyer, Faryal says she deals with Amir’s finances, negotiates for his fights and does his diary.
“Dating is so different to being married and being a couple. I had to adjust to living in a different country and leaving my family,” she adds.
“We were getting to know each other living together and he was at the peak of his career – women attention, money, fame.
“Constantly boxing, flying all over the world and I wasn’t able to go to all these places with Amir.”
Speaking in the documentary, Faryal admits she was was probably too young to settle down but is glad she found Amir.
“Looking back, I would never change the man I married, I love Amir and we grew up together,” she explains.
“But I do think I was really young to face all the criticism. It was a bit difficult but I’m glad I call England home now.”