I'm addicted to getting married, I’ve walked down the aisle more times than Phil Mitchell – I’ve not ruled out groom 12 | The Sun

FOR most of us, walking down the aisle is something we only plan to do once in life.

And while that doesn’t always work out, once you’ve been through a divorce many would be put off for life, however for Monette Dias that simply wasn’t the case.

Like Eastender Phil Mitchell, who tied the knot for the fifth time when he married Kat Slater on the soap, Monette has been married a multitude of times – 11 to be exact.

Monette, 55, is sharing her story as part of our new series My Life’s a Soap in which we talk to people whose lives could be plotlines in your favourite shows.

She says that from a young age she became fascinated with the idea of marriage after watching fairy stories on TV.

Speaking in this exclusive interview Monette says: “I was only three but already I knew I wanted a hero of my own. 

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“I came from a very religious upbringing and as I grew up, I was taught that sex before marriage was forbidden, and as the years passed, I dreamt about having the perfect fairy-tale wedding.”

When Monette was just 15 her father tragically passed away, leaving a hole in her life that she was desperate to fill.

The answer came just a few years later when she went to a rounders match at the age of 17.

She says: “I went to a rounders match and locked eyes with one of the players. I told my friend I was going to marry him.

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“I invited him over and we hit it off. His name was Steve and he was 19. We soon became a couple but it was a struggle to keep our hands off each other. 

“So a month later, Steve suggested we get married, and I agreed – I was so excited to become his wife, and be intimate with him.”

The pair decided to elope two months later when Monette was 18.

“I wore the same ball gown I’d worn to my prom a few months earlier,” she says.

“As soon as 
we said “I do” we consummated our marriage and it 
was certainly worth the wait.”

The couple went on to have three children together but ten years into the marriage Steve and Monette went their separate ways.

She says: “I realised we’d married too young – we barely knew ourselves, let alone each other.”

But it wasn’t long before someone else caught Monette’s eye.

“I met Dean while I was working at a supermarket a few months later,” she says.

“He was six years younger than me, but as we stocked the aisles together, there was chemistry. 

“But Dean knew my T&Cs – no sex before marriage.” 

Six months after they began dating, unable to suppress his desires any longer, Dean popped the question.

“We had such a spark and my kids were fond of him, so I said yes,” Monette says.

“One morning, on the way to work, we took a detour and got married in our supermarket uniforms. 

“But Dean was immature, so we divorced a year later.”

I dreamt about having the perfect fairy-tale wedding

It wasn’t until a year later in 1998 that Monette heard from Dean again. 

“He came begging for me back,” she says.

“Despite his immaturity we did have something special, so six months later, we married again, wearing traditional wedding outfits this time. 

“And, shortly after, I gave birth to my fourth child. But Dean became jealous, and after 18 months, we divorced again.

“I realised I didn’t know what love looked like, and I felt lost. 

“So, when I met Rob, who was 
a couple of years older, on a religious dating site, I was drawn to his stability. 

“We met up in person within a week and my feelings grew stronger.”

Rob too was a believer in no sex before marriage, so within five weeks he had met Monette’s family and then the pair wed.

However, the couple faced challenges when Monette became ill and needed a heart procedure.

“Rob complained that I wasn’t as fun as I used to be,” Monette says.

“The cracks only got bigger from there and, five months later, my fourth marriage ended.

“Although tempted to stop there, I had a premonition that I’d meet someone – and the very next day, I was in a bar when Sam walked into my life. 

“We hit it off straight away.” 


On New Year’s Day Sam proposed to Monette and they were married the next day.

“In 24 hours, we’d organised a beautiful day with 30 guests,” she says.

“I loved him but he drank too much and could lose his temper. 

“Our relationship became strained and, after two years, I’d had enough and left.”

“I was devastated that another marriage had ended, but I had the support from my friends and family. 

“Although many of them encouraged me to slow down and not rush into relationships, they knew I had a free spirit and nothing would stop me from diving right in. 

“It was especially hard taking things slow when I couldn’t be intimate with any of my boyfriends and I felt too guilty 
to go against my faith.”

A year later, Monette joined a dating site and hit it off with a “tall, rugged” man named Jamie.

It took just six weeks for Jamie to propose and this time the pair settled on a cowboy themed ceremony, but the pair quickly hit problems there too.

Monette explains: “He became too jealous, so we divorced after a year, then ended up re-marrying after he underwent therapy. 

“But four weeks later it was clear I was right the first time – we weren’t 
a good match.

“But I didn’t give up. 

“I still wanted my fairy-tale ending, and a year and a half later, I met Lewis on a dating site. 

“He lived four hours away and when we finally met, we had an amazing time and he didn’t want to say goodbye.

“So he suggested we get married, telling me he wanted to be with me forever.

“A week later, I was queuing for a wedding licence in Las Vegas, dressed to the nines for our big day. 

“I remember the woman at the counter shrieking when she discovered that this was wedding number 8.”

Sadly, just six weeks into their marriage Monette discovered that, for her, Lewis wasn’t ‘hero material’ and so at age 41 she divorced again.

I had a premonition that I’d meet someone

But while Monette’s interest in finding Mr Right was waning, her friends had other ideas.

“One Thursday, a friend called me from a bar to tell me that my perfect man was there,” she says.

“She talked me into popping by, and the minute I got there, he swooped in and asked me out. 

“His name was Alex and after a whirlwind romance of six weeks, I was back at the register office. 

“But I didn’t like the way Alex treated my son – he was trying to change him, and I would never put a man before my kids. 

“So, he was out 
on his ear four months later.”

The next man Monette fell for was Ollie, an old high school friend that she reminisced with after they reconnected on Facebook.

She says: “I ended up falling for him so we moved in together, and six months later, we were married. 

“But while we had the past in common, we had a lot of differences and eventually we both realised we were better as friends.

“With every divorce, the heartache got worse, but a year later, Jeremy cropped up from my past, and we soon went from friends to something more. 

“We planned to wed and, determined 
to make it work, we went on a marriage boot camp, designed to counsel couples as well as foster self-improvement. 

“It was so therapeutic. I was finally able
to mourn my dad properly, so it wasn’t an open wound any more. 

“I also learnt that a reason why 
I ended my marriages so quickly was so that the relationships wouldn’t get deep enough for me to get hurt; I was subconsciously protecting myself from a man causing me to feel pain like I felt when my dad died.”

But despite the therapy sessions, Monette’s 11th wedding didn’t go to plan.

“A backdrop got knocked over, and while my husband jumped out of the way, I got hit and I spent my wedding night in hospital with concussion,” Monette says.

“It was an omen. 

He was shocked I’d been married so many times

“Once again, my marriage didn’t work out. I saw 
a side to Jeremy that I didn’t like and I got a divorce.”

Monette remained fiancé-free for ten years until she met Joshua online and something felt different.

“He was shocked I’d been married so many times,” the serial bride admitted.

“It didn’t change his feelings. 

“He told me he loved me after three days and proposed not long after. 

“But two years later we had a huge argument, and I took it as a warning, so I called the wedding off. 

“Now I am single again, but I’m not looking for Prince Charming – he’s going to have to find me. 

“I’m not sure if I’ll ever walk down the aisle again. 

“But I’ve learnt from my 11 marriages, and if I marry again, I swear it will be for keeps.”

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Visit Monette’s website at https://monettedias.com/

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