The football star – who lost his wife to breast cancer in 2015 – married former The Only Way Is Essex star Kate Wright in September 2019 and the couple star appear a new BBC documentary Rio and Kate: Becoming A Step Family.
Ferdinand, 41, said of Rebecca’s death: “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."
Wright, 28, is now stepmother to Rio's three children, Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and eight-year-old Tia.
Ferdinand said: “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."
He added: "You feel you’ve been dealt a terrible hand, but your luck can change."
Wright said: “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."
Breaking down in tears she added: "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."
The children were a big part of the couple’s engagement, looking on as Ferdinand proposed to Wright in Dubai late in 2018 and were involved in the wedding ceremony last year.