Married At First Sight UK star Thomas Hartley shared a before and after picture of himself following a body transformation on Instagram on Wednesday.
The Mental Health Care Assistant, 31, shared a candid post showing off his incredible transformation after leaving ‘a very abusive and drug and alcohol fuelled relationship’ and working on his body and mind.
In his moving post, Thomas told fans to ‘speak up’ about their struggles and to never ‘give up’.
‘Don’t give up, always speak’: MAFS UK star Thomas Hartley showed off his incredible transformation on Monday after leaving an ‘abusive’ relationship
‘If you haven’t read my story, on the left I had just escaped a very abusive and drug and alcohol fuelled relationship,’ he wrote.
‘I have always suffered with an element of mental health as most people have. I incorporated the gym and even though I made a physical change, I also use the gym and exercise as medicine.’
He added: ‘If you can, do it. Don’t give up. Always speak.’
‘I have always suffered with an element of mental health as most people have,’ he said in a post
Last week, he told MailOnline he was in an abusive relationship with a man that would lock him inside the house and ply him with drugs.
The Mental Health Care Assistant, 31, has entertained viewers on the E4 show with his sunny persona and witty one-liners, yet in an exclusive chat with MailOnline he revealed that it’s taken years of therapy to reach a point where he can accept himself.
During a commitment ceremony on the show, Thomas hinted at his troubled past, admitting he had been verbally and physically abused.
He has now decided to come forward with his story in the hope it will diminish the unjustified stigma surrounding domestic abuse and encourage other victims to speak out.
Thomas was 23 when he began dating an older man in secret because his partner had not yet come out as gay.
Struggles: Last week, he told MailOnline he was in an abusive relationship with a man that would lock him inside the house and ply him with drugs
When he did come out to his family he received a ‘nasty’ reception, with Thomas revealing that it left him feeling like his partner’s ‘only lifeline.’
Prior to meeting him, Thomas had only been in one relationship, with a man that had banned him from seeing his friends and family in a bid to exert control.
Although left with a fear of commitment and an unhealthy view of love he went into his next relationship believing things would be different.
Yet the romance quickly soured, with Thomas admitting that he felt pressured to take drugs because his partner was a prolific user.
He confessed: ‘I didn’t really know what to do. He was a lot older than me and I was a far way from my home so I didn’t see a lot of my family and I didn’t have a lot of support around me.’
After being coerced into drinking heavily and taking drugs, the abuse worsened, with Thomas revealing that he was forced into having sex by his partner.
Thomas recalled: ‘He’d say “I’m getting you all this, are you not grateful?” and that was when the sexual things used to happen.
‘I felt really uncomfortable and I was really worn down. He used to take me and pick me up from work and he was there all the time. The only time I’d get away was at work but even then he would wait for me outside so I couldn’t say anything.
‘I was a shell of who I was’: After being coerced into drinking heavily and taking drugs, the abuse worsened, with Thomas revealing that he was forced into having sex by his partner
‘I just felt a shell of who I was. I’d go home and it would be drugs, drink, cook, clean and then forced to have sex with him. He’d be rough with me and say “you have to do this with me, it’s your job, this is why you’re here, look at this life I’ve given you”.
‘There was so much and I just thought if I do it then it’s over.’
The abuse would occur even when his partner wasn’t home.
Thomas revealed that when his boyfriend would go to work he would lock him in the house and post cocaine through the letterbox.
While the abuse went on for seven months, Thomas confessed: ‘When I look back at it all it feels like it happened in one day, it almost felt normal to be abused like that because it was so routine.’
Despite being ‘worn down’ by the cycle of abuse, Thomas found the strength to leave his partner when he regained contact with his mother.
He explained that the final straw was when he saw his partner slipping ecstasy into his drink.
‘He was really rough with me that night and I thought “I can’t do this I’m going to end up dead.” Mum came and got me and I never saw him again.
‘After that he would follow me, wait outside my work and the gym. Because I was living my life normally he couldn’t let go, it was like stalking me.’
Detailing the impact of the abuse, he explained: ‘It was a big breakthrough and a big breakdown for me trying to rebuild my life again.
‘Even though it was a relief to be away from him I felt lost. It was like Stockholm syndrome.’
Victim Support offers free, independent and confidential help to victims and survivors of any abuse or crime, regardless of when it occurred or if the crime was reported to the police. Contact their 24/7 Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111