Michelle Williams felt a ''connection'' with her husband Phil Elverum which has been absent from her life since Heath Ledger passed away.

The 37-year-old actress dated the 'Brokeback Mountain' star - with whom she has 12-year-old daughter Matilda - from 2004 until 2007, and split with him just a few months before he died from a prescription-drug overdose.

Last month, she revealed she had married musician Phil, 40, in secret, and it has now been claimed she has a unique connection with her new beau, who also suffered tragedy when his wife Geneviève Castrée - with whom he has three-year-old daughter Agathe - died of pancreatic cancer in 2016.

A source told People magazine: ''She is very happy and she deserves it. Michelle and Phil had an early spiritual connection that she has not experienced since Heath. They share some of life's most trying moments with deaths of loved ones and have related on many levels.''

Michelle spoke about her marriage in an interview with Vanity Fair in July, in which she said the Mount Eerie musician was unlike ''anybody else'' she'd ever met before.

She said: ''I never gave up on love. I always say to Matilda, 'Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.

''Obviously I've never once in my life talked about a relationship. But Phil isn't anyone else. And that's worth something. Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.''

And recently, Heath Ledger's father Kim Ledger said he was ''happy'' for the 'Dawson's Creek' star.

He said: ''We are terribly happy, it is great. She's very private and I don't really like to make too many comments about her, but we are very happy [for her].''