Christine McGuinness revealed that she stayed in her marriage to TV presenter Paddy because it was “safe” and she “doesn’t like change,” which she found after being diagnosed with autism.
Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism, a new BBC One documentary, stars the author and autism ambassador as she investigates the issue of women and girls going undiagnosed, as per Evening Standard reported.
McGuinness’ journey of self-discovery is also documented in the documentary, as she finds links between her autism, an eating disorder, and sexual abuse as a teenager.
She also speaks about her marriage to Top Gear presenter Paddy, with whom she has three children: Felicity, Leo, and Penelope. The couple announced their break up in June of last year, just six months after their moving BBC documentary Our Family And Autism, which shed light on Christine and her three children’s autism diagnosis.
Christine said: “I didn’t want my family to ever fall apart and that’s why I stayed married. As an autistic woman, I like to stay where I’m comfortable, I like things to stay the same according to independent.
“I understand myself better now because that’s where I was comfortable just knowing that it was me, Patrick, and the children – but sometimes change has to happen. “You just have to deal with it in the best way possible.”
Christine stated that when she first met Paddy, he felt “very safe,” and she stayed in that relationship for 15 years despite having experienced sexual abuse as a teenager. In the documentary, she said: “I know I’ve stayed in a place where I was probably unhappy because it was safe and I don’t like change and ultimately I wanted to keep my family together.”
Christine said she has been on a personal mission to figure out her identity since learning of her diagnosis, and she is trying to relieve the pressure by being unapologetically herself. She said: “I wanted to be the perfect wife and the perfect mum. I insisted on doing absolutely everything.
“I’m trying to not people please as much, which is hard because that’s just naturally me. I hate the thought of upsetting anyone, it really upsets me, I feel it a lot. “I’m trying to say yes to more opportunities that scare me because I want to enjoy life and I want to live and I want to do more, I want to experience more.
“But also say no to things that I don’t want to do. I accept myself more. I’m a lot less apologetic about myself now. I’m proud of myself and I’m happy with where I am right now.” Christine also expressed a desire to be “truly authentic” in the documentary. She said: “I wanted to be honest, I didn’t want to hold back too much. I’m not from one of these drama schools and acting, I’m not a TV presenter or a host, I am a mum first and foremost.
“I fell into this world, showbiz wasn’t something that I was ever thinking about. The word celebrity was never thrown about when I was a teenager, I’ve never looked at glossy magazines, I simply just always wanted to be a mum. “It turns out I’m an autistic mum with three autistic children and I’ve got a platform that I can use to help.”
Christine will meet a group of autistic mothers in the BBC documentary, which she says will make her feel like she doesn’t need to “fit in” for the first time in her life. She also cleared her wardrobe of all the clothes she did not like to wear, which she had described as “the power of pretending”.
She said: “I had a wardrobe for clothes that I would wear at home, a wardrobe for clothes that I would wear on social media, and a wardrobe for clothes that I would wear on TV, and all of them were completely different.
“It was like three different people lived in that wardrobe, and I didn’t know which one I was. I had clothes that I would never actually wear for myself, that felt good. “I’m not going to try and dress like how I think I’m supposed to turn up, I’m just going to wear the outfits that I’m comfortable in and that I like.”