Christine McGuinness reflects on living with Paddy McGuinness through separation

Christine McGuinness has opened up about living with with her ex,Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness, during their separation.

The pair announced they would be divorcing after 11 years of marriage in 2022, shortly after the airing of their documentary Our Family and Autism in 2021.

The show followed the couple and their three children, twins Penelope and Leo, and Felicity, through their journey with autism. Christine, a model and TV personality, was diagnosed shortly after them.

“We have a unique family, with four of us being autistic and one not. For me, I care more about how my life feels than how it looks to others,” she told The Times, on living together with her ex.

“I don’t know how I would have felt if I hadn’t been diagnosed [with autism]. But now I understand myself and my children, I am quite strong in doing what I believe is right, rather than what society says you should do.”

Although she admitted “this is probably not going to work” if she or Paddy decide to start a new relationship, Christine added: “But for me, right now I’m focusing on the children. I’m focusing on work and I’m quite happy to put my love life on hold to be a mum.”

The Real Housewives star previously admitted that her autism meant she struggled to adjust to change and stayed in her marriage with Paddy as she felt “safe”.

Christine met her husband at the age of 19; he was 14 years her senior. After experiencing sexual abuse and violence from a young age, she said that she found solace in the presenter.

At the time they were due to tie the knot, the autism advocate and national ambassador for Caudwell Children’s charity said she had no friends with whom to celebrate.

“I didn’t have a hen party as I didn’t have any friends. I was so lonely I actually thought if it was my funeral no one would come,” she wrote in her biography A Beautiful Nightmare.

Christine, who has also spoken about growing up with a father who was addicted to heroin, said, “Let’s say that men haven’t been the best in my life”.

Christine and Paddy announced their split in July 2022

(Getty Images)

She suggested that meeting the Take Me Out presenter helped to restore her faith in men.

“With Patrick I found someone that I felt safe with. We’re very, very close. I’ll always focus on the positives,” she said. “We’re still around for each other. We may not be together as a couple any more, but as a family we’re extremely tight.”

Her new children’s book The Magic Is Me, The Magic Is You released on Thursday (28 March).

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