Christine McGuinness shares reason for staying in unhappy marriage

Christine McGuinness, whose new and “incredibly personal” film about autism is due to air on BBC and iPlayer next week, has admitted that she craved security and safety after a series of abusive relationships before. The 34-year-old was driven to stay with Paddy, despite becoming unhappy, because she didn’t like the thought of change.

The Real Housewives of Cheshire star opened up about her traumatic past, saying: “Before Patrick, I had been sexually abused, I was raped.

“I used to pray every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning because it was so awful.”

In contrast, she said that when she first met Paddy at the age of 19, he made her feel safe and comfortable – and that the feeling continued even when she was no longer happy in the relationship.

“I know that I’ve stayed in a place where I was probably unhappy because it was safe and I don’t like change,” she explained.

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The above quotes are excerpts from Christine’s forthcoming documentary film about the trials and tribulations of living with autism.

She and Paddy split last July, but are committed to co-parenting their three children – twins Penelope and Leo, who are eight, and younger daughter Felicity, who is six.

All of the kids have been diagnosed with autism too, which makes it even more important for Christine to share her experiences, in the hope that others in similar situations feel less alone.

She took to Instagram to reveal the release date of the film, titled Unmasking My Autism, which can be seen on Wednesday, March 15 on BBC and iPlayer.

“I’m excited, nervous and proud to present this incredible short film that I truly hope and believe will help thousands of autistics feel understood, recognised and valued,” she continued.

A previous TV programme focusing on her diagnosis also included Paddy, and the pair received a National Television Award nomination for their role in raising awareness.

Yet while the previous show, Our Family And Autism, reflected on how her children and her husband were affected by her diagnosis, the new film will instead be “incredibly personal” and focused towards her.

Christine is said to have been shocked by a “gender bias” in diagnosis and the assumption that it mainly affects men, according to a source published by The Sun.

The star has also shared more of her innermost feelings in her autobiography, A Beautiful Nightmare.

In the book, she explained some of the autistic symptoms that affect her, such as the need to control her environment, even in an unfamiliar place.

For instance, she often has the urge to rearrange her hotel room when travelling, taking down a painting she doesn’t like, putting a cushion away in a cupboard or even moving a mirror to avoid certain items being reflected in it.

She also struggled to make friends throughout her life.

Christine admitted it was a “relief” to finally be diagnosed with autism as it put a name to some of the ways in which she differs from other people but had rarely understood.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew I was different,” she recalled in an interview with the Manchester Evening News.“I had a lot of struggles which I realised more and more when I was writing my book and revisiting my childhood.”

Her food aversions had been misinterpreted as “fussy” as no-one realised that Christine was battling a developmental disorder.

Meanwhile, she revealed that throughout her teenage years, she scarcely had any friends at all.

Now, following her diagnosis, Christine feels empowered to improve the life of both herself and others in the same situation by raising awareness of the condition.

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