‘I was pretending to be something else’: Christine McGuinness admits she tried to be the ‘perfect wife’ during marriage to Paddy as she discusses ‘masking’ her autism
Christine McGuinness has admitted she was ‘pretending’ to be someone else during her marriage to Paddy.
The TV personality, 34, said she went into ‘perfect wife’ mode during her relationship with Paddy, 49, as she spoke about how she would ‘mask’ her autism.
Christine, who announced her split from Paddy in July, was diagnosed last year while filming her documentary Our Family and Autism.
Autism: Christine McGuinness has admitted that she was ‘pretending’ to be someone else during her marriage to Paddy as she discusses her autism diagnosis
Autism is a developmental disability which affects how people communicate, and ‘masking’ refers to when someone suppresses natural autistic responses.
Speaking about masking, Christine said she was ‘pretending’ to be a ‘perfect’ wife during her marriage to Paddy rather than simply being herself.
She told Psychologies magazine: ‘I’d always wanted to be a wife so once I met Patrick, I fully went into ‘perfect wife’ mode, you know, “I’ll stay in, I’ll cook and clean and make sure I’m the best wife I can be”.
‘I was always pretending to be something else rather than simply just me, that’s all part of masking.’
Masking: The TV personality, 34, said she went into ‘perfect wife’ mode during her relationship with Paddy, 49, as she spoke about how she would ‘mask’ her autism symptoms
Christine admitted she ‘grieves’ for her younger self and said she became an ‘expert’ at playing a role to fit in when she was a teenager, according to The Mirror.
Speaking about her split from Paddy, Christine admitted she wants her three children, who have all been diagnosed with autism, to see them both getting along.
Paddy and Christine are currently still living together and haven’t told their kids – twins Penelope and Leo, nine, and daughter Felicity, seven – about their split.
Christine said she doesn’t want there to be any ‘dramatic’ changes for their children and still wants them to still be a loving and happy family.
Diagnosis: Christine, who announced her split from Paddy in July, was diagnosed with autism last year while filming her documentary Our Family and Autism
She continued: ‘We don’t want any dramatic changes overnight so it’s going to be a slow process moving forward, we don’t really know what the future holds.’
Christine and Paddy announced that they had parted ways back in July after 11 years of marriage, but later revealed that they ended their relationship earlier in the year.
Despite the break-up, the estranged couple recently enjoying a festive family holiday with their three children.
Speaking to OK! Magazine on the split, Christine shared: ‘We’re amicable. I’m quite happy for him to be there with the children and it’s nice for them to see Mummy and Daddy just being alright. We can sit and have a cup of tea together and that’s fine.’
Fitting in: Christine admitted that she ‘grieves’ for her younger self and said she became an ‘expert’ at playing a role to fit in when she was a teenager
Elsewhere, Christine is reportedly embarking on her first solo TV project since splitting from Paddy.
She is said to be preparing to film an ‘incredibly personal journey’ with the BBC which charters her autism diagnosis and why she was undiagnosed for so many years.
Christine and Paddy were nominated for a National TV Award with their first film Our Family And Autism, and now the broadcaster are said to have commissioned a second documentary with the beauty called Unmasking My Autism.
Project: Elsewhere, Christine is reportedly embarking on her first solo TV project since splitting from Paddy which will charter her autism diagnosis
A source told The Sun: ‘Christine was shocked by how autism is seen as something mostly affecting men and what felt like a gender bias in diagnosis.
‘The second film follows her on a journey in search of answers for the thousands of other women like herself in the UK, who are spending years undiagnosed or masking their symptoms to the detriment of their mental health.
‘It’s taken on additional weight as her first solo project. Away from Paddy, she’s been part of ensemble casts like The Real Housewives Of Cheshire and ITV’s The Games but this is Christine, standing alone and owning her space.’
MailOnline contacted the BBC and Christine’s representatives for comment at the time.
What is autism?
What does being autistic mean?
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.
If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a ‘cure’. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
Autistic people may:
find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
take longer to understand information
do or think the same things over and over
What causes autism?
It’s not clear what causes autism.
Nobody knows what causes autism, or if it has a cause. It can affect people in the same family. So it may sometimes be passed on to a child by their parents.
Autism is not caused by:
- bad parenting
- vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine
- an infection you can spread to other people
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