Christine McGuinness admits she finds dating ‘petrifying’ after split from husband Paddy
Christine McGuinness has opened up about her split from ex-husband Paddy, saying it’s “petrifying” to start a “new chapter” on her own.
The former couple, who announced they were separating last July, have twins Penelope and Leo, nine, and Felicity, six, who are both autistic.
Christine, 34, revealed that she finds dating again very scary as she is someone who “doesn’t like change” and has been with Paddy since she was 19.
Speaking to The Times, she said: “I’ve had this man in my life for 15 years. I can’t imagine being with anyone else. I don’t know what dating is like; I don’t remember what it’s like to be single. I’m entering a new chapter alone, which is petrifying for someone who doesn’t like change.
But he added: “I’m proud that I made a decision and stuck to it – for once. This is not easy for me to do. But I always want to set an example, to show my children that mom is independent and works.
“I want them to know that when they’re older and in a relationship, it should be a loving, happy relationship, and no one should stay where they don’t feel 100 percent right. I did it because there were times when I was very happy and I wanted to keep the family together.
It comes after Christine revealed her three children still don’t know she and Paddy have split.
comment Women’s OwnChristine said she and Paddy, 49, still live together with their children in the family home.
She said: “The children know nothing else and grow up in a happy and loving home – I just want to keep it that way.
“We don’t know what the future holds, but it’s working right now.
“The thought that I will end up in separate houses as co-parents is something I will really struggle with.”
Christine – who has also been diagnosed with autism – often shares photos of her children on social media, but is careful to hide their faces.
The interview comes after the star admitted she stayed in her marriage to Paddy because she felt “safe” at the time and “didn’t like change”.
Christine told the BBC documentary Unmasking My Autism that she felt safe when she met the presenter at the age of 19.
But after being diagnosed with autism two years ago, she realized she had been hiding her feelings.
She explained: “My relationships before I met Patrick weren’t very good. I can say it was a pretty bad experience.
“I was sexually abused and raped before Patrick. I prayed every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning because it was so horrible.
“When I met my husband, I was very safe and I wonder if that’s why I stayed.”
“I know I stayed in a place where I was probably unhappy because it was safe and I don’t like change.”
Earlier this month, Christine revealed that her BBC documentary exploring her autism diagnosis will be broadcast on March 15.
Christine shared a promotional snap on Instagram: “Finally going on a date!
“My new documentary… Christine McGuinness: Revealing My Autism March 15th on @bbc @bbciplayer.
“I’m excited, nervous and proud to present this incredible short film that I sincerely hope and believe will help thousands of autistic people gain understanding, recognition and appreciation.”
It was first reported in January that Christine would appear in another BBC documentary, this time focusing on her own journey with autism.
She previously appeared alongside her estranged husband Paddy in a show which focused on their three children who have been diagnosed with autism.
Christine and Paddy were nominated for a National Television Award for their first film, Our Family and Autism.
“Christine is shocked that autism is seen as mostly affecting men and what they feel is a gender bias in diagnosis,” a source told The Sun.
“The second film follows her on a journey to find answers to the thousands of women like her in the UK who go years undiagnosed or hide their symptoms to the detriment of their mental health.
“As his first solo project, it has added weight. Away from Paddy, she’s been in ensemble casts like The Real Housewives Of Cheshire and ITV’s The Games, but she’s Christine who stands alone and owns her space.
Paddy and Christine took to Instagram to confirm their split last year, revealing they will continue to live together for the sake of their three autistic children.
Christine and Paddy insisted their upbringing remained the most important thing.
In a joint statement, they wrote: “We didn’t plan to share this publicly until we were ready, but due to our lack of privacy, we feel we have no choice but to come clean.
“We have made the difficult decision to separate in the past, but our main goal, as always, is to continue to love and support our children.
“It was not an easy decision to make, but we are moving forward as the best parents we can be to our three beautiful children. We will always be a loving family, our relationship is still great and we continue to live happily together in our family home.
“We hope this now draws a line against any further unwanted and unnecessary intrusion into our privacy.
“Although we work in the public eye, please respect our wishes for privacy in this matter. We will not comment further.
A source told MailOnline at the time: ‘Paddy and Christine have put everything into their marriage over the years.
“Unfortunately, they have made the difficult decision to part ways for the sake of their young family, which they continue to raise together.
“It was no secret within their inner circle that they had a difficult couple of years, but they continue to be very supportive of each other and will continue to do so during their divorce.”
Paddy shared a photo of himself with Christine just hours before the 15-year-old couple announced their split.
The pair smiled together as they left Center Parcs Nottingham, where they were holidaying with their children.
Top Gear presenter Paddy captioned the picture: ‘Yes! We finally got away for the family vacation.
He explained: “Our holiday in Spain had to be canceled after we found out three days before the flight that our youngest daughter’s passport had expired.
“We told the children everything, especially about the airport, so it wasn’t easy to suddenly change plans. Moms and dads of autistic children know exactly what I mean.
Christine previously appeared on ITV’s Lorraine, presented by Carol Vorderman, and spoke about her marriage to Paddy.
He said at the time: “Marriages have ups and downs anyway, all marriages, especially as long as ours – 15 years together, don’t always fly, but we try to do things as privately as possible. we both want to be there to support the kids and give them a wonderful summer.
“We’re going on a family vacation next week and we’re really excited and they’re always going to be our focus and they’re our most important thing.”