Christine McGuinness says her autism made it harder to leave her “unhappy” marriage to TV presenter Paddy McGuinness.
The model, 34, said she stayed in the relationship because it was “safe” and she “doesn’t like change” – which she realised after being diagnosed with autism.
Christine and Top Gear host Paddy, who married in 2011 and are parents to Felicity and twins Leo and Penelope, revealed they separated last June, six months after their BBC documentary Our Family And Autism.
READ MORE: Christine McGuinness grieving for herself and life she missed out on after Paddy split
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."
“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 is fronting a new BBC One documentary titled Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism about women and girls going undiagnosed.
The documentary is also a journey of self-discovery for McGuinness, who uncovers the links between her autism and having an eating disorder as a young girl, sexual abuse as a teenager and her marriage to Top Gear presenter Paddy.
In the documentary, Christine said when she first met Paddy he felt “very safe” and she stayed in that relationship for 15 years.
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Since learning of her diagnosis, Christine said she set out on a personal mission to figure out her identity.
She said: “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.”
Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism airs on March 15 on BBC One.
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