AS social media posts go, it was quite the bombshell. Christine McGuinness’s late-evening Instagram message this week, imploring “talk about tru
AS social media posts go, it was quite the bombshell.
Christine McGuinness’s late-evening Instagram message this week, imploring “talk about trust before you talk about love”, set tongues wagging.
Christine and Paddy McGuinness are at the centre of rumours claiming their marriage may be in trouble[/caption]
Last week, the couple were spotted looking downcast in their car at a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant in Macclesfield, Cheshire[/caption]
It further fuelled rumour that her marriage to Take Me Out host Paddy may be in trouble and that they might “no likey” each other, to coin his catchphrase from the ITV dating gameshow.
They were once the golden couple of social media, sharing their declarations of love with everyone and their smartphone.
Now posts by Paddy, 48, also host of BBC1’s Top Gear, and model wife Christine, 34, a former star of ITVBe reality show The Real Housewives Of Cheshire, have taken on a markedly different tone.
Christine’s cryptic message about trust seemed to address issues in the couple’s 11-year marriage.
She also wrote: “This year I met the most broken version of me, but also the strongest,” adding: “There is only one thing I want to make clear right now. I didn’t put us in this situation.”
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It comes just a week after the pair shared a picnic blanket and cheered on nine-year-old twins Leo and Penelope at a school sports day in Cheshire.
But their united front, amid swirling rumours of marriage woes, seems to have been short-lived.
Since tying the knot in 2011, Paddy and Christine — also parents to six-year-old Felicity — have battled a series of troubles including autism diagnoses for all their children, and cheating rumours.
Recently, separate foreign holidays, and busy work schedules, have kept them apart.
So what is really happening in the McGuinness household?
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Describing their wedding day, in her recent autobiography, A Beautiful Nightmare, Christine said she felt “overwhelmed” by the occasion and admitted, “I didn’t really know anyone there”, adding that she had no friends among the 200 guests and only 20 were from her family.
But she wrote: “Despite all the stress and chaos, I was so happy to be married to the man I loved.
“The man who was to become the father of my children. The man who I thought was the best thing ever.”
Yet when the twins were born two years later the loving parents faced huge challenges as the children’s then undiagnosed autism meant they did not sleep and had “meltdowns at loud noises and bright lights”.
Christine told last December’s BBC documentary Our Family And Autism that, after the twins were diagnosed at age three, Paddy struggled to accept the situation.
She said: “My husband buried his head in work. There are times he just can’t cope with it. There are times when I want to shake him and say, ‘Just get on with it. It’s not that big a deal’.”
Daughter Felicity was also diagnosed with the condition and Paddy admitted he spiralled into depression as fear for his kids “chipped away at me”.
But he paid tribute to his wife, saying the kids had “dropped the lottery with Christine because they couldn’t wish for a better mum”.
While making the documentary, Christine was diagnosed with autism herself and tearfully admitted she was “exhausted” by the challenges in her life.
But she also said identifying the condition in herself had been a “relief” — and helped explain her troubled teens when she battled with anorexia and to make friends.
She said: “I struggle with change, I struggle with food, sensory issues, clothes, labels, being in busy places, it’s everything — I ticked a lot of boxes I am surprised it wasn’t picked up a lot earlier.”
In her memoir, she added of her kids’ autism that Paddy “feels quite down about it all and struggles to see the positives in their condition”.
Christine and Paddy have used their high profile to raise awareness of the condition,
But their marriage also suffered a major blow in 2018 when Paddy was pictured on a night out with singer Nicole Appleton, in London’s Soho — photos of which made Christine ill.
She wrote in her book: “My husband, arm-in-arm with another woman. I felt physically sick. I ran to the toilet to vomit. Still to this day I can remember that absolutely awful pit-of-your-stomach feeling.”
At the time, she forgave him for the sake of their children but her recent comments about trust suggest she has not forgotten.
And in recent months, the pair seem to have spent more time apart than together.
In May, fans questioned why Paddy failed to publicly support his missus during her stint on ITV reality sports gameshow The Games.
One asked: “How come you aren’t posting about how amazing @christinemcguinness is doing.”
The same month, Paddy jetted off to Portugal for a week’s holiday with pals from male pals.
On his return, Christine took off on a ladies’ holiday to Croatia.
She was joined by footballer and songwriter Chelcee Grimes, who she palled-up with on The Games, and other friends including Caroline Jung.
Having left Paddy at home looking after the kids, she captioned an Instagram post: “I followed my heart and it led me to Croatia.
“Memories for life, I’m feeling very lucky, so blessed. I’ve laughed sooo much, relaxed and switched off like never before!”
Paddy then took off to film Top Gear in London, leaving the family behind in Cheshire.
Further concerns were raised when a selfie of him posted last month suggested he had removed a heart tattoo on his wedding finger after repeatedly losing his ring.
But it is unclear whether or not the video had been flipped and in fact showed his right hand.
Last week the couple were spotted looking downcast in their Mercedes G Class Wagon at a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant in Macclesfield, Cheshire, as Christine appeared to rub her eyes.
An onlooker said of the pair: “They looked miserable, peering in different directions.
The body language did not seem at all friendly. Both looked as if they had the weight of the world on their shoulders.”
Last weekend, Christine posted a tribute to her twins on their ninth birthday but revealed she had been left to organise their party on her own.
Meanwhile, Paddy posted a video of himself working out in the gym and seemed to hark back to his single days with the caption: “Remember when we used to go out on Saturday nights? #rockandroll #weekend #gym #saturday #party-forone #dippywhippywoos.”
Despite everything, Christine recently denied the couple are on the rocks.
She told OK! magazine: “We have had difficult times but when I look back at our marriage and see where we are now, I think, ‘Wow, you know, we’ve done all right
“I first met Paddy 14 years ago and now we’ve got three gorgeous kids, we’ve been married for 11 years, we’re both busier than ever.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more from him. I’m so grateful. I’m happy, I’ve got no complaints.”
But she has also hinted she wants to escape Paddy’s shadow, with this recent Instagram post: “Look at you rising up, completely recreating yourself, making positive choices, thinking new thoughts, and stepping into a life that actually lights you up. You’re glowing girl.”
TV psychologist Emma Kenny says this acknowledgement of the pair’s rocky patches might point to Christine’s desire for a “reinvention” — but that it need not spell the end of the marriage.
She says: “Christine has been posting messages on social media that have led to speculation about their marriage, she has admitted times have been difficult of late, and suggested she is concentrating on her reinvention.
“Whilst this could indeed point to a breakdown in her relationship with Paddy, it could also symbolise a gradual realisation she needs to concentrate on her own needs.
“Up until this point she has been taking care of everyone else, but new friendships have encouraged her to see life from a new perspective resulting in her wanting more on a personal level.
“Marriage is a tough gig and there will be moments in every successful relationship where each partner questions their feelings.
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“If Christine can acknowledge she has a right to have her needs met, and if she and Paddy can continue to weather the inevitable storms that being in the media and having a family with additional needs presents, their relationship could grow in trust and resilience.”
After all they have been through together, let us hope the lights are not going out on their marriage.