‘Christine McGuinness put sacrifice first to save her children’s family life’ – Polly Hudson

It seems kicking out an errant partner isn’t the only answer in adversity, says Polly Hudson

Paddy McGuinness and wife Christine McGuiness arriving at the Pride of Britain Awards 2017 held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Monday 30th October, 2017
Christine with Paddy at the Pride of Britain Awards

One morning Christine McGuinness woke to a barrage of text messages.

Her one-year-old was in a cot next to her, and her four-year-old twins were asleep down the hall.

Christine and her husband Paddy had been struggling with the lack of sleep and demands of a baby plus two autistic, barely verbal children who refused to eat.

So she’d told him to stay the night in London, where he’d been working, to give him a break. She held the fort at home.

She hadn’t yet seen photos of Paddy out on the town the night before, looking extremely cosy with another woman. And when she did see them they made her physically sick.

Christine and Paddy had already been through “lots of difficult times” privately in their marriage. People were encouraging her to leave him.

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She posted on Instagram about “lies” and realising she deserved “so much more”.

So when her errant husband walked in the door, furious, heartbroken Christine… just carried on as normal.

She now says, in autobiography A Beautiful Nightmare, that she never considered leaving him. “Right from when I first saw the photos, I knew it wasn’t the end.”

Christine grew up without her dad at home, and simply wouldn’t entertain the possibility of history repeating itself. “It didn’t matter to me if I’d forgiven him, if I was OK with it or if I trusted him,” she admits.

“All of that didn’t count, I just wanted my children to have their father there – something I never had.

“For that to happen, I had to brush it under the carpet. So, that’s what I did and I haven’t mentioned it since.”

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Christine’s strategy was risky, to say the least. She put up, shut up, and did something everyone knows you should never do – staying together for the kids. So this should be the part where disaster slowly unfolded then – except it hasn’t.

Christine reports they’re getting on with married life and Paddy’s bond with their children is “so much better than it ever was”. She says he makes more of an effort to be with his family.

Instead of staying in London after work, now he’ll drive through the night to get home. Maybe he realises how close he came to losing everything. Maybe he’s worried his Stepford Wife might short circuit, explode, and burn the house down. Only he knows for sure.

What is certain though is that despite all we’ve been told to the contrary, there are no hard and fast relationship rules after all.

Apparently staying together for the kids does sometimes, in some circumstances, work.

Pulling it off successfully appears to all boil down to one question. There’s a certain amount of sacrifice that comes with being a mother. But how much is too much?

The answer is different for everyone, of course, but for Christine, clearly, there is no limit.

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