Christine McGuinness was right when she tweeted at the weekend that she deserves more.
She deserves way more than to wake up on Sunday morning to find pictures of her husband Paddy parading down the road with All Saint Nicole Appleton.
But you know what? I think Paddy possibly deserves more too. More peace of mind than he has right now. More fun. More freedom.
Please don’t think I’m defending a man apparently rewinding his marriage vows. What I am doing is telling it like I saw it after spending a day with this couple last year.
I interviewed the pair on a hot summer afternoon in the garden of their beautiful home in the Cheshire countryside.
On the face of it they had everything a family could want; big house, celebrity lifestyle, beautiful young kids.
But as they revealed for the first time that their four-year-old twins were quite severely autistic, the reality of that glossy magazine lifestyle became clear.
The only time Christine left the twins Penelope and Leo overnight was when she gave birth to baby Felicity. And Paddy commuted up to six hours a day back and forth to filming in London rather than leave Christine to cope alone.
They virtually never went out together. They were physically and mentally exhausted. All their energy and efforts were focused on giving their children as much stability and security as possible.
Paddy told how he turned down work and showbiz invitations to return home to help Christine cope with the extraordinary workload that comes with having two autistic children and a young baby.
What’s more they had barely spoken to anyone outside the house about what they were going through. For four years they’d tried to muddle their way through exhausting practicalities and bewildering emotions.
I left thinking they were extraordinary people for having achieved so much for their kids – but feeling fairly certain that the stress they’d been carrying would burst out at some point.
And I guess that’s what happened this weekend.
I’m not condoning what Paddy has done. And I know plenty of parents go through all sorts of tragedies and traumas without consoling themselves in the clutches of a good time All Saints girl.
But I do think that before we leap to judge we should consider for a short moment what it would be like to walk in the shoes of parents to severely autistic children, and the strains it would put on a marriage. I for one feel blessed not to have done it.
I only hope this whole episode enables the couple to talk about all the “mores” they’d hoped for from life which now won’t happen as they focus on their children.
And I hope Christine – who’s an amazing strong woman – can overcome the hurt she has felt.
For the reality is many, many people deserve more. What matters is how they cope when they don’t get it.