Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about her marriage to Chris Martin in a new essay in British Vogue. The honest and meditative piece depicts a marriage characterized by discomfort and the fear of negatively impacting her children.
The marriage lasted from 2003 to 2014 and the Goop founder wrote there was “always a bit of unease and unrest.” When the couple announced the “conscious uncoupling” it caused a stir and they became the brunt of many jokes. Paltrow recounts the lessons she’s learned about love, family, and forgiveness since then.
“We just didn’t quite fit together. But man, did we love our children.”
Paltrow, who shares daughter Apple, 16, and son Moses, 14, with Martin revealed that the couple tried “everything” to save their marriage.
“Between the day that I knew and the day we finally relented to the truth, we tried everything,” she wrote. “We did not want to fail. We didn’t want to let anyone down. We desperately didn’t want to hurt our children. We didn’t want to lose our family.”
Paltrow explained that the decisions that would affect her kids were the most difficult ones to make.
Before decisions were made, The Avengers star would ask her self questions like, where the kids would sleep or how they would break the news to them, those problems “seemed unfathomable” to her at the time.
“I bent myself into every imaginable shape to avoid answering them,” she recalled. “But one day, despite all our efforts, I found that I was not at a fork in the road. I was well down a path. Almost without realizing it, we had diverged. We’d never find ourselves together in that way again.”
She revisits the infamous “conscious uncoupling.”
While many at the time thought it was something the actor had simply cooked up, the phrase “conscious uncoupling” was presented to Paltrow by a therapist.
“I was intrigued, less by the phrase, but by the sentiment,” Paltrow explained. “Was there a world where we could break up and not lose everything? Could we be a family, even though we were not a couple? We decided to try.”
She continued, “When we made a commitment to approach our separation this way, and about a year before we introduced the phrase to the world, we put it to the test. It was hit and miss.”
“We had great days and terrible days,” she wrote. “Days when we couldn’t stand each other, but forced ourselves to remember what we were aiming for. Somehow finding a way to smile and hug, and take the kids out for brunch like we had planned.”
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It’s been four years since the divorce finalized and both Martin and Paltrow have found new loves.
“Conscious uncoupling lets us recognise those two different loves can coexist and nourish each other,” she explained.
Paltrow got remarried in 2018 to TV writer and producer Brad Falchuk, while Martin has been dating actor Dakota Johnson since 2017. The couple has remained on good terms while co-parenting and encourage each other’s new relationships.
Last October, the group celebrated Johnson’s 30th birthday together, with both Martin and Paltrow attending. The trio and Falchuk have all even gone on vacations together.
“I know my ex-husband was meant to be the father of my children,” Paltrow wrote, “and I know my current husband is meant to be the person I grow very old with.”