When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were “consciously uncoupling” six years ago, they meant it. Since then, they have remained unusually close, hanging with each other’s partners, vacationing together and co-parenting their two children, Apple, 16, and Moses, 14.
Paltrow, who is now married to Brad Falchuk, penned a personal essay for British Vogue about the end of their marriage, and the fallout from their now-famous breakup announcement on Goop.
The 47-year-old wrote that she realized her marriage to Martin was over in 2010, four years before they broke the news. It was on a trip to Italy for her 38th birthday.
Paltrow wrote: “It would be years until we said the words aloud. But, that weekend, a dam had cracked just enough to hear the unrelenting trickle of truth. And it grew louder until it was all I could hear.”
She continued: “We were close, though we had never fully settled into being a couple. We just didn’t quite fit together. There was always a bit of unease and unrest. But man, did we love our children.”
They tried everything, including therapy, and one therapist brought up the idea of “consciously uncoupling.”
Paltrow wrote that she wasn’t sure: “Frankly, the term sounded a bit full of itself, painfully progressive and hard to swallow.”
They tried it for a year. “It was a hit and miss. We had great days and terrible days. Days when we couldn't stand each other, but forced ourselves to remember what we were aiming for.”
Paltrow said the blowback over the announcement made “me bury my head in the sand deeper than I ever had in my very public life.”
But now, the term is part of the cultural vernacular. She noted: “It’s OK to stay in love with the parts of your ex that you were always in love with. In fact, that’s what makes conscious uncoupling work. Love all of those wonderful parts of them. They still exist, they can still make you feel the way you felt for that person. Rather than shutting them out, lean into the unfamiliarity of those feelings and explore them.”
She concluded: “I know my ex-husband was meant to be the father of my children, and I know my current husband is meant to be the person I grow very old with. Conscious uncoupling lets us recognize those two different loves can coexist and nourish each other.”