Looks Like Gywneth's 'Conscious Uncoupling' Was Harder Than She Thought

by Christina Marfice
John Shearer / Getty

Co-parenting after divorce isn’t always easy, and Gwyneth Paltrow is opening up about that in new interviews

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are the former husband and wife who gave us the term “conscious uncoupling” when they announced the end of their marriage. It sounds nicer than “divorce,” right? It brought up mental images of a careful, deliberate process, mutually agreed upon, to end their marriage and move forward. And since the “uncoupling, the pair have seemed to navigate family life with their two kids, 16-year-old Apple and 14-year-old Moses, as well as any divorced parents, if not better.


“We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate,” Paltrow and Martin said at the time in a statement that seemed full of optimism for one about their divorce.

“We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been,” the statement read. “We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

But what we, the public, see and what’s actually happening can be two different things, Paltrow revealed in a new interview. Despite the peaceful name she gave to her breakup, she’s now opening up about the ups and downs, difficulties, and challenges of co-parenting after a divorce.

In a talk with Drew Barrymore, Paltrow said she and Martin always agreed that they were going to do their best to protect their kids through their split.

“I really wanted my kids to not be traumatised if it were possible,” she said. “Chris and I committed to putting them first and that’s harder than it looks.”

Paltrow continued, “Some days you really don’t wanna be with the person that you’re getting divorced from. But, if you’re committed to having family dinner, then you do it. You take a deep breath, you look the person in the eye, you remember your pact and you smile and you hug and you make a joke and you just recommit to this new relationship that you are trying to foster.”

Honestly, this real and vulnerable Gwyneth Paltrow is more relatable than the one who sugar-coated her divorce with a progressive new name. She went on to admit that there are good days and bad days when co-parenting after a split, and any parent who’s ever tried to navigate these waters will certainly relate to that.

“You’re ending a marriage but you’re still in a family. That’s how it’s gonna be forever,” Paltrow said. “Some days it’s not as good as it looks. We also have good days and bad days, but I think it’s driving towards the same purpose of unity and love and really what’s best for them.”


Luckily, now, four years after the divorce was finalized, Paltrow says she and Martin have navigated their way back to a solid friendship.

“In a way, my divorce and relationship with Chris now is better than our marriage was,” she said. “We have this idea that just because we break up, we can’t love the things about the person anymore that we loved and that’s not true.”

Those are some pretty wise words for anyone who is going (or has gone) through a similar breakup. We’re glad they were able to find their way back to friendship, even if it wasn’t always easy.