Gwyneth Paltrow opens up about 'conscious uncoupling' backlash after divorce from Chris Martin

'I think at the time I was in a lot of pain. It felt like such a failure to me'

Katie O'Malley
Wednesday 20 March 2019 09:00
Gwyneth Paltrow talks to Ellen DeGeneres about her friendship with Beyonce and Jay-Z

Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken about the backlash she faced for using the term “conscious uncoupling” following her divorce from ex-husband Chris Martin.

In 2014, the actor and Coldplay frontman announced they would be divorcing after ten years of marriage in a statement published on Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop.

“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,” a section of the statement read. The couple finalised their divorce in 2016.

Following years of backlash from using the term, rather than using the more common word “divorcing”, Paltrow has revealed how she felt after announcing the couple’s split.

Speaking to actor Dax Shepard on his latest podcast Armchair Expert, the actor explained: “I think at the time I was in a lot of pain. It felt like such a failure to me.

"It was so hard and I was so worried about my kids. It felt like a layer of the world turning on us about saying, essentially, 'We just want to be nice to each other and stay a family.'

“It was brutal. I already felt like I had no skin on."

According to Goop, “conscious uncoupling” can be defined as “the ability to understand that every irritation and argument within a relationship was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing”.

Revealing why she used the term in her divorce statement, the 46-year-old added: “It had been coined in the 1970s, I think.

“It's such a beautiful concept. You're staring down the barrel of a divorce, the worst outcome possible. My parents were married until my dad died. All my best friends, all their parents were married, they all married their college or high school person, they’re still married. I just didn’t come from a world where there was a lot of divorce.”

The star, who married producer Brad Falchuk in September 2018, went on to explain how the term allowed her and Martin to bypass the pain and anger of divorce and focus on being parents to their children, Apple and Moses.

“The most common wound that I heard from children of divorce was, ‘My parents couldn’t be in the same room and couldn’t be friends,” she added.

“It took three years, it took 18 years, it took — God forbid — the death of a close family member for them to sit at the same table.' I just thought, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to circumvent that and go directly to the point where we’re friends and we remember what we loved about each other, and constantly acknowledge that we created these incredible human beings together.'”

(Getty Images

Earlier this month, Paltrow posted a photograph on Instagram of her and Martin to celebrate the singer’s birthday.

“Happy Birthday CAJM. This is a special one. We love you so much. #42,” she captioned a photograph of the pair.

In January, the actor said that she and Matin were “always meant to be together”.

“It doesn't have to be the end of your relationship with somebody,” the actor said of their break-up in an interview with ES magazine.

“I think Chris and I were meant to be together and have our kids. But our relationship is much better like this: friends and co-parents and family.”

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