Gwyneth Paltrow Says This Was the Moment She Knew Her Marriage Was Over

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Gwyneth Paltrow penned an intimate essay about her relationship with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and opened up to readers about when she knew her marriage was over.

In the September 2020 issue of British Vogue, the 47-year-old shared that, on a weekend trip away for her 38th birthday, “a dam had cracked just enough to hear the unrelenting trickle of truth.” In the years prior to their official split, Paltrow explained that she and Martin "didn’t quite fit."

“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,” she wrote, adding that once that “dam” had broken, she “tried to quell that knowing, to push it far down.”

Paltrow went on to say she “tried to convince myself it had been a fleeting thought, that marriage is complicated and ebbed and flowed. But I knew it. It was in my bones.”

The Goop founder, who met the British frontman in October 2002 and married him in December 2003, insisted that she and Martin “tried everything” because they didn’t “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,” she wrote, referencing their daughter Apple and son Moses.

Despite the couple's efforts, in March 2014, Paltrow and Martin publicly announced they had separated via a process dubbed “conscious uncoupling.” The announcement led to the couple having to reckon with “mockery and anger.”

"The day came. With a plan in place, we published a newsletter on Goop, simply called ‘conscious uncoupling.’ It was our announcement to the public that we were ending our marriage. I remember trembling on the phone to Elise Loehnen, our content chief, giving the green light to send. We knew that the piece would generate a lot of attention — a celebrity couple ending their relationship always does — but I never could have anticipated what came next. The public’s surprise gave way quickly to ire and derision," she wrote. "A strange combination of mockery and anger that I had never seen. I was already pretty tattered from what had been a tough year. Frankly, the intensity of the response saw me bury my head in the sand deeper than I ever had in my very public life."

After the announcement, Paltrow filed for divorce in 2015; the former couple maintains a good relationship and they are often seen on social media together with their children. Paltrow has since moved on to marry writer and producer Brad Falchuk while Martin is currently dating actress Dakota Johnson.

Ridicule aside, Paltrow wrote in her essay that the conversation around her separation announcements has evolved over the years.
“Conscious uncoupling/separation/divorce, whatever you want to call it, has now permeated the break-up culture. Instead of people approaching me with, ‘Why did you say that?’, they now approach me with, ‘How do you do that?’ ” she wrote, before explaining that loving someone and breaking up with them doesn’t mean you have to let them go entirely.

"You loved your ex once and you probably still do, so keep those great qualities of theirs close to your heart. Which leads me to the final and potentially most radical point: 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," she wrote.

Tags: Marriage, Co-Parenting, Divorce

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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