"Of course, there are times when I think it would have been better if we had stayed married, which is always what your children want," Paltrow told the February issue of Harper's Bazaar UK. "But we have been able to solidify this friendship, so that we’re really close."
That is, close both emotionally and geographically. The Coldplay frontman lives in a house across the road from her. The exes have been photographed dining out and even vacationing together, and have stuck with family traditions like celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with their daughter, Apple, 10, and son Moses, 8.
"We’ve made a lot of mistakes, and we’ve had good days and bad days, but I have to say, I’m proud of us for working through so much stuff together, and not blaming and shaming."
Paltrow, 42, also put into perspective their relationship, recalling for the magazine how she met Martin, 37, three weeks after the death of her beloved father, producer and director Bruce Paltrow. They married a year later, in December 2003, when Paltrow was already pregnant with their daughter.
"I feel like I would have died somehow if I hadn’t met him at that time. I felt like I was going to die of grief," she told Harper's about Martin. "I remember waking up, on one particular night, where I felt like I was having a heart attack and I couldn’t breathe... I lay on the floor of my apartment in London and I thought, 'I’m not going to survive this.'
“And he just picked me up and he was so loving and patient through all my grieving. He’s really great in a crisis. He has incredible empathy when it comes to somebody’s pain."
But looking back, Paltrow also realizes that Martin, who was just 25 when they met, was "too young" to carry such a large burden.
"I was relying on him very heavily and I really expected him to keep being this grown man and pillar of strength, which he was and is, but it’s also quite an unfair set of criteria to give to someone who’s just 25 years old."
These days, she also relies on a "collective of women," and still believes in the power of sisterhood, despite the attacks she has faced in the media.
"Women really need to examine why they’re so vitriolic to other women; why they want to twist words, why they want to read about someone else in a negative light and why that feels good to them," she told Harper's.
"But I also know a huge tribe of women who are loving and supportive of other women, in ways that are completely transformative."