Gwyneth Paltrow is looking back at the “conscious uncoupling” heard around the world. In a new essay for Vogue U.K., the actor turned Goop entrepreneur describes the moment she realized her marriage to Chris Martin was over.
“It was my birthday, my 38th. My ex-husband and I were tucked away in the Tuscan countryside, on a hill in a beautiful cottage with a view of the forest,” Paltrow begins. “I don’t recall when it happened, exactly. I don’t remember which day of the weekend it was or the time of day. But I knew—despite long walks and longer lie-ins, big glasses of Barolo and hands held—my marriage was over.
“We just didn’t quite fit together,” she concedes. “There was always a bit of unease and unrest. But man, did we love our children.” Paltrow and Martin share a daughter and a son, Apple and Moses.
It would take three more years before she and Martin split up. “Between the day that I knew and the day we finally relented to the truth, we tried everything. We did not 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,“ Paltrow writes. “But one day, despite all our efforts, I found that I was not at a fork in the road. I was well down a path. Almost without realizing it, we had diverged. We’d never find ourselves together in that way again.”
In 2014, Paltrow and Martin announced to the world that they were separating via a Goop blog post titled “Conscious Uncoupling.” The pair wed in 2003, and their divorce was not finalized until 2016.
“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate,” the statement said at the time. “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.”
Apparently, it wasn’t as easy as they made it look. “We had great days and terrible days,” Paltrow continues in her Vogue U.K. essay. “Days when we couldn’t stand each other, but forced ourselves to remember what we were aiming for. Somehow finding a way to smile and hug, and take the kids out for brunch like we had planned.”
Now Gwyneth Paltrow is happily married to writer-producer Brad Falchuk, while the Coldplay frontman reportedly split from actor Dakota Johnson after two years of dating. “I know my ex-husband was meant to be the father of my children,” Paltrow wrote, “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.”
Amen to that.
Originally Appeared on Glamour