After Gwyneth Paltrow made a name for herself as an actor, but before she made a name for herself as someone who sold controversial vaginal eggs made of jade, she was known as the woman who brought the term “conscious uncoupling” into the zeitgeist. She first used it when announcing her divorce from Coldplay singer Chris Martin in 2016, after 12 years of marriage, and honestly, we’ve yet to see a more impactful celeb separation announcement. And now, Paltrow is sharing more about her “uncoupling” journey.
Goop opened up about co-parenting her kids, Moses and Apple, on The Drew Barrymore Show. She said her doctor gave her family a kind of rubric for how to coexist after divorce. One of the tips Paltrow took most to heart? “You have to have radical accountability,” Paltrow said. “No matter what you think, how you think you were wronged or how bad you perceive the other person’s actions, or whatever the case may be. If you are brave enough to take responsibility for your half and really look at your own garbage and your own trauma and how it’s presenting in the world and in your relationship, then there really is somewhere to go and something to learn and something to heal.”
Another strategy: Remembering that your ex is human. “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,” the businesswoman said. “We are all part good and part bad. It’s not binary — we are all gray area. We all are trying our best. I really wanted my kids to not be traumatized, if it were possible.”
She also says that it’s important to know that it’s not always going to be fun to see your ex, whether you’re running into them on the red carpet or at your child’s soccer game. “Chris and I committed to putting [the kids] first and that’s harder than it looks because some days you really don’t want to be with the person that you are getting divorced from,” she says. “But if you’re committed to having family dinner, then you do it. You take a deep breath and you look the person in the eye and you remember your pact and you smile and you hug and you joke and recommit to this new relationship that you are trying to foster.”
Honestly, props to GP. While she might have made it look easy — what, with the whole “conscious uncoupling” statement and the Instagram tributes to her ex — in this conversation, she acknowledged the reality: Divorce is often hard, especially if you have kids, no matter how committed you are to keeping things civil. On a happy note, Paltrow shared that her “relationship with Chris now is better than our marriage was.”
“It’s like you’re ending a marriage but you’re still in a family,” the Politician actress said. “That’s how it will be forever. 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 what’s best for [our kids].”
And, no matter how much flak the term “conscious uncoupling” got back in 2016, you’ve got to admit, the advice isn’t bad. We could all use more unity in love, in our families and in general, especially this year.
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