Gwyneth Paltrow has opened up about her split with Chris Martin, recalling the moment she knew their marriage was over.
The actress wrote about the lessons she learned from the break-up in a candid essay for British Vogue, stating it was “probably the most challenging year” of her life.
During a trip to the Tuscan countryside for her 38th birthday, Gwyneth made the realisation that there marriage was over.
“I don’t remember which day of the weekend it was or the time of day. But I knew…my marriage was over,” she wrote.
“It would be years until we said the words aloud,” she added.
The 47-year-old acknowledged she and her ex-husband “were close” and “had always been friends,” but also claimed they “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 referred to the couple’s daughter Apple and son Moses.
“Between the day that I knew and the day we finally relented to the truth, we tried everything,” she admitted, “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.”
“In those early, dark days, I struggled to imagine what my life would be. I wasn’t sure how a mother goes about untangling herself from the man with whom her DNA has co-mingled.”
“It seemed impossible, that kind of extraction or extrication. I had not grown up around a lot of divorce, and the divorce I had been privy to had been bitter, acrimonious, unending. With all my heart, I did not want that,” she continued.
“We had great days and terrible days. 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.”
“We had just moved to LA and were navigating a lot of change. Looking back, it was probably the most challenging year of my life. I felt ruled by fear.”
“I worried about my children integrating into a new life, new school, new family structure. I worried about the world finding out that we were no longer together before we were ready to say it. And how to say it? What to say?”
“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.”
“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. 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,” Gwyneth added.
The actress highlighted the importance of taking accountability for the break-down of a relationship, admitting she had been “blind, guarded, invulnerable, intolerant.”
“Learning to let go of spite is crucial, too. Spite makes us believe we are “right”. It keeps us blind to our own faults. The point of a break-up, if you have to go through it, is to grow.”
“It’s OK to stay in love with the parts of your ex that you were always in love with,” she concluded her essay.
“Love all of those wonderful parts of them. They still exist, they can still make you feel the way you felt for that person.”
“I know my ex-husband was meant to be the father of my children, and I know my current husband is meant to be the person I grow very old with.”
“Conscious uncoupling lets us recognise those two different loves can coexist and nourish each other.”