Gwyneth Paltrow explains where 'conscious uncoupling' came from

Caroline Allen
·Contributor
·2-min read
She reflects on using the infamous term. (Getty Images)
Paltrow has reflected on the now infamous phrase. (Getty Images)

Gwyneth Paltrow has said she always felt “a bit of unease and unrest” during her marriage with Chris Martin.

The 47-year-old coined the phrase “conscious uncoupling” to describe how she and the Coldplay frontman, 43, would continue to be friends and co-parents but would no longer be husband and wife.

The infamous phrase - which has followed Paltrow since their separation in 2016 - was ridiculed by fans for its open-ended meaning.

Now, the Goop founder has admitted in British Vogue’s September issue that the saying “sounded a bit full of itself, painfully progressive and hard to swallow”.

The pair were married for 13 years. (Getty Images)
The pair were married for 13 years. (Getty Images)

Paltrow said that despite their 13 years together, the pair never “fully settled into being a couple” but insists they always put their children, Apple, 16 and Moses, 14 first.

“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 explained.

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The actor has now moved on with Brad Falchuk, 49, who she married in September 2018, while Martin has been dating Dakota Johnson since 2017.

Despite not working romantically, Paltrow says the pair have remained “good friends” and share common interests, which is, as far as she’s concerned, what the term “conscious uncoupling” really means.

Although she may have used the saying in her official separation statement, she admitted she’d never heard of the phrase before.

“It was an idea introduced to us by our therapist, the man who helped us architect our new future. I was intrigued, less by the phrase, but by the sentiment. Was there a world where we could break up and not lose everything? Could we be a family, even though we were not a couple? We decided to try.”

The attempt was successful. Four years after their “uncoupling” Paltrow still regularly shares Instagram photos of her former husband and their children.

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Six weeks ago, to celebrate Father’s Day, Paltrow posted a photo of Martin and their daughter, Apple, on board a boat with the caption: “Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there. Sending you all love.”

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