C-parents Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are probably one of the most famous pairs of exes, ever. And not for drama reasons, either; quite the contrary, as the parents have been the poster children for friendly, loving, easy-breezy “conscious uncoupling” since they essentially invented the term (or at least gave it legs) during their 2012 divorce.
And now, all these years later, if the headlines and photos and blended-family double-dates are to be believed, Paltrow and Martin continue to co-parent all chill and blissful and always on the same page. Right? Well, celebrity splits, like any of them, are rarely as they seem.
On The Drew Barrymore Show this week, Paltrow revealed that the whole starry-eyed co-parenting image of her and Martin is fallible — just like they are. “It’s not as good as it looks,” she told Barrymore, noting that she and Martin still “have good days and bad days, but I think it’s driving towards the same purpose of unity and love and what’s best.”
Honestly, any of us non-celeb parents who are trudging through the neverending ups and downs of co-parenting (hi) would likely tell you the same. Some days, it’s all cool and copacetic. Others, a total mind-bending disaster. Speaking just from my own personal experience here.
Paltrow has previously opened up about having to reexamine how she looked at divorce and co-parenting in order to accept it as a normal part of life and growth. “I’m actually the only one in my life who got divorced,” she told Esther Perel in 2018 of her friend group. “This used to feel like a failure — it took me a while to reframe that divorce isn’t a failure.”
And now, she’s gotten more comfortable with living in the gray area that is co-parenting. “My divorce and my relationship with Chris now is better than our marriage was, she told Barrymore. Why’s that? Because the two have learned “to have radical accountability… It’s not binary, we’re all gray area, we all are trying our best. I really wanted my kids to not be traumatized, if at all possible. Chris and I really committed to putting them first.”
“It’s like you’re ending a marriage but you’re still in a family,” she continued. “That’s how it will be forever… 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.”
Props to Paltrow for realizing this — but honestly, even more so for admitting that the glossy exterior of her co-parenting / family / entire life has its complications and its downfalls just like anyone’s. The more seemingly “perfect” people like Paltrow can embrace their imperfections, the more the rest of us parents will feel like we’re not alone in the “gray area.”