Gwyneth Paltrow claims the ‘conscious uncoupling’ backlash was ‘brutal’

Gwyneth Paltrow signs copies of her new book 'The Clean Plate'

One of the dumbest brags employed by Gwyneth Paltrow consistently over the years is that she never came from a divorced family. She treats the reality of divorce as some kind of personal failure on the part of every divorced person, and she also speaks of divorce like it’s a disease, or a virus or something, rather than just something that happens and something not related to someone’s morals or ethics. Marriages fall apart every day. People file for divorce every day. Sometimes people are even happier post-divorce. Gwyneth keeps on-brand though, and she has to speak of her divorce like she’s the first f–king person to ever go through it, and thus she basically invented the concept of “staying friends with her ex-husband.” Gwyneth appeared on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast and here are some highlights:

On Conscious Uncoupling: “It had been coined in the ’70s, I think. It’s such a beautiful concept. You’re staring down the barrel of a divorce, the worst outcome possible. My parents were married until my dad died. All my best friends … all their parents were married, they all married their college or high school person, they’re still married…. I just didn’t come from a world where there was a lot of divorce.”

She was only thinking about her kids: “The most common wound that I heard from children of divorce was, ‘My parents couldn’t be in the same room and couldn’t be friends. It took three years, it took 18 years, it took — God forbid — the death of a close family member for them to sit at the same table.’ I just thought, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to circumvent that and go directly to the point where we’re friends and we remember what we loved about each other, and constantly acknowledge that we created these incredible human beings together.’ We’re a family, that’s it. We can pretend we’re not, and hate each other … or, [we can] try to reinvent this for ourselves.”

Divorce “was so difficult” for her: “I think at the time, I was in a lot of pain. It felt like such a failure to me. It was so hard and I was so worried about my kids.”

The backlash to the term “conscious uncoupling”: It felt like a “layer of the world turning on us about saying, essentially, we just want to be nice to each other and stay a family. It was brutal. I already felt like I had no skin on.”

[From People]

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one woman whitewash her own history so thoroughly. She’s never called out on her little bulls–t either. First of all, she and Chris Martin had been falling apart for YEARS. There were persistent rumors about his sidepieces. There were persistent rumors about her sidepieces too, including the man who is now her husband. Brad Falchuk was married too, and Brad and Gwyneth’s actions ended his marriage and her marriage, at least that’s what I believe. I also believe that Gwyneth only decided to divorce Chris when she fell for Brad, and I think Chris went along with it because he’d been trying to get out of their marriage for a while. But sure, let’s whitewash this whole thing. Gwyneth is different, you see. She had never even heard of divorce! She was innocent! She’s the only person who was ever completely blameless in a divorce.

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55 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow claims the ‘conscious uncoupling’ backlash was ‘brutal’”

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  1. L84Tea says:

    No Gwennie dear, I don’t think the world was coming down hard on you for trying to stay friends with your ex-husband. The world was laughing at you for your pretentious delivery of the concept as if no one else had ever done it before. God, she is such an ass.

  2. Lara says:

    Playing the victim, again.

  3. minx says:

    She says and does the stupidest, most arrogant and high-handed things and then whines if she is called out on them.

    • Annaloo. says:

      So much privilege. Even in the wake of the college admissions scandals, I keep thinking how it was a “call” from Uncle’l Michael Douglas that got her bad grades butt into USC. How does this world let her keep her bubble??!

  4. Amy Tennant says:

    Divorce is the “worst outcome possible”? No, honey. I can think of a lot more. Misery in marriage. Abuse or even worse, murder, or murder-suicide. Or in my case, where my husband died young and left me and the kids. Does it make me feel better to know he loved me until the end and died in my arms, still loving me? Sure. If I could pick which outcome I’d rather have, being divorced from him or widowed by him at this age, I think I’d choose divorce. At least in that case my kids could still have a relationship with him instead of having to visit his grave. Yes, I’m still bitter. It was three months ago, and every week has felt like a month to get through. I miss him so much.

    • cherry says:

      That’s terrible, Amy. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Sending you lots of love.

    • Jordana says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss Amy. Ignore Gwynass, and her cry for attention and sympathy. Sending condolences and big hugs to you!

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Thanks– I’m kind of embarrassed now that I vented– I didn’t mean to get emotional in public, but I guess this is the online version of breaking down crying in the grocery store, which I’ve also done!

    • Swack says:

      So sorry for you. Prayers and good karma coming your way. It’s okay to vent.

    • Diana says:

      Amy, I am so sorry about your pain. I don’t know you or your situation. Still, I want to send love your way. Life is fucking hard. 💓💓💓

    • launicaangelina says:


    • Embee says:

      Amy I am so sorry that you’ve lost your husband and for the tough road ahead. I lost my husband as well and the only thing I will share is that I wish I had asked for more help and not tried to be so strong. You are going to have to be strong no matter what but PLEASE ask for and accept help. I am so so so sorry and if I was near you I promise I would be bringing you food and carpooling your kids for you. XOXOXO

    • Wilady says:

      Amy, I can’t even imagine. I’m so sorry.

    • JadedBrit says:

      @AmyTennant Oh, Amy. I’m so terribly sorry to hear of your appalling loss. I hope you have support in your grief – and be as kind to yourself as you can. Never apologise or feel embarrassed for venting. That’s what the CB community is there for, and that is what we do – share our experiences, our losses and pain. Here for you in whatever capacity you need.

    • manda says:

      Amy, three months is like yesterday. I’m so sorry for your loss

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Thank you. My mom died unexpectedly less than two weeks later (she collapsed three days after my husband’s funeral and never regained consciousness), and I feel so lost. I didn’t mean to threadjack. Goop’s words just flew all over me.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        Amy sweetheart, you’re not threadjacking. This is an important conversation and you deserve all the hugs in the world. I don’t know how you’re still standing with those two losses in so short a time. My condolences and internet hugs to you </3

    • Capepopsie says:

      I’m so sorry for you in your double loss! That’s really though!
      I so hope you have people around you to support you, I wish you
      the very best! My heart really goes out to you in your grief! 😢

  5. boy mom says:

    not that this matters, an HS teacher of mine is Brad Falchuk’s ex wife’s sister (when they were married, he came to our school and did a writing workshop, he was so cute omg) when this whole thing was going down, I reached out to her and said “wow your family is in the news, I hope your sister and the kids are ok” and she said they have been broken up for a while and there was no cheating etc… and everyone was good! Who knows if she was protecting her sister or not… but she did tend to gossip and loved anything salacious, I feel like if he was having this awful affair with GP she would have no problem throwing them all under the bus.

  6. Ainsley7 says:

    So, she’s basically saying that she used the term conscious uncoupling because she didn’t want to admit to herself and everyone else that she was getting a divorce. I can see how people pointing that out could upset her. She had spent all that time building her denial bubble and reality kept trying to pop it. I can see why she’s never been friends with reality given its behavior towards her made up world.

  7. Wilady says:

    I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. Hear me out. She didn’t have a lot of divorce around her. She is a perfectionist type of person and this is a very public “failure” in that it’s saying “we were wrong in the person we picked forever to start a family.” It was probably a large difficult pill for her to swallow and being in a dysfunctional marriage for so long was because she was in denial she made the wrong choice. And divorce DOES affect kids in some way. It’s not always devastating, but it does affect them, and can’t not in some ways. I think at some point she realized she had to face it, denial was confronted, and she found a way that helped her save a bit of ego and also comforted her that she was doing the positive thing, and may have also been a bit of remaining denial, by not calling it divorce. Of course the term feels pretentious to the public, because people have positive friendly divorces all the time, cue backlash.

    Also, I’m sorry, but I think because people divorce all the time doesn’t make it easy. I would be devastated. It’s dividing up all my things, kids things, saying goodbye to my partner, my financial situation changing, car changing, possibly house. Friends may get complicated, saying goodbye to some in-laws and holiday get togethers, Kids lives changing. It’s not just signing a paper and someone living in an apartment. It wouldn’t be easy. I understand where hesitation would come in, for sure.

  8. Eliza says:

    The backlash wasn’t because she wanted to stay friendly with her ex… it was the article she posted basically stating they were the best divorced parents in the world and educating the other parents of the world to be as great them because no one had ever thought of being friendly for the children. Esp since it was obvious CM wanted out and they’d been only friends for a long while as hed already been seeing other people. It was pretentious.

    She just needs to stop delivering her “advice” like she’s doing the human population a favor.

    • mtam says:

      Exactly, 100% everything you said. She puts herself on a pedestal, and would love to influence people and have them follow everything she says, but can’t handle it when that attention brings her any criticism or judgment.

      She reminds me of Taylor Swift in a way. Projects herself a champion of w.e., but when people come for her, instead of dealing with it like a mature person, she makes herself a victim of “mean” critics/the public.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      she also made it seem as if she was the only one who ever thought about how to co-parent amicably and/or was the only one who could remain friendly with her ex (and still seems to think she’s the first to have postulated this could happen).

    • Kebbie says:

      Lol she managed to make her own divorce announcement condescending. That is a skill!

  9. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Not turning, laughing. Bless your little pea-pikin’ heart. My grandmother divorced her abusive husband in the 1920′s when shit like that was a no-no. Besides, it’s a stupid phrase. Of course you’re consciously uncoupling. You’re consciously divorcing. Your consciously ripping your marriage license and moving on. Stay friendly or don’t, plenty do and plenty don’t. You didn’t invent friendly divorce. You weren’t sheltered from the word (you saying you were stupid?), you were raised in the divorce capital of USA. Whoever your manager is, they have steered you wrong by making your deeds morph into first evers. That’s ball-faced lying. You’re a cheat, a grift, a liar, and I can’t read or watch anything with you in it anymore lol. You might as well go hang with Tom Cruise.

    • LivePlantsCleanAir says:

      My parents divorced in 1958 when I was 4… mother ran away with my dad’s best friend. There was NO THOUGHT for her two children. One of his kids (the newborn) was put up for adoption. His wife was put in a mental ward. His 4 other kids moved in. My sister (6 years old) was sent to boarding school because she was “acting up”. My coping mechanism was to hide…the minute I learned how to read, that was my escape. I also tend to breathe very shallowly so as to not disturb the air around me and potentially cause an explosion. I give props to EVERY person divorcing who is keeping the children’s overall best interests at the top of their concerns. My dad, may he RIP, showed up every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. to pick my sister and I up and spend the afternoon with us. He occasionally would also take one of my step-siblings. When he married again and had two more kids, he did his very best to include us as often as possible. Oh, sometimes I was so jealous of those two kids, because they had a happy home. TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS and I won’t give you crap about your crap.

  10. MOT says:

    Oh looks I’m going to be a Goop apologist on this one…I got divorced a little after she did. One of the reasons I had waited, And even thought about just staying married till the kids are going to be in college, is because you heard so few stories about divorced parents who could really get along. It was an ideal, but didn’t happen very often… Or so it seems.

    When she talked about conscious uncoupling, I looked it up and found the woman that Coined the term. It really gave me a framework to have one of the healthiest divorces of anybody I know. People tell me all the time they can’t believe how well we get along, and how nice our divorce has been. I didn’t do it for my ex, I did it for me and the kids. My marriage had also been very loveless and falling apart for years and years, but that doesn’t make divorce any less hard when you have kids. So in this one I will give her credit for bringing the idea of “conscious uncoupling” to a broader stage and I’m sure there are other couples besides just me who’s been positively affected by that way of ending a marriage.

    OK… Now I have to go back to another post about her and say something mean :-)

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      You did that because that’s who you are. You read her motives and connected because THAT’S WHO YOU ARE. You would’ve been friendly regardless. I divorced early 90s, and we’ve all vacationed together, my family and his. Granted, they were very short vaycays lol. Who has time for grudges?

    • LT says:


      My divorce was a “collaborative divorce,” which is a legal term for a divorce that is focused on the kids, where no financial fact finding is done and you agree to have a social worker involved to help you find the best possible outcome for the kids. You sign a paper that says if you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, you’ll fire both of your attorneys and start all over again. Only a few states do it. Our divorce took 4 months and was, according to outsiders, the friendliest divorce they had ever seen. We have 50/50 custody and live 2 miles from each other.

      That being said – it’s still hard on my kids. Divorce is just hard, period.

  11. AnnaKist says:

    Urggh. This woman. Shut. Up.

  12. Hmmm says:

    Why isn’t she still with brad pitt? They are both idiots and perfect for each other.

  13. Cay says:

    Her godfather is Steven Spielberg. He divorced Amy Irving in 1989. Yeah, she was well aware of divorce.

  14. mtam says:

    Omg seriously, people questioning things you say or do, is not “backlash” and it’s not “bullying.” Of course it would be better if people didn’t criticize things they don’t fully understand, but holy shit you don’t have to make yourself a martyr just because you feel you’re being misunderstood.

    • Xo says:

      There is quite a lot of hate around for Gwyneth, though. I suspect she felt the force of it amidst the “criticism.”

  15. Tiffany says:

    For all of the things that I rag on Goop about, it was never how well she and Chris co-parent and got along post divorce. That was always solid and showed quite a bit of character on both their parts.

    Then she had to say words. Stop saying words Goop.

  16. LouLou says:

    She could have just said that it was important to her and Chris to be amicable and co-parent well. She’s the one that had to bring out a catchphrase. Reminds me of when she called Billy Joel “William Joel.” Lol.

  17. DS9 says:

    I just heard of someone in my circle of friends who was murdered by her husband the other night. He killed her, burned down her parents’s house and killed himself.

    But, yes, Gwyneth, two people who haven’t been in love in a long time, who are both adept at writing their own narratives, who are loving and caring parents, who have enough money, income, and assets to run two households, who lose nothing in terms of career or social life or their children’s opportunities can definitely amicably end a marriage where there was no abuse involved.

  18. DS9 says:

    As an aside, I don’t speak to my ex husband. He was a careless father, an absentee father who held me responsible for everything in our household. He was nothing approaching a partner.

    I was the mother of a >1 year old baby when we met, we had a child together. He basically abandoned my son older child when we split, tried to have custody taken from me in full, lied to child services as part of that.

    We don’t speak. We trade terse, to the point emails when it’s time to arrange visitation.

    That’s it.

    And that’s what I needed for my mental health.

    I’ll accept no shade for that.

  19. ariel says:

    You know how you can mute certain words on twitter to keep them from your timeline.
    I muted “Gwyneth”.