“We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time,” the pair said in a statement at the time. “We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”
Shepard brought up how Paltrow can be triggering to people, including with the whole “consciously uncoupling” concept, a term she said she believed was coined in the 1970s.
“It’s such a beautiful concept,” Paltrow said. “You’re staring down the barrel of a divorce, your worst outcome possible.”
The actress said she started collecting data about divorce and its impact on the children involved.
The most common “wound” Paltrow discovered was children of divorce saying their parents could not get along.
“I just thought, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to circumvent that and just go directly to the point where we’re friends’ and we remember what we loved about each other,” she said. “We’re family, that’s it. So we can pretend we’re not and hate each other and drop a kid at the end of the driveway and not come in or let’s try to reinvent this for ourselves.”
At the time, Paltrow said, she was in a great deal of pain, worried for her children and feeling like a failure because the marriage didn’t work out.
“So then there was this whole other layer of like the world turning on us about saying, essentially, ‘We just want to be nice to each other and try and stay a family,'” she said. “And it was brutal because I already felt like I had no skin on.”
Paltrow said she sometimes feels like she can be a bit ahead of the times and that it later occurred to her that what she had said “triggered a lot of people who were the sons and daughters of acrimonious divorces or people in the middle of acrimonious divorces.”
It’s all worked out, however.