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Gwyneth and Chris and why I care way too much

Waaahhh! Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have split up??? What the hey the what the?

My day started so beautifully and now this! Goodbye kisses from my husband, good morning kisses from my daughter, a workout, a walk in the sun with my Labrador. It doesn’t get better.

But then my world shatters when I read that my mate Gwynnie, who emails me every month (not personally, obvs, but it feels that way), has “consciously uncoupled” from her awesome rock star husband, Chris.

I knew something was up when Gwynnie emailed me this morning. When her blog Goop sends me a message that says “click here for a note from GP” it’s not going to be “My Favourite Dark Leafy Greens Recipes.”

So I click, but the website is down. That NEVER happens. As I wait, I scroll through a TABLOID and I come across the news, just splashed across the gossip pages like I’ve overheard it at Kinder drop off.

It’s not right, it shouldn’t happen this way. I can only assume that is inconsolably unable to go on, because, FFS, I know how it feels.

I know I don’t know them personally. But Gwynnie and Chris have been my favourite celebrity couple forever. To be honest, I can’t think of another celebrity couple I give two shits about. They’re almost all fake, boring, and consider they’re love for each other and their kids to be somehow more magical than everybody else’s love. Kimye? Sorry but everyone dresses their babies up in funny outfits. Maybe not in Louis Vuitton, but it doesn’t matter. Same game, different threads.

But Gwynnie and Chris? I’m just devastated.

Devastated because I love them both. I’ve interviewed him and he was charming and clever and kind and generous and, well, normal. In a list of hundreds of celebrities that I’ve interviewed over my radio career, I could only say that of two people – Chris and Matt Damon – and I’ve no idea who Matt Damon is married to so I haven’t really attached myself to his marriage in quite the same tragic way.

But Gwynnie! I follow her blog, I cook her recipes, I see her in interviews and she just seems like a really smart, funny, and, yes, normal mum and wife. Admittedly, living a super privileged, houses all over the world, holidays whenever and wherever she likes, kind of life. But she acknowledges that, and I think it’s OK. I mean, it’s not her fault she was born into Hollywood royalty, just as it’s not my doing I was born into suburban mundanity. It’s the being conscious that matters.

Conscious enough to have tried to make it work for over a year, and failed. And in that I see my husband and I, and it scares me.

We’ve had rough patches, we’ve been in therapy, we’ve had moments where I wasn’t sure we’d make it. But somehow we’ve come out the other side.

It’s taken a lot of work. We’ve recognised that if we walked away, what we would lose is greater than what we’d gain. We’ve felt the relief of our familiar love, after fearing it was gone forever. We’ve chosen to face the challenge of growing and being better people, rather than giving up on our marriage or each other.

But at no point have I felt like we’ve reached the destination. We’re still navigating our journey together, and it can be a bumpy ride. I imagine it like we’re on a crowded train. There are no seats. We’re standing holding onto a pole together, surfing the rocking and rolling of the train, shielding our daughter and staying strong against the tide of people around us.

But the train can jolt and one of us might fall. Or be pushed by the crowd to the other end of the carriage. Or just decide it’s too hard and get off altogether. There are no guarantees, and if Gwynnie and Chris can’t make it on a private jet, how are my husband and I going to go on a peak hour train that smells a bit like dog poo?

As with the end of any relationship, there will be judgement and speculation about what went wrong and who’s to blame and already according to my husband it’s because Gwynnie cheated. How he can know that for certain I don’t know, given he doesn’t even watch E News. I just want people to be kind in whatever is said, because that could be any of us.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and put Fix You on repeat. If you see me weeping in my car at the traffic lights, kindly look away. I’m not one of nature’s pretty criers.

2 Responses to “Gwyneth and Chris and why I care way too much”

  1. katherine

    Thank you jo for describing love in such a real and honest way. Whatever you do don’t listen to coldplays new song magic.. you will start crying again


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