Like most exes who share children, co-parenting is full of ups and downs for Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
On Tuesday's episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, Paltrow called in to chat with host Drew Barrymore and discussed how she and the Coldplay frontman, who divorced in 2016 after 12 years of marriage, handle remaining tight-knit for the sake of son Moses, 14, and daughter Apple, 16.
"It's like you're ending a marriage but you're still in a family. That's how it will be forever," said the actress, 47. "Some days it's not as good as it looks. We also have good days and bad days, but I think it's driving towards the same purpose of unity and love and what's best for [our kids]."
"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," she added.
For Paltrow, one of the "interesting" parts of the whole process is that she feels "in a way" like "my divorce and my relationship with Chris now is better than our marriage was, so I think that it can be done."
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Paltrow told Barrymore, 45, about how she felt "really lucky" that she had a doctor who gave her and Martin, 43, "a rubric for how to" co-parent successfully — namely, "You have to have radical accountability" and "know that every relationship is 50/50."
"No matter what you think, how you think you were wronged or how bad you perceive the other person's actions, or whatever the case may be," she explained. "If you are brave enough to take responsibility for your half and really look at your own garbage and your own trauma and how it's presenting in the world and in your relationship, then there really is somewhere to go and something to learn and something to heal."
"You are also holding the other person in this sphere of humanity," the Oscar winner continued. "We are all part good and part bad. It's not binary — we are all gray area. We all are trying our best. I really wanted my kids to not be traumatized, if it were possible. Chris and I committed to putting them first and that's harder than it looks because some days you really don't want to be with the person that you are getting divorced from. But if you're committed to having family dinner, then you do it."
"And you take a deep breath and you look the person in the eye and you remember your pact and you smile and you hug … and recommit to this new relationship that you are trying to foster," Paltrow said.
Last month, Paltrow wrote an essay for British Vogue in which she detailed the end of her marriage to Martin. She recalled the time from when she knew it was over to the backlash that followed from the two using the now-famous "conscious uncoupling" phrase introduced to them by a couple's counselor, as well as how the split affected their approach to parenting Apple and Moses.
"We desperately didn't want to hurt our children," she wrote, in part. "We didn't want to lose our family. The questions, both philosophical and tactical, seemed unfathomable: Who sleeps where, how does bath time work, what do we say to the kids?"
Paltrow "bent myself into every imaginable shape to avoid answering them. But one day, despite all our efforts, I found that I was not at a fork in the road. I was well down a path. Almost without realizing it, we had diverged. We'd never find ourselves together in that way again."
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