When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split up in 2014, they dubbed it a “conscious uncoupling”, resulting in some serious scrutiny from fans, journalists, and talk show hosts. I thought it was pretty dumb too. It was a break up. Why not call a spade a spade?
It’s funny how a bit of experience can really alter your perspective. I had none, back when this was on the news, and while I certainly can’t claim to understand the feeling of splitting up with someone you had pledged your life to for 11 years, and are raising kids with, I do know the feeling of a break up that is more a shift in relationship than messy, angry affair that we see in romantic comedies or that I’ve seen my friends go through too many times.
I’ve found myself wishing over the past few months that he would do something awful. That we could loathe each other and be sick at the thought of staying together for one more second. Because with that, I’m confident there would be less regret, less aching for the best friend, the person who has been your person for years, even before you slipped into that bizarre thing called love.
But that hasn’t happened. Things have been tenser than normal, but he still makes me laugh, he’s still the one I want to call when good things happen, the one I want to hug when bad things do. He’s still the kindest, loveliest, silliest and smartest guy I know. And we still love each other. We love each other so much that we know that this is the right thing to do. Because to lose one another forever, to hate or dislike each other is so much worse that being brokenhearted.
I am not okay. We are not okay. But I think one day we will be and that is what is keeping my head above water right now.