Friendship after divorce? Paltrow and Martin show that it is possible

We’ve just read a great article on the Telegraph website on the theory that when couples split up, there’s no need to fall out.

The article has been triggered by photos of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow – famous for their recent ‘uncoupling’ – looking like they were being nice to each other and generally getting on very well.

According to the article, Gwyneth Paltrow’s agent has scotched rumours that the couple are about to get back together but what seems to have come as a surprise is how they are able to divorce so well with two children, millions of dollars and rumours of infidelity are involved?

The Telegraph speculates that this apparent harmony between Paltrow and Martin could be down to the showbiz need to ‘keep on with the show’ or that maybe A-list celebrities are ‘such narcissists that mislaying a spouse is nothing to losing an audience’.

However, commenting in the article, Rhiannon Ford, a divorce consultant, says that we shouldn’t be surprised as to how well Paltrow and Martin seem to be getting on during what is a hugely significant time for any couple, whether celebrity or civilian: “Yes, they seem on an even keel but remember that this is a couple who have been notoriously private in the past. Suddenly they are being very public.

This suggests to me that their separation has been planned and prepared for well in advance of the news being published on Gwyneth’s website as a fait accompli.

I’m not suggesting that she is behaving like this to protect her career, though clearly some PR has taken place. But I would say, she thinks it is the right thing to do as a mother. And she knows that she is setting an example to other families that, for example, holidays can be spent together normally. We can’t know how much of this is real or staged, but personally I think they are doing separation very well and are setting a positive example.”

Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom are another couple how seem to have managed to maintain their friendship after their divorce was announced six months ago. Orlando Bloom explained their lack of animosity: “I’ve said to her, We’re going to be in each other’s lives for the rest of our lives and we have a child, so it’s important to me that we respect each other as we always have and that Flynn (their son) feels that and understands that.”

It seems that Paltrow and Martin have been sensible enough to realise that fighting over their assets during divorce doesn’t tend to look too good in the newspapers. Rhiannon Ford commented: “They will have money to throw at this – enough not to worry about selling the family home and to afford lots of counselling, so it will be easier than for most of us. We don’t have their resources let alone the impetus and motivation for behaving so well.

But we can still learn from them. ‘Conscious uncoupling’ isn’t how I would describe divorce counselling – the term’s too namb-pamby – though what we offer in this country is pretty much the same in practice: real support through separation as decently as possible.

But I do think Gwyneth and Chris are being sincere in their behaviour – and they’re sending out a powerful message that you can be kind and civilised at the end of a relationship. It’s hope for us all.”

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