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Gwyneth Paltrow's mother Blythe Danner doesn't understand the phrase 'conscious uncoupling'

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It's a phrase that still raises a wry smile, and it appears that even Gwyneth Paltrow's own mother doesn't understand what the phrase "conscious uncoupling" really means.

Gwyneth, 42, and 37-year-old Chris Martin separated nearly a year ago after eleven years of marriage, explaining their split to the world as a decision to "consciously uncouple". Gwyneth later posted a guide to divorce on her lifestyle website Goop titled "conscious uncoupling".

The phrase caught the imagination of the public and the media due to its optimistic spin on something as heartbreaking as divorce, falling in line with the breezy style typical of Goop, and sparking comical Tweets and think pieces across the internet.

But it still doesn't make sense to many people, including Gwyneth's mother Blythe Danner, who was asked about her daughter's divorce at a dinner at the Sundance Festival.

She said: "People make fun of this, um, what do they call it? What is that thing that they’ve been doing? Separating, but being?"

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Gwyneth and Chris before their split

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Blythe Danner spoke about how well her daughter is handling her divorce

Blythe went on to praise the couple's mature approach to their split "They are so smart…both incredibly brilliant. They’re making it work, they’re great friends and the kids are in wonderful shape. So I have to take my hat off to both of them."

She also spoke about her happiness with her family, despite the death of her beloved husband, director Bruce Paltrow in 2001:  "I had an incredible husband. It would be great if somebody fell in from the sky…because you do get lonely as you get older. But I’m very grateful that I have grandchildren on both coasts and they fill my heart."

Gwyneth herself has spoken out about how much happier she feels since she and Chris parted ways, saying she doesn't feel like she has to "be all things to all people" but enjoys that the family are still close - "[I feel like] it's the relationship we're meant to have." 

She has also commented on the infamous phrase itself: "I made a mistake in that I didn't give it context. Like, I didn't say, 'This is...a philosophy. This is not my term...' But it's a very noble idea, and it's a great thing, I think, to try to do for your kids. And it's working, but it is kind of a goofy term. I didn't know it was going to cause such a big thing."

And if her mother's comments are anything go to by, it's clear that Gwyneth isn't living or dying by the phrase either. It might be time to consciously uncouple from the phrase consciously uncoupling.

words: Victoria Gray, images: Rex Features/Goop

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