Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's union in pictures: when opposites attract

The break down of Gwyneth Paltrow's marriage to Chris Martin has sent shockwaves through the celebrity world because, however private the couple were, they always gave the impression of having built a solid foundation and a lasting love.

In her words she is "homey and grounded", while he is a "mad scientist, genius songwriter". Despite their differences, he proved a rock when the duo were introduced three weeks after the death of her father film producer Bruce Paltrow in 2003.


He wrote Fix You about recovering from grief - a song which her mother Blythe Danner says brings tears to her eyes whenever she hears it.The sleeve notes of the Coldplay album X&Y also paid tribute to the father-in-law he never knew.

Chris and Gwyneth married a year after meeting and quickly went on to have two children, Apple and Moses. In return for his devotion, she moved to London to be with him, forming an American outpost along with Madonna, another star in the same position by virtue of her own marriage to Guy Ritchie.

While that union hit the rocks, the Martins carried on. The Iron Man actress talked about how she cut back on work to be at home and put meals on the table for her family.

She also described giving her Englishman space to be himself. "I never say 'Where are you? You should be home by now,' explained Gwyneth. "I never place demands on him because I think he's a really talented man and he's putting something good into the world."

There seemed to be a change in their relationship last year when they moved back to the States to be close to her family. The duo also began being seen at Hollywood galas together.

Chris, explained Gwyneth, had always avoided this in the past because he didn't want to be part of "some lame celebrity couple" using their star power to promote each other.

The relaxing of the rule was now it seems part of a concerted effort to make compromises that would allow them to stay together.

Relating the secret of her parents' successful three-decade marriage, Gwyneth said her father had told her it was down to not throwing in the towel at the same time.

"[Dad] said, 'Well, you mother and I never wanted to get divorced at the same time,'" said the mother of two. "And I think that's what happens. When two people throw in the towel at the same time, you break up, but if one person's saying: 'Come on, we can do this,' you carry on."

Unfortunately, the couple have with "hearts full of sadness" decided that they can no longer carry on.

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