Paltrow, 47, and Martin, 43, got married in 2003 and later welcomed their now-teenage children, Apple, 16, and Moses, 14.
The Goop founder opened up about the decision to part ways with the Coldplay singer and the years leading up to their split in a personal essay for British Vogue.
Paltrow recalled having an overwhelming feeling during her birthday trip to Italy in 2010 that her marriage was only heading downhill.
“I don’t remember which day of the weekend it was or the time of day. But I knew – despite long walks and longer lie-ins, big glasses of Barolo and hands held – my marriage was over,” she wrote.
The lifestyle blogger added: “It would be years until we said the words aloud. But, that weekend, a dam had cracked just enough to hear the unrelenting trickle of truth. And it grew louder until it was all I could hear."
Paltrow admitted for years after that birthday and before they officially split, she tried to convince herself “it had been a fleeting thought, that marriage is complicated and ebbed and flowed” adding, “But I knew it. It was in my bones.”
Despite their marriage’s downfall, the “Iron Man” actress stressed that she and the British singer were "close.” She added, “We had never fully settled into being a couple. We just didn’t quite fit together. There was always a bit of unease and unrest. But man, did we love our children."
Paltrow and Martin would later famously announce they were “consciously uncoupling” and their divorce was finalized in 2014. The former pair was initially ridiculed for the phrase to describe their divorce.
"Frankly, the term sounded a bit full of itself, painfully progressive and hard to swallow," she admitted before revealing the concept was suggested by the couple’s therapist.
The phrase helps her to still love her ex-husband even if they had separated, she wrote.
"It’s OK to stay in love with the parts of your ex that you were always in love with," She wrote. "In fact, that’s what makes conscious uncoupling work. Love all of those wonderful parts of them.”
By doing loving those parts of Martin, Paltrow created a new dynamic with the father of her children.
“They still exist, they can still make you feel the way you felt for that person," Paltrow wrote about her new dynamic with Martin. "Rather than shutting them out, lean into the unfamiliarity of those feelings and explore them.”
The actress later married Brad Falchuk in 2018.
“I know my ex-husband was meant to be the father of my children, and I know my current husband is meant to be the person I grow very old with,” Paltrow concluded the essay. “Conscious uncoupling lets us recognize those two different loves can coexist and nourish each other."