The “note from GP” was actually a joint statement by Gwyneth and Chris announcing that after 11 years of marriage, they have decided to separate. Here’s what it read…
It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.
Gwyneth & Chris
So what happened? The couple appeared to have it all – love, family, romance, serenades, work-life balance… The Carousel’s clinical psychologist Jo Lamble explains some of the warning signs that a relationship’s losing its magic…
5 signs that your relationship is ‘uncoupling’…
1. He (or you) is disinterested in the relationship. “There are usually common signs that couples experience, but they are not always obviously apparent,” explains Jo. For example, he or you may become disinterested in the relationship. “He, or you, can also become critical of the partner and their lifestyle,” says Jo. This might be as obvious as criticising the other’s hair or clothes, or as subtle as moaning about the mundane activities in the relationship. Comments like, ‘Oh, do we have to go for a BBQ with your friends this weekend?’ And a general attitude of, ‘I can’t believe life has come down to this – I have nothing to look forward to,’ is a sign of relationship disinterest.”
2. There’s zippo interest in sex. When you read it, it seems obvious. But if you’re a few years into a relationship, juggling work, kids and, well, life, you may not notice sexy time drop off your radar. “Generally guys will be disinterested in sex if they’re unhappy in the relationship,” explains Jo. “However, it’s often the opposite scenario for women having affairs. They’re possibly more interested in having sex with their partner, as their libido is sky high. Of course if she’s just not into him, she’ll disengage from sex completely.”
3. One of you goes walkabout… Would he rather watch the footy than hang with you? Or would you rather eat dirt than entertain his mates? Ok, they’re bad examples… But if you’re noticing more and more ‘separate’ interests and activities, that’s not great. “Absenteeism, where people gradually begin to have more and more individual pursuits, is a warning sign,” says Jo.
4. Your argument patterns change Some people argue from day one of their relationship, and that’s totally fine. “Verbal fights don’t necessarily mean it’s a bad relationship – people have great make up sex!” explains Jo. “But if suddenly you are no longer fighting, because you or he can’t even be bothered to address issues anymore, then that’s a much more obvious sign. On the flip-side, if it’s not normal for you to argue and you gradually begin having disagreements with regularity, then there’s something to address. It’s about identifying changes to your relationship. All relationships go through their ups and downs – it’s hard work!” Asking yourself if you really want to work on the relationship anymore, and if you’re willing to put in the effort can offer a clue.
5. The grapevine whispers get louder… Guys aren’t usually that open when it comes to revealing their inner relationship deets, so if you’re hearing negative murmurs reportedly from his lips, listen up. “Guys don’t tell their mates until it’s really bad, and then they can’t help themselves,” explains Jo. “When someone really wants out of a relationship, they start airing their dirty laundry and telling their friends, and inevitably that makes its way back to the person it’s about.”
6. Children, the unspoken relationship ‘pressure cooker’. Kids. God luv ’em… they bring us so much joy and happiness, but also put stress on the strongest of relationships. “There are two danger periods,” explains Jo. “The first is when children are very young, because there’s less time for the couple and many parenting demands. The second danger period is when the children have grown up, and the parents suddenly have all this time and are left staring at each other!” By this stage, they’ve created such separate worlds that they no longer know how to be together.