Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

How to find good news in Gwyneth's breakup

By S.E. Cupp
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Actor Charlie Sheen said he called off his engagement to former adult film actor Brett Rossi so he can focus on his children. The couple had been engaged since February. "I've decided that my children deserve my focus more than a relationship does right now. I still have a tremendous fondness for Scotty and I wish her all the best." Actor Charlie Sheen said he called off his engagement to former adult film actor Brett Rossi so he can focus on his children. The couple had been engaged since February. "I've decided that my children deserve my focus more than a relationship does right now. I still have a tremendous fondness for Scotty and I wish her all the best."
HIDE CAPTION
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
Shocking celebrity splits
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin say they're "consciously uncoupling"
  • S.E. Cupp says the split has given rise to a lot of commentary
  • She says she's not a fan of Paltrow but believes there's a message in the story
  • Cupp: Contrary to much of Hollywood, this couple sees divorce as a negative

Editor's note: S.E. Cupp is co-host of "Crossfire," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays on CNN. She is also the author of "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity," co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right," a columnist at the New York Daily News and a political commentator for Glenn Beck's The Blaze.

(CNN) -- Breaking news: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have separated. So, who cares?

Well, for many reasons, people seem to have strong reactions. I imagine some of that stems from the fact that Paltrow has at times perpetuated an ideal that seems impossible to replicate. Her lifestyle website, Goop, offers otherworldly solutions to problems only the uber-wealthy can afford to have. Goop proclaims, "Gwyneth started goop in the fall of 2008 to share all of life's positives."

Among the things it has shared: "For those of us who will be in or passing through any one of the Hamptons this summer, we've compiled a best of. And for those of you who aren't/don't/don't care, check out our Turkish towel collaboration (I'm obsessed with these towels)."

She's also worked very hard to keep up appearances, even going so far as to persuade her Hollywood friends to boycott Vanity Fair to ward off a potential expose of the couple's marital woes.

And for another, many seem to be confused and riled up by the idea that the couple has said they haven't separated but have instead "consciously uncoupled."

Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin 'uncouple'

On that final particular point, the opinions were clear:

Janice Min, editor of the Hollywood Reporter, said, "I've never heard it, but it sounds like a phrase used by marriage therapists in Malibu."

"What deluded tosh" was the headline in a column in The Guardian.

And my friend Tony Katz, a contributor for the conservative site Rare, translated the phrase as "divorce for elitists."

Apparently, though, it's also a psychological term. According to New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine psychiatrist Gail Saltz, "it's a nicer way of saying, 'We're getting a divorce,' because it sounds prettier."

Maybe it does, or maybe it sounds pretentious and overly precious.

Either way, I tend to think this is a goop -- I mean good -- thing.

A Hollywood divorce these days may yield plenty of tabloid fodder but not a whole lot of cultural or professional scorn. Hollywood, in fact, celebrates divorce -- literally; celebrities often have "divorce parties" to celebrate their emancipation. And I doubt very much that anyone would stop seeing Paltrow's movies (if they still do) or listen to Martin's music (if they still do) simply because they'd split. Some of the top-grossing film actors in the country -- Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford -- have all been divorced, more than once, and with much press coverage.

What I find refreshing in this story is the fact that this Hollywood couple spent, by their own account, a tremendous amount of time working on their marriage, and they were both incredibly reluctant to admit to its defeat.

Take into account Paltrow's ire at Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair, in trying to quash the rumors of their split. Take into account the fact that rather than call their separation a divorce, they decided on the softer term "conscious uncoupling."

What all of this suggests is that this was a Hollywood couple that took tremendous pride in being married and having a nuclear family. It suggests that rather than admit their marriage was a failure, they preferred to retain the illusion that it was a success.

Maybe they did this for their two children. Maybe they did this for the press. Maybe they did this to maintain their image as two perfect people.

Regardless of the reasons, it's an acknowledgment that they were proud of being married and ashamed of separating.

I'm no fan of Paltrow's high-and-mighty persona. But in contrast to the Hollywood couples who show no shame in divorce, or multiple divorces, or marriages that last 72 days and are filmed for reality television, or in having children out of wedlock, this actually seems a reassuring adherence to traditional values and a refreshing show of humility.

In 2013, Paltrow said of their marriage, which was by all accounts flailing, "I mean, we've gone through terrible times where it's been really, really hard, but I've sort of come through those times with a much deeper understanding of myself. And we're still married. We worked through it. I think it's easier to get divorced. But I think the more you can keep at it, the more you end up seeing the value in it. But sometimes, it is not easy."

We should all applaud this Hollywood couple (for each, this is their only marriage) for having such devotion to their sacred union and their family, and for working -- at all costs -- to find another, less celebratory way of saying, "yes, we've called it quits."

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of S.E. Cupp.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Timothy Stanley says Lewinsky is shamelessly playing the victim in her affair with Bill Clinton, humiliating Hillary Clinton again and aiding her critics
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
Imagine being rescued from modern slavery, only to be charged with a crime, writes John Sutter
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1600 GMT (0000 HKT)
Tidal flooding used to be a relatively rare occurrence along the East Coast. Not anymore, write Melanie Fitzpatrick and Erika Spanger-Siegfried.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Carol Costello says activists, writers, politicians have begun discussing their abortions. But will that new approach make a difference on an old battleground?
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
Sigrid Fry-Revere says the National Organ Transplant Act has caused more Americans to die waiting for an organ than died in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1851 GMT (0251 HKT)
Crystal Wright says racist remarks like those made by black Republican actress Stacey Dash do nothing to get blacks to join the GOP
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1827 GMT (0227 HKT)
Mel Robbins says by telling her story, Monica Lewinsky offers a lesson in confronting humiliating mistakes while keeping her head held high
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Cornell Belcher says the story of the "tea party wave" in 2010 was bogus; it was an election determined by ebbing Democratic turnout
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
Les Abend says pilots want protocols, preparation and checklists for all contingencies; at the moment, controlling a deadly disease is out of their comfort zone
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 0336 GMT (1136 HKT)
David Weinberger says an online controversy that snowballed from a misogynist attack by gamers into a culture war is a preview of the way news is handled in a world of hashtag-fueled scandal
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1223 GMT (2023 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says Paul Krugman makes some good points in his defense of President Obama but is premature in calling him one of the most successful presidents.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 0221 GMT (1021 HKT)
Conservatives can't bash and slash government and then suddenly act surprised if government isn't there when we need it, writes Sally Kohn
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
ISIS is looking to take over a good chunk of the Middle East -- if not the entire Muslim world, write Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
The world's response to Ebola is its own sort of tragedy, writes John Sutter
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 2033 GMT (0433 HKT)
Hidden away in Russian orphanages are thousands of children with disabilities who aren't orphans, whose harmful treatment has long been hidden from public view, writes Andrea Mazzarino
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT)
When you hear "trick or treat" this year, think "nudge," writes John Bare
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 0442 GMT (1242 HKT)
The more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls have become pawns in a larger drama, writes Richard Joseph.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)
Peggy Drexler said Amal Alamuddin was accused of buying into the patriarchy when she changed her name to Clooney. But that was her choice.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 2043 GMT (0443 HKT)
Ford Vox says the CDC's Thomas Frieden is a good man with a stellar resume who has shown he lacks the unique talents and vision needed to confront the Ebola crisis
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
How can such a numerically small force as ISIS take control of vast swathes of Syria and Iraq?
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
How big a threat do foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq pose to the West? It's a question that has been much on the mind of policymakers and commentators.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
More than a quarter-million American women served honorably in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Now they are home, we have an obligation to help them transition back to civilian life.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
Paul Begala says Rick Scott's deeply weird refusal to begin a debate because rival Charlie Crist had a fan under his podium spells disaster for the Florida governor--delighting Crist
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0407 GMT (1207 HKT)
The longer we wait to engage on Ebola, the more limited our options will become, says Marco Rubio.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Democratic candidates who run from President Obama in red states where he is unpopular are making a big mistake, says Donna Brazile
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
At some 7 billion people, the world can sometimes seem like a crowded place. But if the latest estimates are to be believed, then in less than a century it is going to feel even more so -- about 50% more crowded, says Evan Fraser
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
Paul Callan says the Ebola situation is pointing up the need for better leadership
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Nurses are the unsung heroes of the Ebola outbreak. Yet, there are troubling signs we're failing them, says John Sutter
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 1700 GMT (0100 HKT)
Dean Obeidallah says it's a mistake to give up a business name you've invested energy in, just because of a new terrorist group
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2301 GMT (0701 HKT)
Fear of Ebola is contagious, writes Mel Robbins; but it's time to put the disease in perspective
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
Oliver Kershaw says that if Big Tobacco is given monopoly of e-cigarette products, public health will suffer.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1335 GMT (2135 HKT)
Stop thinking your job will make you happy.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0208 GMT (1008 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says it's time to deal with another scandal involving the Secret Service — one that leads directly into the White House.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Americans who choose to fight for militant groups or support them are young and likely to be active in jihadist social media, says Peter Bergen
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Stephanie Coontz says 11 years ago only one state allowed same sex marriage. Soon, some 60% of Americans will live where gays can marry. How did attitudes change so quickly?
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 2004 GMT (0404 HKT)
Legalizing assisted suicide seems acceptable when focusing on individuals. But such laws would put many at risk of immense harm, writes Marilyn Golden.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says the issues are huge, but both parties are wrestling with problems that alienate voters
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2250 GMT (0650 HKT)
Mel Robbins says the town's school chief was right to cancel the season, but that's just the beginning of what needs to be done
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
He didn't discover that the world was round, David Perry writes. So what did he do?
ADVERTISEMENT