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Gwyneth and Chris: The Pain of Separating

26/03/2014 14:08 GMT | Updated 25/05/2014 10:59 BST

Rarely are there winners in a divorce or separation and the news that's hitting our screens that Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow and husband, Coldplay rocker, Chris Martin are separating, cannot be happy for anyone concerned.

After being married for 10 years, she announced it on her Goop lifestyle website, saying "It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate."

She is 41, he is 37 and they have two children from the marriage. They said that they had spent more than a year battling to save their marriage.

They wrote: "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."

Often in the work of couples counselling or seeing couples who are unsure which way to turn when their relationship is going off the rails, it can be a positive thing if they have both agreed to separate. I can only imagine that this couple have given it a great deal of thought and consideration as to what it means to separate and I hope that they have both thought of what shape their lives might take now that they have taken this decision together.

They have obviously thought of the arrangements with the children as they say on her website, asking at the same time for peace and privacy.

"We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.

"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."

Obviously it will take some months for the new arrangements for the parents and children to see each other and get used to spending different and separate times with each parent. Of course, however amicable a split or divorce is, or turns out to be, it can often become more complicated and difficult when new partners emerge on the scene, bringing with them children from a previous relationship.

Last year, the couple moved from London to Los Angeles and were only recently pictured looking like a happy family as they took their children Apple, nine, and Moses, seven, out and about in the sunshine. As one observer noted: "However people look on the outside, you can never tell what's going on in someone else's marriage."