Gwyneth Paltrow's ex-husband and new fiance seem to be friends - and experts say there's a lesson for anyone
- Gwyneth Paltrow is engaged to Brad Falchuk. Both are divorced with kids.
- It seems like Paltrow's ex-husband, Chris Martin, and Falchuk get along.
- Experts say it's important for people in that situation to have at least a cordial relationship, for the kids' sake.
Gwyneth Paltrow is officially engaged to Brad Falchuk, after three years of dating.
Reports of their engagement had been circulating since November, when Entertainment Tonight suggested that the couple had already been engaged for a year.
One of the most intriguing parts of Paltrow and Falchuk's relationship is that Falchuk seemingly gets along with Paltrow's ex-husband, Chris Martin. Paltrow and Martin "consciously uncoupled" in 2014; together they have two kids, Apple and Moses.
In November, Paltrow publicly flaunted the positive relations between her ex and new fiance, posting an Instagram photo of Falchuk and Martin side by side, with the caption, "Sunday brunch #modernfamily."
A few days later, an anonymous source told People magazine that Falchuk and Martin had already met several times, and that "Chris accepted Brad a long time ago."
The source said, "It's amazing to see how the two families have come together with their kids." Falchuk is also divorced with two kids.
This, relationship experts say, is a wise - if unusual - move. Though neither expert I spoke to knows Paltrow personally and can't speak to what's right for her and her family, each shared some general thoughts on the situation.
"It does not happen a lot," said Hal Runkel, a marriage and family therapist. But "it absolutely is advisable." When you're co-parents, as Paltrow and Martin are, Runkel said, "you are still a family after the divorce."
Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of "Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband)," agreed that inviting both your ex and your new partner to brunch isn't that common. And it's not necessary for everyone to be best friends.
Still, Syrtash said, "I wish more exes modeled that, for the kids' sake, everyone can get along."
Unfortunately, "divorcing well" - which includes being cordial to your ex's new partner - "is not something that's common," Runkel said.
On the other hand, exes who never had kids together don't necessarily have to stay connected. In fact, if you feel like you absolutely must introduce your ex to your new partner and you don't have kids together, Syrtash recommends asking yourself why. Runkel called it "totally unnecessary."
After a breakup without kids, Runkel said, "you're not trying to repair your past." Kids, on the other hand, are "about the present and the future."