Tuesday 15 October 2019

Living apart: Will Gwyneth Paltrow set a new trend for married couples?

Actor Gwyneth Paltrow (R) and producer Brad Falchuk (L) attend the Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling ceremony for producer/director Ryan Murphy, December 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
Actor Gwyneth Paltrow (R) and producer Brad Falchuk (L) attend the Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling ceremony for producer/director Ryan Murphy, December 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Sheena McGinley

Since Sunday, people have been analysing the cohabiting habits of 46-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband of seven months, Brad Falchuk (he of Glee fame).

In a recent interview, Paltrow admitted that she and her new hubby only spend four nights a week together. The remaining three nights see Brad stay with his two children from a previous marriage. Speaking of their blended relationship, Paltrow burbled: “Oh, all my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal and we shouldn’t change a thing.” Indeed, there is a lot to love about this kind of lifestyle.

There’s a reason why that “I want you to be the man our children spend their weekends with” meme took off. True, no one goes into marriage wanting a divorce, but there are some perks to living apart (mainly childcare), and that’s just the tip of the proverbial.

While Gwynnie may have been at the forefront of her one-woman “consciously uncoupling” movement of 2014, she is not the first person to think outside the box when it comes to cohabiting.


Ever wondered what David and Victoria Beckham’s secret is? Space, and seemingly lots of it. It was reported some years ago that “even when the pair are in their countryside home in Oxfordshire, they can be worlds apart. The house has been designed with separate ‘his’ and ‘hers’ wings.”

The random insider speaking via US Weekly added: “I think they quite like having somewhat separate lives. When you’ve been married that long, some regular distance does you both good!”

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were also wing fans throughout their marriage, before their 2016 split. Another source spilling to US Weekly said at the time: “Angelina basically had her own wing and he had his.” Almost mandatory when you have six kids between you.


Julia Roberts met Danny Moder on the set of her 2000 film The Mexican (Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

Being something of a hipster, a nearby house doesn’t cut it for Julia Roberts’ husband of 17 years, Danny Moder. When he fancies a change of scene from their additional $9million house across the road from the family home, Moder also has a swanky ‘surf shack’ in nearby Little Dume, Malibu.

According to In Touch Magazine, Roberts forked out $3.9m to give Moder “his own incredible surf spot” in a bid to stop him from “going away on extended surf trips”.


When you think of a celebrity couple in neighbouring homes, the names that widely springs to mind are actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton. Of living in a conjoined house in London’s Belsize Park, Helena previously admitted: “Tim does snore, and that’s an element. We’ve tried lots of remedies that don’t work. He has a deviated septum and doesn’t want an operation.”

It may not have just been the snoring that became an issue. Perhaps his choice of decor was a bridge too far. Helena added: “My house looks like something out of Beatrix Potter, but if you go over to his house, you’re in a totally different place. He’s got slimeballs and Oompa-Loompas lying around, and skeletons and weird alien lights.”

Still, their unconventional set-up seemed to work for the pair, with Helena also saying: “We see as much of each other as any couple, but our relationship is enhanced by knowing we have our personal space to retreat to.” The pair separated back in 2014, after 13 years together.

Another couple who purportedly enjoy being neighbours are Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. It was reported in 2016 that they purchased “adjacent townhomes”, as “separate living areas were crucial” to the survival of their relationship. In short, Ferris Bueller is wildly untidy, while SJP continues to channel her inner Carrie, maintaining a “meticulously organised dressing room suite for her clothes.” All is not lost, however, as the couple — who’ve been together for over two decades — “have dinner together and if the mood’s right they’ll have a ‘sleepover’”.


Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the Travis Scott Astroworld Tour at The Forum on December 19, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Forum Photos via Getty Images)

They may be so intertwined that their names have managed to meld together, but the same can’t be said of their living arrangements. Fans of Keeping Up With the Kardashians will know that Kanye recently said he’s resettling in his old home of Chicago.

Speaking of the move, Yeezy made the announcement last September (before informing his wife, by all accounts) at an OpenMike night hosted by Chance the Rapper. Speaking to those assembled (and a camera crew), he said: “I’ve got to let you all know, I’m moving back to Chicago, and I’m never leaving again!”

Asked about the declaration, and whether she and their kids would be moving too, 38-year-old Kim clarified: “He told me on that clip. So, I found out with everyone else... I think it would be fun every once in a while. And I would love to spend more time in Chicago, it’s his home, it’s what made him and I definitely want to spend more time there but... it would be hard.”

Indeed it would, especially as his late mother’s house is a “one and a half bedroom home.”

■ Wonderwall

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump speak to the press as they make their way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on October 15, 2018. - Trump is heading to Florida after Hurricane Michael devastated the state. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Apologies, but everyone is well aware that the current POTUS loves a good wall, and seemingly (assuming the rumours are true) one has done wonders for his enduring relationship with First Lady, Melania.

One of the many “former White House officials” divulged to the New York Times that FLOTUS allegedly “maintains a separate bedroom from her husband”.  This reportedly extends to separate hotel rooms when they’re on the go in different countries.

Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it, with all the high-profile meetings The Donald has with world leaders, presumably at unsociable hours.

While many have questioned the couple’s closeness, Melania’s communications director Stephanie Grisham sent an email to The New York Times saying FLOTUS is merely “staying true to the independent woman that she is. This should be celebrated, not criticized. Her priorities remain her family, her personal health and her role as First Lady.”

Indeed. Many of us would love to have the option of separate hotel rooms or even solo homes. Unfortunately, most mere mortals are barely able to afford the one place to live, nevermind multiple abodes.

Anyway, one could question if you’re even a proper couple if you haven’t continuously seen each other in various states of disarray, warts and all as it were.

To put it another way, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the relationship.


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