Gwyneth Paltrow is not mincing words when it comes to how young children alter a couple’s relationship. The actor and wellness guru spoke about the topic with fellow mom Katy Perry on the Goop podcast this week, saying becoming parents can “ruin” a partnership.
During her chat with Perry — who welcomed her first child, daughter Daisy Dove, with fiancé Orlando Bloom in 2020 — Paltrow, 50, admitted that relationships are never the same after having kids.
“[Parenting] is hard on a relationship,” the Shakespeare in Love star, who shares 18-year-old daughter Apple and 16-year-old son Moses with ex-husband Chris Martin, said. “I’ve looked back now on the data set of parents with young kids — it just ruins the relationship for a while, it’s really hard.”
“Not ruins,” Paltrow quickly added, “but…”
Perry somewhat agreed before responding with, “I think if both of the people in the relationship are willing to do the work, then it’s going to be so much easier. If one person thinks they don’t have any work to do, it’s going to be really challenging.”
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Denver, a couple’s relationship does deteriorate immediately after welcoming a child. The 2009 study was conducted on 218 couples over a period of eight years and showed that marital satisfaction decreased in 90% of couples with the birth of the first child. Although childless couples also reported a decrease in relationship satisfaction, one of the researchers, Professor Scott Stanley, said the birth of a child accelerates this process. Other variables also intervene, the study suggests, which are related to the specifics of a couple’s relationship or the parenting model to which the young parents were exposed.
Paltrow, who is now married to TV producer Brad Falchuk, also spoke about loneliness on the podcast, saying that before she gave birth to Apple in 2004, she was “profoundly lonely.”
“I never felt lonely again after I had her,” Paltrow said, admitting that although she had a “really horrific childbirthing experience,” when she came to and saw Apple’s face, she felt a shift in her being.
“When I had my daughter, that’s when I definitely knew that [I was loved],” Perry stated. The Firework singer said she also felt “lost” and like she was “never enough” until she did the work on herself at The Hoffman Process. The week-long residential and personal growth retreat “helps participants identify negative behaviors, moods, and ways of thinking that developed unconsciously and were conditioned in childhood,” according the Hoffman Institute’s website.
Perry said she learned to “break loops” in relationships and is now in a solid partnership with Bloom, who she said “takes” and accepts all of her.
“And animals and babies love him,” Perry joked, “They’re like Francis of Assisis … that’s why primal-y I was like, ‘Yup, this is it.’”
Listen to more from Paltrow and Perry’s chat here.