The 37-year-old Coldplay frontman spoke to BBC Radio 1, and addressed the relationship through dialogue about upcoming album Ghost Stories. The album includes several songs about relationships, but Martin says his breakup with Paltrow was not the sole inspiration.
"This was more a realization about trying to grow up basically," the singer says. "If you can't open yourself up, you can't appreciate the wonder inside. So you can be with someone very wonderful, but because of your own issues you cannot let that be celebrated in the right way."
"I don't want to go through life being scared of it," he asserts. "Being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure."
Martin and Paltrow married in December 2003, and have two children together, Apple and Moses. The couple announced their separation, or "conscious uncoupling," in March, and the musician says the difficulty of recent personal struggles does come through on the album.
"Up to a certain point in my life I wasn't completely vulnerable and it caused some problems," Martin relates. "If you don't let love really in then you can't really give it back."
"What Ghost Stories means to me is like, you've got to open yourself up to love," he continues. "If you really do, of course it will be painful at times, but then it will be great at some point. I think in life everyone needs to be broken in some way... You have to really not run away from [challenges]."
"Life throws these colorful challenges at you," the singer says. "What we decided to do on Ghost Stories was to be really honest about it and say, this is what's been happening."
Ghost Stories debuts May 19 in North America.