The Country Strong star dated Pitt from December 1994 to 1997, and was with Affleck in 1997 until their split in 2000.
In an interview for a new E! special about her life, Paltrow said: "It was strange to be part of a public couple."
Paltrow's mother, actress Blythe Danner, added that she and her husband, film director Bruce Paltrow, taught Gwyneth to work hard.
"We could have paid for everything and had a spoiled kid. [But] I think it's really important for people to work hard," Danner explained.
Country Strong opens January 7 in US cinemas.