12 Apr Conscious Uncoupling: Call it what you want, it’s a divorce
Getting a divorce is never pleasant, even when you call it “conscious uncoupling,” the way Gwyneth Paltrow did a couple of weeks ago when she announced that she and her husband were caput. Social media was full of chatter about the breakup, but the hubbub seemed to be less about the fact that they were getting divorced and more about the words she chose to describe the separation.
What the heck is “conscious uncoupling?” And why does the explanation on her website say stuff about skeletons and insects?
When you get right down to it, “conscious uncoupling” is the title of a website designed to sell a five week online “system” of divorce for $279. Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow decided to use the term after hearing it from a holistic medical practitioner she sees. The description on her website of what “conscious uncoupling” is, with its references to skeletons and insects, leaves something to be desired. Including a simple explanation.
Unfortunately, divorce is generally ugly. Two people who have created a life together and who have developed many expectations of one another and of themselves in relation to that other person are trying to get out of each others’ daily lives. This is not easy. And society generally does not approve, which makes it even harder.
What I think that the article about insects and various types of skeletons was meant to explain is that Gwyneth and her husband have changed, and that in their transformations, they have decided that being married doesn’t work for them. They want to try to separate from each other in a way that does not consciously hurt or place blame on the other person for the failure of their relationship as married people.
The concept is not really that complicated, it’s just very difficult to execute. It requires a process of self discovery, and a willingness to acknowledge your shortcomings, at an emotional level, without defensiveness. When you can do that, you can be compassionate about the shortcomings of your spouse. You recognize with a clear head and heart that their way of living does not match up with the way you want to live, at a practical level, an emotional level, or simply at the level of common interest.
If you are interested in finding a way to separate that will ultimately be the easiest on you, and your children if you have them, give me a call. We’ll talk.