In 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin announced the end of their marriage. Amidst the celebrity divorce proclamations that occurred during that time, this separation stood out because of divorce synonym that has become common parlance today.Conscious uncoupling.
The origin of a term that seems too good to be true goes beyond Paltrow’s proclamation. Relationship expert Katherine Woodward Thomas created a five-week program titled “Conscious Uncoupling,” before the Paltrow-Martin split. Her seminar promises to help divorcing couples “release the trauma of a breakup, reclaim your power, and reinvent your life.”
Variations to the definition exist among other experts and therapists. Yet, a common thread exists between all the interpretations. A couple with common goals is ending a marriage in a non-adversarial way with the least possible damage to themselves and their children.
Essentially, conscious uncoupling is the opposite of the “blame game” played out in countless divorces. Without fighting and drama, couples strive to peacefully resolve contentious issues while planting non-adversarial seeds to grow positive post-marital, co-parenting relationships.
For Paltrow and Martin, their conscious uncoupling followed a year of working to fix their relationship, only to realize that it was better to separate than stay together. As couples from all walks of life have had to do, they eventually had a brutally honest, yet highly necessary conversation where both acknowledged the proverbial “end of the line.”
The famous exes may have started a trend that continued with recent splits between Hollywood couples Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett, and Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman.
The conscious uncoupling bandwagon moves along and may be getting a bit crowded.
Conscious uncoupling is not for everyone, specifically those trying to get out of verbally, emotionally or physically abusive relationships. Others may lack the self-reflection skills necessary to keep the peace.
In the end, some people are very consciously fixing for a fight because they consider it the normal process in a divorce. No amount of conscious uncoupling can remedy that mindset.