Okay, So What Does "Conscious Uncoupling" Even Mean?

When Gwenyth Paltrow announced her separation from husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, she described it as a “conscious uncoupling,” seemingly marking and describing this new trend in mind-thought regarding divorces. Rather than a hostile break in a relationship, “conscious uncoupling” is more of a gentle unlinking.

Marriage and Divorce Needs to Evolve

The announcement, which ran on Paltrow’s lifestyle site, was posted alongside an essay about “conscious uncoupling” written by Drs.Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami. The two specialize in integrating Eastern and Western medicine. Their argument is that expectations for a lifelong marriage need to evolve along with humans’ expanded life expectancy. You could define “success” in a marriage by looking at how meaningful and fulfilling the relationship is for both partners, rather than how long the marriage stays together.

Divorce and legal experts have weighed in on the phrase, saying that “conscious uncoupling” might signal a non-combative and collaborative way to think about the divorce process, especially if there are children involved.

Reasons for Calling it “Conscious Uncoupling”

Psychotherapist, marriage expert, and creator of the Neuman Method, M. Gary Neuman, feels “conscious uncoupling,” acknowledges that the couple is the center of the family (often seen as single unit to the children). Thus, uncoupling from your partner essentially de-centers the family and is “an act that will have a profound, lifelong effect on children, no matter how it’s done.”

Paltrow and Martin committed to “coparent” their two young children in their separation announcement.

Family lawyer Nathalie Boutet also notes that from a legal standpoint, “conscious uncoupling” could indicate that Paltrow and Martin desire to engage in a collaborative, not combative,divorce.

Amicable, collaborative divorces allow couples to avoid unnecessary conflict and the kind of legal combat that only prolongs and makes public the negotiations, explained Boutet.

But “conscious uncoupling” could go beyond the legal process, said Boutet. “[Conscious uncoupling] is simply thinking about the consequences of your actions…it’s making plans rather than reacting to emotions like fear, anger or revenge.”

For expert advice on divorce and “conscious uncoupling” seek the advice and knowledge of the law firm of Korol and Velen!

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