So yesterday Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin announced they were separating. Rather than stating that they were divorcing they chose the term “conscious uncoupling”. I had never heard of this before. Was this just some fancy term the stars use just to be different and elite? Maybe in the same way they named their daughter Apple or Michael Jackson naming his son Blanket? No, apparently not. It seems that this term has been around for quite some time and I actually really agree with the intention behind it. Here is an excerpt from an article written by Natalie Matthews of Elle.com explaining what conscious uncoupling is:
Conscious Uncoupling, Byrd tells me, is a five-week course, though it takes some couples and individuals longer to complete it, naturally. (“Some couples get stuck on week one for three weeks,” she says, like she’s all too familiar.) The method upholds that there are three “power bases,” which are your relationship with yourself, with others, and with life, and that you need to understand all of them to get to the “deeper truth.” The relationship with yourself is often trickiest for people to pin down, but it’s central to how Conscious Uncoupling relates to divorces and separations. “It’s not the fault of one person,” says Byrd, or even as simple as any overt betrayals and injuries from one person to another.
Instead, in a relationship, “Each party has brought to the dynamic a set of patterns that they’ve been living inside of for years,” she says, and those things contribute to the downfall whether they realize it at first or not. The Conscious Uncoupling method, then, involves addressing those things and their impact on a relationship. “Like, say, someone had been cheated on. It’s not as simple as black and white. The other party would want to address if they had done anything to contribute to that. If they had been withdrawing,” Byrd offers.
That’s how Conscious Uncoupling approaches everything, with a “we both did this, we’re both responsible” outlook, which should, in theory, keep things amicable between two parties in a divorce or separation, since they both feel guilty.
This has been my thought for quite awhile. I truly believe that if we looked within ourselves we would realize that no matter what the other person has done, we have some how, some way played a part in it. We may not know immediately what we may have done but in a marriage it is two people – everything that goes right and everything that goes wrong is driven by two people. This may be hard to accept especially by someone who has been cheated on. Maybe you think you had the perfect marriage, you were the perfect wife or husband and you did nothing to drive that person to someone else. But deep down we must all come to the realization that we are not perfect. We all have our flaws and eventually we may not all be so accepting of those flaws in the other person.
It is said that most marriages many, many years ago when it was a given that you would marry once and stay married for the rest of your life, was true only for the fact that most men and women only lived to approximately age 50. So if we got married at 20 our marriage might last 30 years – if that. Now that we are living well into our 80’s and even 90’s if we got married in our 20’s or even 30’s think how long we would be with one person. Supposedly as humans we were not meant to be with one person for that long and therefore divorce is inevitable.
With the divorce rate at 50% I think the more we can accept our own flaws and our fate the easier it will be for everyone. An amicable divorce is the best case scenario for you and your kids especially. We just weren’t meant to be together forever. And yes it hurts, rejection always hurts, and it sucks to have to go through this. Maybe you did think this was forever, and it probably would be great if we could love each other and be happy together for the rest of our lives, but 50% just aren’t going to make it. So I say accept that it is what it is, move on and be happy. Happy Uncoupling!