This week actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her musician-husband Chris Martin announced their intention to separate permanently on Paltrow’s blog “Goop.” In her blog entry, Paltrow makes reference to the concept of engaging in “conscious uncoupling.” But what exactly does that entail?
Conscious uncoupling has been described as the ability to understand that every irritation and argument during marriage was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing. Because present events often trigger pain from a past event, it is never the current situation that needs the real fixing – that event is merely an echo of an older emotional injury. Conscious uncoupling involves recognizing that partners in our intimate relationships are our teachers helping us evolve our internal, spiritual support structure so as to avoid the drama of divorce.
From this perspective, there are no “bad guys” just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively. Both parties are actually partners in each other’s spiritual progress, allowing animosity to dissolve much quicker and a new paradigm for conscious uncoupling emerges replacing the traditional, contentious divorce. According to this concept, it is only under these circumstances that loving co-parenting can happen.
The theory behind conscious uncoupling seems to signify a shift in the way that people view separation and the dissolution of marriage process. The traditional idea that divorce involves a “winner” and “loser” and must involve a highly contentious, emotional and traumatic process may be becoming a thing of the past. For couples with children, such a shift on a systemic level would be hugely beneficial as it would allow parents to co-parent in a healthy, positive manner.