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"Uncoupling:" Are Couples Taking a Page out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Book?

While it may not always be the best idea to follow the lead of millionaire celebrities, it seems that’s just what some couples are now doing when facing divorce. Recently, A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow made waves when she declared her divorce from musician Chris Martin would be a “conscious uncoupling.” The phrase ruffled a few feathers, and a lot of people found it to be eccentric and even downright annoying, but is there a takeaway for real couples in the concept of consciously uncoupling?

What Does Conscious Uncoupling Even Mean?

In the real world, far from the glamor of Hollywood life, you may be scratching your head and asking what does conscious uncoupling even mean? Apparently, it’s a defined process, at least in Gwyneth’s world. There’s even a video instructing you how to do it, led by a therapist named Katherine Woodward Thomas.

She explains how couples can “uncouple” in five weeks, without all the bitterness, anger and resentment that typically accompanies a separation and divorce. Basically you take the five week period to getting over your former spouse in a way that’s healthy and productive, and doesn’t breed hatred.

There’s even a whole dictionary of terms to accompany the process, like “time managed co-parenting,” which essentially means joint custody, and “embracing joyous change” which simply equates to introducing your children to your new love interest when the time comes.

While the whole conscious uncoupling concept seems a little loopy and far-reaching, if you dig down to the core concepts, there are some valuable things couples going through a divorce can use as takeaways.

Creating a Smooth Transition Process

Divorce is extremely difficult, regardless of the situation. It’s not just a challenging and tumultuous time for the people going through the divorce, but also for their children, their friends, and their family.

While Gwyneth Paltrow may be taking it a bit far, couples can learn to channel their emotions more constructively, which will help create a smoother transition. Not only is the valuable for you, as someone in the midst of a divorce, but it’s also going to make it easier for your children and loved ones.

It’s really important to take the time to plan a divorce as meticulously as you did other components of your marriage. Rather than channeling all of your emotions in a negative way toward the other person, you can use that energy to develop strategies to help everyone move forward.

More and more therapists and family lawyers are advising couples to work together for the future, instead of just trying to be vindictive and destructive in the process.

In the past, a divorce that wasn’t full of conflict was often called amicable, but that’s being replaced with a new term: collaborative. A collaborative divorce follows the premise that despite your divorce, you’re still in some sense, partners with the other person. Approaching it from this standpoint allows for the creation of better co-parenting plans that truly have the children in mind, as well as a more fair and equitable division of assets.

It’s important to note, a collaborative divorce certainly doesn’t mean it’s a joyous time, and it doesn’t mean you feel completely rosy about the prospects of starting over without your spouse. It simply means you want the experience to be as seamless and smooth as is humanly possible, saving time, heartache, and even money in the process. 

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