When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin recently announced their breakup
as “consciousuncoupling”, they created quite a buzz. Comments both positive and negative streamed forth into the media. While many applauded the honesty and civility of the couple’s joint post, others were more critical, wondering, for example, whether conscious uncoupling is simply “breaking up for vegans.”
As a family law attorney focused on helping families in transition, I was impressed by the couple’s joint statement. Acknowledging that they “are and always will be a family” and that they “are parents first and foremost” reveals an elevated level of consciousness. By making the public aware of a kinder, more generous approach to divorce, my hope is that this celebrity couple is raising the awareness of others considering divorce.
While I understand that conscious uncoupling can refer to a variety of processes, the core principles include acceptance of mutual responsibility for the past and discussion of shared goals for the future. Divorce presents an opportunity for each partner to gain insight into his or her own patterns of behavior and how those patterns impacted the relationship.
The Collaborative divorce process
encourages conscious uncoupling. A neutral coach can help couples honor their feelings of grief and anger and develop a relationship plan for the future. Creating an honorable ending to one relationship improves the outlook for future relationships. If the family has children, they, too, will benefit from their parents’ healing and improved communication.
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