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Gwyneth Paltrow calls break-up “conscious uncoupling”: what does this mean?

Marriage is hard work especially after many years of togetherness. There’s so much help available for couple’s struggling to stay married, but not so much when it comes to separation or divorce. So when Gwyneth Paltrow announced the break-up of her marriage in such a healthy way, calling it “conscious uncoupling” it posed the question, exactly what does that mean?

Gwyneth Paltrow calls break-up "conscious uncoupling"; what does that mean?
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Diane Von Furstenberg

Here is a part of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s statement posted on her lifestyle website, Goop.

“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

With the divorce rate at 50%, most couples don’t know how to move away from the relationship in a healthy way. That’s where conscious uncoupling comes into play, preventing families from being broken from divorce and instead enabling them to function in a much healthier way outside of the marriage.

Since failure is felt when a marriage is ending, resentment, anger and fighting tend to take place. With conscious uncoupling, divorce is looked at in a much different way. Paltrow enlisted the help of Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami to explain the concept in a bit more detail on her website. Here's what they said.

“Conscious uncoupling is the ability to understand that every irritation and argument was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing. Because present events always trigger pain from a past event, it’s never the current situation that needs the real fixing. It’s just the echo of an older emotional injury. If we remain conscious of this during our uncoupling, we will understand it’s how we relate to ourselves internally as we go through an experience that’s the real issue, not what’s actually happening.”

Simply put, with conscious uncoupling there are no bad guys, no fighting, just an agreement to separate and only under these circumstances can loving co-parenting take place. This truly seems like a much healthier way to approach such a difficult life event.

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Learn more about Goop here

Gwyneth is a yogi; learn more here

Gwyneth's health & fitness web series

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