Do you remember that in 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin announced they were going to “consciously uncouple?”
You might have dismissed the news as being nothing more than celebrity gossip. However, conscious uncoupling isn’t just some New Age hogwash. It’s a less painful way of ending a marriage that isn’t working – read on to learn more.
The Origins of Conscious Uncoupling
The term “conscious uncoupling” was coined by American psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas.
She was inspired to develop this technique of ending a relationship by her parents’ and her own divorce. In an interview with the Telegraph, Woodward Thomas explained that her parents’ divorce was filled with acrimony. At the time, no-fault divorce didn’t exist in her home state of New York, so her parents had to prove one partner was at fault.
Woodward Thomas’ own marriage ended in divorce. In her Telegraph interview, the psychotherapist explained that when a significant relationship ends, there is grief. In addition, many people feel a sense of shame and failure, which is intensified when their friends take sides and blame one party for the marriage’s end. She wanted to end the relationship in a more loving, non-hurtful way.
What Conscious Uncoupling Looks Like
Instead of blaming one another for what went wrong in the relationship, the members of the former couple look inwards to determine what individual role they played in the breakup.
Family and marriage therapist Dr. Sonya Rhodes sees Woodward Thomas’ approach to ending a relationship as a response to how people choose their partners. Some psychologists and therapists believe that we choose our mates based on the qualities we lack. For example, if you’re shy, you’ll be drawn to someone who’s outgoing.
Sometimes, that approach doesn’t work. The outgoing partner’s personality may begin to grate upon the shyer member of the couple. The shy person may start blaming the outgoing person for the relationship’s problems. Through conscious uncoupling, though, the shy partner would examine what he or she did to cause the relationship to sour.
At this point in time, conscious uncoupling is still confined to the realm of relationship therapy. If you want a legal end to your relationship, you will need a mediator.
Galbraith Family Law: Your Experts in Mediation and Collaborative Practice
Are you interested in using mediation to end your marriage? Call Galbraith Family Law today.
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