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Monday, April 07, 2014

Concious Uncoupling

When I first heard the phrase 'Conscious Uncoupling' in the announcement of Gwyneth Paltrow's separation from her husband, Chris Martin, I was, well, a little bemused.  I'd heard the term before, but this time, I took a moment to look it up and find a definition.  A 'Google' search revealed something kind of new-agey and murky.  A lady named Katherine Woodward Thomas is said to have coined the phrase back in 2010 and, boiled down, it's kind of a 'we both contributed to the demise of our marriage so we should be kind to each other as we go our separate ways' kind of thing.  Which seems almost sensible and somewhat civilized on the surface.

But how about being kind to each other IN the marriage, instead? 

Figuring out a way to be nice as you sever a relationship, pull two lives apart, and destroy a children-laden family unit just doesn't seem quite as valuable as finding a way to fulfill the commitment and covenant you made to your spouse in the first place.  At least not to me.

I really don't believe that you can 'Consciously Uncouple' unless you 'Unconsciously Coupled' in the first place.

Because, really, if you carefully chose your spouse (see this post if you need tips!), and were aware that marriage takes work and commitment and even a bit of sacrifice, and you thought about the actual vows (yes VOWS) you made, you would put a whole lot more effort into the marriage bit and not-so-much into the leaving bit.

(And yes, I know that sometimes people do horrible things and the other spouse is not to blame.  I'm not talking about cases of abuse, abandonment or infidelity.  Not even a little.)

I'm referring to those who don't think through what marriage actually means, jump into it in a rush of attraction and giddiness, and then, after having kids, decide that they aren't still happy or fulfilled or excited or whatever, and decide pull that family unit apart.  Even if they do it politely, I don't think it's ideal.  Do you?

So how about this. . .how about, instead of polite marital exits, we encourage each other to do a little more 'Conscious Coupling?' 

Just a thought.

(photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. We live in a time in which commitment is fickle and based on emotions rather than fact. Emotions come and go they ebb and flow but love is more than that and we need to remember that ad Paul said in Ephesians love never fails.

    1. Absolutely, Seth. . .unfortunately, our society is so based on what makes us 'feel' good in the immediate, which is why we so easily throw away marriages and people. :(


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