‘Conscious uncoupling:’ the healthy Breakup
Hollywood’s A-list couples are known for inventing the most creative terms to describe the unpleasant experience of separation and divorce, and its latest celebrity split has coined a new term to add to the growing dictionary of break ups.
‘Conscious uncoupling’ was how ‘Shakespeare in Love’ actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin described their split after 10 years of marriage. The term has, since Tuesday, been trending in social media and online news sites, making it possibly the next viral term to beat 2013’s word of the year ‘selfie.’
The couple did not specify the cause of their break up. But gathering from news headlines, it seems the media is more interested in how the couple plans to conduct their relationship after publicly announcing their separation.
The couple said in a statement ‘while we love each other very much, we will remain separate. [But] we are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children.’ They added that it is for their kids that they ‘consciously uncouple and co-parent.’
The term ‘uncouple’ is not new in English. The Oxford English Dictionary has started citing the word ‘uncoupling’ in 1942, which means ending relationships. So how does the word ‘conscious’ fit right into the formula?
‘Conscious uncoupling’ comes from Paltrow’s spiritual advisers Dr Habib Sadeghi and Dr Sherry Sami, who have described the term as ‘a coming apart [and a] coming back together.’
If that description is too confusing, psychotherapist and conscious uncoupling guru Katherine Woodward offers an alternative: to uncouple consciously is to transform the negative emotions that come with separation into something positive and healthier.
Divorce lawyer Sarah Thompson explained that the couple must have used the term to say that they are separating in good terms: ‘It’s often described as the nicest way to get divorced.’