Gwyneth Paltrow announced on her blog, GOOP, yesterday that she and husband, Chris Martin, have decided to divorce, or, as she says, they are undergoing a “conscious uncoupling”:
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 are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.
So, what is “conscious uncoupling,” you ask? On GOOP, Gwynnie quotes her spiritual advisers, Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami, who explain that it’s when divorce happens to people who are mind-boggling insufferable. Sure, “conscious uncoupling” is a divorce, they say, but it’s a divorce that focuses on “wholeness” in separation, “coming back together” and “two people each playing teacher.”
Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami continue:
A 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. The couple say that every pet peeve and bit of resentment is just the echo of an older emotional injury. From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively.
If you’re wondering why Gwyneth and Chris can’t just continue their role-playing together — and, I’m sure you are — it’s because, according to the teachings of conscious uncoupling, humans simply aren’t meant to stay married for so long — not these days when the human lifespan is so long:
We’re living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we’re living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime. Our biology and psychology aren’t set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades.
Unsurprisingly, just one decade was enough for Chris Martin to put up with Gwyneth Paltrow. But don’t worry about them! Divorce — I’m sorry, conscious uncoupling — it turns out is really pretty amazing: “Although it looks like everything is coming apart; it’s actually all coming back together.”
That’s totally going to be my go-to line anytime someone writes to me for advice about getting over a breakup. “Hang in there: IT’S ALL JUST COMING BACK TOGETHER!!”