“The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things.” – Drs. Bill and Ginger Bercaw
Today the world woke up to some shocking news and a new entry into our cultural lexicon. No, it had nothing to do with Malaysian flight 370 or the conflict in Crimea or the tragic mudslide in Oso, Washington. No, this was bigger than all three combined. Gwyneth and Chris were through (as announced by Gwyneth’s every-woman website, Goop.com). Well, they didn’t quite put it in such clear terms, but instead introduced the term “conscious uncoupling” into everyone’s morning commute.
Now lest you think this is a term bantered about in shrink-land, we can assure you that we had never heard of it, and a quick sampling of our colleagues told us we hadn’t been asleep at the wheel. Some efficient research revealed that conscious uncoupling is the modern alternative to divorce. Well, you still split up, but on your way to ending your marriage, you learn how to have a great relationship with each other (more on this later). This is done with great intentionality, carefully choosing to avoid blame and resentment in order to keep negative energy at bay. Rather than working against each other (or having each spouse’s lawyers work against each other) the emphasis is on working together. Hard to argue with that approach, especially when kids are in the mix.
But some deeper digging exposed a philosophical underpinning of conscious uncoupling: Due to increasing life expectancies, humans cannot be expecting to stay married forever. In other words, if you do stay married long enough, eventually the romance will run its course and each partner should be prepared to bow out gracefully. Conscious uncoupling provides the approach for a soft landing during this inevitable transition.
So this got us thinking… intentionally caring for your relationship by:
If couples took such conscious steps consistently during their marriage — not waiting until they have drifted so far off course — and with an eye toward continually increasing their bond, wouldn’t this decrease the need for the UN-coupling part? The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things. So here’s to hoping these trendsetters find peace in their uncoupling transition, and that married couples everywhere go as far as they can to get the UN out of there.