Is “conscious un-coupling” the new covenant?

200782223341_FNo more acrimonious divorces, or endless waits for therapists or counsellors, we are living in the dawn of a new type of covenant  – “conscious  un-coupling”  – the new “no fault” parting of the ways which simply acknowledges the passage of time and the re-appearance of past wounds as “just cause”.    Now, I know that celebrities lead the way in fashion, but is this to become the new relationship trend?  What will be next “conscious un-parenting?  After all children are now living much much longer than in the era of “Call the Midwife”, and they do bear the emotional scars of all our fumbling attempts to parent them wisely.  (actually I think my youngest 22 year old son already thinks he has been consciously un-parented especially when at the weekend when he asked “what are we doing for lunch” in a rather plaintive tone, I informed him that I had already had mine- and he wailed pitifully “but what about me”?)

Are we to really believe that we “un-couple” a marriage rather like we “un-couple” railway carriages (actually that is more stressful than you might think, especially if you find yourself sitting in the wrong half of the train!)

I can’t help feeling that Paltrow and Martin have been badly advised, and we would do well to acknowledge it.  I understand the drive to make life easier- I have a cordless hoover, a self clean oven, a microwave…..but there are some things that require hard work- like giving birth, bringing up children, relationships in general, marriage in particular.  

I’m glad that people are now living longer and that we are afforded the opportunity to work through the wounds of the past in a way that can bring real healing and release.  Let’s not be seduced into thinking we can just avoid the “work” by consciously un-coupling our relationships, because far from heralding a new form of covenant,  we are in danger of subscribing to a new form of deception….consciously or unconsciously!



8 Responses to Is “conscious un-coupling” the new covenant?

  1. David Morgan says:

    I read a quote that it is being called a conscious un-coupling because divorce has a negative connotation. While it may have a negative connotation it doesn’t mean that it’s evil. It won’t change the view of your children or friends.
    If anything it will just confuse the matter when the problems that have caused the split should be worked through. For better or worse.

    It could be that Paltrow was just sick of listening to Coldplay songs, which I completely understand.

  2. Tania West says:

    Hi Dave,
    I completely agree that divorce or “consciously un-coupling” is sometimes a sad necessity. I hope that Martin and Paltrow had some better advice somewhere along the line, and I hope we don’t get duped into thinking that titles that have less negative connotations have less negative effects.

  3. Grace says:

    Hi Tania, the term “conscious uncoupling” is not new. It’s been around for a number of years now; just that celebrities have now made it more widely known. I agree with what you’ve said, and as well as that, it seems this couple like many married soon after meeting (and getting pregnant) and quickly having another child. They stayed together, apparently trying to make a go of a relationship which maybe neither of them should have been in, in the first place. Now they have agreed together to respectfully and supportively part, while continuing to co-parent their children (consciously uncouple). I think it is preferable to many other ways people choose. They appear to be a couple who have thought it through and not necessarily been advised. I am all for couples pulling out all the stops to make their marriage and family work, but if they must divorce, then to do it in a consciously uncoupling way. It is not about “what” they did as “how” they did it.

  4. Tania West says:

    Hi Grace,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree there are definitely better and worse ways to “un-connect”, my point is that Drs. Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami, who have been advising Paltrow and Martin refer to “skyrocketing life expectancy” as one of the reasons that “un-coupling” may be required in the first place (which I think needs challenging), also I am all for respect and conscious loving behaviour in the event of marriage breakdown, but I want to question whether there is a “glossing” over of the pain of marital break up for all concerned, and that the term itself, makes it sound like just another life style choice – Celebrities have huge power to affect our conscious and un-conscious behaviour and choices, I just want to ask whether the “bitter pill” of divorce is being sugar coated in some way.

  5. home says:


  6. Now you tell me she’s not a knock-out!

  7. home says:


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