Conscious Uncoupling and Continued Coparenting: How Paltrow and Martin do Separation

On Tuesday evening, Gwyneth Paltrow announced her separation from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, on her lifestyle website, GOOP. And while the separation may come as a shock to many, how Paltrow chose to frame the dismantling of her marriage is consistent with her new age philosophy.

Those who regularly read GOOP are aware of Paltrow's New Age outlook on life, health, food, and relationships. The idea of "conscious uncoupling" is actually a concept conceived by Paltrow's lifestyle guru, Dr. Habib Sadeghi and his wife, Dr. Sherry Sami.

And before you knock its new-agey-ness, we think Dr. Habib has some interesting things to say:

Many people are concerned about the divorce rate and see it as an important problem that needs to be fixed. But what if divorce itself isn't the problem? What if it's just a symptom of something deeper that needs our attention? The high divorce rate might actually be a calling to learn a new way of being in relationships...

To change the concept of divorce, we need to release the belief structures we have around marriage that create rigidity in our thought process. The belief structure is the all-or-nothing idea that when we marry, it's for life. The truth is, the only thing any of us have is today. Beyond that, there are no guarantees. The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone. In fact, it would be interesting to see how much easier couples might commit to each other by thinking of their relationship in terms of daily renewal instead of a lifetime investment. This is probably the reason why so many people say their long-term relationships changed overnight, once they got married. The people didn't change, but the expectation did...

When we understand that both are actually partners in each other's spiritual progress, animosity dissolves much quicker and a new paradigm for conscious uncoupling emerges, replacing the traditional, contentious divorce. It's only under these circumstances that loving co-parenting can happen. It's conscious uncoupling that prevents families from being broken by divorce and creates expanded families that continue to function in a healthy way outside of traditional marriage.

In her blog posting, Paltrow wrote that the parties have been working hard for over a year, both together and separate, to see if continuing the marriage was possible, ultimately reaching the decision to remain separate. The couple also asked that the media respect their privacy, writing that "we have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."

It will be interesting to see how the former couple's relationship evolves over the next months and years, and whether they are able to maintain their current outlook and plan. Right now, Paltrow and Martin seem to be prioritizing their children; it will be interesting to see whether anything changes once the parties begin negotiating property matters, as both were very successful both prior to their marriage and throughout.

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