Living in Southern California, you might have heard the term, “conscious uncoupling,” but what does it mean? Katherine Woodward Thomas introduced the term in 2009, and Gwyneth Paltrow popularized it in 2014.
In short, conscious uncoupling is a calmer alternative to divorce and a 5-step process that focuses on healing and looking inward. Instead of viewing the end of your marriage as a failure, you can use the divorce as a learning process, viewing your former partners as a life teacher who helped you evolve.
By keeping things conscious and civilized and appreciating the marriage for what it taught you, you can reduce animosity and continue to value your partner, albeit in different ways.
When both spouses choose this approach, it allows families to stay together, even when couples break up.
Is Conscious Uncoupling the Same as Amicable Divorce?
No. Although most married couples who go through conscious uncoupling still get divorced – and may even have disagreements during divorce – they will see the process as a period of self-discovery, awareness, and understanding.
Notably, you can practice conscious uncoupling even if you were never married – and even if your partner does not join you in the journey. Conscious uncoupling is a method that anyone who is struggling with a breakup can use, and it may be even more useful during particularly nasty divorces.
Each partner can use conscious uncoupling to resolve their own anger, rage, or feelings of unfairness and prepare themselves for a better future.
How Does Conscious Uncoupling Work?
Conscious uncoupling is a 5-step process that consists primarily of inner work. You can complete the first 3 steps entirely on your own. The 5 steps of conscious uncoupling include:
- Finding emotional freedom – self-soothe, find an inner sense of calm, and turn negative thoughts into positive affirmations and change.
- Reclaiming your power and your life – recognize yourself as a co-creator of your relationship, acknowledge and forgive yourself for your mistakes, identify your role in perpetuating negative patterns, and make amends to yourself as you move forward.
- Breaking the pattern and healing your heart – reflect on your “blueprint for relationships,” which likely came from your parents, connect with your younger self, and correct the narrative.
- Becoming a love alchemist – hit the reset button and turn your resentment toward your partner into wisdom and lessons learned; forgive yourself and your ex and set an intention for how the relationship will transform (this step is especially valuable for co-parents).
- Creating your “happily even after” – practice kindness and compassion throughout the divorce process, be generous and fair when dividing joint assets and setting up new living arrangements, and recognize what is and is not possible as you move forward.
When practicing conscious uncoupling, always err on the side of kindness – toward yourself and toward your partner. Again, you can practice conscious uncoupling whether your partner decides to participate or not.
How Do I Navigate My Divorce Amid the Conscious Uncoupling Process?
Ideally, your divorce will not interfere with your conscious uncoupling process. Because most of the process is internal, no one can take it away from you.
Still, you should choose a lawyer who listens to you and understands your goals for the end of your marriage. The last thing you want is an attorney who wants to take your partner for all their worth when you are trying to redefine your relationship and build a new future for your family.
At the Burch Shepard Family Law Group, we are committed to our clients. We take the time to get to know you and your needs during a complimentary case review, then we dedicate 100+ years of collective legal experience to obtaining the results you want.
Whether you need help resolving a dispute with kindness or compassion or you need specialized knowledge for a particular legal issue, we are here to help.
Call us at (949) 565-4158 or contact us online to get started today.