A couple of week’s ago actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she was separating from her husband Chris Martin. The big reveal came in a blog post titled, “Conscious Uncoupling.” My What the hell? reaction about the title was probably the same as most.
But then, each time I heard someone bring up that phrase I started to get itchy. And then I saw the pictures of her and Chris traipsing around the globe and smiling and it bugged me even more. Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what was annoying me so much about this whole thing. I mean, I appreciate Paltrow as an actor, but I’m not a follower of her site or life. So, why did I care?
And then it hit me.
This whole “Conscious Uncoupling” BS was making them seem like they were better than everyone else going through the awful process of divorce–that they have elevated to a point that those of us with mere peon status have not. That they have figured all of this out and the rest of us haven’t. Only cool, famous, rich people could go through this ugly process and be happy about it. They were completely evolved.
And that just ticked me off.
Not so shockingly, Gwyneth Paltrow did not coin the phrase “conscious uncoupling.” It actually came from an online course on a website called Evolving Wisdom. The course, developed by therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, is really about how to peacefully work through the pain of break-ups and prevent the hurt from affecting every area of a person’s life.
So the phrase “conscious uncoupling” really isn’t synonymous with divorce.
Look, I know I shouldn’t be shocked that someone who recommends a $495 sneaker or a $1,175 single gold bangle would do something that makes us feel like she’s out of touch with us regular people. However, with one idiotic titled post Paltrow has managed to make people–married, divorcing and divorced–feel even crappier than we already did.
Divorce is hard. It sucks. It hurts people in ways that some never get over. It steamrolls through people’s lives and laughs at the carnage it leaves in its wake. And tying it up in a pretty little title bow doesn’t do justice to the pain people have gone through.
Pretty packaging or not, breaking up is painful. Why can’t Gwyneth Paltrow just say that?