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Okay, I’m a little late in providing a response in the world we live in where immediacy is the key. Do I apologise? Absolutely not, as I have been involved in more important stuff as my dearly beloved has been away and I have been at home with us both doing some “conscious coupling/parenting” but with different children.
Gwyneth Paltrow. What is she on? Well for a start, I think she’s on the right page. Why, you may ask, when she comes out with apparent drivel like “conscious uncoupling”?
Let’s break it down. What do the words actually mean? A quick search of my old chum Google and I’m told :-
1. aware of and responding to one’s surroundings.
2. having knowledge of something.
gerund or present participle: uncoupling
1. disconnect (something, especially a railway vehicle that has been coupled to another).
So, what she seems to be saying is that she has awareness and knowledge surrounding her separation then. That’s called being self-aware isn’t it? That’s recognising the impact and the potential collateral damage and hurt that we, as adults, might consciously or unconsciously create if we allow something that’s causing us pain and heartache to impact on people around us. Why wouldn’t the rest of us want to have that approach in the forefront of our minds just as an A-lister has?
People have been quick to ridicule Gwyneth and Chris, but bless her for sharing her hopes and wishes. To turn these into reality will be tough and it will take someone with acute self-awareness and a highly evolved soul to make it a workable reality. Can you do it alone? Well, unless you tick the above boxes, you are going to struggle. There will be a thin line between conscious uncoupling and (un)conscious resentment. To find two people going through the process of separation sharing the same emotional landscape is tough at the best of times.
So you need a lawyer, right? Almost certainly, but you need to deal with the underlying issues as much as the legal and practical issues. For too long separating parties have fallen victim to the egos of lawyers, following the lawyers’ advice, hanging in their every word. Wanting a battle. Relishing the fight. For what?
There is a more sophisticated way. A way that will ensure a range of support is provided; emotional, financial and legal. They will all play a part; the skill is knowing which is the pressing issue and in what order support is required. That’s awareness.
If you are naturally drawn to the Rottweiler lawyer ask yourself why? You may need to use the court process, but you are likely to need emotional and financial guidance too. Chose a lawyer who can offer all the options, one who embraces the alternatives, one who will provide choice and options rather than a one dimensional view of separation as a battlefield with every issue a skirmish. Chose a lawyer who is not frightened to tell you they don’t need to control every aspect of your life, but rather they can support you by signposting the right skill sets you need at that time. A lawyer who instinctively knows there doesn’t always need to be a winner in an argument.
Yes, good old Gwyneth has got it right for her (and let’s hope so has Chris). She has a vision of what separation should look like for her family, rather than playing out what it has historically looked like for far too many. How many people going through divorce end up mirroring the divorce and experience others around them have had? If your best friend had a tough time they are not going to believe conscious uncoupling has a chance.
For it to work in practice, the consciousness will need to be shared by both of parties. If not, there will be a problem. So what about our A-listers? They are big enough and ugly ….err… attractive enough, to look after themselves. It is the children who will have the problem and a model of behaviour if it goes wrong.
Unlike most uncoupling theirs will be played out before the world and its myriad of views and prejudices. They can use options to maintain privacy; collaborative law would be right up their (Primrose Hill) street.
Who wouldn’t wish them well. The answer is on the internet for all to see. And well done Gwyneth, you not only managed to produce an almost flawless no make-up selfie (just like the FLP team) but you also got the collective conscious of society to consider your family focused conscious uncoupling at what, after all, will be a very difficult time as it is for so many others. At least you won’t have the added pressure of forced moves, limited budgets, inadequate pensions to add to the huge uncertainty uncoupling brings.