Conscious Uncoupling Starts With Unconscious Coupling

Conscious Uncoupling Starts With Unconscious Coupling.

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If possible you haven’t heard, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (a movie star &  rock star, respectively) announced their divorce this week after a respectable ten-years of marriage.


A couple in marital conflict

In fact numerous celebrity duos have recently announced their split as a “conscious uncoupling” — a term they hope sums up just how they’re attempting to go about the whole marriage dissolution thing. Their divorce interactions, they’d like us to believe, involve a thoughtful and mutually compassionate split not overrun by anger and high production drama or defensive emotion. Clearly, “uncoupling” with respect and kindness  an admirable goal. But how do  and countless couples end up as midlife divorce statistics in the first place?

The seeds of conscious uncoupling are said to be sown somewhere in the less than “mindful” act of unconscious coupling.

Author Abby Rodman explains” “What this means is that many of us choose mates who aren’t right for us by ignoring our unconscious motivations for doing so. Nevertheless, our unconscious — our brain’s holding place for repressed emotions and memories — helps fuel our decisions.”

In other words: “we’re not doing enough psychological due diligence when making such a momentous choice. We simply don’t know ourselves as well as we consciously think. And with the divorce rate hovering at 50 percent, it’s pretty clear we need to dig deeper.”

How do half of us choose marriages that aren’t built to go the distance?

Given our extended lifespans, contemporary marriages must be able to withstand the storms of many decades. And true, some do. However, many more don’t. If 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, it doesn’t mean the other half are happy and satisfying. It only means that some percentage of that other 50 percent is happy. Non-newsflash: many folks stay in unhappy marriages. Suppose you guesstimate that there’s a 25 percent chance of having a happy marriage. Those odds are clearly pretty slim. Emaciated, really! And it all begins with unconscious coupling.”

Abby maintains, “The midlife divorce statistics are trying to show us something important. And, in good conscience, we best not look away. Instead, we might consider that the antidote to conscious uncoupling is conscious coupling.”

And knowing oneself — consciously — is, undeniably, a wise place to start.

Dr. Patrick J. Hart

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