Actress Gwyneth Paltrow may believe in a whole lot of wacky ideas, but at least no one can say she’s not sincere about them.
In 2014, after divorcing her husband, Coldplay lead singer, Chris Martin, she referred to it as “Conscious Uncoupling.” Four years later, it appears she has taken that “Conscious Uncoupling” to its logical conclusion: putting up her ex-husband’s stocking for Christmas.
Paltrow invented the phrase “Conscious Uncoupling” in 2014 upon announcing her divorce to Martin, which was simply just a pseudonym for “amicable divorce.” She also used the term “coparent” in place of split custody:
It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents, first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. 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.
In the years since that announcement, it appears that Martin and Paltrow have actually lived up to that philosophy, even as she went on to remarry Brad Falchuk this past July. WSJ Magazine reports that Martin even sleeps at Paltrow’s house when she’s traveling. So kudos to them for keeping it civil for the children.
What exactly is “conscious uncoupling”? Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami described it as a release from the rigidity of traditional marriage at Paltrow’s magazine Goop:
“To change the concept of divorce, we need to release the belief structures we have around marriage that create rigidity in our thought process,” they wrote. “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, especially without some level of awareness of our unresolved emotional needs, is too much pressure for anyone.”
The doctors recommended that married couples think of marriage more like a “daily renewal” rather than a “lifetime investment,” which essentially turns it into a relationship of pleasurable exchanges rather than a commitment that requires growth and fortitude.
At the time, the phrase “Conscious Uncoupling” was ridiculed by both the Left and Right. Daniel D’Addario of Salon blasted it as being “cluelessly airheaded.”
“This is so classic it hurts,” D’Addario wrote. “Paltrow can’t just announce a divorce via press release or in a Vanity Fair story — after all, she’s feuding with the publication ever since it launched and subsequently killed an investigation into why she was so annoying, or something yet more personal.”
He continued: “In order to explain to her public why she and her husband might be divorcing, Paltrow had to trot out a phrase invoking mindfulness and then explain to her public, via the teachings of an integrative health professional and a homeopathic orthodontist, why adults might get divorced. Gwyneth … we already know why.”