Conscious Uncoupling, Celebrity Style

In the wake of the shock announcement that Muppet megastars Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are to split after 40 years together, the spotlight has once again turned on the issue of conscious uncoupling.


The Original Celebrity Uncoupling

When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and rock star Chris Martin first announced they were getting divorced, her website Goop featured an article on conscious uncoupling*.


In the article, authors Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami suggested that with human beings living longer, we are more likely to have up to three long-term relationships in our lives, rather than just one.

“Our biology and psychology aren’t set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades… Everyone enters into a marriage with the good intention to go all the way, but this sort of longevity is the exception, rather than the rule.”


The issue is, the authors suggest, if we expect marriage to last as an unchanging state of initial happiness, we are potentially setting ourselves up for failure. So when a marriage does start to break up, there can be a lot of negativity, resentment and anger attached to this ‘failure’.

Instead, by repositioning divorce as a ‘conscious uncoupling’, the article suggest that couple give themselves

“The ability to understand that every irritation and argument within a relationship was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing.”

If only it were that easy.


Uncoupling Undermined

That article has since been debunked in the press as pseudo-science, and Paltrow has distanced herself from the phrase, saying it wasn’t her idea to use it on her website.

However, the phrase has embedded itself in popular culture, so much so that a new article on Vogue’s website asks “Is Living Together Post-Divorce the New Conscious Uncoupling?” (You know something is truly part of popular culture when something else becomes the ‘new’ version!)


The Vogue article cites two main examples of Living Together Post Divorce:

  • Miranda Keer and ex-husband Orlando Bloom live just five minutes apart in Los Angeles to share parenting duties for their son. (OK, not strictly living together, but this is Vogue after all.)
  • Ben Affleck and Jennfier Garner may have filed for divorce, but they will continue to live in the same Los Angeles estate.


Vogue, perhaps a little optimistically, sees this as the start of a different approach to marital breakups:

“Unlike past celebrity divorces in which every detail of a split was splashed across tabloids, these couples are setting an example by keeping things amicable.”


Divorce without the stress

As an experienced family law firm here in the UK, we have helped many couples through the process of divorce. Our approach has always been to facilitate a process of cooperation rather than hostility, which has worked well for some families. However, we also know that isn’t always possible. ‘Uncoupling’ is rarely straightforward or hassle-free, conscious or not.

Our ultimate goal is simply to ensure you achieve the best outcome for yourself and your children from your divorce. If you need professional advice on any aspect of divorce, do call us. We offer a free 30 minute consultation either in person at our discreet North Hampshire offices, or by phone or Skype if you are abroad.




*“Conscious Uncoupling” Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami