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Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin announced their divorce in such a pleasant way many of us were unsure if they were breaking up or going on vacation. They did not call it a divorce. They called it a “conscious uncoupling”. The words themselves fall on your ears like silk dipped in rose petals and sweet perfume. Yet, it sort of felt like psychobabble used to get us to feel better about the end of another “successful” relationship.
Conscious uncoupling is a decision to end a relationship once it is broken. More times than not, couples surprisingly find themselves at a crossroads where they then decide to amicably and consciously end the relationship. But how did they get to that point? Unconscious uncoupling – the accidental unraveling of a relationship over time that goes unnoticed until it is too late.
Communicate the Truth
To avoid unconsciously uncoupling from your partner, develop a foundation of truth in your relationship. Vow to one another that you will discuss everything and anything that threatens to cause strife between you. If you are angry, say you’re angry. Do not brood around for weeks before discussing this situation. If you are hurt, do not fight through it alone. Tell your partner why you are hurt and work through it together. Truth is a strong defense against developing bitterness and resentment that can erode the relationship over time.
Focus on the Good Things
To stay “booed up” like you were in the beginning, spend more time focusing on what is right about your relationship, rather than the negative things. Every relationship has challenges that need to be worked through, but more time should be spent on making good things great. Take the time every day to point out what your mate does well. Let him know every day that you love him. This reinforcement is not only good for the individual but for the couple as a whole. Love your mate consciously, on purpose.
In order to love anyone else, you must love yourself first. Forgive yourself for mistakes you have made in the relationship so that you can help your partner heal. You cannot just sweep your mistakes under the rug and move on. But, you must accept that it was a learning experience and use it to build stronger coupling with your partner.
Life has demands that take up quite a bit of our coupling time. Date nights and togetherness are very important to staying coupled. It is okay to be with the girls every once in a while but being coupled means enjoying each other’s company. Send the kids to bed early and watch a movie. Lock yourselves in a room to simply enjoy a conversation. When you feel yourself building barriers of activity and distraction to keep from dealing with your partner you are unconsciously uncoupling.
Before a relationship gets to the pleasantly sweet sounding “conscious uncoupling” state of Gwyneth and Chris, there is a period of unconscious uncoupling that no one ever expects. Accidents happen. They happen in relationships far too often. To avoid the silent unconsciousness that erodes away at good relationships, be sure to stay aware. Stay awake. Stay consciously coupled together.