Conscious Uncoupling vs. Breaking Up

June 2, 2014

I keep hearing the term, “conscious uncoupling” and wonder how people who are steeped in bitterness, anger, and pain, can end a long-term marriage in a detached way to ease them into a smooth and painless transition to being single.

It has been described as “people needing to find love and support from within themselves and recognize that the painful moments of today reflect wounds from the past. Instead of enemies, divorcing individuals can be partners in this journey, and even teachers to each other. Individuals can pursue a sense of wholeness as they transition to the next stage in their lives.”

This is so hard for me to imagine, unless they are talking about couples who have never had strong feelings for each other. If it has been a marriage of convenience, then, perhaps, this conscious uncoupling can succeed. But, since most couples don’t enter into an arranged marriage and, they see themselves as marrying for love, then I don’t think it’s possible to have a conscious uncoupling.

Time and distance give people a different perspective . . . usually. After a while, they can see where the marriage went wrong and their role in it. They can remember the good times along with the bad times and, little by little, they can get on with their lives. I don’t know if you can ever completely detach from someone who has shared your bed and your life for many years, but I think that the pain eventually gets easier to bear.

A break-up is a break-up. And it’s usually very painful. There are so many hurtful memories that dominate one’s thoughts when you are going through this trauma, that it’s next to impossible for me to imagine anything about it being gentle. While your emotions are like a seething cauldron, it’s very difficult to pursue “a sense of wholeness” during this conscious uncoupling.

The only thing that would make sense is that while the couple is still living together, they might have a temporary conscious uncoupling but, as soon as the uncoupling is complete and they are no longer seeing each other every day, they will probably have a strong, painful reaction to their new single status.

Growth experiences are usually best seen after the breakup, not during it. Changes in one’s perspective occur after you have had time to reflect, not during one’s emotional upheaval.

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