Even when it comes to divorce, Gwyneth Paltrow is an aspirational lifestyle brand.
When the actress announced her separation from husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin on Tuesday, she described it as a “conscious uncoupling.” The phrase conjures up that en vogue mindfulness trend of the moment and frames divorce as simply a matter of gentle unlinking, as opposed to a hostile break.
The announcement, posted on Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop.com, ran alongside an essay about “conscious uncoupling” written by Drs. Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami, who specialize in integrating Eastern and Western medicine. Sadeghi and Sami argue that expectations for a lifelong marriage need to evolve along with humans’ expanded life expectancy, and that a successful marriage could be redefined not by how long it lasts, but how meaningful and fulfilling the relationship is for both partners.
Divorce and legal experts say that the phrase “conscious uncoupling” could also signal a non-combative, collaborative way to think about the divorce process, especially as it relates to children.