My parents stayed together for us kids, but I chose not to. By the time my son celebrates his second birthday, his father and I will be divorced. Hourly, I battle between crowning that decision selfless or selfish.
I've learned a few life lessons along the way. Signal when making a turn. Secure the lid on the blender before turning the dial to purée. Don't put your iPhone in your back pocket. Never eat an Oreo before a dental appointment.
If you find yourself coming to the sad decision that your marriage or partnership must end, there is no reason why it needs to ruin your credit or that of your partner. Just bear in mind these tips, and be sure to uncouple consciously.
"Conscious uncoupling" evokes a desire to make divorce seem positive, proactive and even somewhat glamorous. But, divorce is none of these things. It's painful, scary, uncomfortable, embarrassing and unpleasant.
I recently sat next to a successful Hollywood executive over dinner. He let it slip that he was oddly looking forward to the following day. "Why?" I inquired, imagining an impressive gathering of executives discussing a potential multi-million dollar deal. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Relationships do end, and it is important to stop viewing this as failure. The success or failure of a relationship should not be determined by it's length, but by our ability to allow another human being into our heart and grow from the experience.
I have seen some really nasty divorces, and I applaud Gwyneth's pledge to navigate the upcoming turbulent waters -- ones that are sure to dredge up deep insecurities and fears -- with mindful intention. It will not be easy.
True, calling her divorce a 'conscious uncoupling' may simply be a rebranding effort designed to avoid the stigma and trauma typically associated with the entire divorce process. Although the term may be silly, the goal itself is not.
I get that you want to be special. We all want to be special. I remember wailing to a friend in the middle of my divorce "I don't want to be a statistic!" But here's the thing -- we're all in this together.
It makes sense that a divorce will trigger all of our defenses and that it will be hard to stay conscious in those moments. Understanding that you are committing to being intentional because it is in your best interest and the interests of your children can remind you that there is a better way.