When Gwyneth Paltrow made the announcement that she and her then husband, Chris Martin, had decided to “consciously uncouple” you could hear the collective laughter throughout the twitter universe. Conscious Uncoupling? A Hollywood celebrity has come up with another ridiculous explanation for the ending of their marriage.
But is it ridiculous? I mean a couple making an intentional decision to end their marriage without the fighting? Without the name calling? Without the bitter attacks? Is it possible?
Yes. It is possible. The ending of a marriage isn’t the happy ending that couples dream about when they plan their wedding, but it happens. How couples decide to deal with divorce is important from an emotional and financial standpoint. It’s important to create your own story. If there has been a breakdown in the marriage and one or both parties believes that it can’t be repaired, remember it doesn’t define you. You are not a failure. Look for inspiration from others who have gone through a divorce; reach out to support groups or a therapist if needed to deal with your hurt.
If divorce is inevitable, take steps to move forward. Don’t spend time trying to punish the spouse that hurt you or wants to end the marriage. The only person you can control is yourself. You will need all your energy to move through a divorce. Even in cases where both parties want the divorce there is pain and hurt. Divorce is an ending. As with other endings in life, you’ll need time to grieve and heal. Being bitter and hostile only delays the healing process.
Fighting also makes the divorce more expensive. Fighting with the your spouse is not going to stop the divorce. In fact, it delays the process and increases the legal bill. I’m not saying you should not demand a fair settlement, but fighting about things that really don’t matter in the long run does not help the divorce process. One of the biggest factor in the cost of the divorce is how long it lasts. Working out an agreement with your spouse goes a long way towards helping the legal bill. No one wants a divorce, but no one really wants a large legal bill and a bunch of decision made by a person in a black robe that may not know what is best for your family.
So “conscious uncoupling” may sound “Hollywood” but there may be something to the idea that two people will make a conscious decision about ending their marriage. No matter how you look at it, divorce will not be an easy process. But does it have to end with arguments, bitter custody fights, and huge legal bills? Only you can decide.