Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin introduced millions of readers to the term "conscious uncoupling" when the actress and musician used it to describe their separation after a decade of marriage Tuesday.
The movie star broke the news of her breakup via her own Goop blog, which crashed due to high traffic. In addition to using the term as the headline, she and Coldplay frontman also cited it as part of their plea for media privacy, saying, "We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."
Not sure what "conscious uncoupling" means? Let Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami explain.
Paltrow shared a 2,000-word article by the husband-and-wife doctor and dentist to define the term. The report is split into six sections: Until Death Do Us Part, End of the Honeymoon, Intimacy & Insects, Conscious Uncoupling, Wholeness in Separation and Coming Together.
"Divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved—and there's arguably no salve besides time to take that pain away," the spouses say. "However, when the whole concept of marriage and divorce is reexamined, there's actually something far more powerful—and positive—at play."
According to Sadeghi and Sami, high divorce rates should be viewed in the context of our "skyrocketing life expectancy." They argue that social norms are contradictory with people's true needs, writing, "Our biology and psychology aren't set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades."
"The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone," they continue.
The couple, who live in L.A. with their two children, write, "We're living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we're living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime."
Sadeghi and Sami aren't the only experts in "conscious uncoupling," however.
Author and psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas hosts a five-week course. "The Conscious Uncoupling process I will lead you through will also help you step into your highest vision of yourself and of your life, and then into a new, different kind of love—one that is built to last," she writes on her official website. With her help, she vows, "You can finally, correctly and permanently re-set that original break, and heal your heart so that it's actually stronger than it's ever been! There is truly no reason for you to have to continue to suffer and be unfulfilled because you see your life as so broken."