“Conscious Uncoupling” and 5 Other Ways to Say “Breaking Up”

Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris MartinBreaking up is hard to do and with the news coming out yesterday of the surprising split of another big Hollywood couple, divorce is in the news once again. It’s not a fun topic to be around, but in an effort to put our hearts in the right place, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin introduced us to a new way to say “divorcing” that makes the whole thing just seem so much easier to deal with.

Friends, meet: “Conscious Uncoupling”

Okay, I am being a little bit sarcastic here — I mean, what is “conscious uncoupling” anyway? I know “divorce” and “separate” are not exactly “happy-feely” words, but this is a whole new wave of weird to me. Announcing their split via Gwyneth’s lifestyle website, Goop, the title had more people talking than the actual split because let’s be honest — no one is really surprised anymore when a Hollywood couple calls it quits. I believe the post is still offline right now since a flood of people visited the site to get a glimpse of “conscious uncoupling” making its way into our worlds, but this term is now forever a part of our language when we talk about breaking up or divorce.

If you like the idea of happier terms for breaking up or just don’t like to go with the crowd, here are a few more “happy-feely” phrases that are just as good as Gwynnie’s version, but with a little twist:

1. Matrimonially Challenged

We can all be adult about this and recognize that not all people are meant to be married in matrimony. There’s no reason to be ashamed of that, and there is probably nothing you could have done to make the situation any different. You’re just born that way so don’t look at it so negatively.

2. Respectfully Despoused

If you and your partner still have respect for each other and yet you’ve tried your best and know your marriage just won’t work any longer, just despouse. Respectfully, of course.

3. Mindful Disbanding 

We know that breaking up is never an easy decision that is decided upon lightly — especially when it was long term and there are children involved. Instead of using the all-encompassing “divorce” term, this highlights all that thought and care that went into this difficult decision.

4. Supportive Ongoing Cheating

Cheating is usually something that’s frowned upon in a traditional marriage, but you’re no traditional marriage. If one of the reasons for your split (I’m not saying this pertains to the Gwyneth + Chris split) is due to this lack of communication and respect for the cheating boundary — let go of the expectations and just call it what it is.

5. New-Age Non-Togetherness 

Because if you’re going to be fully weird and out there with your phrasing for a not-uncommon divorce, I say really confuse people on how you’re doing it so much better than everyone else.

Photo credit: PCN Photos

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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and four kids. Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!  

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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