I have never used a euphemism for divorce. But apparently today there is one.
While lessening the blow is important for children and the true pain and difficulty are for the people involved only, there is something about this phrase that sounds like everyone got a little bored, a little ready for a change. Like a haircut.
Divorced people have never, in my experience, taken the leaving lightly. Conscious Uncoupling feels light and easy, like taking off a sweater that wasn’t necessary one warm summer afternoon.
Also, do any of us ever unconsciously uncouple?
The letter, on the other hand, weighs in with a taste of heaviness and plea for privacy that feels universal.
This was the letter Gwyneth Paltrow sent me when she and Chris split.*
It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.
Gwyneth & Chris
(*true, she sent it to me and anyone else who was listening)