‘Conscious uncoupling’ doesn’t do justice to heartbreak

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (stljewishlight.com/laura).  She owns The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service. Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

Conscious uncoupling? Is that what we’re calling it now?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched several of my friends go through divorce over the past few years.  Trust me — no matter what you call it, no matter how amicable it is, no matter how many spiritual advisors you consult, it’s not fun. Gwyneth Paltrow can put any spin on it that she’d like, but heartbreak is heartbreak and that’s that.  I know she’d like us to think that she’s more enlightened than the rest of us, but she’s suffering in private.  Believe me.

There’s a reason that the most popular songs you hear are about losing love, breaking up or the one that got away. It’s the gimme of Rock and Roll.  Why? Because it is painful, and painful songs are easy because everyone can relate to them.  

I haven’t ended a romantic relationship with anyone in a very long time.  I hope never to do so again.  But trust me, I remember what it feels like and  “conscious uncoupling” aren’t the words that spring to mind. 

And here’s why — when you end a relationship, you are ending a matter of the heart.  When you “consciously uncouple,” it sounds like a matter of the head. It’s not and it never will be — not when it comes to love.  The heart makes you do and say things your head would never even remotely consider.  Your inner psycho?  (Come on, we all have one, even if we don’t like to admit it.  That’s why they invented Caller ID.)  Your head would never allow it.  

Gwyneth would like us all to think that she is more self aware and advanced than the rest of us and that this “conscious uncoupling” idea will catch on.  Really, though, I think that if she were ever as in love with Chris Martin as she claims to have been, she’s completely kidding herself.  She may be able to shelter herself from the paparazzi with this phrase, but for her sake, I hope this deflective cocoon that she’s built is all just an act for our benefit.

If not, I think she’d better start preparing for her role in ‘Shakespeare in Therapy.”