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Gwyneth Paltrow Can Bite Me

I’m sorry. I’m just not done with hating “conscious uncoupling.”

On the one hand, I’m thrilled this bit of word salad is getting the snark and derision it so rightly deserves, on the other hand the notion that divorce should be free of baser emotions like grief and anger is still a solid part of our culture.

In fact, “getting over it” has become a competitive sport. Did you have one of those ugly, sad divorces? Was it costly? Were there damaging custody disputes?

Oh not me. We mediated, because we’re adults who can talk out our differences. After all, that’s what’s best for the children! Not wasting their college funds paying those ghastly lawyers. Bob and I had many special years, but life gets complicated. People grow in different directions. We’re still just the best of friends! You’re not friends with your ex? Well you need to get over that! Forgive! Stop being bitter! Invite him over for Thanksgiving! Maybe take a cruise together or double date sometime with his girlfriend! That’s what evolved people do.

Oh goody. Where do I get one of those exes who want a fair settlement and desires my friendship? Are they all on back order? I got a disordered creep who sues me pro se.

People divorce for good reasons, like infidelity, mental illness, or addiction. Who are these people who “grew apart,” wandering off like your spouse was someone you got bored with at a cocktail party? I don’t know them. I know people who got divorced because the wife was a prescription drug addict who wouldn’t get sober or a woman who discovered her husband had a $20,000 hooker habit. Or someone comes out as gay after 25 years of marriage and she learns her husband has been having bareback sex with guys on Craigslist for years while she was supporting his self employment. Or a guy married to a serial cheater who slept with her boss and his best friend, among others.

And these are just the people I know in real life. They aren’t the people who write to me every day on this blog.

So some lifestyle guru wants to tell me the evolved thing to do is “consciously uncouple”? Still consider these people family, closer than before! but just without all the real world headache of living with them? No, the healthy thing to do is get the hell away from anyone who wants to play you for a chump. Let them stay mired in their self destructiveness. You’ve got better people to bless with your friendship.

Does that make me bitter? Unevolved? Not over it? Let me ask you — are you friends with the guy who mugged you? Or the person who robbed your pension fund? Would you like to socialize with the middle school bully who shoved you in a locker? How about sit next to him at a ballgame? Attend a wedding together? Meet his girlfriend?

Look, I’m sure there are people out there who have drama-free divorces, who settle things amicably, and no one’s at fault and you wish each other well. Of course I’m wondering if you have that kind of maturity and fondness for each other, why you couldn’t work it out. But I’m quibbling. What I want to say is could everyone just please stop assuming that friendly divorces are common or even possible for others?

Let me speak for those of us who did not consciously uncouple. Some of us are dealing with abusive freaks. Some of are dealing with children whose parent won’t see them, let alone “friend” them on Facebook. We’ve got addicts for exes. We worry every week what we’re sending our kid into, and will it meet the court’s steep criteria of immediate danger to my child and if so, do I have the money to fight about it?

Some of us are just simply heartbroken. We loved with our whole hearts and got replaced in the most humiliating of ways.

The best we can do (and it’s an epic struggle some days) is to act with civility. To be the sane parent. To keep the focus on our own lives, and the welfare of our children, and move forward. We have no illusions that our exes are part of our family. Divorce is the severing of family. It’s often a painful act of self-preservation, taken after years of attempted reconciliation and accommodation.

So enough with the smug “conscious uncoupling.” You’re over it? Wonderful. We all want to be over it. And because most of us would like to stay over it, we don’t associate with our exes. Thank you for your understanding.

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  • Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami on Conscious Uncoupling:

    “A conscious uncoupling is the ability to understand that every irritation and argument was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing. Because present events always trigger pain from a past event, it’s never the current situation that needs the real fixing. It’s just the echo of an older emotional injury. If we can remain conscious of this during our uncoupling, we will understand it’s how we relate to ourselves internally as we go through an experience that’s the real issue, not what’s actually happening.

    From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively. When we understand that both are actually partners in each other’s spiritual progress, animosity dissolves much quicker and a new paradigm for conscious uncoupling emerges, replacing the traditional, contentious divorce. It’s only under these circumstances that loving co-parenting can happen. It’s conscious uncoupling that prevents families from being broken by divorce and creates expanded families that continue to function in a healthy way outside of traditional marriage.”

    I dunno, finding out someone is cheating on you usually means the pain is from the present event. Unless your cheater is a serial cheater, then I guess it’s the sum total. But remember, there ARE no bad guys! I’m apparently a bad spiritual teacher to have taught someone to cheat on me.

    Oh, and CL, I don’t believe Gwynnie can bite you if you’ve consumed a carbohydrate within the past year.

    • I love carbohydrates, alas. But in my defense, a lot of organic everything. Still, I’m too sweet and meaty. My gluteus maximus has gluten!

    • *munching on cinnamon roll here*

      “It’s conscious uncoupling that prevents families from being broken by divorce ”

      Ummmmm, nope.

      It’s keeping it in your pants and treating your entire family with love and respect that prevents families from being broken by divorce.

    • LOL

      I eat so much popcorn, bread and pasta, I AM a carbohydrate. If she bit me she may go into shock and just die.

    • ““A conscious uncoupling is the ability to understand that every irritation and argument was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing. ”

      My question is: If this can be done by both parties as part of the divorce, then why couldn’t it have been done in order to save the marriage and usually a family?

      People don’t all of a sudden grow up and act right unless conscious effort is applied, and, quite frankly, divorce tends to bring out the worst in people anyway]

      I call Bovine Scatology! [ High falutin euphemism for BULL SHIT! We can ALL dabble in “image management’..not just the starz…]

      • I will be using the term “bovine scatology” in general conversation whenever I hear bullshit being spread about. I will probably use it most during any forced interaction with STBX.

        I love this site! So much education, so little time!

      • Here is another good word – coporlite – it means fossilized shit. That is my ex now that I am moving on – no longer a fresh dog turd, just a coporlite.

    • “Oh, and CL, I don’t believe Gwynnie can bite you if you’ve consumed a carbohydrate within the past year.”


  • Wow, those two (Drs. Sadeghi and Sami) seem seriously devoted to untangling the skein of fuckupedness. Knowing how fruitless that endeavor is, as a career choice, it must mean job security and the gift that keeps on giving from the poor bumpkins that want to believe it.

    • I don’t think they’re trying to untangle the skein. I think they’re pointing to the skein and attempting to reframe it as a *deluxe cashmere bundle of spiritual opportunity*.

      And they threw in one of CL’s fave words for extra good measure . . . paradigm!

      • *snort* Good one, Chumppalla!

        I was going to say that instead of untangling the skein, they’re weaving little odd bits of glitter into it that make it even harder to untangle…

  • I’m all for soul searching, for trying to live life using your higher consciousness and not just act like an animal – but the bollocks that comes out of some “spiritually enlightened” people just doesn’t wash with me.

    Conscious Uncoupling is just beardy, mumbo jumbo words for “splitting up / breaking up / divorcing / separating”. Unless you are both in a coma, the uncoupling will always be conscious – certainly on one partner’s side. It is quite impossible to unconsciously uncouple because it requires someone to make a conscious decision that you will no longer be a couple. So it is an utterly stupid, meaningless term.

    There are some people who do seemingly drift apart benignly and that is great, but for most people splitting up is a tough call. This is not a myth or a hypothesis – you only have to look at the money the music industry makes out of songs about heartbreak to know it is true. Breaking up usually hurts like hell.

    This competitive “my life is superior” twaddle annoys me exceedingly. I blame all these reality TV shows, which encourage us to look down & even despise our fellow human beings. (Think of all the shows about hoarders, fat people, anorexics, OCD cleaners, people with phobias etc etc). We need to stop mocking others for their shitty lives & acknowledge that all of us go through the ringer at various times.

    An English Lady dismounts from her soapbox, delicately wipes away the spittle flecks from around her mouth & runs away from the red mist! 😉

    • No! Stay on the soapbox and say more Briticisms like “twaddle.” I love it.

      • Yeah, well, unconscious uncoupling happens when the other guy goes around saying your marriage is over while he’s coming home and still sleeping with you…

        English Lady, I agree about this media-driven mental complex we’ve bought into–but the best way to deal with it is to turn off the telly, and not give ’em the airtime!

    • Ahhh ! Love: “This competitive ‘my life is superior’ twaddle”. Brava English Lady – well said !

      • Not only are their lives “superior but they actually are conning people that these are all original ideas while making millions off of poor people that are hoping some of the shiny shit will rub off on them. Right Hair/Weight/clothes/….etc. Etc. In the meantime getting a HUGE kickback for everything mentioned and linked on their blogs. Just a young Martha Stewart business model that never did the work or needed the $ in the first place. We should all chip in and buy helmets for their kids that are being used as advertisements on her Vespa to school…..

  • Bravo ChumpLady – I just choked on my coffee while laughing at the title of this post. Yes, there’s something (once again) wrong with us antiquated chumps who mourn the loss of the our family that wasn’t so much “conscious uncoupled” but rather ripped apart and shredded and shit upon. Yeah, that image isn’t quite so bliss and zen, is it?

    Brings up another visual; my kids have been fascinated by trains since they were little. When train cars “uncouple”, there’s a little banging (lol) and clanking (snort), and then the uncoupled trains continue down different tracks, happily puffing and choo-chooing (yeah, that’s an image you called for yourself Gwennie – the banging, snorting puffer. YOU said it, not me.)

    See, most divorces I know are more the train WRECK type – you know, where the train goes off the rails, SCREECHING with the whistle blowing, people running for cover and screaming, and than dramatic explosions, terror, immense pain, and loss of life (the life we thought we had). Not so zen or pretty, but REAL. Not a bunch of contrived bullshit. So you silly, pastey, delussional girl, I’d rather be an authentic train wreck than a fake “uncoupling” any day. And come talk to me in a few years when your kid says, “You know what’s sad? I’ll never know what it’s like to really have a dad…”. Then tell me about your “spiritual progress” and “dissolving animosity”. Now I’m going to go eat a steak and some dark chocolate 🙂

    • Well, your point does make me ask the question–if the breakup is that easy, really, how much emotional investment could there really have been in the first place?

      Because, frankly, if my husband tried this:

      “Hon, you know, I’ve been feeling we’ve been growing apart in our spiritual journey. Let’s grow closer by consciously uncoupling,”

      my response would be:

      “Sure–why don’t you grow closer right now? That’s right–just a little closer–good, just a leeeetle beeeeet clooooooserrrrr….”


      Time to hide the body.

  • I watched a blurb on GMA this morning and the anchors were fawning all over it and had a “child expert” in to say how great it was. I threw up my coffee.

    Who is buying this utter horseshit? “Conscious uncoupling” translation for children involved: Mom and/or Dad has decided they want to fuck/ have already fucked other people/person. Sorry ( sort of) that this might tear your home apart but ( shoulder shrug) what can we do? The sex organs want what the sex organs want. But hey, it’s all good. Now go play your video game and we’ll see you at Thanksgiving.

    • I watched GMA too and had the same reaction. Josh said “You’re always going to be a family”. No, not when one partner broke his/her vows. I think Gwyneth (miss perfect in every way) can’t have any faults ie., can’t have a “divorce” which sounds like she screwed up. She just had a “conscience uncoupling”.
      Chump Lady, can’t you get on one of these shows and set the record straight? Otherwise, some chumps may just feel bad about themselves and Gwyneth walks off into the sunset still looking perfect.

    • I think the more parents can be decent and civil in front of, and about, the children during the divorce, the better. The kids are having a tough enough time with the “new normal”, that the more tension they can be spared, the better.

      I actually know of some divorces where, over time, the two exes did become “friends” (just that–no fringe benefits)(and this is after cheating,mind you), and one went to nurse the other after major health reasons.

      Having said that. I’m an elementary teacher. I have no idea how “conscious uncoupling” could POSSIBLY be presented to a child in an age-appropriate manner. I agree with CL–say it straight and clear, and acknowledge reality for what it is.

  • Chump Lady, perfect. Every word accurate. Grateful for your voice of clarity cutting through all the word salad psycho-babble bullshit mumbo jumbo.

  • Of course, there are rumors of Gwyneth having extramarital affairs, with entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn and Elle Macpherson’s billionaire husband, Jeffrey Soffer, which would explain Gwyneth’s use of this “word salad” to describe her divorce. She was also seen smooching with her ex Donovan Leitch at a baseball game last September.

    • blue – Bingo. She cheated and is now employing the word salad to make it all better.

      • You know what, though? How are the actions any different from any other Hollywood couple?

        As far as I can see, the behaviour is the same, it’s just the shit is being recycled as “pure, organic, pre-cured compost”.

  • I’m surprised Gwyneth hasn’t removed that “conscious uncoupling” from her GOOP site at all. It’s embarrassing!

  • My first relationship started at 18 and lasted 12 years, we did indeed “grow apart”. We split fairly amicably, it wasn’t a fun learning experience by any means. I continued to attend his family get togethers for a while because I was so close to his mother. After she passed, we remained friends and still are. We aren’t super close but I can count on him if I need help and vice versus. However, our split was painful initially, I don’t think anyone can cut ties like that without some pain. Another reason may be because we lived together, never married, and our finances were not deeply entangled. The main reason is that he was honest with me, no gaslighting, no fucking me over. This is totally different from the split with my abusive, cheating ex. who fucked me over so many ways. Of course with the added bonus of nearly shooting me. I would never willingly be within a mile of his abusive ass. If he died I would breathe a sign of relief and throw away my home alarm system – hell, I might even through a party.

    • My sister’s husband came from a similar experience. He and his first wife did grow apart–to the point where they’d not had sex in years, and he tends to be a bit controlling, which certainly irked her. One day he came home to find she’d moved out. The divorce wasn’t fun, but it’s been over 20 years, and he, his X, and my sister do get along at family get-togethers. No one is best of pals, but they’re cordial.

      I know a couple of other women who realized that their marriages weren’t working. They had divergent values from their husbands. They divorced, and it was painful. One had a child, the other divorced before children. One only recently saw her ex for the first time in over 20 years. She told me that she was reminded that he was basically a nice guy, but even after 20 minutes of talking to him, she was delighted to have to leave and reminded once more of just why she loves her current husband of 20 years.

  • The Hollywood “spiritually enlightened” who are too sensitive for the ugliness of the word “divorce” have now come up with the new and improved “conscious uncoupling”. Regular people get divorced and it’s so brash and pedestrian.

    Gwyneth Paltrow is a pretentious hypocrite. She has a magnificent disregard of reality and takes herself was too seriously.

    She doesn’t poo, she consciously uncouples with her intestines.

    • “Gwyneth Paltrow is a pretentious hypocrite.”

      Am I the only one who feels I may owe Gwynnie an apology for being so… average? I can’t believe I have the gall to breathe and foul the air on her planet!

      • It’s just another strain of lost-and-seeking-meaning weirdness (a smug strain) IMO.

        When I was a young adult, I talked with some folks that paid to have their own kid kidnapped from Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s Ashram (cult).

        These folks were friendly with Jiddu Krishnamurti apparently, and they told me this story:

        Krishnamurti was the first Westernized guru to own a Rolls Royce. When Rajneesh bought his second Rolls, he had a picture taken of him standing between the pair, and he sent it to Krishnamurti with the words “Fuck You” written on the back of the photo. Rajneesh eventually collected 93 Rolls Royce cars, and he had 91 more photos taken, wrote the same two words on the back of those photos, and mailed each one of them to Krishnamurti. It was later discovered that Rahneesh also collected dozens of very expensive ladies’ watches apparently.

        Krishnamurti had thinning hair in his later years, and he used to comb-over to hide the fact that he was balding, so for all of the talk of breaking free of one’s ego, he wasn’t perfect either.

        So much for gurus, right?

        Me, I kind of respect the 14th Dalai Lama. Why? He’s pretty much the head of the Buddhist religion, and when people ask him silly things like “Do you get angry, lonely, jealous, and angry?” and so on, he invariably answers “Of course I do. I am human”.

  • CL, I now know that my ex husband was planning a “conscious uncoupling” long before I became aware of it. I no that no marriage is perfect but I am a stayer and not a player but my ex husband was the opposite. Part of your comment “Some of us are just simply heartbroken. We loved with our whole hearts and got replaced in the most humiliating of ways. The best we can do (and it’s an epic struggle some days) is to act with civility”. That small statement sums me up in one and I am sure most of your readers.

      • Same, my ex consciously uncoupled in his mind long ago. Which that in itself is not awful, it’s the announcing you no longer want to be married … and then acting on that announcement and actually getting divorce you instead have an affair while stringing me along. And then tell me don’t act blindsided, I knew we had fundamental issues. So in one breath he’ll say cheating is never justified, i am to always own up to my part in it. Geez……Well at least i’m out and nearly done untangling all the finances, taxes, etc and will only have kid stuff left so most of the time i’ll have peace!

        • Well said, Chrissybob. Obviously my H checked out of our marriage 3 years ago to be with his skank. Instead of manning up and telling me that he wanted a divorce he strings me along for 3 years, crapping all over me while I took care of everything while treating the OW piece of trash like she is the Queen of Sheba. King Shit not only bought her many gifts, he was paying her bills, too..which I think a lot of here have discovered in their situation. As for the conscious uncoupling, no sweat for Gwyneth. Her frickin’ accountant can take care of the financial end of things..she doesn’t have to try and figure out how to live from day to day on nothing, as the H gets to keep most of his money. Her nannies can take care of the kids on days she just might not want to deal with them. She can relieve some of that massive stress when she jets around from 1 continent to another. Her personal chef can prepare the wonderful no-carb meals while we struggle to make mac and cheese and hot dogs because we’d rather lay in bed and cry. So from this soon to be uncoupled chick, Gwyneth you can kiss my ass.

  • The divorce process (as it has been for all of us that have been through it) was and still is very painful to me. STBX and I never insulted each other, although I did tell him in very plain terms what I thought of him about cheating and abandoning the kids and I. So it that term, the divorce has been amicable, but that does not mean that we are friends, that we are co-parenting or that we are still a family. He treated me pretty badly and negligently the year before D-day. After the cat was out of the bag, he thought we could still be friends. I had to spell it out for him that I no longer existed (except for child support and alimony) and that he made his choice and that he should forget I ever existed. It’s very painful to transition from having a family to being alone again. It’s especially hard because I am a single parent now, completely exhausted, disciplining and raising the kids the best I can, while he gets to live child-free with tons of time with OW.

    Divorce is something that will pain me for the rest of my life, but I am learning to cope and manage on my own and with the help of friends and family that have my back. Some days, I’m petrified and wonder how I will make things work, and other times I’m full of optimism. It comes and goes.

    I would love to see Gwyneth explain to her kids how conscious uncoupling is different from divorce.

    • Maybe her kids are used to the”open relationship” lifestyle that seems so apparent in their parents. Ahhh the comings and goings of the rich and famous.

  • If you’re looking for Chris Martin today I think a good place to start is the nearest McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, where he’s likely mainlining every molecule of bread and fat he can lay hands on and laughing maniacally with joy at being free of that praying-mantis-in-yoga-pants.

      • AHAHAHAHAHHA i’m picturing him shoving treats a plenty into his mouth while throwing his head back and cackling! My precious…….AHAHAHAH!!

        • Yes, I am picturing him going down the Easter-candy aisle at Target and filling up his cart!

  • Right on chump lady: at 86 i still have to hear about the wonderfulness of the 2 elephant savers who are really just a pair of ugly cheats.No they are not my friends nor are any of the people who want to talk about their wonderful money. Do you know who i hate? Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Just got a request for money to honor paul’s legacy .hell he doesnt have a legacy. he left his first wife Jackie Witte who cant be found with 3 children for his “soulmate” Joanne Woodward who slept with a married man knowing he had 3 children .Hooray! and the neglected son who hated Joanne eventually committed suicide and good old Paul is making up for that with salad dressing. They cannot make up for anything and when are we going to get public awareness that these people are creeps? You should see the memorials to Art and Liz
    for spending 70 million on wonderful elephants .my daughter is still crying and Liz;s son
    didnt have a mother. Yuck and urgh. Keep it up chump lady someone has to say it.

    • Well, despite Paul Newman’s Hollywood image, rumors are that he was a heavy drinker and had numerous affairs while married to Joanne Woodward, including one with journalist Nancy Bacon, and that Newman and Woodward were separated at times during their marriage, so it doesn’t seem like it was all a bed of roses.

      • Wow! I didn’t know that about Paul and Joanne. Now I have no respect for either one of them. Good to know their life was not “a bed of roses”. “Be sure your sin will find you out”. Let’s pray this applies to all cheaters and the sooner the better.

  • “Conscious uncoupling” just sounds like psychobabble. If you think about the meaning of the words, it sounds more like the events that lead to the separation. I mean, think about it, I could say my husband “consciously uncoupled” when he hooked up with that old girlfriend through Facebook. His cheating was a conscious uncoupling, not the crap I’m dealing with in the aftermath. BTW – I’m trying to go the drama free divorce route. I’ve lived with his drama for too long already, and he’s such a drama king that keeping it drama free is torture for him. So far, drama is minimum, but I still hurt like hell. Gwyneth makes it sound like a party.

    • It is a party, because she’s getting her ego stroked by some strange. My ex is on top of the world, financially won the divorce and had the human Care Bear that he’s always wanted, and 50% custody means he gets to be 19 again for at least half the time. Me? My businesses that I built are now his, my buy out is making half a percent and since I was a stay at home mom, I’d be lucky to get job that pays 8 an hour. What I built for. 23 years was stolen from me in 48 hours and my children are, well, on loan. Every day I wake up feeling like I was mugged. I can’t rebuild 23 years. I’m just trying to pay bills see my kids through graduation and maybe die early since it runs in my family. Sorry, bad place lately.

      • Whatawaste, my love and best wishes to you today and always. I don’t know what else to say but stay strong for both yourself and children. That rat of an ex will get his. Just bide your time and look after yourself. Forget the early death thing, it won’t happen because you are a good and decent woman. Keep going. xo

      • Sorry whatawaste-

        I love this blog but I hate that we have all been treated so cruely by the one person that we trusted with our hearts and lives. It makes me sick to my stomach.

        You sound like you are really hurting and the best I can offer is cyber comfort. I’m relatively new to the divorce journey but my dday was more than 3 years ago. I wasted more of my precious life doing the pick me dance with someone who didn’t deserve a first chance, let alone a second one.

        If you built successful businesses before is there a chance you could build another? Most people don’t have the acumen to pull that off even one time successfully but you clearly did! Maybe formulating a plan could help you lose the feeling of being mugged.

        I hope you feel better!

      • Whatawaste, in the beginning I also had a wish that I could die early. I just felt so tired of living. It seemed everything I’d poured my heart and soul into and sacrificed most of my own interests for had vanished due to a decision that was beyond my control. I remember writing one sentence in my journal —

        “I understand how victims of a massive hurricane feel.”

        Anyway, on days like that I would repeat to myself “Press on.” Just keep moving. You are going through a deep valley and you just have to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually you will be surprised that you’ve made it to the other side. You really will.

        • “It seemed everything I’d poured my heart and soul into and sacrificed most of my own interests for had vanished due to a decision that was beyond my control.”

          The lack of control and agency in the whole thing was so hard for me to deal with. He made made decision and left. No wavering or discussing or anything. Dday and then he was gone. And there wasn’t a think I could do about it.

          And in the beginning I thought that I would have preferred to die than live through what I was living through. But one day at a time…one minute or hour at a time….and eventually there were some good moments mixed with the bad. Then less and less bad…

          “Press on” and “Keep moving” are totally right…

      • Whatawaste, right now, you’re in the foxhole of heartaches but you will not stay there forever. I can promise you that. On my first DDay, I was so seriously depressed I needed intervention and I had an infant (slimy ex had his first affair that I know of when I was pregnant). I still don’t know how I made it, but it was literally putting one foot in front of the other. I made it and thrived. When I finally left after over 20 years and 3 OWs, it was still painful but I was stronger. You can do this. Don’t allow him to take away any more years from you than he already has. You are worth than him.

        • Whatawaste…don’t you dare apologize! You will make it. You will! And you will be happy again – happier without the mind-f of living with a cheater.

          • Whatawaste,
            So sorry you are down today. We feel your pain. There were so many times after Dday I didn’t want to live any longer and thought about taking the easy way out but I’d think of my beautiful grandkids and couldn’t go there. It’s just beyond comprehension what these people can do to us.
            My X took his 6 figure salary and moved on with OW and her 6 figure salary and left me with my 2 figures.
            He cheats on her now but she doesn’t care because she is hideously ugly and will do ANYTHING for a man. Even put up with a cheating lying asshole. I guess some people are like that. At least we aren’t them!~

  • Maybe he is the chump and she’s throwing sparkle to all of us lowly trogs who will never be as evolved because we “confuse” marriage with commitment and eternity. We’re so dumb and average.

  • I woke up kind of irritated about this. I think being amicable is swell. But let’s call a spade a spade and the crap on bullshit. It’s a divorce. Airbrushing it with frou-frou psychobabble is frankly indicates denial. Divorce, whether nice or mean, hurts like a bitch, and softening the blow like it is untangle your favorite necklace does not only the marriage but the divorce a disservice.

    I also take umbrage with ‘conspicuous uncoupling’. Wha? Mostly because it has a ring like ‘conspicuous consumption’, which is something that people ‘conspicuously uncouple’ do. Furthermore, while I get that the ‘conspicuous’ part is more aptly relevant to the words ‘conscientious’ or ‘mindful’, the word ‘conspicuous’ itself begs the question:

    Do people ‘inconspicuously uncouple?’

    • *untangling. The Diet Coke is only starting to wake me up.

    • What you do is take your breakup/divorce, apply heaping helpings of super-industrial spackling compound, suppress any “negative” emotions like any “more-evolved”, tell your kids you’ll even be closer as a family and maybe have more “adult-options” as you embrace “joyous change” and the dating parade begins, and if you start to feel like you’ve twisted yourself into a human pretzel by trying to be something decidedly inhuman, well… just book a flight to Senonia and a “Soul Adventure Spiritual Retreat” where you can magically transform your life in 3 short days for entirely reasonable price of 11,000 dollars.

      Peace, Love, Embrace Being.

  • oops “line any ‘more evolved being'”.

    If I were more evolved, I’d not make so many posting errors.

  • “Conscious uncoupling” is such a ridiculous turn-of-phrase. For Christ’s sakes, just say write a press release and say “He’s my best friend but we’ve grown apart” just like the 50,000 other Hollywood divorcees and get on with it.

    The tabloids say there’s rumors of cheating on both sides but the clincher seems to be Gwenyth’s control-freak obsession with health foods and refusing to feed her kids carbs.

    This is exactly what broke up Madonna’s last marriage. Poor Guy Ritchie just wanted to have his tea like a normal Englishman, only for Queen Madge to storm into the kitchen and bark: “EXCUSE ME! You’re not putting milk in that, are you?! Put it down! Put it down now!”

    (Full Disclosure: The Material Girl does have a smokin’ physique for 55 and could probably beat me in an arm wrestling contest. But just because she’s a health and fitness freak doesn’t mean everybody else has to be.)

    Anyway, back to Ms. Paltrow. I agree with CL that her use of that ridiculous, pretentious “conscious uncoupling” is such a condescending swipe at us normal folks who actually have to go through that arduous, soul-crushing process known as divorce. She seems to think she’s above it all and so much more enlightened than the rest of us. Let’s see how she fares in “conscious uncoupling” court….

    • I agree…

      These health freaks don’t realize that you can’t cheat death. Might as well enjoy the ride!

      • I’m not saying it’s bad to eat healthy, but being a food nazi takes away from the joy of sharing meals with family and friends and splurging now and then it’s OK!

  • What CL advocates is what any mental health professional would say to a Chump right off the bat: Boundaries are GOOD. Boundaries help you maintain a healthy life. Boundaries that are enforced keep bad people away from you and prevent them from taking advantage of your inherent Chumpiness.

  • Thank You! Once again…..
    Can’t and won’t
    For my own preservation!
    Enough with the crazy and disordered.
    Aint no time for that……

  • I don’t follow Paltrow but I know I never could stand her whenever I would get wind of one of her pretentious quips. As I suspected, affair runout on Gwennies part have been swirling around for over a year in Vanity Fair. Quel surprise! So like I posted yesterday, this is about a few extra sets of genitalia getting in the way of a marriage with children. Since Dday two years ago, I’ve learned the code. Without fail, every person who tried to lay the forgive, move on, for the kids, these things happen, it takes two… both mental health providers and lay people both friend and aquaintence, I have found that they have cheated on a partner in their past. And wow, folks its at a ratio of 8:10. It’s rough, some of them are a bit nasty and condescending, others are warmer and just woefully misguided by their indescretions and how to face them head on. It’s ugly out there, this naive 45 year old had had her ass handed to her by not only my cheating ex, but by most people I’ve talked to. And I’m not an opened book either. Latest, ex and AP continue to alienate me and signed my kids up for sports in their town, beating me to the punch. These maneuvers are weekly. I won’t be attending the games. Already I’m hearing the chirps of “do it for the kids.” Nope.

    • whatawaste…does your attorney know about the sports stuff? At least talk to him/her about it. Pay someone to be on your side and advocate for you.

  • Friends:

    Negativity is a carb. Here, buy this $200 pinwheel my good friend Fronwyf made of of hemp and swarovski crystals, and blow.


  • Oh boy, do I remember the ‘lets stay friends’ talk.

    After the “but we can be friends!
    I asked him a simple question.
    “What do you have to offer me as a friend?”
    And then… there was nothing but silence..
    I actually think he was shocked himself that he couldn’t find any words.
    I still smile when I think of his perplexed face.

    • Holiday … I got the exact same comment. Suffice to say, “friends” we are NOT!!!

      • Wow this appears to be another chapter of the book…the “Let’s be friends” speech…..I had to listen to him rant and rave over and over to all of the professionals that were seeing us…he would yell she won’t be friends with me for the kids…see how bad she is?

        Ummm excuse me not for nothing, but we were Married…which I would say is a bigger commitment than just being a friend…….and you treated me like this… if a “Friend” treated me like this I would no longer be their friend…..the same rule applies here, you violated a commitment and a friendship……so ummmm yea NO. We are business partners trying to raise children so you will get as civil as I can possibly muster…..
        THe perplexed angry face that I got in response……becasue I was “BAD” for enforcing a VERY REASONABLE BOUNDARY…..

        it still pisses him off

        • Oh my gosh, Bubbles! My STBX says that kind of stuff all the time…one of his main points of anger is that “She won’t talk to me! We don’t have any substantive conversations – we only talk about the kids & logistics!” Uhh…you gave up the priviledge of having a meaningful dialogue with me when you decided to fuck 25 year old prostitutes. It has occured to me that one of the reasons why he wants to talk to me so much is that he has no friends left…I have plenty of support & friends to talk to, I don’t need you as part of my inner circle. Thanks, but no thanks!

        • “you will get as civil as I can possibly muster…..”

          That’s exactly it, no more no less, and what I can muster depends on the day

    • Good answer! That one should be copyrighted and sold! There are more chumps out there who’ll buy that than “conscious uncoupling”.

    • Holiday, LOVE the powerful simplicity of your response. “What do you have to offer me as a friend?” Brilliant.

    • Holiday in Meh, love it! Same conversation but with his step-mother of all people. She just wanted everything to be “okay” again. Poor lady. (Incidentally, a huge Chump herself who has overlooked her own husband’s serial cheating and resultant children.) I helped her out by explaining that I get nothing out of a continued relationship with her son.

      I didn’t bother to ask my ex the same question because he is delusional. When he explained to me that we were going to be “great friends, even better than before”, I told him that I did not choose people like him as friends. He gave an exasperated eye-rolling sigh as in “here she goes, making everything unnecessarily hard again”.

      I am so much happier now that this spoiled brat hovers closer to the periphery of my life (could not go completely NC as we have a minor child together). I believe I have finally learned that there is no point in arguing with someone who ignores reality if it doesn’t agree with his fantasies.

      • all the same shit, even with a protective order my ex would say “we can still be friends”, in between calling me petty and evil and vicious of course…because you know, I didn’t feel safe removing the protective order…

    • I also got the “I still want to be friends” line. He actually had it all planned out – He would come over several nights a week and have a family sit down dinner that I would cook while he swam with the kids out at the pool followed by the
      usual fancy dinners I regularly cooked and them topped off with the family playing a board game after dinner. I asked him if he was off his rocker? That was our old life when we were a family – when his cheating ass walked out the door that was the end of that life.

  • The unstated but implied connotation with all this talk of “Conscious Uncoupling”, “Evolutionary Spiritual Growth” and so on… is a sort of Herbert Spencer, social darwinism [sic] idea that *some* members of the species are way more “evolved” than the rest of the species or at least members who cannot or will not embrace these ideas and concepts. The big departure is taking skin color and ethnicity out of the recipe for “evolution” [sic], but the big similarity is there are serious pseudoscience underpinnings that make the whole business even more ironic and self-refuting, IMO.

    It’s like a pop, Westernized version of Eastern religions mixed with pseudoscience snake-oil jargon.

    • Yes, they are called “sociopaths” and yes, from an evolutionary perspective, they are better equipped to survive. With no conscious and a keen ability to manipulate, you will be at the top of the “food chain” both economically and interpersonally. The sociopath is the new primate. The rest of the chirpy world are the modern homohabilis, on their way to extinction.

      • Wow. What a concept: “the sociopath is the new primate”. I had to Google it to see if there was a book about it or something. It was fun.

      • There are a lot us here whose sociopaths can barely eek out a living (Glad’s couch surfing ex freak comes to mind). Mine makes an okay living, but this chump outearns him by 40%. And he has few friends while I have many.

        Compelling, but I ain’t buyin’ it.

        • Fewf, summergirl, I have renewed hope for the human race….thanks…

        • Same here Summergirl, my ex is a version of Glad’s….just got email from him that I have to cover our kids on my health insurance “by April 1 if possible.” He is now losing the “part-time” position he held with a local company that provided their benefits, which since the divorce 2 years ago was the ONLY thing he provided. And apparently the income from his “business coach” and ” consulting” business is just not raking in the cash.

          Geez, guess I won’t die of a heart attack from that shock. My only surprise is that it took this long.

  • Isn’t it bad enough that we are made to feel that we ‘failed’ at marriage without feeling that we ‘failed’ by NOT having a “conscious uncoupling”?
    I initially believed that my ex and I could stay friends.. (how chumpy is that?) because he led me to believe that HE had grown apart but still ‘cared’ for me… would always love me as the mother of his children…blah blah… He failed to mention he was “shagging someone else” (his words not mine)
    30 years of love and trust…Gone.
    Sorry I couldn’t be all modern and “conscious”.
    Divorcing him was the most painful thing I have ever done.

    • Verity297, same with me but 37 years married and 44 years of friendship gone in a puff of smoke. He divorced me and destroyed our marriage and family unit all because of a limp penis. I am not sure if I will ever recover but gosh I am giving it my best shot. I am 62 years old now and it is too late for me to meet someone who will treat me, how I should be treated and vice versa. In other words, an honest, respectful, mature and solid relationship.

    • Oh that DAMN phrase “I’ll always love you because you are the mother of my children”. That’s the consolation I’ve gotten from the H during this nightmare. Well guess what? I’ll always hate you for tearing our family apart so you could make sure that YOU were happy..screw the rest of us. Obviously 26 years and 3 children together mean diddly squat when you can run off and play with your sparkly piece of pie and leave us in the dust. I could punch him every time I hear that stupid-ass phrase..if I’m so important as the mother of your children, why did you choose to give the kids and I shit sandwiches while you and the shiny unicorn climb over the rainbow to your happily ever after??

      • I hear you Sandy….Hmm… Yes. And if I’m SO important, why did you fall off the radar for 9 months leaving no forwarding address? Cut the agreed maintenance twice and ignore our children, taking your fuckbuddy on holiday on MY birthday…. and then send me a ‘Happy Birthday’ text…. Grrrrr!!!!!

      • I think I’ll Always hate myself for choosing him to be the father of my children

  • The smug, pretentious word salad, nonsense about “conscious uncoupling”, obsession with no carbs and other food fetishes and casual lying and bullshitting about walking away from marriage pretty much sum up why so many Americans loathe Hollywood and liberals. Not that I’m saying for a moment that all liberals are like this, or that plenty of conservatives are not bullshitting freaks as well but this Paltrow garbage kind of sums up the entire vibe. I hope you guys get what I’m saying, caffeine has not kicked in yet.

    People like Paltrow never change and are always destructive to those unfortunate enough to be in close contact. This includes children, spouses, best friends and close business associates. All will inevitably be harmed.

    • All part of the consequence-less society orchestrated by and for those with an elite-evolved vibe (conservative or liberal). We should all emulate the evolved. All will be taken care of, everyone wins a prize, no judgement or censor of “bad” behavior, discernment is racism or bigotry, only one belief system, school system, secularism, fascism. Soon there will be a Relationship Czar. Was the advent of the No-Fault Divorce the first salvo?

      • NO, the advent of the no-fault divorce was long overdue and without it many people would be locked into a marriage with their abuser. I can assure you, if my ex had to agree to divorce me/or I had to prove fault, I would still be married to him. There is no way in hell he would have let me go, he made that abundantly clear.

        • I do understand its use in the case of abuse. The law doesn’t allow for cherry picking in a lot of states and I wish the reason would be stated clearly on the decree other than “irreconcilable differences.” Glad it worked for you and others, and you got out.

    • No, people like this bring everyone around them down, sooner or later. And when they do, as CL says, they step over your dead body and calmly ask for a Hot Pocket (or in this case, a tofu lemongrass stir-fry).

    • Link didn’t work, but I have seen wayyyyy too many people have “breakup/goodbye” sex–and end up pregnant….

        • Well, not the act in and of itself, Uniquelyme–I don’t go peeking in their windows or set up webcams or anything gross like that…..I have SOME morals….

          • Chump in the Sand, I meant ewww on having sex with a cheater ex. I should have made it clearer.

  • “Some of us are just simply heartbroken. We loved with our whole hearts and got replaced in the most humiliating of ways.”

    Exactly, CL, that’s why we need NC, why we need the anger–to give us the confidence to get rid of the abusive cheating ex. To give us spines of steel to get through the heartache and sorrow.

    And we cannot get rid of the abusive cheating ex if we are “friends” with him and his AP’s, if we sit together at lacrosse practice and share tidbits of our days. If we tell ourselves he or she wasn’t so bad and “it just was one of those things.” No, what my ex did was NOT just one of those things, it was a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE thing and I will never ever forgive him.

    Now THAT allows me to move on and survive. I’d like to call it my “fuck-you uncoupling.”

    • This is exactly right. This is a person who tore her own children’s lives apart. Why? Because she wanted to screw someone else.

      I have much higher standards for people I call friends. Simple as that.

      Ever notice how these disordered fucks send everybody else soul searching, looking for answers, seeking therapy, doing deep spiritual reevaluations etc. etc. while they — if you ask them — are doing just great!

      Our 12 yo is in therapy for depression. Our 7 yo is having “emotional issues” that are affecting his school work and our 9 yo, once a happy go lucky talkative kid, is now a sullen boy who rarely says more than two words at a time. Ask her how everyone is doing, though and you’ll hear “really fantastic!” “Great!” Which I guess means “I’m happy (isn’t that all that matters)?

      Friend? With friends like that …. You know the rest.

      • Yes, Aloysha, my ex-sociopath does not even see his children…at all. D20, a college student studying in Florence Italy this semester, told me recently she really needs counseling when she gets back…she is beautiful, outgoing and intelligent, but will not date anyone, and has started having panic attacks. S26, in final year of law school, is ashamed of his father and told me he does not think he will ever marry lest he has some of his fathers “genes” in him. S14 becomes violent if I ask him to even think about seeing his father, otherwise he never asks about his father, who has not layed eyes on him for 2 years and would have a hard time recognizing him with all the growing and changing he is going through.

        But you know what ex tells people who ask, “they’re doing great, and so is Kelly”. Fuck these sociopathic freaks, what they did should be illegal. What a legacy they leave for the family left behind like trash. Hate to sound cliche, but with friends like that…….

  • I don’t think this is special, elite Hollywood word salad. I think this is classic cheater impression management SPIN.

    On no other evidence than this, I would bet big bucks she’s the primary offender in that relationship.
    Certainly she outed herself as a person with an exceptionally *flexible* value system.

    Perfect example of effective mindfuckery, too. Instead of acknowledging the failure of another marriage due to infidelity, we chumps are smelling the flaming bag of poo that has been tossed (as a decoy) back in our laps, for us to consider how ‘we’re not doing it right’. HA. Big ole narcissistic diversionary defense tactic. Nice try, Gwynnie.

    • I think this is classic cheater impression management SPIN.

      Maybe. It’s definitely minimization, and the verbiage is straight out of Feminine Power workshops and Spiritual Mind Treatment/Religious Science/Science of Mind (RS/SOM) like you’d find being spoken at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California.

      Lot of weird characters and snake-oil salesmen involved, IMO. This is the same “spiritual community” that put out “The Secret” (or as I like to call it “Wishful Thinking” – lol).

      • Yep, and generally speaking, who benefits most by selling minimization to others? Guilty cheaters.

        I consider myself kinda new-agey. I find RS/SOM very interesting. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection, and positive thinking has been proven to affect athletic performance. All that said, when you APPLY that shit to divert or cover up BAD BEHAVIOR, that’s just more fraud. A turd is a turd and no amount of thought restructuring is going to change it into something else because it doesn’t want to be known as a TURD.

        It’s a T U R D. The Secret’s OUT, lol.

  • Conscious Uncoupling means never having to say you’re a selfish, self-absorbed, cheating asshole. Sniff! Where are Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal when you need them?

    Thank you CL for reducing this crap to the head-in-the-ass psycho-nonsense it most assuredly is. When Gwyneth Paltrow speaks, no one with a brain listens. Her drivel sounds like the keening of someone who refuses to take any responsibility for her rancid selfishness and emotional abuse of her family, particularly her children. Everyone in her orbit is no more than a giant pez kibble dispenser. Is there anything in her world that is not totally about her? She should be on the side of a bus as an ad for getting help for your narcissistic personality disorder. I don’t know if I’m more disgusted by what she says or by the fact that people actually report on it as if it makes sense or matters.

    Divorce is a devastating, painful process for those of us who exist here in the masses of the great unwashed. We actually feel pain, loss and confusion at the destruction of our families and the lives we thought we had. Not so Gwyneth the Psychopath who is too evolved to experience something so pedestrian as authentic feelings and emotions.

    Please Gwyneth, wheverever you are sipping celery juice and wheat grass, kiss a fat donkey’s ass.

    • Along those lines, Chump Princess, allow me to toss Kenny Loggins onto the heap of self-absorbed twits who have become so drunk on their own New Age amazingness that they completely gloss over what it might be doing to their children.

      As I recall, when Kenny Loggins married his high-colonic priestess (aka Wife #2), they held the ceremony by a babbling brook in the woods – most likely on some vast tract of land he owns – and for some bizarre reason, the ceremony was conducted entirely sans clothing.

      So Kenny’s children got to see their father’s and new stepmother’s naughty bits on full display, united in holy matrimony. And the kids and guests were expected to strip down themselves. I believe that at least one of his children refused to do that.

      Then, because Kenny and his new wife were so very enlightened, they eventually penned a book called The Unimaginable Life: Lessons Learned on the Path of Love. I’ve not had the pleasure of gagging on it. But I do remember Kenny going on talk shows to peddle his very special insights on Blissful Married Life. The implication being that the rest of us are doing it wrong.

      Then Wife #2 dumped his ass.

      • Rally,

        Kenny was apparently so busy being wrapped up in his own IDEA of bliss he didn’t notice that the “high-colonic priestess” (BEST NAME EVAH!) was not experiencing it with him.

        I am really beginning to understand the beheadings during the French Revolution. If a person isn’t really using their head, why do they need to keep it? 🙂

    • Hahahaha — loved this one Princess– “Conscious Uncoupling means never having to say you’re a selfish, self-absorbed, cheating asshole.”

      But then again, this made me laugh out loud–
      “Please Gwyneth, wheverever you are sipping celery juice and wheat grass, kiss a fat donkey’s ass.”

      …..feeling the pain, but realizing I’m “only” human…..

      • Never knew any of that about Kenny Loggins but then, never paid him much attention. So I googled him. Here’s a snip of what I just read. I think we can all recognise this particular brand of bullshit:

        When Loggins experienced health problems in 1982, he was referred to Julia Cooper, a colon therapist. They felt an immediate connection and both were unhappy in their relationships, but each was married to someone else; Loggins then had one child and his wife was pregnant with their second. Their relationship was limited to a close friendship for many years. Near the end of the 1980s, Loggins separated from his wife, Eva, at nearly the same time Julia left her husband, and they began a deeper relationship.[17]

        • His wife is pregnant with their second, but their relationship was “limited to a close friendship” for “many years” no less??? How exactly does that work? Word salad indeed.

  • I’m feeling a Huff Po worthy Chump Lady article on this Paltrow none sense. Come on, Huff Po, it’s hot and would bring in the traffic!

  • In related world events, Vladimir Putin now claims to have “consciously uncoupled” Crimea from the Ukraine and Henry VII phoned from the afterlife to claim that he “consciously uncoupled” Anne Boleyn’s head from her neck.

    So everything’s cool now, right?

    • HA!!!! Nomar!!!!!

      Nomar, only unevolved beings are cool.

      Everything now is a positively-charged, calming energy birthed from the conscious uncoupling….

    • Not to get too off-track, but I often thought that Henry VIII’s forming his own church so he can have a divorce was one of history’s most narcissistic acts.

      Also in related news, 30,000 people have signed an online petition to return Alaska to Russia…Then Sarah Palin really would see Russia from her house!

    • Oh laughing LOUDLY Nomar (and I worked out for the first time in months yesterday so laughing is causing extreme pain, but is still well worth it chumps!)

  • Great column. I wonder, though, if celebrities just say these things to get the journalists off their back. Telling the truth would only backfire and end up making them look bad.

  • If I had oodles of moola I could have taken a more enlightened stance regarding my divorce as well. But as a member of the hoi polloi my script was written for me by the various bad actors I had to deal with.

    The Brits are really taking Gwynnie down off her pedestal:

    I love it.

  • Conscious uncoupling = DIVORCE

    Divorce = Pain. Suffering. Heartbreak. Financial Issues. Loss of Trust. Drama. Abandonment. Child Support Orders. Child Custody Orders. Co-Parenting, Parallel Parenting. Emotional Abuse. Verbal Abuse. Narcissistic Behavior. Lawyers’ Fees. Tears. Screams. Anger. Grief. ETC.

    Call it what you want, but it still sucks!

    Sugar coating it will only make you delusional and you can only fake it for so long.

    Welcome to our world Ms Gwyneth. It’s called Reality.

  • My mid twenties daughter wants me to be “friends” with my out there spouse who is still in his complicated affair and needs space. My younger twenties daughter pretends he is dead to deal with it. It is really hard to hear from your oldest that this wasn’t that big of a deal and I am being bitter.

    Just so you know, older kids say some shocking things…which at my girlfriends advice I should pull the I am your mom don’t talk to me card..which there is no way I am going to.

    I just watch the ball of crap that used to be a solid family and … wow.

    • Deb at least your children speak to you. My daughter (35) and my son (31) will not have a bar of me. They are blaming me for absolutely everything. If they did speak to me, I am sure I would be blamed for driving their weak gutless sire into the arms and groin of 20 year old Asian prostitutes. Of course it is my fault. I just happened to love, support and devote my life to the 3 of them and they have crapped on me from a great height. In fact, they are so disrespectful to me, I prefer the no contact. Their sire had no respect for me and he certainly never showed any and therefore the kids have none for me also. I will no longer take abuse from anyone not even my kids. They need to grow up along with their sire.

      • Deb, tell your daughter that of course you are bitter. Your husband cheated on you. And that you hope she will never come to understand, first hand, what that feels like. So sorry that she doesn’t understand; that must make it much harder for you.

  • If you can channel your inner goddess, childbirth will feel like an incredible life energy passing peacefully without pain. NOT. Love my child to pieces but I could have skipped the childbirth part.

    What concerns me is that some people actually believe in this BS and will take longer to heal when they figure out that conscious coupling is for the birds. They will berate themselves for not feeling as good and pain-free as articulated by the nonsense authors. You know how you heal? You allow yourself to feel the pain. No going around that unless you’re a sociopath. It’s being embraced by non-suspecting folks who simply want a short-cut through pain. It doesn’t exist but at least pain is finite.

    Give this story a few months. I’m sure we’ll see some interesting updates.

    • Yep: “You know how you heal? You allow yourself to feel the pain. No going around that unless you’re a sociopath.”

  • The process is very painful.

    STBX is an oathbreaker, pure and simple. Those vows he swore tied him to me. They made him part of my large and extended family, who welcomed him into their homes. His name was one of the first words my oldest niece spoke. He has been closer to my family than he has with his own blood.

    And now this.

    He didn’t unconsciously uncouple. He trainwrecked the lives of those who cared for him. And for what? For a woman who finally found a buyer for something she was giving away for free.

    • “He didn’t unconsciously uncouple. He trainwrecked the lives of those who cared for him. And for what? For a woman who finally found a buyer for something she was giving away for free.”

      You nailed it kb!

  • This is really important: “The notion that divorce should be free of baser emotions like grief and anger is still a solid part of our culture.” So far as I am concerned, this “notion” is just another dodge to evade and cover up and numb feelings–no different in emotional effect that abusing alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or food. How can divorce (even in the most optimal of situations) not involve grief? It’s the death of something–of an entity created by two people that held many hopes and dreams. It’s the death of a family. It’s the cracking apart of a world, usually for one partner who may not have wanted divorce and ALWAYS for the children. And even when there is no infidelity, there is the anger about being left behind, rejected, or in having been is a relationship that two people couldn’t figure out how to save. There is the loss of so much. So much to mourn.

    That said, what hurt me was not some “old injury”–it was a guy who made huge, “forever” commitments and then kicked me to the curb for a bimbo who can’t spell–and then told me we could never be “friends” because I caught his lying ass on FB and was upset about it. So while I still have the old wiring that makes me want to go back to the very good time we once had, there is no way I could be “friends” with someone who treated me as he did because there were three months of my life that I was not sure I would survive.

    I get the idea that what brings us to some partners is the need to work out our childhood “stuff.” That is certainly true for me. And I agree that many, many people have marriages that fail because of old injuries from childhood that leave them black holes of neediness or narcissism or incapable of intimacy or simply without a good model for marriage. But I survived a childhood so bad that my first therapist said “I might as well have been raised by wolves.” That clearly left me with a broke picker, since I have a pattern of men in my life who are, when the spackle falls off, are mean. Like my mother. So I don’t need to be “friends” with the Jackass who blew up my life; I need to work on that picker. To put kindness and reciprocity and loyalty at the top of the list. That is how to get past the “old stuff,” at least for me.

  • Jeebus, chumps. Y’all can write. I mean awe-inspiring, righteously venomous, turn your guts out and TESTIFY lines of no-bullshit realness. With Chump Lady at the helm, making gorgeous talent and trench wisdom look so effortless. This is a find, this place.

  • So, in order to really get this post I figured I had to look up who Gwyneth Paltrow is. I do watch movies and TV but I don’t really notice who is who unless they are impressive enough I want to see all their stuff. So her bio wasn’t impressive, she ain’t saving the world, she certainly no Rhodes Scholar. I still didn’t get why her opinion even matters? I mean, why did it piss so many people off as opposed to cracking most people up? So I finally read this thing on CNN where the ‘author’ of Conscious Uncoupling explains that both parties bring their own issues (true) and if there was cheating, the person cheated on contributed to it (not fuckin true). SO, yes, now I get it, but I still think her shit is funny and hell, her whole life appears to be all about appearances so WTF do I care what she thinks. I don’t. BUT, I WANT TO UNREAD THE CELEBRITY DRIVEL THIS CAUSED ME TO CONSUME… never again.

    • Kale chips with organic gluten-free beer might help. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • GP is an asshole of epic proportions. Why she would be considered relevant for anything other than the butt of late night talk show jokes and Kathy Griffin specials is beyond me.

  • My daughter was married with four little kids and then got a boyfriend (15 years younger than her) and cheated and divorced her husband. They told their kids some happy crappy about how they ‘were best friends’ but weren’t going to be married anymore. Mommy and daddy ‘fell out of love.’ I would never dream of telling those kids a word about their parents bullshit but they don’t trust me so they took my grandkids away and won’t let me see them anymore. My daughter is so worried about her cover that she will hurt her children by denying them family who loves them. Gawd all mighty.

  • This whole philosophy that somehow everything is a spiritual lesson that comes from inside us is about one thing…CONTROL. You know who it works for? Rich people and those people who have fairly charmed lives and are judgmental about other people’s shit. It’s control wrapped and sold as enlightenment and most dangerously as false compassion.

    “From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively. When we understand that both are actually partners in each other’s spiritual progress, animosity dissolves much quicker”

    If we never admit something bad happens to us (i.e. Divorce) then we don’t have to admit there’s some aspect of our lives we don’t have control over. We choose to have “enlightened” interactions about it because then no one but us gets to cause our emotions. I’m sure it’s a lot easier to pull this off when you can afford $1,000 facials and million dollar homes and go out and replace your entire wardrobe in one fell swoop. Then the only vulnerability you do have is those emotions. Gwyneth strikes me as a control freak. (pretty obvious with her food needs).

    My ex is not my spiritual teacher. The truth is I’m not sure that my picker was actually even that broke. Yes, now I’d be more apt to recognize a narc but I got conned by an expert, the same way decent intelligent people get defrauded out of their hard earned money by a professional financial con.

    Fix our pickers or not, shitty things happen. Divorce is one of those. Divorce because of a cheating partner is exceptionally shitty and unless Gwyneth wants to hand over her millions I refuse to be enlightened about my ex. True compassion is giving a shit about people who’ve been victimized and devastated, not this mindfuck reverse bullshit of making closeness with people who do this victimizing or blaming ourselves for it. It’s the philosophy of covering up rubbish with things that taste good to make it more palatable to ingest. I don’t know about the rest of you but long term that tends to make me spiritually sick.

    • “It’s the philosophy of covering up rubbish with things that taste good to make it more palatable to ingest.”

      Or as Mary Poppins would sing, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the “sandwich” go down…”

    • “The truth is I’m not sure that my picker was actually even that broke. Yes, now I’d be more apt to recognize a narc but I got conned by an expert, the same way decent intelligent people get defrauded out of their hard earned money by a professional financial con.”

      Yup, I got the Bernie-fuckin’ Maddoff of husbands,

      • Yep, I would agree with that assessment. They should be sharing a jail cell. Or a bench in hell. Or ball cancer.

  • Call it what you will but most relationships END because there are three people involved and not two. That’s the grown up hard real life lesson we all survived. I would have been happy if fucking his racquetball partner the last two years of our marriage was the only thing he did when he destroyed our marriage. It’s great to know I wasn’t imagining things when we were having sex those last few years too. Then I realized that he withdrew most of the equity in our home two years before telling me he wanted a divorce. Purchased and sold big ticket items, dumped (read that stole money from) the kids’ college funds, took us on vacations to run out our savings (this with two kids soon to be in college), and spent the two years it took us to divorce playing every dirty game in the book. Yeah my ex was a real winner. Oh! He also got a job working as a plaintiff in a family court just so he could learn exactly how to eliminate us from his life. He moved out of our custom home on twenty acres (I loved that home! It was so great when he moved out! ) He stopped paying the mortgage. My pay was 1/3 his, raising three kids and supporting a peace officer’s career….He stopped paying for college. Thank you to financial aid staff for helping my kids! He left me with everything we had acquired over 20+ years together. He not only ran off but he made sure my credit was ruined, house went into foreclosure. Ask me how my beautiful children are today. They are learning hard life lessons too. That you can never count on anyone. That you had better be the one you love best. That promises made are not always correct. That Dad will show up to your graduation because He actually believes he did you a favor. All the ugly drama. Last but not least while going through financial paperwork I discovered his HIV test. Dated two years before I ever knew about OW. Ask me if I give a diddly fuck about the father of my children. Uh…NO. He is dead to me. That is what a divorce does. It destroys families. Not that we can’t overcome this but it has made my life and my children’s a challenge to say the least. Chumps usually are the committed parent. Don’t let go. Your children will struggle, all children of divorce struggle. So let’s tell it like it is. Consciously Uncoupling, that’s just a word salad.

    • My ex did a lot of horrible things to me financially as well and I never got it. He was a told asshole during the whole thing, did his best to leave me homeless, openly said he hated me and the crux of the matter was that it was all about me discovering he’d been cheating for years and not pretending anything other than that destroyed our marriage.

      I still have a tough time believing anyone can be that awful to someone they spent several decades with and was professing their love to right up until the day I found out.

      So Goopy can suck it. She’s a snotty, self-entitled brat who sneers at 99% of the world.

  • Other than learning that these two broke up, I can only expect that she (and maybe the ex-husband too?) is treating this like the typical elitist, privileged fool she is. My guess is that TMZ probably already has pictures of Gwyneth or her now-ex-husband on a date with somebody (I think Gwyneth might have had an affair too, but I couldn’t say for sure). Long-term marriage over? Family busted up? No problem, they’ll get by and be fine and have dates again in a couple of weeks and all will be well with their world. Same attitude I got from the XW after I was dumped – “you’ll be dating in 6 months, no problem”. Self-serving nonsense to try to preserve the illusion that all is well and deny the truth so the affair can go on without any regrets or worries.

    (sorry about the rant, the XW really got under my skin today)

    • I never understood how celebrities or anyone could break up with someone and turn around and be dating ten minutes later. I think maybe I wolf bond or some shit. I have to be completely done with one relationship before I move on to another. But maybe that’s the what it is….whatever these people have it isn’t a “relationship”. A relationship involves investing in and caring about someone because of who they are. Not just making life with them until they find a more exciting or convenient “Plus 1”. And of course I guess if that person is a narc (taker) then they need to move on to their next feeding source.

      • I think for a very sizable percentage of celebrities, relationships are nothing but publicity stunts and business arrangements. Getting married = lots of publicity. Having kids = lots of publicity. A divorce brings more media attention. The entertainment field is filled with narcissists. It’s hard to make it to the top without the ruthless, single-minded determination and lack of conscience that narcs possess.

        Whenever I see one of those gossip rags at the checkout counter in the supermarket, cover ablaze with the latest celebrity marriage, breakup, “baby bump” or other gossip, I just laugh. None of that stuff means anything to the typical celebrity narc. Only the media spotlight is important. The rest is just minor details as far as they are concerned.

    • My ex told my kids that I’d find a guy in a bar within two months. I don’t actually go to bars more than a couple of times a year because, you know, I am home raising my kids, but in his mind this was how it would go. Bizarre.

  • I’m eating all these posts up. You guys are great!
    I just finished a useless $525 on 4 sessions of a ‘hyno-therapist’ over the phone. Today, my last (thank God session) was I brought up this conscious uncoupling to her. She was in TOTAL agreement (and seemed to have an orgasm when I brought it up!) Saying, ‘EXACTLY – see how that makes sense?” Prior to that, she had been trying to convince me that *I*, *ME* x 50% was at fault for my husband ‘straying’. She made me cry (or I made myself cry, I guess) for a week over that. I could not wrap my head around ANYTHING I DID TO CAUSE this earthquake in my life. I was a damn good wife, dammit! *I* Fer fuck sakes.
    So, yeah, I fired her.
    We do need a thread on therapists.
    Thanks for this post CL – wow.

    • Fuck that shit, SheChump, that’s just out and out counseling-sponsored abuse. How about– “let’s consider ‘how you are 50% responsible for your ex husband beating you?'”

      Utter quacks.

      Oh, and P.S.– your quack idiot ex-therapist made you cry.

    • SheChump- see my post above about how that crap is all about pretending we make things like this happen to us so we can think we can have control over it and how this philosophy is thrown at us by people out of “compassion” (or denial or idiocy).

      I AM SORRY YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH THAT!!!!! What a bitch!!!!! (Yes I am yelling)

      When something this painful happens we need someone to validate our feelings, (not blame us for it) and then tell it like it is, (that there IS right and wrong). You deserve better and this is not your fault. I am doing angry kicks right now. I may have to reclassify restless leg syndrome as wanting to kick the shit out of the stupid therapists I hear about on this site. Kick kick kick kickity kick.

      But hugs to you.

  • ‘Consciously Uncouple’ what a bunch of horse shit. I can’t even stand to read what the ‘movie stars’ say. Headlines screaming, ‘Kim Kardashian thinks this dress makes her butt look big’ ‘Lindsey Lohan in rehab again’ and other drivel. I can’t believe people are interested in this shit. Gwyneth Paltrow lost me when she named her kid Apple.
    All these people are like my X, as in NOT REAL. They look like real people but alas, they are not.

    And what Drew said. MOST marriages break up because there are three people in it. Those are the hard statistics. My X went from my bed to the OW’s within 24 hours. How would you even do that? How could a REAL person do that?? Obviously the disordered Narc is incapable of bonding. He’s went from one woman to the next his entire life. He’s never been single for nine minutes. There’s always another woman waiting in the wings for him.

    • Most of your last paragraph applies to my ex too. Left me immediately for the OW and has always had a woman in the wings and jumped from one to the next.

      • Mine tends to have several on a string and then jumps to whomever is most likely to buy his bullshit.

  • Gio – sorry, but that’s REALLY fucked up. How painful. We haven’t signed the ink yet on our divorce papers yet and I see he’s living with his mistress at the moment. I guess they don’t think a whit about the pain they’re causing. Jeezus, can they not wait for the papers to go through until we’re actually divorced.? Is that too much to keep the wiener to yourself? As long as this keeps happening, I’m in a real slow burn…and, we still have alimony to discuss. ha ha ha

    • Uh my cheater was on dating sites five seconds after me finding out his true nasty. He has had five “girlfriends” that I know about before I blocked all sources of information about him. And yeah, this was about three months after we got married and 2 months into my pregnancy. Sheesh, me writing that down makes me realize how disgusting he is. He did such a good job love bombing me with values and ethics. But I wouldn’t touch the man he ended up being revealed to be with a ten foot pole. And I’m not even talking about the creepy backroom sex stuff. I just look at the fact that the asshole abandoned his pregnant wife, and was out trolling for women two seconds later. Never once asked me about the gender of the child or how the baby is doing? Low class piece of trash.

  • Comment #170:

    I agree with the idea of “Conscious Uncoupling” as per the definition used by EnglishLady. Asshat consciously uncoupled with me over 10 yrs ago. HOWEVER, I was UNconscious about it via his gas lighting, deceit, emotional abuse.

    This crap definition really applies to marriages where there may be some sort of amiability AND 100% awareness by both parties of what’s happening in the relationship….as in CL’s blog post.

    I’m now curious to notice if asshat or the other therapists attempt to use this terminology in my sessions. I’ll let you know.

  • Researcher and speaker Brene Brown (A witty Texan) has a theory about what the overwhelming need to be so “special” (a la Paltrow and those like her) does to us as humans. It is part of her definition of narcissism….

    Brené Brown: “The overwhelming message in our culture today is that an ordinary life is a meaningless life unless you are grabbing a lot of attention and you have lots of Twitter followers and Facebook fans who know everything you know. I use the shame-based fear of being ordinary as my definition for narcissism. I definitely see it in younger generations, where people fear they are not big enough. No matter how happy and fulfilling their small, quiet life is, they feel it must not mean very much, because it’s not the way people are measuring success. Which is just terrifying.”

    There are a couple of her really good TED talks on youtube.

    • “The overwhelming message in our culture today is that an ordinary life is a meaningless life unless you are grabbing a lot of attention and you have lots of Twitter followers and Facebook fans who know everything you know.”

      OMG, this is an absolutely spot-on description of my ex. He actually told me that he felt contempt for me because I was “satisfied with mediocrity,” but he was destined for greater things.

  • So many who have been betrayed feel “less than” and tend to compare self to others Dr. Brown addresses that eloquently here…

    Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count
    ~Brene Brown

    She takes her inspiration from this quote…

    (Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  • When I put my head on the pillow at in a domestic violence shelter, conscious uncoupling was not what was on my mind.
    Great post. I appreciated that you mentioned this,”We’ve got addicts for exes. We worry every week what we’re sending our kid into, and will it meet the court’s steep criteria of immediate danger to my child and if so, do I have the money to fight about it?”
    Totally relate and am fed up with society who ignores abuse and addiction and dares to ask me if I am over all of that and living in harmony with the abusive addict.

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