On Tuesday evening, Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin made the shock announcement they were splitting up. The couple, who have been married for ten years and have two children together, decided to reveal their separation on Gwyneth's lifestyle website Goop, in a post they had titled 'Conscious Uncoupling'.
Shortly after the post went up, the website crashed. But not before media outlets had shared the couple's message.
Gwyneth and Chris have decided to "conciously uncouple"
"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," husband and wife wrote.
"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."
The internet quickly picked up on their unique description of marital separation - and in the hours that followed, Gwyneth shared a second post on her website, titled Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami on Conscious Uncoupling.
The text is an examination of the concept of marriage and divorce that argues that the high divorce rate (50 per cent) "might actually be a calling to learn a new way of being in relationships".
Gwyneth and Chris announced their separation on her blog Goop
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.
Conscious Uncoupling, the name Gwyneth and Chris chose to give to their marital separation announcement, begins by saying that to change the concept of divorce "we need to release the belief structures we have around marriage that create rigidity in our thought process".
"The belief structure is the all-or-nothing idea that when we marry, it's for life. The truth is, the only thing any of us have is today. Beyond that, there are no guarantees. The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone," it reads.
The couple in happier times
"…If we can recognise that our partners in our intimate relationships are our teachers, helping us evolve our internal, spiritual support structure, we can avoid the drama and experience what we call a 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.
"… From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively," it concludes. "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."