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Conscious Uncoupling: Divorce in the 21st Century – Part 3

Choosing to Transition Out of a Marriage with Grace and Kindness

Celebrity divorces are no longer shocking. But what grabs the headlines and gets the internet twittering is not terse press releases from the stars’ publicists. But statements such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s announcement. “After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children.” This decision offers a practical alternative to a contentious situation.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s website post about her conscious uncoupling from husband Chris Martin generated both smirks and confusion. The term may be a bit awkward but the concept of conscious uncoupling, first introduced by relationship therapist Katherine Woodard, opens an avenue to healthier family relationships within the framework of divorce. It can help to reframe our culture’s high divorce rate as a calling to learn a new way of being in relationships.

“At a time when we might be tempted to behave badly, we instead choose to interrupt and redirect the snowballing momentum of potentially hostile and aggressive actions, consciously turning things in a more harmonious direction by a disarming gesture of genuine goodness and grace,” says Woodward.

Sounds noble, lofty even, doesn’t it? Perhaps. But why shouldn’t we aspire to transition out of a marriage with the person we loved in a way that acknowledges the good parts of that relationship? Especially if we have children. A divorce mediation service can be extremely helpful to couples wrestling with their anger, fear, regret and sorrow. “What works best is a full service mediation service, one where clients can get expert and compassionate emotional, financial and legal guidance ,” says Barbara Mainhart, outreach coordinator for the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation.

As more and more couples reject both lengthy and expensive legal battles and quickie divorces in favor of mediation, they and their families can choose a mediation program, like Alpha’s, that offers a path to a better future.

For Woodward’s entire article, click here .

©2017Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation

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