Monthly Archives: March 2014
The term ‘conscious uncoupling’ is everywhere since Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to separate. But what does this trendy new term actually mean?
Many relationships end; it is a sad reality. Conscious uncoupling accepts a relationship has run its course. It accepts the myriad of difficult feelings that crash in at this time. In basic terms, conscious uncoupling simply means to practice emotional maturity and resilience.
To practice conscious uncoupling, couples make a positive commitment to close their relationship without causing further harm to each other, and especially to their children. This may not be easy – it takes genuine commitment and maturity. The following tips may help.
Five steps to achieve conscious uncoupling
1) Accept the relationship is over; do not dwell on who did what. If necessary, difficult feelings can be worked through in therapy. Adopt a helicopter stance – this means not descending into the territory of mudslinging. Instead, focus on the practicalities needed to design a new life for both of you. It is not about winning a war with your ex. It is about surviving now in order to thrive in future.
2) Be thankful for the positives that occurred in the relationship. The fact that it has gone sour does not remove or reduce the positive experiences that occurred along the way. Perhaps the end of the relationship is a sign that there are new challenges and opportunities for self-fulfilment ahead.
3) Make good decisions about the children, and don’t use the children to score points. When children are caught in the middle of a parental turf war, their emotional health is harmed, sometimes permanently. By consciously uncoupling, you are showing your children that difficult issues can be resolved without bitter dispute. This is very powerful modelling.
4) Accept that your relationship is over, but you remain parents to your children.
5) Consider using mediation and/or psychotherapy to enable progress when things get tough.
In essence, the term conscious uncoupling is an on-trend term for using emotional maturity during the divorce or separation process. The theory behind conscious uncoupling isn’t a passing fad – just a new description of the mature and emotionally intelligent way to work through the end of a relationship.
To find out more about family therapy with Christine Tizzard Psychology, click here.
Written by Dr Chrissie Tizzard, Chartered Consultant Psychologist, PsychD, BSc, MSc, C.Psychol, C.Sci, AFBPS. Dr Tizzard is the Clinical Director of Christine Tizzard Psychology (ctpsy.co.uk).
Has your relationship become boring? Is it a little staid? The truth is boredom happens from time to time even in the best of relationships. It does not necessarily mean it has to be over. This dull place could actually provide an opportunity to breathe life into it.
1) Talk about it
It’s time to be open with one another. Why not sit down with a glass of wine. Using open questions, take turns to ask each other what would make the relationship better.
Try to see the relationship as something that you can both improve. Something that can be worked on and something than can be great in the future.
It’s funny, many people spend hours of their time improving their home or honing skills, few spend any serious time thinking about growing a relationship.
2) Prioritise Sex
Schedule time for sex. When there is emotional distance or friction in a relationship, there is usually less intimacy. This distance often escalates, it becomes very difficult to reconnect.
Making love leads to an increase in oxytocin. This is the hormone associated with bonding. Communication will become easier. It may seem very unromantic scheduling time for sex into your diary but it is important.
3) Restart old habits. What did you used to do when love was new? Why not revisit those old habits. It will make you both feel good and alive again.
4) Schedule regular dates or short breaks away
Often relationships begin to fail through boredom. Life often becomes a routine of juggling work, paying bills and caring for the kids. Demands on time have never been higher. Relationships inevitably take a backseat. This is usually not through laziness, but simply due to the demands of 21st century living.
Scheduling regular time together, free from distractions is an investment in yourselves. That investment will pay dividends getting you through the tough times and leading to exciting times ahead.
5) Begin a new hobby together
It is a well-known fact that learning a new skill together creates intimacy, deepens friendship and generally puts back the zing into a relationship. Choosing a new interest is the beginning of the fun.
6) Design a future together
Psychologists will tell you that people who are successful usually visualise their success. They spend time thinking what success will look and feel like. These people follow thoughts of success by putting steps into place that will allow them to reach their goals. A relationship can be treated in the same manner. The first step is constructing a flexible blueprint. This will serve as a map to creating the relationship you want.
Written by Sheehan Brooke Psychology providers of psychological well-being services throughout the UK. We are able to provide a full range of psychological services including couple and family therapy.