Conscious Uncoupling

Conscious Uncoupling

For years I've wondered why we, as modern-day humans, try to "fit ourselves into things".  We try to fit into our clothes.  We try to fit into our social groups.  We try to fit into contrived collective categories.  We try to fit into out-dated traditional roles.  We do all this, often times, to our detriment.  Why?

I realize that from an evolutionary standpoint, we tried to fit in as a means of survival.  But we are no longer  living in the paleolithic era.  What if our ideas, expectations, categories, and traditions evolved along with us?  I suspect there would be A LOT less unnecessary anxiety, fear, and hostility.  And yes, a part of my "job" (aka purpose) is to contribute to the expansion of peace, love, and joy experienced by every individual.  So I offer the following article from Goop.com.  If you're not ALIVE in your relationship, while there are many factors to consider and likely an element of personal growth (coaching) that could change that, read this revolutionary piece on conscious uncoupling.

 

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

Divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved—and there’s arguably no salve besides time to take that pain away. However, when the whole concept of marriage and divorce is reexamined, there’s actually something far more powerful—and positive—at play.

The media likes to throw around the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. It turns out that’s accurate: Many people are concerned about the divorce rate and see it as an important problem that needs to be fixed. But what if divorce itself isn’t the problem? What if it’s just a symptom of something deeper that needs our attention? The high divorce rate might actually be a calling to learn a new way of being in relationships.

Until Death Do Us Part

During the upper Paleolithic period of human history (roughly 50,000BC to 10,000BC) the average human life expectancy at birth was 33.[i] By 1900, U.S. life expectancy was only 46 for men, and 48 for women. Today, it’s 76 and 81 respectively.[ii] During the 52,000 years between our Paleolithic ancestors and the dawn of the 20th Century, life expectancy rose just 15 years. In the last 114 years, it’s increased by 43 years for men, and 48 years for women.

What does this have to do with divorce rates? For the vast majority of history, humans lived relatively short lives—and accordingly, they weren’t in relationships with the same person for 25 to 50 years. Modern society adheres to the concept that marriage should be lifelong; but when we’re living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we’re living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime.

To put in plainly, as divorce rates indicate, human beings haven’t been able to fully adapt to our skyrocketing life expectancy. Our biology and psychology aren’t set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades. This is not to suggest that there aren’t couples who happily make these milestones—we all hope that we’re one of them. Everyone enters into a marriage with the good intention to go all the way, but this sort of longevity is the exception, rather than the rule. It’s important to remember too, that just because someone is still married doesn’t mean they’re happy or that the relationship is fulfilling. To that end, living happily ever after for the length of a 21st century lifetime should not be the yardstick by which we define a successful intimate relationship: This is an important consideration as we reform the concept of divorce.

End of the Honeymoon

Nearly everyone comes into a new marriage idealizing their partner. Everything is perfect in their minds because they’ve misidentified what marriage is really about. As far as they’re concerned, they’ve found the love of their life, the person who understands them completely. Yes, there will be hiccups in the process, but by and large, there’s no more learning left to do. They’ll both be the same people 10 or 20 years from now as they are today. When we idealize our partners, things initially go very well as we project positive qualities onto them. This is called the honeymoon phase.

Sooner or later, the honeymoon ends and reality sets in. This is usually when we stop projecting positive things onto our partners and begin to project our negative issue onto them instead. Unfortunately, this creates a boomerang effect as these negative issues always come right back to us, triggering our unconscious and long-buried negative internal objects, which are our deepest hurts, betrayals, and traumas. This back-and-forth process of projection and aggravation can escalate to the point where it impacts our psychic structure with even more trauma.

Because we believed so strongly in the “until death do us part” concept, we see the demise of our marriage as a failure, bringing with it shame, guilt, or regret. Since most of us don’t want to face what we see as a personal failure, we retreat into resentment and anger, and resort to attacking each other instead. We’ve put on our armor and we’re ready to do battle. What we don’t realize is that while a full body shield may offer a level of self-protection, it’s also a form of self-imprisonment that locks us inside a life that repeats the same mistakes over and over again.

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