In Under 300 Words: ‘Conscious Uncoupling’

By Purnima BalrajuMay 12, 2017

The spotlight in May is on Katherine Woodward Thomas’s book, ‘Conscious Uncoupling’. What does this oxymoron mean? More importantly, why this book can help you.

Book review on handling divorce

There are divorces and then there are bad divorces. Both parties get caught up drawn out custody battles and communicating only with a lawyer present. It is draining and by the end of it you feel anything but free.

There are good divorces too. Author, Katherine Thomas, shares her painful experience of separation – honest, personal and reflective, it will leave you redefining divorce. Although ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ was popularised by Gwyneth Paltrow’s separation from Chris Martin, Thomas first coined it. It perfectly summed up her own amicable divorce (if divorces can be friendly). The result? She felt whole and manage to maintain a functioning family unit without losing her ex-husband and daughter.

“As much as I had yearned for a happy ending to my less than happy childhood, in an odd twist of fate I seemed to have stumbled upon a new kind of happy ending. A way to end a romantic union with dignity, goodness, and honor, and where no one was left shattered or destroyed by the experience.” – Katherine Woodward Thomas

Is this even possible?

After her successful experience, she replicated it by coaching couples on it since 2011. Don’t get her wrong, she believes in marriage. She just values the dissolution, if it comes to it, to be civil and wholesome.

A couple being coached in their divorce

Why You Should Read It?

  1. Self-help books have too many steps and they seem overwhelming with trying to juggle the divorce and the rest of your life. ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ has only 5-steps. You can envision the end in sight, finally! Each chapter is a key milestone to uncouple consciously. The apt quotes, feels like the book is your best friend, giving you some much needed TLC.

Coaching uses visualisation techniques

2. Thomas challenges your very definition of ‘happily ever after’. We have been brought up thinking that it means a strong marriage (no thanks to Disney, of course). Thomas confronts that myth by expanding that definition to happiness and growth of self – regardless of whether this is achieved within a marriage.



Why You Shouldn’t Read It?

The book’s personal tone seems like Thomas is having a conversation with you. Unfortunately on some paragraphs she rambles. It dangerously becomes a one-sided conversation. You don’t get the space to reflect on the advice she gives.

This is an opinion on the writing style. You might find the format refreshing – readable and engaging.

Verdict: Read it (if you have the stamina when she digress).

I did learn some useful tips on how to let go of ego when a relationship ends. I’m sure you can learn how to realise your ‘happily ever after’ and walk away from any relationship with good feelings.

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