We live in a culture of throw away marriages. As a culture getting married appeals to the vast majority, but after 34 years as a marriage and family therapist I have noticed that staying married doesn’t have the same appeal.
I grieve when I pick up yet another magazine reporting that a celebrity marriage has bit the dust. In March 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were the poster children for “conscious uncoupling”. After ten years of marriage they were separating and very empathetically wanted that choice to cause the least amount of damage possible to their children. I grieved the impact that this break up would have on couples worldwide even as I rejoiced that they were not going to use their children as a weapon of hostility targeted at each other.
At the same time I started to envision another movement, one that I would define as “conscious coupling”. That movement would involve partners who are each intentional about becoming a conscious couple.
What might that look like?
- Conscious coupling is created by two conscious lovers. Lovers who in their separateness choose to be intentional, attached, and alert.
- Conscious lovers are aware and committed to the possibilities for love and growth in a marriage relationship in a way that is viewed as a positive step by their spouse.
- Conscious lovers believe that their lives individually and as a couple will be enriched if each of them is taking personal responsibility for their attitudes, words and actions.
- Conscious lovers choose to be both friends and lovers.
- Conscious lovers welcome their partner as a co-parent when there are children involved.
- Conscious lovers choose to place themselves in a community that values marriage. They surround themselves with couples who are seeking to build a conscious relationship with their spouse and who support others to do the same.
- Conscious lovers choose to marry for life and they choose to learn how to love the partner they have chosen.
- Conscious lovers are aware that in order to live as conscious lovers, they need to have a higher power, Jesus Christ, to be their source of love, grace, truth, and forgiveness.
One conscious lover can make an incredible difference in a marriage relationship, but for conscious coupling to become a reality, it requires two conscious lovers.
Until our next Conscious Loving blog…