Divorce is dirty and messy. Can calling it "conscious uncoupling" make the split less painful?
I have a friend who likes to send me Whatsapp messages about the latest news at all times of the day and night.
That was how I found out that American actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, singer in the British band Coldplay, are splitting up. "Cold turn," read my friend's message which woke me up early last Wednesday.
"They call it 'conscious uncoupling'," he added.
Yup, what ordinary folk term "divorce", Paltrow is describing as "conscious uncoupling".
That was the headline she used in a blog post announcing her 11-year marriage had ended.
She said that she and Martin have tried to make it work but have concluded that "while we love each other very much we will remain separate".
"We hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner," she added.
Now, news of couples divorcing is sad (even celebrity couples), especially when there are children involved (they have two.)
It is also understandable that they would want to keep their divorce as civil as possible, especially for the sake of the children.
But to label divorce "conscious uncoupling" is bound to get you ridiculed - which it did.