I am angry because I think 'unconscious uncoupling' is a nice phrase and an nicer idea. I think it's a really, really good idea. We live in a world where marriages end. That is reality. Devising new ways to refer to it that don't carry a ton of negative baggage is a good thing. News ways to 'do' it is even better.
'Divorce' is almost a cliche for unreasonable anger and destructive behavior. To use the term is to denigrate your soon-to-be ex. Saying you are doing it invites sympathy and suggestions for how to hurt your partner. Worse, it is an accurately negative characterization of the process for most people. People (and the commentators about Paltrow's situation confirm this egregiously) think they are supposed to be hateful if the get a divorce.
But, what if it's just time to stop being married? Why do people who don't want to hate have to share that nasty, loaded word? More importantly, why do they have to participate in that nasty, loaded activity.
To hear Paltrow explain it, she and her husband do not want to engage in the hatred game and, to emphasize that for themselves and their children, they don't want to use that word. Because they don't want to feel badly, injure their children and otherwise behave unethically, they want to *do* something other than 'divorce.'
Good for them. "Uncoupling" sounds like a correct word for changing from being a couple to being a couple no more. It works for trains. It's not like it's a stupid made-up word. And, being conscious about what you do is a good thing in, basically, all situations.
I like it. I think that it should be a phrase that comes fully into the lexicon and, much more importantly, I think people that don't want to be married any more should forego the negative process and emotion associated with the D-world and choose to be kind to each other as they unwind their marriage. I think that conscious uncoupling sounds like a really good idea.