The Other Side of a Table and a Marriage

Monday, Nov. 21st 2011 10:09 AM

This is the second Frank Love guest blog by Sunshine Muse – a close friend with whom I regularly discuss the issues in my life and relationship. She is a life coach and a wise woman. The following is her presentation to you:

I am sitting across the table from my ex-husband. We are not touching; we never do anymore. But we are connecting deeply. His eyes and facial expressions indicate emotions: pain, remorse, love. I scan his body and imagine what’s beneath his clothes. I remember well the texture of his skin, his body hair, his lean muscles, even his scent – everything I know about him from years of love and marriage. Then I look back to his eyes and notice that he is present to me in a way that is rare. He is emotional, but there are no outbursts building or happening.

Our marriage has been over for more than two years. I love and know this man, but even amidst all of the emotion, familiarity and energy between us, at our table, I also know I do not want him back. By the grace of God, “back” isn’t something I’m looking for these days, but it is something I’m looking at.

Something is happening to me with regard to how I perceive my ex, and more importantly, how I understand myself as a player in our marriage. Triggered in the most beautiful and challenging ways by my current romantic relationship, I have the courage to look, with my eyes wide open, at who I was and wasn’t in my marriage. Healed from the pain of our breakup I find myself truly all right with how things are today, and with how things ended. The book has closed, and I will never read it the way I did when we first broke up. Instead, I open it and see some things through a very different lens – maybe the lens of self-love or the lens of responsibility, I’m not sure. But whatever it is, it rocks me with epiphany after epiphany, and all of them lead me to question my own historical conditioning, my own less- than- loving behaviors.

I am learning that being with me back then must have been very hard. I am realizing the depth of my unavailability, and beginning to understand why it was so deep and the route it ran through my heart. I am learning that while the end of my marriage was brutal, I had been cutting into its fabric regularly over the years and as I learn these things, I think of my ex often and long to acknowledge my new understanding and to gently apologize – which I do sometimes.

The night that I came face to face with how truly selfish I often was in my marriage, I felt shaken and wanted to reach out to my ex. He had repeatedly accused me of selfishness in our relationship, but I was too wounded to hear his truth. Now, through my current relationship, I am beginning to learn that there is a different way to be encouraged to look deeper. Now because of my failed marriage I am open, damn near eager, to do so. I am pleased that the man I’m dating does not accuse me of negative ways of being. I am sad that with my ex husband, I listened but could not hear.

On the other side of the table from my ex is me – the same woman he fell in love with, the same women who slowly broke his heart. But unlike when he knew me intimately, this woman is more of a risk taker in love, a listener in intimate relationship, a more mature (though not yet grown) version of the person that I was. On the other side of the table from me sits a man who hurts and deserves deep healing – a man who rages, if only inside, at his own choices and the damage they’ve done to the life he once thought he would build. I want to hug him, but we don’t touch anymore. Perhaps we will, though, on the next other side.

Sunshine is a life coach, family constellation facilitator and Bona fide Muse. She is currently completing her first book on the benefits of ending your marriage. E-mail her at museyou@live.com.

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Leave a Comment: Let Us Know Your Thoughts

How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

9 Comments on “The Other Side of a Table and a Marriage”

  1. Alan Allard Says:

    Very moving and touching story of courage, love and tenderness. Thank you for sharing your experiences of the past and present.

  2. THE SILVERBACK Says:

    Hmmmm, it’s really unfortunate that the ex-husband allowed himself to be broken down to his very last compound. But that is not the issue here, so allow me to retort:
    It’s very interesting how people use the term “Grace of God” these days… and, in the same breath preach and teach the opposite of what God teaches. In ALL that I have read, God does NOT authorize or support divorce in ANY way. Now let’s be clear. If someone is being physically abused, then yes, it’s time to go. Other than that, if you claim to be what you say you are, then you lean on God to fix your relationship and not your own understanding. I know plenty of people in marriages that were on the brink and they prayed, sought the RIGHT kind of counseling and now are on the RIGHT path. Folks please, please, PLEASE be careful who you listen to. Anyone who reads this topic should REALLY be careful who they take advice from. No matter who you are, or what you have achieved in life, if you are unfocused, then know that ENEMY can confuse intellects, as well as idiots. Look in the mirror righ now-what do you see? 2 ears and 1 mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak…..
    Frank, you are failing miserably in the area of advice and now you have solicited the help of another confused soul?! I am not going to judge because that is truly not my position, but, right now, I am going to pray for the both of you. Read James 1:19-20 EVERYDAY!

  3. Kelly Kennedy Says:

    I am always fascinated how “good” Christians are judgmental and claim not to be and that they are just acting in the name of there (loving) GOD. I think most times this has more to do with there own anger and bitterness than GOD and they hide behind GOD. I say there GOD because it is all about the relationship I or you have with GOD, each is different. Much like siblings all have a different relationship with the parents of the house hold. Then there is the statement “What God Teaches”. I find there to be a profound arrogance in this statement. Just like two different people reading the same book, each can get different meanings out of the same words. GOD may be teaching you one think and me another through the events or situation. Just like a man and a woman can have the unfortunate experience of a miscarriage. They each have pain, the pain is different for each of them but it is still pain. I think it is all dependent on the reader and there life experience. So that having been said, who am I to say that GOD is not speaking too, and bringing these people too a life stance of LOVE through the heart ache and pain of a divorce. In addition to this I don’t believe GOD intends for any of us to suffer and an unhappy marriage is a tremendous source of pain for the adults not to mention the children. Then there is the matter of the death of ones soul through living in a lifeless, passion less (this use of passion has nothing to do with sex) marriage.
    My experience of GOD does not come from a book, it comes from my experiencing GOD directly. Food For Thought

  4. Vera Steenhart Says:

    Reconstructing the history of what you’ve learned from all of your exes is a very valuable contribution to your life, because it states that you are not a victim, but a person that can cope and benefits from every experience in life, including also the less wanted

  5. THE SILVERBACK Says:

    Wow, for all these years the bible has been God’s word, but now today you speak and now the Bible is just another book. Frank, you see, yet another confused soul has chimed in. Are we really helping people with this blog? Let’s be clear, none of us are perfect, and none of us should expect others not to make a mistake and fail, but to write books that teach people how to fail, and how to break up families and promote divorce has nothing to do with God. The God I have read about and KNOW promotes order and not confusion. He promotes unity and not separation. I am not saying that you will not have trials in life. But the FACT is that most of us bring some of the problems we incur upon ourselves and more times than not, it’s because you have no relationship with God or an understanding of who God is. In simple terms, as an adult a selfless person doesn’t enter into a union with someone else and not promote the union. But if you see the bible which last I checked is the medium through which we develop a relationship with God as just a book, then your intellect(or maybe lack thereof-still too early to tell) has clouded your ability to see as well. Lastly, no bitterness or arrogance here. I speak facts and if the truth hurts, say ouch and keep moving. My intellect is telling me now that emotions are driving your decision making. You don’t know what I have been through. I am qualified and living proof that God promotes families and unity and has no concern for your happiness, but your joy and content. You are trying to put God in a box; He is far above your human rationalization.

  6. THE SILVERBACK Says:

    Okay. I will play along….Focus for a second. Let’s not lose sight of what is happening here. She admittedly jacked up her own marriage by being selfish, which is a negarive characteristic and now she is writing books on how to end a marriage? Where is the positive in this?

  7. Providing Value in Relationships | Frank Love Says:

    […] Media Resume « The Other Side of a Table and a Marriage […]

  8. Arnold Says:

    Silverback, you have accused someone of “putting God in a box; He is far above your human rationalization.” Did you say He?

  9. Ms. Carole Says:

    We don’t know the particulars of their marriage. We do know that people tend to approach marriage with due consideration. We don’t know the particulars of their divorce. Again, we do know that people tend to approach divorce with due consideration. Neither of these people created divorce; it’s been around a long time. I understand it is a difficult process at best. If her book can help someone through a potentially traumatic event like divorce then she is promoting unity. I believe that after living through difficulty and helping others through the same kind of experience, by showing your failures and successes, is exactly the kind of support God wants us to give one another.

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