Marriage & Separation (Part 2): Discovering True Love

by Angela Perin, Brisbane, QLD

By the time I came across Universal Medicine in 2010, my marriage of 20 years was really not in a good place. We had managed to work through some of our issues, and in many respects things were not ‘as’ bad as they ‘had’ been previously, but the underlying dynamics, and communication and behaviour patterns within our relationship remained, and neither of us could claim that we were really happy or content. Although I feel both of us previously had felt deep down that our relationship was not all it could be, none of the things we had tried to improve it (or ourselves) in the past had worked.

There was something missing.

What I came to understand through Universal Medicine was that this missing element was in fact ‘love’, that is ‘TRUE’ love… and that true love began with self-love. This realisation came with an awareness and honesty that there had been an absence of ‘self-love’ in our relationship from the outset, and in fact well before we ever got together. This had resulted in a relationship based on need, on being a certain way and doing certain things in order to meet or fulfil obligations or expectations, and an arrangement that was based on convenience and comfort. No wonder we were both frustrated and unhappy! (It also explained the many other relationships in my life – not only those with my children, but with my friends, family, work associates, etc.)

The process of building self-love into my life and daily routine started with re-connecting (listening) to my body and making choices based on how and what I felt in my body. In addition to the physical choices I began to make (such as going to bed early, choosing not to drink alcohol or coffee, avoiding foods which made me feel racy, dull, heavy and bloated [which included sugar, gluten and dairy] etc.), I also began to say ‘no’ to abusive behaviours (from myself, my husband, my children and others). And by abuse, I mean anything that was not self-loving – not only in the way I physically looked after my body, but also in communication and the ‘way’ I spoke and that others spoke to me, the language that was used, wanting to please others, being a martyr, etc. (the list could go on!).

I began the process of allowing myself to deeply feel my own hurts and sadness that I had buried for so long, and to accept responsibility for my choices (including my marriage) with an understanding that I had made these choices because there had been a lack of love for myself (which ultimately, only I was responsible for). I learnt that it was not about blame, judgment (of self or others), or recrimination, but simply that I had an opportunity to make a different (loving) choice in each and every single moment.

At this time, I identified that although the marriage had not been based on love (by this time, we were in effect cohabiting and still running a business together), I also realised that the answer was not to ‘escape’ or run away from the marriage. I knew that if I left the relationship in anger and resentment, or out of frustration and blame, that this would not reflect ‘self-love’ (for self-love is love for self and another equally and leaves no-one feeling less), and that the underlying sadness and hurt would still be there, only to resurface in another relationship.

So in order to build any foundation of love, I realised I needed to first build it (self-love) within myself.

Of course, this process was not always easy (for either of us, including our children) – there were many ideals and beliefs that I had lived my life by that were exposed and that I did not want to let go of. Many of these were entwined in the institution of our marriage, including what I had identified myself with (including being a wife, mother, business partner etc.), the material possessions we had acquired, the comforts and convenience of our business and the life we had established, fear of living on my own, etc..

Although the choice to self-love was simple, the practical implications of this in daily life were not always easy and brought with it a range of different physical and emotional considerations, all of which impacted on us differently as individuals and as a family. In the 2 years following, there were many times that it was difficult and it was not always pleasant. There were lots of feelings that came up (including sadness, hurt, anger, resentment, judgment, blame, etc.) that each of us worked through in our own way and timing (and continue to work on).

It must be said that in truth, in all the years we had been together prior to that, there were many, many times that were equally as difficult and unpleasant, however during that particular period there was little that was based on truth or true change, and so any improvements that occurred frequently only offered a temporary feeling of relief, escape or distraction. Underneath, the feelings of emptiness, dissatisfaction and discomfort had remained. In stark contrast, basing choices on self-love was often difficult on a practical level, but the choice itself was an easy one, and was one which I knew deep within was the only way to bring about true change.

And true change is what finally began to occur in our relationship.

We were able to identify the basis of our marriage and be honest about the reasons we were still staying together. In essence, we were married and living together because it was convenient and comfortable, and allowed us to maintain a certain lifestyle, but not because we were ‘in’ love with each other or wanting to connect with each other in a more intimate relationship. Based on this new foundation of self-love, we recently made the decision to separate.

Although we had ‘considered’ this a number of times during our 20+ year marriage, for the very first time, this decision was actually based on ‘true’ love. It was a decision that although not taken lightly, reflected ‘truth’ about ourselves as individuals and our relationship, and was done in a way that was mutually supportive and respectful – and without animosity or recrimination.

It has actually been an amazing experience and has given our family the opportunity to experience that there ‘is’ a different way to be in relation to marriage and separation, a way that is about ‘true’ love.

Part 1: Marriage & Separation (Part 1): Failure versus True Love
Part 3: Marriage & Separation (Part 3): there ‘is’ a Different Way
Sequel: My Date with my Ex: Re-Imprinting with Love

159 thoughts on “Marriage & Separation (Part 2): Discovering True Love

  1. It is lovely to hear how you returned to a true foundation from which to decide your way ahead, it is especially lovely when both partners do that together, and find the true way forward.

  2. Anger resentment and blame are emotions I have used to not feel where my responsibility for the situations I found myself in lay. I can relate to expecting others to be a certain way so that I feel comfortable. Its very toxic. It took me a long time to stop blaming others and put the spotlight on how I had been living. Seeing that everything I did was a choice allowed me to also see that I could make different choices.

  3. Angela this is a very positive and inspirational sharing. When we have a family it is extremely important to make a smooth transition when that family is separating. To have a relationship with your ex partner and respect for each other makes a huge difference to the outcome for all. I admire the fact that you were building a relationship with yourself, thanks to your involvement with Universal Medicine and the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom presented by Serge Benhayon.

  4. If there is something missing in any relationship it gnaws at you until you expose it. But the blessing is that once exposed, you have the opportunity to heal it.

  5. How many of us have accepted less than we know is true or loving in our relationships? Getting honest is a great first step. How inspiring Angela, that the choice to be in true relationship with yourself lead to what followed.

  6. Your level of honesty is amazing Angela, that after 20 years you can say that the relationship was not based on love. That in itself is a revelation and something that allows so much growth with just that awareness.

  7. Honesty fills up our lives, the world, and the universe with light, this is such an open article that really looks at the quality of relationships and what they are truly based on. Awesome to read.

  8. Staying together for the sake of it or for the comfort or convenience of maintaining a lifestyle are not good reasons. I stayed together for the children but if I had bothered to ask them they would have said don’t stay together for us. If there is no love in a relationship and it has become an arrangement better by far to go one’s separate ways but without any judgement or animosity. Continuing to work on the relationship after separation also feels important and can make a huge difference to all concerned.

  9. “In essence, we were married and living together because it was convenient and comfortable”. I sure recognize this one Angela, and it is not always easy to admit that this is the case as we are attached to the comfort and convenience yet once we can be honest about this it opens a window so the fresh air can blow through the relationship, even if it means separation. Otherwise we just hold each other back and the relationship stays stagnant which is a great breeding ground for argument and blame.

  10. We cannot find true love without first establishing self-love. Otherwise we will just be looking for love from someone and this will place demands on them. When there is lack of love for ourselves we tend to make unloving choices and can even attract abuse within a relationship. Once we understand this then we do not so readily blame ourselves or others and can then take responsibility to make self-loving choices.

    1. And as highlighted in this blog, self-abuse can take many forms – wanting to please another or be a martyr, holding back and contracting – any form of playing less or more is self-abusive and affects all of our relationships.

  11. Though we ‘work through our issues’ unless we get to the root cause we are only making our relationship better which means it can sometimes be worse. This blog points to the missing ingredient: ‘True love’, which can only be found once we establish a basis of self-love.

  12. Building a relationship based on self-love offers a true foundation for that relationship, one based on responsibility for the self rather than expectation of the other. I have finally chosen such a relationship for myself – after years of choosing the other way and feeling empty and needy as a result. The difference is very clear. There is no finger pointing but simple self-responsibility. We do not blame each other for how we feel, we look to ourselves and our choices and see how we have created our feelings ourselves. It is a very beautiful way to be in relationship. If we were to choose to separate, I know such a decision would also be made lovingly, with responsibility and honouring the right we all have to make a different choice in life if it feels loving to do so. Love is not a selfish choice but a choice for all. Self-love in relationship is as shared here, love for the other just as much as it is for the self.

    1. Looking “to ourselves and our choices and see how we have created our feelings ourselves” is so empowering as we are not at the whim or control of another.

  13. It’s amazing to feel how being being committed to true love within a relationship, this can mean being together yes, but that also the most loving thing for both is to separate. This is still true love and allow both parties the space and respect to build more self-love.

  14. There is a freedom that is offered in letting an old arrangement finish… a freedom to express without the protection or the need to make something better so you can co-habit again, but actually encourage yourself and the other to grow no matter what. If we hold back to keep the peace in the short term, we are robbing ourselves and the other person of the opportunity to make a change that can hold us back a whole lifetime.

  15. Thanks for sharing your honesty Angela, it takes a lot of letting go to realise that a relationship may not be built on true love and only serves to keep the show running on a few temporal levels, it seems like with what you have shared, if a relationship is not based on true and equal love to begin with then anything that comes from that or is depending on that will not last or will cause issues!

  16. Divorcing with true love is definitely something the world is blessed by. There are too many angry and sad divorces that are giving us totally the idea divorce is the worst thing you could do yet it can be the most loving thing to do.

  17. I love that through the commitment to self love you were able to see what true love in a relationship was and then base your choices, and separate as a reflection of this… knowing separation to be the true course of action. When we base things on wants and needs, complications can arise, but when things are founded on love the needed movements are simple and allow an expansion of everything we are.

  18. If we let go the mental thoughts and beliefs how thing things should be and we let the natural flow of ourselves unfold we feel what is the next step for our evolution.

  19. To share that a connection to true love came from a separation from a union is a truly amazing read for everyone. There is so much stigma still attached to how we should feel after the end of a relationship which it often been labelled as a “breakdown”. This in itself, brings with it a whole load of ideals and beliefs that stops everyone from feeling that the level of true love can come from making choices to stop cycles that no longer support both parties and are not broken or damaging but healing and freeing.

  20. “simply that I had an opportunity to make a different (loving) choice in each and every single moment” When we realise that we are where we are because of the choices we have made we can start to make choices that we can feel in our body are made from true love.

  21. When a relationship is founded on need and those foundations are never relayed nor strengthened with the power of mutual true love, what is built can sometimes be the equivalent of a house of cards that falls when it is exposed to the elements of time and has to weather the inevitable storms of daily human life.

  22. “What I came to understand through Universal Medicine was that this missing element was in fact ‘love’, that is ‘TRUE’ love… and that true love began with self-love.” I agree, it was not real for me until I included self-love into the equation, anything before then was merely an arrangement, nicely worked out between two parties.

  23. “I learnt that it was not about blame, judgment (of self or others), or recrimination, but simply that I had an opportunity to make a different (loving) choice in each and every single moment.”What a golden lesson to learn and apply in all areas of your life and all relationships.

  24. Wow.. what a supportive and loving way to end a marriage, leaving neither of you as less, but both of you getting really honest about the true reasons for staying together – and not compromising for less than love.

  25. Angela, how loving this whole process was. You didn’t run away which would have been an easy option, and although things were not always pretty, I’m inspired by how you and your family allowed the process and came to an understanding and a decision that felt true for all.

  26. A breakup like this is an opportunity for us to look at what we personally have created and allowed and so reflect on how we are living, its not just a relief to escape something that we have equally created.

  27. Its worth repeating Angela, that when we choose love, there can be difficulty, awkwardness and tension that comes. It may not last for long but as unloving situations are cleared out of your life the process can be hard. It’s a million miles away from the fairy tale stories we hear of romantic love, but boy oh boy it sure is magical in its own way.

  28. I love the honesty in your blog Angela, when we start to build a truer foundation for ourselves, we also offer another a greater understanding, and through that understanding there is always a way forward, it is amazing what we are offered when we no longer hold back the truth we feel.

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