I appreciate your feedback on the "thing" in my dining room. I do believe that I received more advice about my marriage than about the "thing." However I did get some good ideas about it (and marriage).
It's funny - I did just get my dream kitchen pretty much 100% as a result of the efforts of my husband. So yes, I should be fine releasing this "thing" - and in a manner of speaking I am. not really because of the kitchen, but because of my role as Pete's wife. Years and years ago I was privileged to me mentored by an awesome godly mom of three (two girls and a boy, imagine that! - but her's was girl, boy, girl). CL took precious time to spend with me and give me guidance on the nuances of being a wife.
Many pieces of her wisdom have stuck with me over the years but one in particular stands out... She reminded me that the purpose of the homemaker was to make the home a place of peace. When her husband came home from a long day of giving of himself in ministry, she did her best to have the house fairly tidy and some sort of food in progress. It was all for the goal of providing a place (and being a person) that is at peace. A peaceful home is a beautiful gift.
I strive to create a peaceful home. So many of you reminding me to not allow a two foot tall metal object to create a division between us... you guys were spot on. As I thought about it...Pete doesn't think it's beautiful. It doesn't add to his peace. So I'm removing it.
The cool news is...his idea (inspired by hearing all of your ideas) is to keep it for my craft items...in the room our friends and family stay in when they visit...where I keep my special chair...where Pete rarely goes. Yay, solved! Thanks for your help!