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  • Writer's picturePaul Hopkins

Page 10: But there was something missing?

This happened to me. Mitchell and I had two sets of friends. Those friendships were totally different but both good. Interestingly, we met the louder couple twenty-three years after the first and I loved it. I did find a whole new realm of fun; it was a different fun, a more full-on kind of fun. But the two friendships equally meant the same. Anyway, the point being that we learn, we change, and we need to deal with that change in the right way.

But anyway, Mitchell and I would still do things like holidays and go out for meals, but there was something missing, for me personally anyway. I was finding that conversation was missing, or habitual and dull, thoughtless even. There was little or no substance to the conversation, it was as though we just were not interested in what either one of us had to say. We had no hobbies, no interests other than to go on holiday, or walk around the shops and get a coffee, there was no substance or stimulation, nothing. I always felt like I was starting the conversation and then it would turn into a bit of an argument, or I just felt that Mitchell was not interested, or she was defensive. Oh, I hear you cry, the defensive route!

The trouble was, the more we drifted apart the bigger the problem appeared and it started to manifest itself as irritations, rather than just dull and habitual. I would laugh at things on TV and Mitchell wouldn’t, I would look across to her to see if she was laughing too, but nothing, not even a titter. So I would start to question what the hell was going on, was this woman actually switched on?

I was, however, trying to push for a way back. So, for example I was suggesting activities that we could do together. I suggested going to the gym together, to get fit and to look good. Mitchell was a little heavier and I thought if we did this together it would connect us and be less of a chore. My reasoning was we were both mid-forties and should be looking our best for each other. I mean, Mitchell has a fantastic figure and if she toned a little she would look damn hot. Anyway, the gym, no go. I thought about yoga. I thought work was sometimes stressful for us both at times, so some stretching, and relaxation would be a good, you know, mind and body experience and bring about a good talking point. There wasn’t much interest. I started doing yoga in the living room and talking about the benefits to try and encourage but to no avail. I think I just became annoying. Yoga, no go. I thought biking would be a good hobby. I bought Mitchell a nice bike and tried to encourage her to start biking. She washed the bike, put it in the shed, and it was not touched for at least a year. I bought a bike and ended up going for bike rides on my own, or with other people. We did in the end start a little bit of biking together but by that time it was too late as I was already engrossed in the affair, so my mind was not on our marriage but on the affair, so unfortunately that was dismissed. So, biking no go.

I encouraged Mitchell to go out with friends and have good times. I thought that way we would be able to talk about her nights out; that didn’t happen. I spoke about moving to a new house as I didn’t really like the house we were in and I thought that if we move it would give us both a connection in that we could design, paint and build together. Nothing – Mitchell was happy where she was.

I was trying to get something… something… anything, but nothing was reaching her. I realise now that her job was more stressful and draining than I knew and that she was probably emotionally drained every day by the time she got back home to me. But the sad thing was, she never talked to me about it, so I was unaware. Basically, my view of Mitchell was this: she was a lovely person, worked hard at work, came home and worked at home, put washing on, dusted, cooked, etc, I tried to say leave it, but no. Small irritating things like cooking tea, putting the plates of food on the table but instead of sitting down and eating with me, she would go back to clean the kitchen, leaving me there with two plates of food going cold. I would start eating, but by the time Mitchell came through I had finished, no connection there.

It had become a daily repeat like Groundhog Day, seemingly unavoidable and uncontrollable. I had invited Mitchell into my world time after time. Simple actions like swinging on a hammock and inviting Mitchell on so that we could gently sway in the sunshine, chatting and giggling about nothing more than the small things in life that we found interestingly funny. Sadly, there was no acceptance to the invites and the door was slowly closing. Soon to be closed and locked, with us both on different sides. Fatal?

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