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  • Paul Hopkins

Experience is a great teacher: A page a day

Updated: Aug 26

Let’s go back in time: The marriage.

Ok, my marriage and some history.

We got married in 1990.

In 2015 we went to Rome (I mention Rome as it is relevant later in the story) and celebrated our twenty-five-year anniversary.

Twenty-five years. I won’t bore you with the details, but we like a lot of people went through some hard times. We have never been financial wealthy and everything we have, we have worked hard for.

I struggle a bit here, because as a marriage lasts the marriage kind of develops into a routine, and I kind of lost touch of what our marriage was. But that was because of certain elements. Nevertheless, I would stress that Mitchell has been a fantastic wife and mother and has worked extremely hard. I have at times thought that she works too hard for others and that they have been a priority over her and me sometimes, which has been tricky. But we have been through a lot together and through it we have been a great team. Mitchell is a great woman and always thinks of everyone else first. I just wish that sometimes she would sit down and open up. Talk and converse about life and its problems. Find friends, get a hobby, anything other than housework and washing.

However, there are qualities: loyal, considerate, pleasant, supportive, caring, and there are many more. Something I would like to see more of conversation, laughter, relaxation, looking for the fun and the silly things in life, giggles, more confidence, etc. But I know what you are thinking: love her for what she is, not what you want.

The good thing is experience is a great teacher. I have learnt much and am now recognising how I can encourage her more and possibly help Mitchell have fun. I look and listen as well, learning from her as well as she possesses some really good qualities that I could adopt myself.

Anyway, I will start this from about two years before my affair, as that was the worst time for me in the marriage. Please note that this is from my perspective only. Mitchell may argue and state differences as she would see things from her perspective. Maybe she should write a book from her angle and the effects it had on her. I am sure it would help many people.

We were good together and we have had lots of laughs, but those laughs for me were only presenting themselves when we were with other friends. Remember, this is two years before the affair, not our entire marriage. We had travelled a lot and had lived in New Zealand together for a while, so we were not afraid to live life. We had good holidays and some great times with friends. We enjoyed exploring, movies and other things, but as time went on things became different. We drifted apart. Oh, that old chestnut you say (drifted apart), well people do! I don’t know why?

I think we change as we get older. Maybe we learn things from others, or we engage with others in different ways and we take this home, expecting our partners to be, or to do what others do. Maybe… or maybe we find something that we were lacking in a relationship, discovering a whole new realm of life that we didn’t even know existed and we want to peruse that more, to enjoy those experiences. Maybe it is simply dreams that others help you achieve. It might be a new hobby or interest, it might just be expressing things more openly, or it might just be finding true love. Who knows? We are all different and experience things in different ways. The problem is, the older we become, the more we discover what is actually out there. What I mean by that is this: I could be friends with the same person for twenty years – I go out with them to shop, go to the movies, chat about politics and the routine things in life, and they are relatively quiet but they are a good loyal friend and would help at any time. After twenty years I meet another person and build an entirely new friendship. Only this brings an entirely new level of friendship. This friend is loud, brings banter and loud laughter, they drink and get merry more. They enjoy going out for meals and weekends away. It is a whole new realm of experiences that you never experienced, but I like it.



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