You know things have not been right between us for some time. Come on, be honest for once, will you? How can you sit there and say that you are happy with the way things are when all you tend to do is end up in tears?
Look, the very last thing I ever want to do is hurt you. You know that, or at least you ought to. We’ve been together a long time and if you’ve not learned that much about me by now then I have to question what the hell we’ve been doing all this time.
No, I am not trying to provoke you into another argument. I am trying to be as honest with you as I know how to be without causing you any more upset, but I can see that it’s not working as well as I had hoped.
Selfish, me? Really?
Is that what you truly believe or are you speaking out of anger?
See, this is why we have to have this conversation. Somewhere down the line we forgot how to talk to one another. We stopped trying to make one another happy. We just drifted into being together because that is what we did: we went together. You and I ceased to me you and me. We became ‘us’.
What’s wrong with it is that I need to be me again. I need to find my individuality, the essential me that I was before we got together. No, I don’t mean that to hurt you because I sincerely believe that it’s what you need too. You are so much a part of me – of the couple that is us – that your personality and specialness that made you who you were is no longer as evident as it was. I feel the same about myself.
No, don’t be so bloody silly! Of course I still like you! Hell, I still love you, damn it. My problem, as you call it, is that I no longer see or recognise the lovely person I fell in love with. I cannot believe that you don’t see it as well.
You don’t see that there is anything wrong with our relationship other than I want something more from it than there is to give?
Right. That puts everything I have been trying to say in a very simple nutshell.
What I mean is, seeing as you asked, is that you and are clearly have different views of how we see our lives.
Okay, let me see if I can make it clearer to you: when we met we both had hopes, dreams, aspirations, ambitions, whatever. Look at us now: what have we achieved, as a couple and as individuals?
Yes, you’re a mum and I’m a senior manager. Whoopee! What happened to all those plans we had; to travel, to see the world, to set the world on fire with our collective brilliance and energy. Where did all that go? What in God’s name happened to us?
Oh, that’s nonsense. Plenty of kids have similar dreams and ambitions to the ones we had when we were younger and go on to achieve them very successfully. Look at major pop stars, athletes, footballers and the like. They had dreams like ours when they were young and they made it. How come we didn’t?
No, I am not blaming you. I’m just asking the questions.
I’m sorry if I come across that way. If there is blame to be laid then it has to be evenly laid at both of our doors. We are equally to blame for not achieving what we set out to do.
Okay, so you’re a mum and as such your opportunities are more limited. To be frank, love, that is utter twaddle.
There you go, turning on the water-works. I knew you would!
No, I am NOT blaming you for how I feel. How many more times do I have to say it? All I am trying to sget across is that plenty of mothers have managed motherhood and a highly successful career, that’s all. Sorry, I should not have been so insensitive, but it does annoy me a little that you trot that out as an excuse for underachieving.
Yes, I am getting annoyed. We’re talking, but you are not hearing me! It’s another classic indication of how far apart we have drifted these past few years.
What I mean is that at one time we could have a conversation – a two-way exchange of thoughts and ideas – during which one of us would talk and the other would listen, really listen. Nowadays I feel lucky if I get so much a grunt of acknowledgement from you if I speak to you.
Yes, I do, now. I never used to. I respond in kind, rightly or wrongly. Why should I bother if you don’t? Can’t you get it into your head that this is what we have come to?
No, it’s not all your fault. I am just as much to blame. I stopped trying a long time ago. I wish that I had tried harder to get through to you, but I didn’t.
Did I do it deliberately?
Do want to know something? I really do not know the answer to that question. I suspect, though, that the answer is probably ‘yes’.
Why? Because I’m tired. I am fed-up with the sameness, the dullness and the sheer bloody monotony of day-to-day. I’m fed-up with being me.
Yes, darling, I want change. I want something different. I want something new and exciting and…, something challenging.
No, I do not believe that that involves you being a part of whatever it is I choose to do next. I need to do this for me and me alone.
Okay, if that makes me selfish then I will admit to selfishness this time. But, when you stop and think about it, I’m doing it for you as well.
Easy. When I go you'll have all the time in the world to do exactly what you want to do. Mind you, that’s not going to be much of a change for you, I guess, is it?
Sorry, that was unfair of me. I apologise. Even so, you do tend to do your own thing most of the time without reference to me. You always have.
No, I am not going to rehash old disagreements. There is nothing to be gained from going down that route.
Please, darling, don’t keep pressing the issue. I’m sorry I said anything. Forget I said it.
Okay, now you’re trying to turn this into a full-blown row, which is the one thing I wanted to avoid.
I know! I said I’m sorry for bringing it up. Can we move on?
Okay, if that’s going to be your attitude there is no point in continuing this conversation. It has turned out to be everything I have been trying to get you to see.
No, my love, I don’t believe that you do see anything. I think you’re just saying what you think I want to hear. Well, you’re not saying anything I want to hear anymore. You haven’t for quite some time, actually. It’s too late now, far too late.
Please don’t cry. I’m sorry for upsetting you, but surely you can see we have nothing in common any more. We’re a couple by habit not inclination nowadays. That’s not what I want out of my life. I need something more. I need to do this. I have to go. I’m sorry, but it really is for the best.