I know what the right decision is, I’m just not sure how to make it.

Yesterday I wrote about Tony and how I know I can’t pursue a relationship with him when he’s not ready to love me

That’s all good in theory, but for this to work I have to make it practically applicable.

I’ve tried no-contact. I didn’t last very long. A few weeks each time, and then I was back in his arms. He seems quite fine with seeing me once every three weeks, but that is not the kind of relationship I want to have.

Let’s pretend for a moment that Fox wasn’t in my life. What would I do?

Honestly, from one perspective the easy route would be to continue to see Tony every once in a while. It’s so good when we are together, and I tell myself if my expectations are reasonable (nothing has changed, etc etc) and I don’t get hurt, then what’s the harm?

There is something to this argument. But then I hear Ferns on my shoulder (or banging her head against the wall from a great distance) and I think she would say I am not creating any condition for Tony to make changes, if I keep rewarding his “bad” behaviour. She has a very valid point (not a shock, to any of you who read her blog or have the honour of receiving her blog comments).

I’ve basically proven to him in the last two months I’m always going to be around. I say I need space and I take it for a few weeks, but then reach out and am lovely to him and give him my best corseted and high-heeled self. My actions only demand what he is capable of giving. He has the best of both worlds – his solitude when he wants it, and a fierce sexy wonderful creature every few weeks to keep him company, listen to his troubles, buy him contact solution (it’s a running joke), and help him relax.

Regardless of how many times I’ve told him I need more from him, my actions don’t reflect this.

Here’s the problem, however, My giving him space and time to work through his stuff and be “ready” is not a short-term thing. It’s not measured in weeks or even months. It could be a year. It could be never.

So what do I do, since I know halfway is not good for me?

Option 1) Continue to stay in touch every once in a while, like I’ve been doing, but with less frequency. Depending on what’s happening with my other relationships, see Tony (I can’t see him and not be with him…pretty sure that’s impossible to expect). But at the very least, check in, see how he’s making progress, and continue to evaluate what’s best for me in terms of contact.

Option 2) Tell him once again I need space and he needs time. Plan to meet at some pre-determined date, time, and place, to check in. Perhaps December 23 since it’s when we met last year. Stay committed to not contacting him in advance of that, even if I’m single and lonely and missing him terribly. Don’t stalk him on Twitter (where he’s rarely active) or POF (which involves me unhiding my profile or asking friends to look). Who knows what relationship state I will be in by December, but it’s a way to perhaps rekindle something if the stars align, or know for real it’s never going to happen.

Option 3) Say goodbye and mean it. Delete all of his contact information. Tell him if he’s ready someday, to call. Internalize the belief it will likely never happen. Probably wonder “what if” for the rest of my life, unless I happen to be lucky enough to meet someone who does all the same things for me that Tony did, and more.

In this moment, sitting in a meadow, listening to the water, and watching the fog roll in and out, I know what I should do. I’m curious whether you agree.

Blog lovelies, what do you suggest I do?

(And if you have an option 4, I’m willing to hear it as well).

39 thoughts on “I know what the right decision is, I’m just not sure how to make it.

  1. I don’t have a suggestion. You know from my comments what I think. If you think you know what you need to do, then do it, is all I can say.
    All I know is my heart hurts for you from this big distance over the ocean.
    XOXO

  2. Sorry – I think it’s option 3. Setting up some date in the future is a romantic notion we women would all love to have work. I just don’t think it will work. You want to know the end of the story so you stay in touch with him. Let go, say good-bye and move on. He isn’t giving you what you need after months of dating and asking. He isn’t going to change any time soon. I’m so sorry. I know it hurts. Hugs. Revel in the outdoors and a great vacation with your son. Rest & recharge.

    • Thanks Maggie and yes, of course it’s a romantic notion. The winning option right now isn’t setting a date but just ceasing to proactively communicate with him and to not see him.
      Depending on what happens in my life I can see myself checking in with him in the future, and I will need to give myself a date before which I cannot do so. Otherwise I will say “oh it’s been long enough”…

  3. I’m not a fan of no contact because I don’t think it really works in situations where what you truly want is contact. If you really were done with what you are going through with Tony it wouldn’t even be a question, you would just end things and walk away.

    My suggestion is to not bother with the announcement to him that you are going no contact etc, you have done that before, twice, and he knows the outcome (you reach out to him and then great sex happens with little or no effort on his part -so why should he change what he is doing or not doing). Saying “I am giving you time to work out your stuff is just losing any meaning at this point.

    I think you should just do a slow fade. Just leave things with him alone. Don’t contact him but reply if he reaches out to you. I would also suggest not seeing him. He knows that if he sees you he gets great sex. He seems happy to have it go on like this (great sex every few weeks with no change on his part) and at any point he can decide to go back to his wife leaving you cast aside. At the very least wait until he decides to really end his marriage before sleeping with him again (just my .02)

    Good luck with whatever you decide! It’s such a hard spot to be in πŸ™

    • It’s funny you say that – both Hy and my Mom suggested I not bother with any grand announcements and just stop. My Mom says I don’t owe him anything. Perhaps he will notice at some point. But he needs to come to me with an effort – it can’t just be reactionary.

    • Sassy Girl , you just basically describing what I’ve decided to do with TN! And Ann, know I think it’s a good option for you and Tony.

      I also believe deleting his number and letting him make contact whenever also works. Respond, but then delete again. Always be too busy to meet. No need to tell him what’s happening. Just make it happen.

      • Thanks Hy. My Mom also asked me what the point of telling him what I’m doing will be – since I’m effectively sending the message that’s he’s fucked up yet again. Of course I would want to tell him and have him fight for me but it won’t happen now.

        I think if there’s any chance of something happening in the future it has to be this way. If he never proactively tries for me, it wouldn’t ever be an equal relationship anyway.

        I may give his info to a girlfriend who would only give it back to me in case of a true emergency… Or I could keep it and prove to myself I’m strong enough to not do anything with it.

      • Ok, I like this option. But… why always be too busy to meet? If eventually he is ready to get into an actual relationship with her and she would like that?
        I get that she shouldn’t meet with him unless he tells her that he has taken significant steps in his life to end his marriage, or at least has realised that he doesn’t want to stay in his marriage. Because seeing him then would end up in sex which Ann doesn’t want because she doesn’t want to get hurt. I get this. Also, if she is seeing someone else, it wouldn’t be fair to them for her to meet him, since she knows she is going to fall for him again.
        But if he shows that he wants more and she is available?

    • I agree with Sassy that no announcement is required. Then you really do set yourself up to for procreating bad behaviors.

  4. You mentioned what you would do about Tony if Fox wasn’t in your life. But the thing is, Fox *is* in your life, and more importantly, from what you’ve written, he is developing an attachment to you.

    Therefore IMO if you’re going to continue to see Fox and continue developing something with him, any option that includes the possibility of seeing or remaining in touch with Tony requires disclosure to Fox about your feelings and situation with Tony, because that’s only fair to Fox for him to know where you are emotionally.

    If you go with Option 3 (no contact/fade out) then you’re not quite as obligated to disclose to Fox your Tony situation and feelings, though it still might become an issue if Fox gets deeper into this relationship and you’re not able to get there with him because of your lingering feelings for Tony.

    • I completely agree with you about what would be required if I maintain a relationship with Tony. My point was I have to judge my relationship with Tony on its own merits. I shouldn’t choose to break up with him because I have Fox in my life.

      And yes, if I can’t let Tony go to the detriment of welcoming someone else in my life, then I would need to be honest that I can’t get there right now.

  5. I think you have your option 4 based on what your mom and Hy have described. I think it is the best! Think about it, he only came around like he did when you offered to bring him to a sex club. I think that says a lot. Has he broken his silence, and reached out since his last text?

    In regards to Fox. I think you may have to let him go. Not to sound like a broken record but I don’t think your ready for that kind of relationship or at least not with him. It sounds like your settling for him. He might be a great guy, but he has not sweep you off your feet? I think the thing that will let you finally forget Tony is only going to be that. You have to allow it to happen though.

    • I don’t think it was the sex club; I think it was his knowing I haven’t let his delay hold me back from moving forward.

      He texted me on Wednesday. It wasn’t a conversation just a “hope you’re having fun on your vacation”.

      I haven’t been writing about Fox; that’s next. He’s been great. More to come.

  6. You know. I know. He knows. We all know. It’s time. And if there is a right time in the future, you’re not going to get there by trying to get there. Which almost doesn’t make any sense, yet somehow does, right?

    • I completely understand. I know if I keep trying and he isn’t ready (as he told me he’s not) then for sure it spells the end. If there’s any chance it’s meant to be and our paths cross again in the future, I think this is how it has to be.

  7. Those people (lovers….etc) that haunt us are not easily let go. If there isn’t any abuse or huge negative things, try to find a compromise….and them in your life. Something will make it permanent either way. Eventually.

    Maybe.

    πŸ˜‰

  8. “So what do I do, since I know halfway is not good for me? ”

    Option 3 or the newly minted Hy/Sassy/Mom “Option 4 – the slow fade.” No half way nonsense or warning him. Either he wants to put some effort into staying with you or he doesn’t. So far, you’ve put the vast majority of the energy into maintaining the relationship. His mindset? Pardon the expression but “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

    Wish I had a gal calling and offering me mind blowing sex every 3 weeks with no effort on my part.

    • Thanks Brian – that is what I figured as well. I have absolutely been the one meeting him in his corner and I’m getting tired of not getting what I need in return. He might say he’s trying but it’s not enough – if a couple of text messages is trying then he’s not the guy for me anyway.

  9. I would base it on this: overall, and please include the time when you are not in contact, does he make you more happy or sad? Because you deserve to be happy, and you should demand it.

  10. I agree that telling him once again that you want a break is unnecessary and unlikely to achieve any results. I took a few breaks during my affair because I needed to feel like I was giving my marriage another chance. Over time I felt confident about what I needed to do and was able to end my marriage. I think the breaks were helpful because I initiated the breaks so that I could figure out my stuff. Your breaks to give Tony time to figure out his stuff haven’t helped because he’s not the one initiating the break so he’s not necessarily ready or motivated to use that time to do the work he needs to do.

    • Thanks Holly – and yes that’s exact the thing. He’s been sad about his son for a year and it hasn’t really prompted much action on his part… So if that doesn’t do it, I certainly won’t.

  11. I agree with everyone else: Basically Option 3 but without the ‘warning him’ part. If he gets back to you and wants to meet, it should be in your terms. None of that ‘I will get back to you, Ann, and let you know’ nonsense. (I remember he used to do that. If someone would make me wait this much to confirm plans, I’d probably make some other plans meanwhile)
    Now I cannot tell you whether to meet him or not should he actually get back to you – no one can, well. But I’d say, don’t think much about it now. When / if Tony ever decides that he wants to meet you again, you can then decide if you want to meet him or not. Or maybe things will be already at a deeper level – with Fox – or anyone else, really, by that time.
    It’s ironic, though, as I have the feeling that ‘going with the flow’ in this case, might mean ‘let Tony go’. Now, I do not consider a decision, or, your decision, simply a result of the circumstances. SO you, my dear, have nothing to regret. The ‘What If’s should be haunting him, not you, you have done all you could.
    Best of luck anyway:)

    • You’re right about the “what if’s”… I’m not sure it will work that way. In my head I know if he can’t ever meet me halfway then there’s no chance at all of a real serious relationship between us. It’s one thing to know it intellectually but to really internalize it is something else entirely.

  12. I know I will be in the minority but option 1. I know I am projecting when I say it, but I don’t think you are ready. I don’t disagree with Fern that we teach bad behavior this way (and I always feel honored when she pops in with a comment on my blog) but sow times the heart wants what it wants. And yes maybe that’s even more than projecting. I so want it to work with you and Tony. AND, like you, hate to see you hurting at all.

    • Yup, you’re projecting my dear πŸ™‚
      Every part of me loves him but the pain and sacrifice isn’t worth it – no matter what. My emotional energy is better spent on someone who can return it.

  13. “…then I hear Ferns on my shoulder (or banging her head against the wall from a great distance) and I think she would say I am not creating any condition for Tony to make changes, if I keep rewarding his β€œbad” behaviour”

    *laugh* God, I’m fucking annoying!

    I keep thinking about THIS post of mine about compromising away happiness in relation to what has been going on with you (I suspect I have linked that post before, but it’s EXACTLY this).

    If accepting what’s on offer (I *really* want to call them ‘table scraps’ or ‘the minimum to keep you interested’… because ugh) made you happy, I’d see it differently, but you’ve been trying and angsting and excusing and hoping and wishing over him for many months now and nothing has changed (seriously, the crumbs of ‘oooh, he texted for 3 whole days, he’s trying, he’s CHANGED!’ makes me want to kick things).. The definition of insanity and all that.

    There’s no ‘what if’ left in it: It is what it is. And yeah, you know exactly what option I’d choose. And honestly, if a man wants you, he will move heaven and earth to make it happen. At the moment, this one won’t even move his texting finger FFS.

    And of course, it’s all too easy to pontificate from here. But… love *sigh…hugs*

    Ferns

    • Thanks Hon. Yes, if it didn’t hurt it would be different. I hadn’t read that post before so thank you for sharing – I agree that compromises can get built up over time and with Tony, he’s even said he’s not ready so why would I continue to try to force it?

      (And fwiw I don’t think he changed because he texted me for three days…I found it interesting because I think it was a reaction to my dating others)

      I may need to tweet you when I do hear from he and he asks me out πŸ™‚

  14. I think that sometimes when we want what we want, we will try like hell to put the bits and pieces together to make what we want a reality…in our minds. The hard truth is to be all alone with yourself and the bits and weigh them realistically without discussion with anyone. You know what is of value and you know what is not present. You’ve stated what you want. He knows it AND he doesn’t offer you anything to bridge the gap. He’s not enough. Fact is – You need and want more. I wish there were pretty words for that.xo, J

What do you think?