10 days post “incident”

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A week ago, I told Fox I needed space and time to think. At the time, I told him he’d forced my hand: had he not freaked out, I would have been relaxing into our relationship, giving it time, and sorting my head out.

But since he broke up with me, betrayed my trust, and said some pretty shitty things in the process, I wasn’t about to get back together when I was unsure.

I told him that last week in our long phone call. I don’t want to get back together with him just to continue to have doubts, and then break up with him. If I’m going to take him back, then I need to know I’m choosing him, every single day.

My problem? I don’t know that I’d be doing that. There’s no question he has treated me better than anyone else, ever (and I hear some of you saying “yeah; until he didn’t“). But even he wondered if I loved him, and not just the idea of him. I angered some of you over a year ago when I wrote about us being a bunch of users. It’s an important distinction in my mind, even if I was accused of being too clinical and blind to the “magic” of relationships.

Yeah, still pissed about that comment. I will get over it eventually.

Anyway.

I don’t really miss Fox all that much. In the last two weeks of our relationship there was needy drama. I hate that shit, especially when I feel I am being responsive and saying and doing things to make my partner feel better. Some of you pointed out that in this relationship, I was Tony and Fox was me. Which I understand from an emotional perspective, but I was way more emotionally available than Tony ever was; I suppose it’s all a matter of degrees.

So some of how I’m feeling is probably driven by relief that I don’t have to deal with the needy shit. Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a pill. But it’s true.

Perhaps some of it is I’m busy and tired and I kind of like that I’ve been able to catch up on “The Walking Dead” and start “Breaking Bad”.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s because I don’t miss him.

I do have sentimental thoughts on occasion. Memories of the warm feeling of being adored. Of Fox being nice to Liam. The thoughtful things he did and the fun of having someone equally drive a relationship forward.

But I don’t crave his touch, or his voice, or his cock.

I may also not miss him because he’s stayed in touch. A relatively steady daily communication pattern. A constant reminder that he’s waiting, and he loves me.

Last night he left me a voicemail, which I could only partially make out. I didn’t want to talk, but I knew I had to.

We covered the same ground. He said he wanted to meet face-to-face because he wanted clarity. I have no clarity to give yet.

I challenged him on his “nice guys finish last” text and he articulated an oft-common opinion that women like bad boys and he’s not a bad boy. It was all I could do not to retort that I like men with a fucking spine; it wouldn’t have been fair.

He told me he wants someone who will work with him on the stuff he has to sort out. I told him I wasn’t sure I wanted to try to change the tires while driving the car. He wanted me to tell him the things that bothered me, so he can incorporate the feedback. I told him I didn’t want to give him a list of bothersome things so that he’d fix them for me. He insisted he was doing it for himself.

We talked about his rigidity, his rules based thinking, his one-size-fits all approach. His quick acceleration and his lack of communication about it.

He had written me a very long letter outlining his relationship history, as a way to explain himself. In it, there was a clear ultimatum – if I’m with him, then there’s to be no contact with Tony.

There was so much dialogue. I don’t need to rehash it all here.

But ultimately, I told him space and time meant actual space. Not being in regular contact. Giving me a chance to actually think; to miss his presence. I told him he needed to work on some shit. I told him – very clearly – I would not accept any ultimatums in a relationship and he would have to trust me.

I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I know where I’m leaning, and I will write more about that soon.

Despite asking for space, we are going to see each other briefly on Saturday. The one and only Hyacinth Jones is visiting me, and we’re going to meet up with Fox at a local farmers market for a short visit. Who knows if he’ll be weird or cool. Maybe she can help accelerate my thinking.

48 thoughts on “10 days post “incident”

  1. Oh Ann.

    Push back and take the time you need. I think, at least what I’m picking up on from you is that he may have burnt some bridges that you can’t rebuild.

    But I’ve been wrong before. I think it’s really important that you decide on what you want from a relationship, spine included.

    And believe you mean, there are other’s out there that will actually give all that to you – spine included. It doesn’t end with Fox.

    So whatever you decide, I hope you come to it with some clarity and sense of it’s what you need/desire from a partner.

    <3 xox

    • Thank you so much for your wisdom.

      As I continue to reflect, I think I can get over him reading my blog. I understand that he thought I was “disposable”. It’s been a decade of him feeling that way about every woman he’s dated.

      His needs and emotions may be too much for me. He wants more than I can probably give. I’m more independent than he is. We don’t have amazing mental chemistry. So all those things are weighing against it right now.

      • I have no doubt you can get over him honey. And I think you’ve gotten a great insight into how you want to be treated by a guy too.

        Tough choices, but I think you know yourself enough to realise if this is what you want or not.

        I hate emotionally needy, it drives me spare and makes me run for the hills. So I get it. X

  2. “In the last two weeks of our relationship there was needy drama. I hate that shit, especially when I feel I am being responsive and saying and doing things to make my partner feel better.” Firstly, I totally understand that- nobody wants to deal with neediness regularly (if ever). But while you felt you were being responsive by doing and saying things to help, it clearly wasn’t what he needed. I have dealt (am dealing with?) something similar…Not in regards to neediness but miscommunication. We both think we’re doing/saying/giving what the other needs/wants but we’re not. Which we have only begun even talking about. Not really sure we can repair our relationship… But anyway.
    While he sounds like he’s generally a great guy, he does sound needy. And it definitely sounds like you’re responsive. Unfortunately he’s not communicating what it is he actually needs/wants from you and then when you’re not doing it, he blames you.
    This whole situation really blows and has got to be tough. I hope things get better soon- whichever way you go.

    • Clearly it wasn’t enough for him; my issue is that he was feeling that it wasn’t enough, yet he didn’t tell me that. He then expected me to bring it up again, but I thought we were fine. And then he got petulant and more and more upset.

      I’m sorry to hear you are in a bad situation; it’s a huge challenge. My ex and I got to the place where we felt our relationship wasn’t repairable. Sucked that we got there, but we walked away before more damage was done.

      He is a great guy. Lovely person and very giving. I just am not sure it’s the right combination of personalities.

      Thanks for your support 🙂

      • Exactly, he didn’t bring it up again. And how are you going to know he wasn’t fine? I don’t know…I think as a whole, people have become too good at pretending everything is okay to other people and then blaming them.

    • Yeah yeah, Mr. Smarty Pants.

      My Mom still feels the same way about her Tony and it’s been 30 years. Time won’t help me with him.

      But I am not keen to back into online dating and deal with that BS again. Not any time soon. At least that’s how I feel today.

      But honestly, emotionally I feel fine. I’m not in pain. Just a bit tired.

      Anyway, I need some time to get my ass to the gym so I can fit back into my suits.

  3. Not sure I’d take him to see Hy… but you’re right it may help you figure out who he is and whether you want him in your life.
    Tough spot for Hy though!
    Good luck with the decision making.
    XO

  4. i think probably time apart really means time apart and no contact at all–that is how you really know how you feel about someone not being in your life. i love the way you think about this, i love the way you are thinking because you will will make the right decision when you *feel* it…
    kisses and hugs to you and Lady Hy! xxx

  5. I’m with Sharn. And here are the two things that grabbed me in your post: “But I don’t crave his touch, or his voice, or his cock.” That’s huge. Those things are everything in a relationship where you really love someone.

    The second one was the ultimatum. But then you went on to say you wouldn’t accept that, so I guess there’s no point to telling you what I think about ultimatums (expletive, expletive, trust is everything, expletive).

    What do I think? I think you’re still on the journey to finding the right one – and, like Sharn said, Fox isn’t the end. He’s shown you what IS possible – but keep moving down that path and you’ll find that AND someone you truly love and crave as well.

    • I still have moments where I think about something random about Tony, like his hands. So yeah, to not have that with Fox is difficult.

      But yeah, that ultimatum (and some other things) have served to reinforce that he’s not strong enough for me.

      Good point about Fox not being the end. It was nice to think for a while he could be around for a really long time. I was trying to settle into that. But it obviously wasn’t working perfectly for me.

  6. >But I don’t crave his touch, or his voice, or his cock.

    Do you think any of this may be due to residual anger/disgust/resentment toward Fox for his recent actions? If so, then there may be hope down the road for you two if and when you can get past those negative feelings toward him.

    However, if that’s not the case, and this is just how you’re feeling in general on a break after just a few months together, then that’s a pretty bad indictment of the relationship’s future. When you’re barely out of the honeymoon period and already any distance isn’t making you actively crave him, then there’s definitely something fundamental missing here.

    In any case, I trust that you’ll figure things out for the best one way or the other.

    • It could be residual stuff, but I don’t think so. It’s not that I have actively negative feelings; it’s just blah.

      And yes, for that reason I’m coming to a similar conclusion as you are.

  7. ugh… You told him that you need space and still he reaches out and contacts you in one manner of another for 10 days?!!?

    As pathetic as that is, this is the comment that struck a cord with me: “He told me he wants someone who will work with him on the stuff he has to sort out.”

    Now you are suppose to be his fucking Psychologist??? Too f’ing bad dude, you have no one to blame for this but the guy in the mirror.

    Guy needs some tough love that he claims that he has dished out in the past. Stop responding, it’s for his own good… maybe then he’ll find that spine that he is lacking. (btw, he did deserve the retort)

    All the best and I hope you and Hy have a lovely visit!

    Coop

    • Well, from our usual amount of communication, it was a major change. And he wanted to share with me his progress with the few therapy sessions he’s had so far, and what he’s learned.

      But yes, I’ve also had some similar thoughts to you.

      I’m not going to just stop responding; there’s no need. He’s stopped texting me and while I will likely see him on the weekend with Hy, I will probably go back to silence after that.

  8. Hello Ann,

    What should I say today? The reason I find your story so compelling is it is very similar to mine.

    I very clearly remember what it was like to not miss my ex wife. At the end of our marriage I actually started looking forward to going out of town for work, because it meant i got to get away from the tension at home.

    Now that I am almost 20 years out of that marriage. Have had a couple of significant relationships subsequently. And, now, finally being in what I consider to be my first healthy successful relationship. Missing your partner when their gone is key! I miss my partner when she just goes out for the night with friends. She misses me when I do the same. We both have the freedom to do whatever it is we need to do personally or professionally. Nobody gets upset when somebody has to work late or go out of town. We just simply and purely miss each other when we can’t be together.

    Yes, Fox is a good guy, yes he treated you right. But your emotional and communication styles are to different. You are highly emotionally self aware. He is emotionally unknown to himself. You want to be able to discuss and debate these things with him. He can’t pass through the thought experiment with out taking it personally. Etc etc.

    When I was going through my divorce. I got some sage advice from my step uncle. He and my aunt had similar tumultuous relationship histories. They had finally found one another. I asked the two of them “someday in the far distant future how do I know when it’s right”. My uncles response “it’s just so easy, it’s just so pleasant” I had always been schooled in “relationships take work”.

    I hate to be all “real love cures all” on you. Instead let me put it this way. When it’s right it doesn’t take this much effort. When it’s right you won’t have to think / rationalize your way into a relationship.

    Just one mans opinion

    • It’s funny because… I don’t know if what I have is “it”, but I am happy that I don’t work at making it work. If I listen to you… maybe there’s hope? 😉
      I know that, 9 months in, I miss him the minute he’s out the door. Now, I don’t know if he does too, but… one day I’ll be brave enough to find out 😉

        • It’s not patience, it’s just that I’m getting what I need right now.
          Would I want more? Yes, maybe. But… I can’t offer him much more than what I’m giving him any how, so… no point in asking for more!
          And… I know I’m high on his priority list, considering how often we manage to see one another. And how often he communicates with me (which may seem little, but is actually rather good for me, teaching me to be more independent).
          I am getting more from being ‘with’ him than not. So I see no reason to ask for much change. Taking things slowly is working for me. Gives me time to figure things out. But I understand it may not be for everyone 🙂
          And at the end of the day… I do get proofs that he cares. Often. Plenty. At least to me. And it works for me.
          Plus, there is this thing that I can’t quite understand or explain, but… there is a connection, on such a deep level. I don’t want to lose that.
          Maybe I’m addicted to him, or to the way he makes me feel, or both. But… I do crave his touch, I do crave his time and I do crave his cock 😉
          I do like how he makes me feel, and I also like who he is as a person. I like the fact that he is so poised, yet so open, so truthful yet so caring, thoughtful… yes, I think I am in waaay deep 😉
          So… would I love to get flowers like you did? Yes. Would I love to hear from him more often, or meet his family? I’m thinking about it more and more. But am I ready to give up what I have if I don’t get it? There is no doubt in my mind about the answer to that question. It’s a resounding NO 🙂
          Now I’m going to copy this comment and go post it on my blog 😉
          XO

    • I like what you say here. I’ve always had the same sort of philosophy as your uncle. A relationship should not be work. Who the hell wants love to be a chore, a duty? When it is right it is pleasant and it is easy. Love should be fun.

  9. I still think Fox is a very good guy, but more and more it appears he is not the right fit for you. The implied ultimatum would be a Very Big Deal to me, the one red flag that would nail the coffin closed. My DH is a rescuer and a fixer by nature, and we’ve had more than one conversation (sometimes at very high volume with lots of profanity) where he has had to step back and just be my husband, not the white knight who swoops in and solves all my problems or tells me how to solve them under his watchful eye. No – so not happening. This is why I hire professionals to help me, to keep my mixed up shit outside the realm of our day-to-day relationship.

    Perhaps it boils down to the differences in your love languages and meeting/having needs met from a partner and relationship. Fox has stated he is very black-and-white about things, while you seem to be a competitive swimmer in all the subtle shadings of gray in between. He states what is different this time is that he loves you and desires to adapt to make it work with you, yet I do not hear (anymore) you talking about your willingness to put forth the effort to meet him halfway. While his intentions seem well and good, truth is such change is not simple or easy to accomplish. It’s like painting the walls in a small room to make it look bigger versus tearing out a wall to actually enlarge the room. And what if successfully adapts himself to be able to successfully be a partner to you, he is adapting for you, trying to mold himself into a man you can love, versus adapting because the change is something he desires to be a man he himself can love.

    You continue to handle your life and its complexities with thoughtful grace. Whatever choice you make with Fox, I am certain it will be a right course for you.

    • Janelle – you are so wise. This is where my head is at at my Mom has given me similar advice. His and my love languages are very similar, he just needs more than I can give someone at this point.

      I do live in a world of grey and I told him that; it’s rare I don’t see nuances.

      And yes, change is very difficult and more and more I think we should just say goodbye for now. He can sort out his stuff (or not) and if it’s meant to be, I do believe we’ll be together.

      As I write that it feels silly. But there’s something to it, maybe?

      • There is actually a lot to the idea of meant to be, things happening for a reason. Reading the last couple of posts about Fox, I see a man clinging to “love” like a survivor of the Titanic and a piece of floating debris. I have no doubt of his feelings for you or what you feel (felt) toward him in return, but it’s his desperation to retain the relationship and be good at loving you no matter what personal adjustment toall is required that concerns me. This sorting out his stuff to your liking and preferences is akin to creating a third party in your relationship dynamic, one where you ultimately end up shouldering more of the responsibility in deciding whether you succeed or fail as a couple. At the end of it all, Fox can say “I changed and won Ann” but be completely clueless if he actually likes the new version of himself he’s created. In my opinion, a ore more likely scenarios is Fox saying “I tried to update myself to be someone Ann could truly love and my efforts were not good enough” if you end it. Either way, he can say all he wants that change is for him, but the longer you are involved with him while he works through it, one way or the other it ends up being about you. But if you part company now, he does whatever work FOX feels is necessary to be the man he wants to be, then cross paths and reunite in the future, completely different ending to part 2 of your story.

        Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer today, Ann.

      • “…more and more I think we should just say goodbye for now. He can sort out his stuff (or not) and if it’s meant to be, I do believe we’ll be together.”

        I can’t let this pass without saying this: Do NOT say this to him. Perhaps you have no intention of saying anything like this, but I’m still butting in to flail about over it.

        If you end it, end it cleanly and be clear that it’s done and finished or he will not be able to let go of hope, and THAT is a bad and unkind place to leave him when you move on.

        Best of luck with it.

        Ferns

  10. It sounds to me like you are done. I think you and I are a lot alike in the aspect that we want the passion and excitement. Right or wrong. I’m not sure.

    Take all the time you need. xoxo

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