Finding out about Tony’s date with his wife 

Yes, an incendiary title. So what? I was pissed.

I’m writing this from the balcony of our hotel room. Ann St. Vincent is in Jamaica with my boyfriend Tony and I don’t regret my choice one bit. More about why in an upcoming post. Apologies in advance for typos or lack of my usual editing.

When Tony first told me about going out for dinner with his wife that night, I was stunned. I was conflicted in wanting to talk about it and also just wanting to get off the phone. My son Liam was in the next room and I wanted to be measured somewhat in my response to Tony.

But he could hear the sobs in my voice, just under the surface, and wanted to talk to me. It’s not worth recounting the entire thirty minute conversation, but he talked about how the guy who inviting him wasn’t someone he told anything personal to, the invitation went to Mary’s house, he cared about me so much, etcetera. I’m NOT for one moment excusing the decision.

When I told him it was like he had his cake and was eating it too, that he had the best of both worlds – a wife and a mistress – he said “how can you say that? I have you who are sad and angry, and it’s not like things with Mary are good. I have the worst of both worlds.”

I said I had always worried at some level that the reasons I hadn’t met his child, or his friends, or been talked about was so the could leave his options open with Mary. He immediately said “you want to meet my son? No problem!” Part of me wondered if that was just to placate me.

I asked him to please call me that night when he got home. While he’d promised me there was nothing physical going on between them, I knew I’d feel better hearing from him after dinner with her. I didn’t want that additional doubt to add to the rest of the shit storm in my head.

He called me that night when he got home and we chatted about nothing for 45 mins. I asked how the dinner was; he talked about the food, and I realized I didn’t want to hear anything else.

He came over the night after, walking into my house to give me a big hug and made reference to me as his gorgeous girlfriend (and on a side note, he’s probably called me his girlfriend 20 times in the two days of our trip so far).

I didn’t bring any of the shit up about dinner with Mary. It was Christmas Eve and frankly I didn’t want to deal with it. But once I lay in bed with him beside me, my thoughts started racing up and I couldn’t sleep. It took me forever to fall asleep and I woke up at 4am, tossing. He woke up and could tell I wasn’t anxious. He asked me what I was thinking about so I told him.

I said it was super uncool that he did that kind of stuff with her. I said I’d been thinking about why she would go to that dinner with him and the only conclusion I could come to is she still believes they are a couple at some level. And that if so, it means he’s not just passively accepting some situations but actively promoting that idea in her head.

I also said I can understand why he wouldn’t have said anything to her before about dating; he doesn’t want to hurt her AND he knows that if he tells her he’s risking having the door he wants kept ajar closed.

He tried to tell me the reason he couldn’t tell her about me was it was the holidays and I said that was bullshit; it’s been 18 months since they split and a year since we met.

I also said it’s not Christmas, or him being private, or being in a gossipy industry (all things he’s said as to why he’s ultra cautious about telling some people about me). Those are all bullshit reasons that hide the root cause, which is he doesn’t want to shut the door on his relationship with her. He’s not ready, and he knows if he told her about me, someone he considers his girlfriend and has been dating for a year, it would be over.

I said I know there is no resolution in the moment (as in, that night, or the next few days), and that I don’t control him, but it has to be resolved for me.

He listened patiently to everything I had to say.

He said lots of nice things.

He said I was right about all the stuff I said. We talked about his son and his being tortured. He can’t see a resolution to how to feel like a good father and also be fully divorced. All he sees is kicking his son out of a house, not seeing him as often.. I reminded him he deserves to be happy; that splitting a marriage is somewhat selfish but raising a child in a house with a dead relationship isn’t better for children.

He said I’m wise and beautiful and I make things complicated. Meaning, his decision about what to do. He said he wished he knew how to make me know that he thinks of me all the time. I reassured him I don’t doubt how he feels about me.

I said it was unfair to Mary and me what he was doing. He said he’s not stringing anyone along and I said well you are, you’re stringing Mary along. Now, some of you may say he’s stringing me along…but he’s been honest with me about his challenges and not with her.

I said I communicate with others with honesty and openness and think about what if I handed my phone to him, would it reflect what I’ve told him. I also said I felt like he couldn’t say the same thing about HIS phone. I said I think he lies for convenience and to avoid conflict.

He said he thinks he and Mary are in a “don’t ask don’t tell” phase. He also said he’s not being physical with her at all.

What I find fascinating about my response to Tony (and his to me) is that these conversations occurred before and after sex; here I was, telling him about how sad and angry I was, but being naked beside him in my bed, both of us got so turned on we had crazy 4am sex, and then continued the conversation. I suppose that may have been a mixed message. I even told him my body was a traitor.

The next morning he left early and we didn’t talk about it before he left. I feel in my gut he’s opening up a bit more. He’s told me his best friends know about me, some people he works with know, and he talked about me and the trip at one of the staff parties he went to the week before. He’s referring to me as his girlfriend more in conversation; it’s like he’s practicing the word and concept.

Now, this doesn’t make what he did better. It hurt me and made me mad.

Several people have questioned my decision to go on vacation with him, but here was my rationale. First, cancelling would be tantamount to breaking up with him, and I wasn’t ready to do that without having a proper discussion of what I needed from him. We were going to have no time for that discussion prior to our departure date.

I wanted to give him a chance, I couldn’t cancel without losing a lot of money, and I knew we’d have a great time.

That morning, as he left he said “please don’t worry; don’t be sad and angry… Well actually anger is okay, we can repurpose that. But maybe not if you wear a strap on.”

He does make me laugh; I’ll give him that.

142 thoughts on “Finding out about Tony’s date with his wife 

  1. Oh Ann you are so much braver and rational than I could ever imagine I would be in this. I get the feelings you have for him and I get the not being willing to have it end. I’d be in the same boat. But I cant say that my anger wouldn’t have gotten the best of me, and tortured me. I guess at this juncture all I can say is that I really hope you are enjoying your vacation. Is it bad that I cant wait to hear how that went? This is compelling.

    • Hey Gina. I will write more about the vacation and it’s not bad at all that you want to hear about it. I’m flattered; thank you.

      I try to be rational but yeah, I was angry. I just saved my angry outbursts for my friends and tried to be calm with him; I know it’s the only way likely for him to really hear what I have to say.

  2. You hit it with this: “Those are all bullshit reasons that hide the root cause, which is he doesn’t want to shut the door on his relationship with her.”

    So when confronted, he lied to you about it. Nice. I don’t for one second buy that he believes his own bullshit. If you had accepted his ‘it’s the holidays’ reason, he’d have happily left it at that with a ‘phew, bought myself another couple of months… that will take it up to about 20 months of not having to actually DO anything… *pats self on the back*‘. Ugh.

    “he thinks he and Mary are in a “don’t ask don’t tell” phase”

    Oh, and he added this? Great! I like how he added ‘he thinks’ for plausible deniability (‘oh, I could have sworn she understood that I was dating and might actually be in a relationship! No, really! I did! When we went on our date last night, I’m sure she knew what was up and isn’t hoping we’ll get back together… why on earth would she have that idea?!’) :/.

    The bullshit makes me mad. Makes me feel like he’s playing you because he knows that if he’s sweet enough about it (and by ‘it’, I mean ‘all the things past, present and future’) and says ‘girlfriend’ enough times, he doesn’t have to change a thing. And I don’t mean playing you as in ‘he doesn’t really care for you’: I have zero doubt that he does. But he’s a coward with dubious integrity who lies to make his own life easier and he’s insulting you with his bullshit.

    Meh. Wasn’t him sorting this shit out a reason for breaking up with him and a condition for letting him back into your life?

    Truly, I want you to kick him to the curb and take your power back. You’re glorious: He should be on the ground at your feet with thankfulness that you allow him into your life instead of doing this incessant umming and ahhing and pathetic dithering that insults both you and his ex-wife and sets a horrible example for his kid.

    /rant

    Ferns

    • ” He should be on the ground at your feet with thankfulness that you allow him into your life instead of doing this incessant umming and ahhing and pathetic dithering that insults both you and his ex-wife and sets a horrible example for his kid.”

      BINGO!!

    • I appreciate your rants, Fern. They are good for me to read even if I don’t want to believe what you say. You are completely right about the up front lying – it’s like it’s his default to just close down a conversation or move on. Someone else commented that perhaps he’s honest with me because I push him on things… there could be some real truth to that.

      I hope the plausible deniability piece you mention isn’t the case, but it fits.

      I don’t know that he’s playing me. But I also know I so keenly want to frame his behavior differently, rational or not.

      I thought he’d sorted out some of that shit, or at least was willing to move forward given he met two of the three conditions I’d given to myself (and him) when I broke up with him. I didn’t think he would actively do stuff like that damn dinner… which is different than being frozen on his divorce settlement, which isn’t uncommon.

      I’m working on that power thing and I appreciate so much that you have my back.

      xo

  3. oh gosh Ann, there is so much going in here, but i trust your gut in so many levels. you said people did not want you to go on this trip…but you wanted to and went…you are so brave with this!!! xxx.

  4. Ending a dead relationship isn’t “selfish” unless you venerate suffering. Staying is easy in one sense: all it requires is inertia. But then you sacrifice authenticity.

    My parents stayed together for some time after they didn’t want to be together anymore. What I learned from that was blind commitment. I didn’t develop the ability to identify if a relationship was actually good or if a person was worth committing to.

    • You raise a very good point; thank you. I think Tony’s big on inertia, from what I’ve seen and what he’s told me. I’ve told him there are negative consequences to his son should he and his ex get back together, along the lines of what you mention. My ex was the same way; he learned terrible relationship habits from his parents who should have split decades before they finally did.

  5. Wow wow wow! So he isn’t ready yet to tell Mary… hmmmm. Coward!!! Fucking pissed at him for his lack of spine! Sorry! Does he not realize that he would NOT be kicking his kid out of the house? And what does he mean by that exactly? What house? He and Mary’s? Ummm.. Oh wait.. they don’t live together anymore. And their child is fine and will be fine even after she knows about you. He had better man the F up and tell her about you if he plans to carry on what he’s got with you. His “girlfriend”
    Jeez… maybe he can’t fathom or bear to imagine her with another guy. Could be… IDK. In any case I do hope you are having a nice vacation with him, and yes I understand the why’s of you sticking to your trip plans. Sorry for the vent, but dammit Ann, you love this guy it’s obvious. What is not obvious is his full future intentions with you and with her. Something needs to knock the clouds out of his head!!! There are plenty of divorce/separated parents out there with happy, well adjusted kids. Does he not think of this? Is he maybe afraid Mary will use their son as a weapon as so many selfish/jealous exes sometimes do? And so what if those he hasn’t told about their separation find out? Not like it’s new thing in this day and age.

    • Okay I went back over what he said about Mary and here are my thoughts… She strikes me as a rather fragile woman. And uses that to her advantage to keep in on a tightrope. Like he’s walking on eggshells around her and the slightest wobble might make her crack…. He perhaps assumes she could not handle knowing the truth. he obviously cares about her feelings. Sure he doesn’t want to hurt her and all, but he’s not doing her any favors by not being honest. They are separated for God’s sake! He’s free to see and do whatever he wants for the most part, but it’s that whole “We’re still married” part that makes it all wrong in his/her heads perhaps. So don’t, ask don’t tell.. uh huh. Okay!!!
      If it were me, I’d leave him to sort it out… let him discover (once again?) how miserable he is when he’s stuck with her. And how miserable he is without you. Brass tacks! Just wish they were not so painful… Sorry. XO

        • Just reading between the lines another808guy. Circumstances, smirkumstances!! The guy needs to cut out the facade to others of still being fully married to her!
          But I do give him credit for being honest with Ann about it all. He trusts her with his challenges, and feelings. And Ann, you are a true gem that deserves to shine….
          Sounds like he’s between a rock and a hard place with his social circle and Mary.
          I could be all wrong about my assessment of her personality. I’m not a fly on the wall during their interactions.

          • I keep thinking back to him having another woman over when he was exclusive with Ann… If he was lying then, why not now.
            I’ve dated guys who don’t have the balls to do the right thing and end up lying to spare people’s feelings, and in the end it only hurts the others they didn’t intend to hurt, like Tony’s ex…and Ann.

          • I did ask him about that incident Nadia; not sure if I ever wrote about it. He said he was in a different head space then. I guess a head space where lying by omission was okay, which is never should have been.

            And yeah, I think he feels he’s sparing feelings somewhere but it’s worse. Never mind for me I now doubt what he tells me (and doesn’t), and having trust eroded makes me act in ways I don’t like, in terms of sneakiness and jealousy.

          • It’s the doubt that eats away at us, it’s awful. Things like that put me in an anxious and obsessive state, I hated it. Hope you have some good memories from your trip nonetheless. X

        • Tony hasn’t spoken about her personality with me in any kind of denigrating way at all. He’s spoken of some of their issues but hasn’t blamed her in particular for the breakdown of their marriage. He’s given me his perspective but he doesn’t badmouth her.

          It’s actually clear to me that he doesn’t want to cause her any pain. Which is rather difficult in a divorce.

      • I don’t know that she’s fragile at all. From what I know, she’s pretty strong. My sense is that she, like him, want to keep all the good close family stuff going on. They both have a vested interest in inertia. She can’t afford to buy him out of the house, so that’s a big change if they move forward with their settlement.

        I have no idea what her reaction will be if / when she finds out he and I have been together for a year. I’m angry at him for putting both she and I in this position, and I told him so. Reality is if this becomes framed as all as me versus her, that’s awful!! I had nothing to do with the breakdown of their marriage and should have nothing to do with his decisions about divorce. But now, because he’s not told her, it becomes more grey. Ugh.

        • For what it’s worth, my ex never told me about his many girlfriends, and I never told him about the men in my life. To my knowledge, he still doesn’t know about them, while I know about his GF because of the kids.

          As for the house, I just had an idea. One that will probably not be worth much but… if she can’t buy him out of the house and his point is that his kid keeps living in the same house and he wants to be with his kid more… why not have her move out, him buy her share, keep the house, and with the money he gives her she buys her own place to have her kid every so often as they decide?

          I agree it’s an ugly thing, but you can’t blame him for not telling her a year ago. A year ago, he wasn’t ready for a GF, that’s why you let him go, isn’t it? What you can ask of him is that he tells her now, about the fact you are together, and he doesn’t need to get into how long it’s actually been, a mere ‘a few months’ could do, couldn’t it? Or is it something that is so important to you, that she knows it’s been happening for the past year?

          • I do agree that a year ago wasn’t the time. But I don’t know that he’s even ever mentioned that he was online dating… I just think it’s courtesy to tell an ex that. You don’t want to come across them on a dating site or hear about it from a friend.

            The other thing is I’m tired of his lies, either direct or by admission. So I can’t imagine he’s going to tell her 100% of what’s going on. Not sure how many months he says matters ultimately.

          • I agree it may be courtesy. He probably has no idea, because he has no experience with these things, much like me, coming out of a marriage that took me from teen to middle age.
            I do understand that you’re tired of what you feel are lies. He probably never learnt that that’s what they are. I don’t know his parents, or how he grew up. I don’t know his ex, or what she is like.
            I know however that I didn’t know my ex was a narcissist until I’d left him and was ready to see it. But even before then, and all throughout our marriage, I’d been weary of telling him how I felt because it always came back to bite me.
            Having read your other replies… I wonder how much her texts could be her hoping any potential date could read them and jump to exactly the conclusion you have jumped to. How much it is her trying to manipulate anyone coming across those texts.
            For all you know, every time Tony reads them, he’s sighing, annoyed, wondering when she’s going to quit this charade…

            I know it’s far fetched, but that’s what gaslighting is about… Read a very interesting article about it yesterday. Maybe I’ll post it 🙂

            Again, I’m just a distant observer, I don’t *know* what is going on. You are the only one who can judge.

            But as Maggie asked… why do you care about what his relationship to his ex is like? What counts is how he is with you, isn’t it?

            The main problem is that you want an open relationship, and he may not be totally ready for it. The question you thn have to answer for yourself is whether you’re ready to wait for him or not. As Maggie said: what do you want from a relationship *now*? Not where do you want it to get to, but what do you want NOW 🙂
            Because you know as well as I that we can never know where it will go. You had two or three clear examples of this, between your ex and Fox… maybe Andrew too… 🙂

          • I love that you’re giving him the benefit of the doubt but I’ve seen some of his texts to others. A friend who invites him to a country house and his response is “sounds great would love to come with Mary and the kid”.

            What counts is the person he is! If a man is cheating on his wife over and over but is sweet to me, it doesn’t mean he’s a sweet guy. If all I wanted was sex from Tony then maybe… But how can I build a relationship with someone who engages in such deceit?!

          • Well, then, yes! If it’s not just her texts that are like this, then… I’m totally with you 🙂
            I mean, I’m not anti-Tony, just agree that he’s not ready to commit to you, and that’s not something you can live with. I understand.
            It would have been different for me too if my Dancer had still been married or wondering whether to go back to his wife.
            I have been with a married man. Once. And I knew it was going to be just sex. And short lived.
            I also had some FWB type of relationship with the Healer, but there too, I didn’t think it was going anywhere…
            This is different. So I shall leave you be and go back to just being supportive 🙂

            Because at the end of the day, as I wrote somewhere, I don’t know Tony and don’t care about him. It’s YOU who are my friend, and whose happiness I want to see 🙂

    • I more or less agree with everything you say here. I would just like to comment on one thing: the house. He doesn’t want to kick his kid out o the house he’s always lived in. I can understand that. My own kid got anxiety attacks coming back to the house where we used to live as a family after I moved out and took some of the furniture with me. And we’re talking about a teenage kid used to changing houses every few years! So a 4 year old… it’s all he’s ever known. I understand Tony’s fears.
      It’s also possible that his wife doesn’t have enough savings to buy half of the house back from him. And possible he wouldn’t have enough to buy his own place for himself and his kid if she didn’t buy it from him. (Just saying this because I read a comment somewhere of someone saying he could gift her his share and move on, leaving his kid to grow up in the house he’s always known). My experience with this is that my mom felt trapped living in a house where she had built a marriage and family with my father, and eventually sold the place to move to somewhere she could call her own. And if he gives her his share, it doesn’t mean she’ll keep the house, just that if she sells it, he doesn’t see any money from it.
      This said, it doesn’t mean I am justifying his actions, just giving possible background info on the reasons behind them 🙂

      I don’t know his ex, but I know for sure that mine behaved in ways I didn’t dare fathom before I left. I know that I can totally understand that gut feeling that maybe it’s best not to piss the other off, because there are going to be repercussions/retaliation.
      This said, my experience is also that postponing it is not going to help, just help keep the status quo. That’s what I learnt. It is freeing when finally you decide that you don’t care what your ex thinks, you’ll just live your way. But it took me over a year to reach that decision, actually closer to 18 months after telling him I wanted a divorce.

      • His wife can’t buy him out of the house; you’re right. He’s afraid he can’t afford his own 2 bedroom place and live close by to her house. He doesn’t want them to all have to leave the neighbourhood, school, etc. He has so many roadblocks in his head.

        • Well, maybe you can tell him about my story, make it to be a friend of yours from overseas… or my mom’s and kid’s story for that matter 😉
          My experience is this: a few weeks after I moved from the master bedroom to the study (or had I already moved out of the house? I’m not sure any more), my youngest (primary school aged child, so not much older than Tony’s son) told me something along the lines of “I can never have what I’d love again any more, because I’d want for my parents to live together and that is never happening any more”. And however sad that made me for my kid (what parent wants to hear so much pain in their kid’s voice?), it also made me happy that at least this much was clear in my child’s mind: we were never getting back together, so now it was possible to move on to the other grief stages rather than stay stuck in denial, or bargaining mode… Small comfort for an aching mother 😉

      • You’re such a wise one Dawn. <3 Having never been married and raising my teen daughter on my own, I've not had to face this sort of situation before. But I understand it would be upsetting to child to lose the home they grew up in. Thanks for helping me see the other side of things. I really didn't think of that perspective. Never the less, I hope that Tony can find a happy medium to his difficult situation someday.

        • I don’t know about wise. I just learnt from my experiences 😉
          Raising a child by yourself does have other challenges, so I commend you for it!
          And I think we all hope that Tony finds a happy medium someday, and possibly sooner than later 😉

  6. Here is what I’ve learned from my own experience… When a man hides you and doesn’t introduce you to people in his inner circle, there is a problem. When he introduces you, it’s kind of public acknowledgement of who you are to him…. And it will feel soooooo good! When he tells OTHER people you are his girlfriend, that’s when you know you have reached a good place. I hope everything works out. I know how much you love him.
    P.s. Wishing you and your family a happy new year 💋

    • I agree. He told me his best friends (a couple of guys) know, as do some work colleagues. He said he’s fine with me posting a few pics on Facebook of us. Which I’ve done. And it felt good. Doesn’t make up for everything at all. Hardly. But it was nice.

    • Actually, I’m not sure. I’m wondering how much of this is our extrovert vision of the world. I know my relationship is particular and I know it’s not what Ann is looking for, but… he hasn’t introduced me to his inner circle, though he doesn’t hide the fact we’re together when we are out. The thing is, he doesn’t *have* an inner circle, not like I do I think. He has a few friends, but doesn’t miss them when he doesn’t see them. Sometimes prefers being by himself than seeing them. There is his family, yes, and I don’t know them, and they may have an inkling that there may be someone in his life, but… I don’t mind not knowing them, because I certainly can’t introduce him to my family yet. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because I’m not ready to do so.
      So, what counts for me is that when we’re out together, in clubs, restaurants, the movies, roaming the streets, he kisses me, touches me, and doesn’t look over his shoulder, trying to pretend we’re not together. Granted, he is worried about the neighbours (mine) seeing us kiss. I need to figure out what that’s about, but it’s not my priority.
      What I want to say with this is: there isn’t necessarily a problem when a guy doesn’t introduce you to his inner circle. Sometimes it’s just that he would rather be with people one after the other. The fact he’s told his friends and some colleagues about Ann being his GF… that speaks to me.
      The problem would be more if he told her *not* to tell her family and friends about him. THAT, to me, is a problem.

      This said, I sometimes wonder what it’d feel like to be his girlfriend (I’m talking about me). To have our families know about him/me. But when I think about it, I’m not really ready for this either. So for now, I enjoy the fact that a few of my friends know about him, as does a sibling of mine. I enjoy the ability to speak his name when I speak to them. And that’s enough for now.

      Though I know it’s not enough for Ann 😉

      • Yes Dawn…he’s never asked me to not tell anyone. He’s met my Mom and son and friends. He’s open to having dinners with my couple friends.

        You’re right about his friends. He has only a few close ones. They don’t see each other often. He says they know about me but I can’t see him having relationship discussions with them. He’s not close to his brother, his father is deceased, and his mother is very connected to his ex. He has colleagues but because he’s a freelancer there are only some he works with regularly. Some know about me and others don’t.

        • Why does it matter that he has relationship discussions with them? Does he have friendship discussions with you?
          Is that a prerequisite for you to have a relationship, that they are ready to discuss their friendship with you? If yes, you’ve got something to add to your list, it’s good, you learnt something about yourself. If not… why expect him to have relationship discussions with them? Again, I think this is a problem of introvert vs extrovert 🙂
          As for others knowing about you… why is it so important to you? Does it change his behaviour to you? Do you think that he is less trustworthy because he doesn’t claim you?
          Why are you looking for others to validate your relationship?

          (and I should ask that I’m writing all this because that’s what comes to mind at the minute, not because I think I’m doing much better than you, or at least not that I have never felt the same as you at some point! It feels good to be validated. The question is why do we need it? Because the relationship is not good, or because WE are lacking something, or have to change our approach to things? This is what I meant when I said (a few times) that The Dancer helped me in many ways, including through the distance he kept, his BS communication style and so on. You would probably have ditched him long ago 🙂 Yet… he helped me grow because of the way he is!)

          • I don’t expect him to have relationship discussions with people; it’s not his style no matter what. Agree with your insights on introvert vs. extrovert. I can’t assume or judge based on those things. My issue is more that if someone asked if he’s dating and he says “no”, or “oh sure here and there”… then that’s a lie of omission in some ways. It’s a fine line between just not wanting to talk about it, and obfuscating because he wants to keep us secret for some other reason – like keeping the door open on his marriage. It’s ALL about the motivation for me. I may not tell my ex about someone I’m dating but it’s certainly not because I may want to go back to him.

          • I understand what you are saying. For what it’s worth, I never asked The Dancer how he responded to this sort of questions. I don’t want to know the answer. He probably avoids the question. But he’s always been clear with me that I’m not his girlfriend. At least not in words. Now, in what we share and how he behaves, that’s a different story.
            Or maybe it’s just that I don’t need him to claim me, just like I don’t want to claim him. That’s the difference between us, I don’t need exclusivity, you do 🙂
            But I totally hear you on the last sentence. I don’t tell my ex I date, but there is no ambiguity there as to whether I’m going back to him or not!

  7. Oh Ann … I am so sorry this has happened and applaud your honesty about how you feel and talking it through. While what has happened thus far is unfair to you, Tony is a weak man in this regard. He loves his son and being a father and is fearful of risking that relationship by taking the necessary steps to terminate his marriage. I’m really hopeful the days and time away with you have opened his eyes to how his marriage limits the relationship trying so hard to blossom further between the two of you.

  8. Your on vacation, one you wanted, needed, and to enjoy a warm climate. The sex on vacation is a bonus of Tony actually going, your confidence to go with or without paid off. Your body, not your mind, wants some satisfaction in a tropical setting, that is accomplished. What I see in the interaction between the sexual bliss is a lot of talk from him that is ludicrous. He is stuck protecting an image of family for his son plus being unsure how things might go with his wife. It may be that time will resolve some of his image issues, but it has a negative impact on you. For now, continue your happiness.

  9. Two 40 y.o.’s discussing making posts on facebook in the midst of relationship crisis. The relationship is beginning to smell like a rat in spite of the perfume. Wondering how facebook came up. Did he give informed consent with the knowledge you have of the overlap in the friends circle? Was he baited?

    I don’t see how it’s possible to meet his son if any part of the rest of the discussion is true. I think Fern hit the nail on the head.

    It’s strange how infectious deceit can be and how it changes potential. And so it devolves. I hope you two can manage to keep the hurt between yourselves.

    • I didn’t bait him; we had joked weeks ago about his hate of selfies and he proactively joked about “allowing” me to take pics and even post them.

      There is a lot more in your comments for me to reply to, but I do take your note about deceit to heart. It’s not who am I not do I want to let the situation make me that way.

      • When I quit smoking some years ago, my worry was could I remain a non-smoker with all the memories attached to it and the conflicting desire that remained in me. Turned out the answer was surprisingly simple. Just don’t smoke, just don’t do it.

        I agree with Taraka (below) , if you could find a way to just be, to stop talking about this issue and let him wonder what you’re thinking as you go about your dating life, even with him, that would be the impetus to change much of this. It would also allow you to really know if Tony is what you want or need. Tony knows the issues without you talking about them because he created them. For now his only question is can he have everything. Maybe he should be doing some of the thinking instead of you.

      • I’m thinking that, when you posted on FB, you knew there were common friends, and he may not have known or would possibly have made a different decision.

        • There is one common friend between me and Tony’s ex, but that friend is not active much on Facebook (2 posts in 3 months) and neither is Tony’s wife. Tony isn’t on Facebook at all. So the chance of her seeing anything is nil because of my settings. And the chance of our common friend seeing anything is damn rare as well. I’m not prepared to act differently than I would had I not looked up his ex.

          • Oh, I do understand. I was just trying to clarify what I’d understood from the previous comment 🙂
            Because, you knowing about this chance, however minimal, and not informing Tony about it before you posted, is still a bit like you lying by omission to him 😉
            These sort of lies are so easy!
            It’s like me not telling The Dancer that a few people in my life know about him, about his existence, yes, but about his name, and other things that were important to me 🙂
            But I can live with that, because I have no idea how much or how little he’s told anyone about me, and as far as I’m concerned, WE ARE in a don’t ask/don’t tell relationship, at least in that regard. One where we decide to enjoy today and not worry about where, how and how fast we want to go 🙂

          • Yes you are right; I am withholding that information from him. When I’m angry and feeing uncharitable I just want him to get caught and then have to deal with the mess. But I don’t want his wife to get hurt.

          • What you need to realise Ann, is that whatever happens between Tony and his wife is not your karma. You can’t choose for Mary not to get hurt, and nothing you can do will prevent that. Only her decision on how to take that piece of information will change how she feels about it. It’s not even Tony’s decision.
            But… he may be hesitant, either because he cares for her deeply (they have been together for such a long time, were friends as well as lovers and spouses). Even without being friends, I know my dad didn’t dare tell my mom about him having met someone who made him happy (he’s now married to her) because he still cared enough for her that he didn’t want to hurt her. In the end, it took her more than 15 years to get over the affair (that’s the big difference between my dad and Tony, the former was still living at home with his wife and kid and had a mistress, whereas Tony separated already, so there is less expectation of fidelity).
            Whatever it is, try to get some distance from this. Don’t let his wife’s possible reaction get in the way of what you feel. It’s not your circus (at least that bit!), not your monkeys 🙂

          • It comes down to his motivation of not telling her, Dawn. Yes, I know some of it for sure is he doesn’t want to hurt her. But some is because he’s keeping is options open. Maybe other things as well… THAT’s my issue. In a different circumstance, it would be different for me.

          • Are you certain he hasn’t told her?
            And that’s a genuine question, not something I’m saying to rile you up!
            If you are, then… do what you feel is best. But if you assume so because of the texts you read… check with him maybe? 🙂
            There is a difference between not being ready to move forward and wanting to go back, or keeping your options open…

  10. I’m reluctant to comment at this point, knowing you’re on vacation with him as we speak and I’m not sure you need any more input that puts you at odds while you’re trying to enjoy yourself. But then again, you did post this while on vacation. I want to point at all the comments above, and say – “what she/he said!” I’ve been on #teamtony since the beginning. However, a lot of what’s recently happened makes my stomach ache. A little evil part of me would insist that he tell his wife about me or we’re done. But I know answers do not come so simply and without consequence.

    For now, I’m wishing you to enjoy the tropical locale and some great sex, and hoping you can stay out of your head enough to do so without more drama. I wish you could just “be” and let him begin to wonder what you’re thinking…but some part of me thinks he’s hoping for that anyway. I’m sorry for all this. Hugs to you <3

    • I find myself wishing she would find out quite by accident, and that’s not a good thing!! I’ve been thinking a lot about what to ask of him, and it’s not just as clear cut as him telling her. It’s more about what that represents… moving forward with me. But I can’t come up with anything else that would make me feel more secure in his ability to actually finish the divorce process.

      I dunno 🙂

  11. I couldn’t be like you. Or do as you do.
    As much As i like to say way to go.

    His ‘Choice’ to keep a door ajar is beyond me. Even friends need to ring the door bell. And like you said his reasoning is just well a lot of Blahbla

    I feel would feel like a toy convenient there since there is no other place to go while his mind is always with that door still ajar to what was.

    I admire your determination and honesty. Big hugs xx and have a fantastic new year.

  12. Ouch.

    I am really hoping we will be seeing a follow up post where Tony has told his wife he is in a relationship and you have a set date planned for meeting his son. At this point that would be the only thing keeping me hopeful for Tony.

    The alternative is that you are okay with settling for the role of mistress, all because he says nice things (married men do that), has told his best friends about you (married men do that too) and he calls you his girlfriend (married men do that one as well).

    Unfortunately, Tony is behaving like a married man. You are no deeper in his world than you were before and he acknowledges hiding you from his wife and child in hopes of keeping a door open. A door that she apparently holds the lock to as she is in control. This tells me he wants that door left open. He isn’t closing that door and it’s not just about his son. There is as major peice missing here. That excuse of the invitation going to his wife’s house holds no water. If his wife felt their marriage was over she would have talked with Tony about making an excuse about why they needed to decline the invite. But they didn’t. I believe that if the invite had got to Tony first he would have declined and not told his wife at all. “Don’t ask /don’t tell” right? Is that a philosophy he holds towards you as well?? Do you know his struggle because he is open or is it because you persist and you “ask”.

    And the fact that he tells you that your presence complicates things is not endearing in any way. Essentially, he is saying that if not for you he would be back with his family right now. Do you want to be seen as the person who stopped him from living back with his son? When he feels sad and remorseful and hurts over his child do you want to be who he can blame? (I am not saying you deserve blame, not at all, but when I read that he is saying you complicate things, that is where my mind feels he is putting you..in the position of responsibility.)

    I am sorry but Tony is coming across so weak and passive and unable to make a decision. I really hope there is more to your conversation that is redeeming than what you put here. ….right now Tony just seems like a guy not ready, or willing, to give up his family and that includes his wife.

    • I agree with this. Having lived in a marriage where I was to blame for everything (including our child’s Type 1 diabetes) – I would hate to end up in a liable position ever again. Not that that’s what would happen, but this is an angle I hadn’t considered with Tony’s statement.

      • I didn’t before think of this as a choice between me and her. He moved out 6 months prior to my meeting him and he’s been consistent in saying his choice about potentially going back isn’t about her. Honestly, thinking of her hurt with the information that he’s been dating me makes me ill. I’ve never ever wanted to be dating a married man and I certainly won’t do so now.

    • Hey Sassy… thanks for giving me your insight, I do appreciate it.

      I do feel I’m more deep into his life, but not as much as I should be. I’m certainly not prepared to be a mistress. Not. At. All.

      And I definitely hate the fact that now his inaction could be framed as becoming a choice between me and her… the two decisions should have nothing to do with one another. He said some things that make me feel he already chose to not be with her but is struggling to make it final. Either way, it’s not good.

      • It would be nice if, during the break you previously took from one another, he had already made the final break from the marriage rather than continuing the charade and participating in a date with her.

        I am not a person who believes that separated people shouldn’t date until they are divorced. Frankly, IMO people can remain married but separated for as long as they want. My parents took 30 years to divorce after they separated but you can bet that in that entire time my mother knew it was over and that they were (in the words of a very wise Taylor Swift) “never ever ever getting back together”.

        I worry that we can’t say the same thing about Tony’s wife. I don’t for a second believe her to be some weak delicate flower, but I do think she may be a woman who thinks her husband is going to come back to their family after he takes this break. He is holding a door open on his marriage and a door open on your relationship. He has yet to close one and you both stand waiting for him to decide. Does she know yet that be has already made a choice?

        • My parents didn’t get divorced until my Mom decided to remarry. And Will and I weren’t going to bother but we changed our minds. So yes, I hear you… even if I didn’t have the paperwork, it was over from the moment he and I decided to end things.

          I don’t think his ex is weak at all. From everything I understand (which granted, isn’t much), she’s pretty strong. I don’t know what she believes, but I’m sure, given her relatively lack of inaction in fully separating from Tony, there’s a strong pull of their relationship. it’s been a very very long time.

  13. I wish there was a way you could tell him that there’s a hundred (you know, a rough estimate) people on #teamAnn and he better get his shit together or we’re all going show up on his doorstep to help him straighten out. 😉
    Just joking, of course. Well, sort of. 😉

    • This made me laugh out loud because we had a discussion about who gives us advice – and it killed me when he asked me to not be able to say, in addition to the friends he knows, that I have this wonderful group of people as well!!

  14. #1, I think sex should always and whenever possible be kept separate from arguments. Second, I would be concerned that his desire to avoid conflict at all costs could be detrimental all around. And while he may not be lying to you, he is lying to everyone else, and that lie is keeping you from at least 50-75% of his life. I dunno, I would be worried, personally, if it were me. Devil’s advocate

    • I completely agree about the sex and arguments but I also in the moment wanted all the crap to just be erased. And sex with him usually makes me forget.

      I also agree about the avoidance of conflict. I see it in so many ways with him. I doubt he sees what he does as lying but he avoids the truth when it’s unpleasant. Lies of omission. He’s spent some time lately telling me of all the people he *has* told me about. He doesn’t want me to think he’s hiding me, I suppose. But he is, at least to the most important person.

      • That’s just it. Even if he isn’t actively hiding you, he is keeping you from some very important people in his life. The hubbs used to do that as well…. he’s definitely a conflict avoider. After a few arguments I said I’m gonna be 100 times angrier if I find out you lied about something stupid rather than just telling me! He finally got it but it was a process for sure

  15. I feel the increased arousal and sex thing makes a bit of sense …sort of along the lines of “hysterical bonding” when a partner finds out about an affair. Perhaps your body, Ann, is not so much a “traitor”. …but more “intuitive”.

  16. Bad boys, bad boys
    What’cha gonna do?
    What’cha gonna do when they come for you?
    Bad boys, bad boys
    What’cha gonna do?

    I stand by my thoughts in the previous post and think Tony’s a bad boy, which is a siren call for many of us. Enjoy the vacation – Jamaica is lovely this time of year. Just stay in the moment for now. You can face reality when you get back.

    BTW, I don’t for a moment think his wife is weak or fragile. I think he loves strong women and that’s why he hasn’t cut ties with her. She loves a bad boy too….

  17. Honestly if you can make the most out of it, you would have been foolish to cancel the trip. I think you are wise to be cautious but after the trip will be the make or break time for him. He has to tell his wife. I knew my bf was serious when he told his soon to be ex wife about me and she has met me and likes me Ok.

    I stayed in a bad marriage because of my daughter and I still love him and never wanted to hurt him but we both knew it was time to call it quits.

    Trust your gut, don’t end up totally heart broken, and enjoy Jamaica.

  18. If you were reading this story from one of us, you’d be cringing. In the reason-season-lifetime triad, I believe you are a “reason” person for Tony. He needs to learn an awful lot about being an authentic adult…and you seem to be teaching him. Him calling you “wise” says it all. By this age in life, most people have already gained the knowledge you’re dropping on him. Sadly, he either has not or is pretending not to have in order to maintain his status quo.

    He’s right that you are an extremely intelligent woman, but the life lessons you are sharing with him are obvious, no wisdom necessary.

    Enjoy your trip. I wish you all things good.

    • I am a reason-season believer too as well as a believer that lessons repeat until they are learned. How I wish I’d been a faster learner. Watching this ride, seems there are important lessons to go around. Would be nice if age were a guarantee of wisdom.

      Happy New Year!

    • I’m not sure the lessons in life are obvious to many of us when we are so close to them. It’s hard to have perspective sometimes, and distance helps.

      And yes, I’d be cringing if I saw someone in pain and torn between decisions. I’m pretty self-aware and analytical so I *do* know what’s going on and what it is about Tony that makes me want to stay with him. I also know that sometimes the hardest decisions are the ones I need to make.

  19. Thank you for sharing you life – your writing is beautiful. I hope when you read all of these comments you know that everybody is on Team Ann St. Vincent. Nobody wants to see you get hurt. You are an amazing smart woman who deserves the best. With that said — Tony has told you that he told some friends about you. I think a real eye opener will be if you meet these friends in the near future or not.

    • Thank you so much, Patti. I appreciate that more than you can know. I wish I could tell Tony about all the amazing feedback I get here. And you’re right… he *has* told people about me. He’s made progress and it’s hard for me to know how much of that to focus on, versus what hasn’t happened – yet (I hope).

  20. Maybe I need to re-read this, I came away with a lot of positives… You mentioned a lot of good things. Girlfriend. Vacation. Best friends/some co workers aware of girlfriend. Open invite to meet his son, which no doubt will be related to Mary in the son’s words of course and perhaps blow the lid off the whole thing, or slam that “door” he wants to remain cracked…..

    Try to enjoy Ann. Jamaica. sheesh!

    Happy New Year? xo

  21. When I wrote my comments, my mind was not in a good place Ann. sorry. I’ve got my own concerns with my own love interest clouding my usually fairly positive mindset. Yes there are a lot of pluses that he has shown you/told you in time since you’ve been back in his life. And I do give him a lot of credit for being open and honest with you about the “date”. I hope that he will continue to share things like this with you if they arise. Well but let’s hope they don’t happen again though. I just hope that he does not start to hide things from you for fear of upsetting you like this has. I hope by now you two have hashed it out, and that he will see that you truly are what makes him content and happy. At the same time I understand the quandary he is in though. It’s tough when there’s a child involved.
    Happy New Year Ann!!

    • I’m sorry to hear you weren’t in a good mindset; are things better now for you?

      it’s not all negative at all, and while I know I need to remember that, I also can’t forget the shitty stuff either.

      • Yes thank you things are better for me now. In fact, this Saturday he is taking me out for my birthday which is actually on Friday the 8th. We are planning to get a room as I have a teen daughter at home and he is living at his aunts. I’m not sure what all, besides hours of hedonistic sex, he has planned. I am very excited and this will be our first full night spent together. 🙂 I can hardly wait!!

  22. Seen in isolation, Ferns’ comment summarises it best. Which got me thinking; why are you putting up with this dysfunctional setup? If you take sex out of the picture, what do you have? Are you a masochist? Do you like the drama?

    What’s your motivation here? Love and a committed relationship. is not going to happen and you know this. So what’s really going on here?

    Ah, then it hit me. I used to have White Knight Syndrome. You, my dear, have White Dame Syndrome. (I’m claiming that one.)

    You’re willing to put up with this loser and his lies because…you’d rather have that than have nothing.

    You can’t stomach the thought of being alone. Then the focus is all on little ol’ you. Much better to shine the light on this emotionally handicapped jellyfish. Hey, you get sympathy and all sorts of other goodies to lean on. As crutches go, this is good stuff.

    Being alone means the pressure is on you. You then need to confront your own inner demons that lurk beneath the surface, sabotaging you from time to time. Jeez, that sounds like hard work and you might not like what it involves. Much easier to hobble along with a parade of clowns than be the lion-tamer.

    Ann, at some point you will stop this insanity and do the things that need doing. You can’t build a house without sound foundations. Only once they’re in place, only then will you find the right materials to have the house that Ann wants.

    You know what you need to do. I know you can do it. You’re either not convinced that you shall succeed or that the effort is worth it.

    The solution, the future, lies within yourself and not in the arms of another man.

    The year ahead for you will be better than the year just past.

    Take care of yourself, my friend.

    The Grey Knight

    • I know this all comes from a good place my dear but this does not describe me. Tony isn’t just about sex; you may recall the sex itself wasn’t that great for a while with him. I place a very high value on intellectual chemistry and ease of being around someone – probably too high, as it led me down a path with Will that wasn’t healthy. Tony and I have an amazing time together – not just sex. I can be with him for days (as is being proven now) and still want more. There are so few men I’ve ever met that I feel this way about. Yes, we have crazy physical chemistry as well. But that’s not the primary driver. And regarding your assertion I get off on the drama and sympathy? Nope. I can be alone, Grey. I’d rather not be, but I don’t have demons hiding that I’m afraid to face. I have a strong foundation within myself. I ended it with him once before and will again if he can’t make the progress I need. I’m highly doubtful he can do it, there’s no argument there.

    • Funny, as ‘white Dame syndrom’ goes, I would have imagined you were referring to the need to fix someone who is broken. I can see more of this in Ann than of her fear of being alone. She herself has admitted to it many times, her urge to fix things.

      I know it’s not an easy thing to fathom, but sometimes the chemistry that exists is difficult to put into words and people who read what you write don’t understand why in hell you would stay, because they don’t feel or have never felt the way you do with this particular person.

      A year ago, I wouldn’t have known how to tell the difference. Now… I’m thinking Ann and Tony have a similar chemistry that I have with my Dancer, and if it is the case, I don’t think there is any way to explain it.

      And it is very difficult to form an informed opinion based on only one set of thoughts. We know nothing about what goes on in Tony’s mind, we only have Ann’s version of things. And though she is very analytical and seems to try to be objective about it… we still only hear one bell sound 🙂

      My thoughts on this (and I haven’t gotten round to writing them down until now, I was so busy reading everyone’s comments and interjecting (sorry Ann 😉 ) are thus: only Ann knows how she feels in this relationship. When the negative feelings outweigh the positive ones, when she is ready to let it go, I have no doubt she will. Because she’s already proven to us many times over that she is very capable of doing so, whether with Tony or with other men 🙂

      • Dawn, I know of which you speak. You have your Dancer while I have my Baltic Babe and Krazy Girl. Ann has her Tony and Fox.

        Why is that people who are so wrong for us feel so damn good? They are but lessons in disguise. They are stations along the route to our final destination.

        • I didn’t have that chemistry with Fox, for what it’s worth. Tony is a very rare combination of strong intellectual and physical chemistry. I spent 5 solid days with him and didn’t tire of it – that’s super fucking rare for me. Does it mean I should put up with crap? No. Do I over emphasize its worth? Maybe. But as Dawn says I’ve proven before I walk away when I need to. I’m not some fundamentally fucked up creature who doesn’t see reason or her own self-worth.

        • I’m not sure I look at The Dancer as someone who is wrong for me. He is exactly who I needed at the time he came into my life. And for now… he still is 🙂
          I don’t know how long he will stay, because I don’t know when/if I feel that he doesn’t deserve to be in it any more, and when/if he decides that I don’t deserve to be in his.
          But I know that, no matter when/if this happens, I’ll look back on this relationship and be glad for all it brought me, how much I have grown from it 🙂

          And to me, the only final destination is death, so… I have no hurry getting there, and I plan to enjoy the journey as much as I can 🙂

        • I hear that Grey Knight! I’m looking forward to the day when we can all gush about our “final destinations”. Have to believe that destination does indeed exist, but meanwhile let’s enjoy the trip.

  23. Wow I haven’t been on here in quite a while and I have to say I am a little surprised you are still with Tony. Having said that I have to also say I have been in a similar situation before. I dated a guy who told me he was separated. I don’t usually go for guys who are not totally divorced, because technically they are still married and as long as they are still married, that makes me the third wheel, no matter which way you put it. I took a chance because his wife lived in Alabama and he lived in Atlanta. Yes this was a long distance relationship but we spent ALL holidays together, We talked for hours daily and from the outside looking in there was no way there was anything still going on with him and the wife. He had to go home every so often for mail and to take care of business and I never thought twice about it. Bottom line is this relationship lasted almost three years, by the end I was feeling similar to you, feeling like he had the best of both worlds and I was in perpetual doubt and limbo. We wound up breaking up when he finally told me he is not getting a divorce because he doesn’t want to “hurt her feelings” Divorcing her would embarrass her and he can’t do that to her. She was happy with whatever crumbs she could get from him. I stayed so long because we had a great time together, great sex and great communication. He is still married and now I see on Facebook he is actually wearing his wedding ring again. My gut always told me that he was still committed to her and in the end I was right. The gut never lies. I knew then and I know now I deserved much better. No amount of advice from others would make me see the light…and my friends tried to tell me. But I had to see it for myself. My point is trust your instincts and be honest with yourself. I can tell you this. I have not been on here for a while but the last time I was on I heard the same pain in your stories. That speaks volumes. Maybe you should go back and read some of your Tony posts from last year.

    • Thanks for your perspective; I really appreciate it. I did actually go back a while ago and read everything I wrote about him, and my conclusion was things this time were different. And truth is they are…just not different enough.
      I do know I’m at a crossroads with him.
      Did you read my stories about Fox, who I dated from July onwards? You might find that saga interesting 🙂

  24. I have been wondering whether WP had forgotten to inform me of a post of yours, as it sometimes does 😉

    No matter what you do Ann… I’m rooting for you and wish you the best.
    To me, the real question here is can you live in the present, or do you have to project yourself into the future.
    If you can live in the present, then Tony is fine, because you have a good time when you’re with him.

    He seems not to be ready yet to move forward with his divorce. This may be his gut telling him not to do it, for reasons we may not understand. This said, if you can enjoy what is without wondering about what more could be, then go for it.

    If you can’t… well… you know what to do 😉

    someone commented about reason/season/lifetime, in the sense that you’re in Tony’s life for a reason.
    Now, I’d like to ask you this question: why is Tony in your life? What are the reasons?
    I know I wonder about that often in my own relationship. And every time, I find a reason, something I learnt about myself being with this man. So I stay, because I keep growing.
    Maybe try to focus as much on how much you and Tony grow from this relationship, as you do on how much the relationship grows… what is the timeline you set for yourself in how fast or slow a relationship moves along? Why do you have this time frame? What is its purpose for you and your life?
    How fast or how slow are you prepared to have the relationship move? And what about you? Him?

    Sorry, I’m done commenting for tonight, I have a story to write myself 😉

    Good luck Ann. Thinking of you often!
    XO

      • Why do you say it’s deceit? What makes you so sure it is? You only have his side of the story, have never met her, have you? What makes you feel she is more trustworthy than he is?
        I’m not saying she isn’t, I’m just questioning your thinking.
        And maybe pushing your buttons a little, playing devil’s advocate, trying to make you see options you may not have thought of…
        I hope you don’t become exasperated with me… I only have you and your happiness at heart, I don’t know Tony, couldn’t care less about him… So do tell me when you’re tired of it 😉

        • I’m not sure if she’s more trustworthy but also not sure it matters. What concerns me is his motivation for not telling her he’s dating or that his trip to Jamaica wasn’t solo, as he led her to believe.

          • I know. As I discussed with Maggie, it may be because of gaslighting… don’t discount it.
            It doesn’t make it much better for you at the moment, but… some protective responses you learn, you can’t get rid of easily…

What do you think?