Grey Knight’s version of meeting me & an update on Tony

I recently wrote about meeting the blogger Grey Knight. Turns out, he wrote about meeting me as well. I always find it fascinating to see myself through others’ eyes, and this is no exception.

If you’re interested, you can read his account of our meeting here: Meeting Ann St Vincent.

Enjoy!

And in other news, I’m only starting to feel like myself again. This illness kicked the crap out of me the last week. I’ve seen Tony just once but we’ve talked on the phone every day. I’m not sure my head is in a much better place, in fact I’d still say I’m morose, since he told me yet again he’s not 100% sure he’s not going to go back to his ex. While I don’t want to read into it, it does help explain why he doesn’t like “labels” like “exclusive” or “boyfriend” because those show a commitment he can’t quite make. It definitely helps me explain why I haven’t met his son. Etcetera. 

And there’s no vacation set yet. He asked his ex (I’m sure he didn’t say he was going with a GIRLFRIEND) and she wasn’t “all that receptive” to him being gone for five days. So looks like I’m at her mercy in more ways than one. He insists he wants to go away with me. It’s not personal. 

I don’t want to write about it. I don’t want to think about it. But the record keeps playing in my head. 

50 thoughts on “Grey Knight’s version of meeting me & an update on Tony

  1. Oye. Of course you are morose! How could you not be? The most perfect scenario to take the normal insecurities from dating and exacerbate them into full blow paranoia and doubts.

    Hard to navigate that enjoyably.

    Good luck!

    • He’s still quite tortured about not seeing his son as often as he’d like. He takes him to school every morning that he can and has him some weekend nights. But his schedule means it’s hard for him to have a set arrangement. He doesn’t want to make his ex sell the house and she can’t afford to buy him out of it. So that’s the deal with the comment – he’s not sorted yet and until he is, moving back is still an option at some level.

      We talked about it again shortly after I put up this post and I feel a bit better – will write about it soon 🙂

  2. He actually said that getting back with his ex isn’t off the table?!

    Uhhhm. Why? What would even possess him to utter those words? I would have slammed that door so hard on his penis and told him to enjoy the ex.

    However, that’s just me. What are you thinking?

    X

    • It’s all about his kid and him missing “family” and what he sees as complexities in his being able to finalize his divorce. It’s not about her. There was more context to the conversation but I latched on to that piece in a way that I probably shouldn’t have. I spoke with him after this post went up – I’ve been stewing about his words for a couple of days – and feel a bit better about things. Will write more soon.

      • Ok I’m glad you feel better about things. I honestly hope he’s explained himself.

        The family unit thing I get. Cern is the same with his kids. It eats him up, but there’s nothing I can do to help 🙁

        I guess Tony is going to have to find his own way.

        • It’s tricky when I see a path forward that I know is likely to help, but it’s not my path and not my problem to solve. I just feel the effects sometimes.

          I’m very careful in providing an opinion about things with him. Sometimes when he brings it up I’ll gently suggest something and then let it go. I know he hears me and absorbs things. And as you say, he’ll have to find his own way. I’m sure his ex wants closure as well… at least I can’t imagine limbo is a great place to be.

  3. Sad to hear about Tony’s statement. Why on earth is he seeing you if he’s not sure? I’m sure there is insane chemistry etc. and he hasn’t committed in any way, but he is still playing a dangerous game with your heart. Can the chemistry match up to the ruminating and anguish, and that was fucking hard to accept. You are worth more than this, but I understand how fucking hard this situation can be as I have been in more than one. I’m sure this isn’t making you feel better, but I certainly wish people had said it to me. And get better soon. x

    • He’s tortured about his son and what he sees as a bad situation if he tries to finalize his divorce. She can’t afford to buy him out of the house and he hates the thought of his son not being in the house. He misses his son terribly and wants to see him more often but his work schedule makes planning in advance impossible. And he misses being a family unit. He doesn’t want to go back to her in particular – he knows the relationship won’t be different. I have empathy for him but it’s also frustrating because I see a path forward to solving most of his challenges… But the family one is hard. Faraway Lover was the same – he agonized over the loss of his family unit.

      All that said, I told Tony yesterday I couldn’t bear thinking any day he might tell me he was going back to her and he expressed surprise because even he doesn’t think about it that much. He told me once I was the reason he hadn’t tried again with her. He didn’t go back in the two months we didn’t see each other… I would actually be surprised if it happened but need a way to not worry about it. Because things are great with us right now and who knows what else could happen in the future. I could decide he’s not the one for me as well.

      I should write a post about our conversations I suppose 🙂

      • This is probably easy for me to say as I’m so far removed from the situation (outside looking in and all) but if he is THAT worried about his child staying in the home he needs to give his ex his half of the house. That puts the strain on him instead of his ex but that sounds like what he is saying he wants to do.

        • That’s effectively what he’s doing by not settling the divorce. He’s also paying child support. I think it’s more that he’s got to get his head around the perceived impacts to his son versus the things that really matter. I know lots of people who really struggle with figuring out what’s right. My experience was a rare exception so I can’t measure Tony based on that.

      • The house thing is an emotional issue masquerading as a practical issue. I assume that the division of property needs to be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. She can’t afford to buy him out. OK. Then do what virtually everyone else does when they split: sell the house and split the proceeds. (Depending on the value of the house and her income, they might be able to determine how much she owes him for his share of the house, then he ‘loans’ her that money and she pays a monthly amount to him like a mortgage. That might do the trick.)

        There could be all kinds of reasons for Tony feeling stuck at this point. Does he really have that strong of an attachment to the house, neighborhood, or school? Is the house a symbol of his desire to be a good father or have a happy family? Is he compensating for his ‘failure’ to give his son a happy family by clinging to the house? Is he projecting his attachment to the house onto his son?

        It sounds like he’s going to be stuck until he can let go of the house and whatever it represents.

        • Thank you Nadia. I don’t want to be hurt either… and I know it’s possible with him. So I’m telling myself that I can’t predict the outcome anyway (who would have thought things with Fox would have ended up as they did?) so if I can enjoy the time we have together now, then I’m okay with that.

          I just have to stop thinking I’m on the periphery because of this stuff with his ex. That’s the killer for my brain.

  4. I call bullshit! He probably didn’t ask her about it, but rather is afraid she would not be receptive to him being gone for 5 days. He would maybe feel guilty? Or afraid that she might suspect that he’d be with another woman. IDK Ann. sorry, I’m usually a positive person, and I do have hopes for you two, but he’s in limbo with her, yet he says he wants to be with you and he is to a point. But why do I get this mental image of him dangling a carrot to keep you on a string in case things don’t pan out with his estranged wife?? Damn I hate being negative, but I also don’t like seeing you get hurt either.

    • For what it’s worth… I could totally picture my ex saying something like this, or making me feel guilty for taking *me* time. I’m already the family wrecker, ‘she who shall not be named’… I don’t know what his old relationship was like. All I can say is, it took me at least 6 months of his BS to realise that it had been going on most of our married life. So I won’t assume that what he says is untrue. It is very possible she did say that. And it is also possible that he hasn’t had time yet to get to that point where he can safely stand up and say: I’m going away for a few days, I need a break. And if she asks him if it’s with someone, reply that it’s none of her business, they don’t live together any more. I know that I couldn’t do that until I felt that I am safe, and it won’t have financial repercussions. This said… my ex still isn’t in that place. He asked me to change a date so he didn’t have the kids one night… I later learnt that it was so he could go on holidays with his mom (Yes, his mom! A 45+ man. I wonder if she’s ever going to cut that cord), and possibly his GF. He never felt safe enough to tell me why he wanted the time off, because he would never have accepted the exchange (he didn’t do it when I was sick with a fever, he’s not about to accommodate for my holidays!), so he couldn’t imagine me doing it for him without batting an eyelid.
      All this to say… don’t judge solely based on your belief system, it could be skewed. And this is true for JC as much as for Ann!

      • I’m sure he just doesn’t want to have the conversation. When I’m feeling vulnerable I chalk it up to him maybe wanting to get back with her so is trying to keep me under wraps, but while I suspect that’s a little bit of it, it’s probably not the main driver. He just likes to avoid conflict and I’m sure doesn’t want to have that discussion.

    • He did ask her and she’s going to let him know whether she can sort out childcare for that time. He didn’t say he’s going away with someone and that doesn’t bother me – it would open up a conversation he doesn’t want to have.

      Yes he’s in a bit of limbo. It’s got more to do with his son and how much he misses family. He knows the relationship and him and his ex won’t be better if he moves back in. It’s not something he’s close to doing but he’s being honest with me that it’s one thing he’s considered as he’s trying to sort out solutions…. I see a path forward for him (I solve problems for a living!) but I know other people who have a really hard time missing the family unit after a separation.

      I have been able to take the approach of one day at a time with him because who knows what will happen. Some days are harder than others, admittedly!

  5. I wish I had some grand words of wisdom that would help you feel better. I’m sorry, Ann. Men sometimes just suck. I firmly believe that situations like this, and mine, are why women so heavily lean on each other. xoxo

    • When I split from my ex-husband I realized I’d let some of my female friendships go…or at least wasn’t nurturing them the way I should. It’s been a priority for me in the last two years and it’s made a big difference in my life.

  6. Glad you’re feeling a bit better physically, but not surprising your head isn’t in a better place about Tony. Why would it matter to him that his ex is okay with him going away for 5 days? Why would he even ask her – do they have really strict childcare arrangements? What if it was a work trip that he had to go on…?

    Loved Grey Knight’s account of meeting you; when he mentioned Tube Stations and St Katherine’s Dock I thought “huh, what?”….I honestly thought you were in the US….just shows the conclusions we jump to about people without knowing the full facts.

    • I’ve said this somewhere else but perhaps on another post. Given Tony’s work schedule they don’t have a set childcare schedule for their son, so there’s always negotiating and relatively last minute planning. So yeah, he needed to check with her.

      I do tend to travel around so you never know where you’re going to find me 😉

  7. I’m sorry Tony said things that are obviously hurting you. I’m not sure he realised how much they are hurting. You need to remember he hasn’t done this dating thing in forever.
    You need to let him know how it makes you feel. You are a great communicator Ann. You can do this.
    He obviously hasn’t mastered this yet.
    See my comment above as for reasons why he may not feel he can tell her. Not to mention the fact he probably feels guilty (and she may make him feel even more so) for taking *me* time instead of spending a few hours here and there with his son. As long as they don’t have an arrangement where he can see him with regularity, and they know exactly when and for how long it will be…
    (and I think it would be better for the child too, knowing what to expect).
    I know it doesn’t help with you, and how *you* feel. If you’re still recovering, this may also cloud your vision.
    But ultimately, only you can decide what is good for you. Just… remember to communicate openly about it before making decisions. You don’t want to do to Tony what Fox did to you, overthink things by yourself, and come to conclusions without even discussing it with him…

    Good luck Ann, as always, I’m rooting for you!
    XXOO

    • It’s a very good point you raise about what Fox did to me, and I will say it did cross my mind as I was working myself into a frenzy… that it’s exactly the same thing he did, drew conclusions that weren’t true. So in each of my discussions with Tony I’ve tried very hard to be positive and not get dragged down by my own stuff.

      At the same time I know I do need to honor some of what I’m feeling, since it’s not 100% baseless. So I raised a few things with him and tried to do it in a non-confrontational way. I got some answers that were honest and feel a bit better about everything.

      • I think you’re handling it very well. Making sure you stay focused on the positive, keeping it light… but you are right, sometimes things need to be voiced, so that we too can rest easier. You shouldn’t feel like you’re the only one carrying the weight of it all, otherwise you’ll tire of this one-sided relationship. And working yourself up by filling the blanks is not fair on him either, I’m sure he’d rather explain things than find you are breaking up with him out of the blue 🙂

  8. I can empathize with what he may be feeling; however, he has to realize that being in limbo like this is not good for his son either. There has to come a point where he will have to step off or step in. In either case, what’s best for his son is what is best for him. What I mean by that is – children will always fare better when the parents live honestly by their intentions and take care of themselves too. He may think he’s doing right by his son, but maintaining this indecisiveness is NOT good for him. And going back to his ex, “just” to keep his son in the house and so he doesn’t lose any more time with him – that has disaster written all over it. Because children learn by example. If mom and dad live together and they’re miserable and always fighting – or if they sleep in separate rooms – what is that teaching the child? That this is what love and marriage and family look like? Sometimes we have to step back and give a good hard look at what we want for our children’s relationship futures… and live that example.

    • You are TOTALLY right. I’ve been careful in sharing my opinion but I’ve said similar things to him. I told him I lived with someone for 15 years who had learned terrible relationship habits from his parents who waited over 30 years to split up.

      I like your point about the indecision. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Tony getting a place that has a space for his son is probably critical for him – but I also know it’s a decision that gets him one step farther from the alternate of going back to live with them. I find little windows where I can gently suggest something and then let it go. I know he hears me and absorbs it… hopefully this is one, for his kids sake, he can absorb sooner rather than later.

  9. As you’ve said previously, you can choose to un-love Tony. I do find that his unwillingness to categorically state that he would not get back with his ex under any circumstances to be a red flag, whatever the excuses for it may be.

    But ultimately with Tony it seems that what you get is what you got. Only you can decide if it’s enough.

    • I agree with you that it’s not great, but I also know he’s being honest. He’s still not sorted out his divorce and until he really moves forward, that option will always be there. Reality is it’s been 18 months and he hasn’t gone back, even when I wasn’t in his life (he’d said to me in the spring that I was the reason he hadn’t gone back to live with them).

      It may not be enough. I don’t want to be tortured on a regular basis but it’s been the exception that I’ve felt really down about things. So I’m getting back to a good place and am working on getting it to last.

        • No it’s because they share childcare but don’t have a set schedule. It’s not like me and my ex where I can pretty much do whatever on my off weeks, which are always set. In Tony’s case because they don’t know their schedules much in advance they always are figuring it out as they go. So it’s totally reasonable for him to check in to say – hey I’m thinking of being gone for almost a week when our kid isn’t in school does that cause any issues for you. That’s all it was about.

  10. So? He’s not 100%, or so he says. He is not going back. She isn’t receptive of him going away for five days? So? How about 3? Or 2? Maybe he wouldn’t have to “check” with her for a shorter trip? It seems she is playing a game, fear keeps thoughts of relationships that didn’t really work…..alive?? It’s very common I believe, for many to find out the grass isn’t really greener….Perhaps she needs to keep her string on Tony-just in case. I don’t think Tony would fall for it, but the draw of the “family” can be strong. Keep being you Ann. He knows how he felt in his marriage, and he knows how you make him feel. It is a difficult situation, that once again requires patience on your part. Maybe this time around you don’t go away, you can still spend time together right??

    • I asked him about at least spending New Years together for that precise reason – I’m not okay with being strung along.

      I’d love to know what she thinks about all this. If she wants him back or is frustrated and just trying to get him to be a partner to her. Who knows…I don’t spend much time thinking about it but certainly am a bit curious!

What do you think?