The conversations I had on the weekend with Tony helped me reset my head about parties and friends. But what replaced it was the rediscovered concern he was still actively contemplating getting back with his ex. You may recall from this post in the spring it was a rude awakening for me the first time.
I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why he’s occasionally tortured with this decision; just read the comments on my last few posts and you’ll be filled in.
I don’t feel it’s a rejection of me in the least. I told him a long time ago I can’t compete (nor do I wish to) with all that shared history. I also said he can’t compare what we have to his marriage; he and I have never fought about childcare, money, or who is going to do the dishes.
But as much as I told myself I was okay, and tried to keep my mind busy with other things, I got myself into two bad mental places. The first was wondering whether I was on the periphery of his life because he doesn’t want her to find out about me, in case he’s returning to her.
The second was a fundamental trust issue: in the spring I found out despite agreeing to be exclusive, Tony saw another woman a few times, culminating in an overnight date at his house on Valentine’s Day with oysters (I was away that weekend with Liam). He said he never had sex with her, that they had no chemistry; I suspect he tried and couldn’t. This knowledge really cut me to the core.
And despite K Daddy’s worry that I’m constantly pushing Tony, he and I had several conversations in the past week where I didn’t bring anything up. He came over for a late night visit and we cuddled on my couch, just enjoying being in each other’s arms. We were both admittedly crabby but managed to cheer each other up. He slept well in my bed next to me after some particularly hot sex involving retro garters and stockings.
But I couldn’t stay quiet forever. The balance of me being chill for him is very much in his favor. I was starting to feel like I was holding back to my detriment and not honoring how I felt.
So a couple of nights ago during a phone call I told him I was having a hard time thinking that any day he would tell me he was getting back with Mary. He chuckled and said “oh Ann, I don’t think about it regularly so you certainly shouldn’t.”
I told him I was feeling very vulnerable. That I know he doesn’t like labels so I’m wasn’t even sure I could consider myself his girlfriend even though I feel like I am for all intents and purposes. He said “you are.”
I said I know he doesn’t like the word “exclusivity” even though we are. But I couldn’t help but think about the last time he agreed to be exclusive and he dated someone else for a month afterwards and it culminated in the date I mentioned above.
I asked him simply “how can I know that things are different this time?”
He said they were, and I asked him why.
He said “I’m in a different headspace now than I was then.” Fair enough.
I told him it hurt my feelings when he said I did a good job sometimes of stressing him out (it was an earlier conversation and K Daddy, it was in jest… kind of… but it hit home). He couldn’t remember saying it so I reminded him and he backpedaled. I said I wasn’t angry it’s just I work very hard to not stress him out; to accept things as they are and not push him.
He told me he thought things were very good with us and I agreed. I said things felt different than before; I appreciated his communication and responsiveness. His being more available to me. I explained I’ve been happy with everything, but being sick and alone for several days, along with having conversations that triggered some of my vulnerabilities with him, got me off track.
I joked that him keeping me feeling secure was in his best interest because I can actually relax a lot more.
It was a good conversation but I also know when to move on. I’d said what I needed to say.
We moved on to talking about our vacation. He sounded really noncommittal so I said it sounded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to go and it was fine if things have changed but I’d like him to just tell me so I can make plans. I said I was okay with it as long as we were spending New Years Eve together.
He said it wasn’t that he didn’t want to go but he’d “floated the idea” with Mary and it wasn’t received well. As was clear from my snotty post, I was disheartened. I completely understood why he needed to check with her (and the comments in that post explain it) but I started to feel like the chance of the vacation was rapidly decreasing. If seeing (or not seeing) his son became the choice, I knew the outcome.
I didn’t make a big deal of it but said hopefully it would all work out.
At some point the next day he said Mary was going to let him know the next morning about whether his going away was okay. I have no idea if they had a subsequent conversation about it – he’s not big on details. The next day as I was going into a big meeting I texted to say the travel agent just told me the prices at the location we were considering were going up, and asked if he’d heard from Mary.
I was thrilled when he texted back: “Can you talk? I’m leaning towards booking Jamaica”.
I told him the price we’d been quoted and he said “Sold”.
A few hours later after passport and credit card information had been provided, we were booked. Four nights and five days in Montego Bay.
I can’t wait.