More things said on my Christmas vacation

If I keep writing the sad and angry posts y’all might get the impression there was nothing good about my vacation with Tony. But that wasn’t the case.

One night, sitting by the ocean in the light of the sunset, he looked at me and told me how beautiful I was; even more than usual by the light of the sunset and in the Caribbean breeze. He’s never been particularly romantic, but I got some romance the five days we were together.

He was affectionate. He’d reach over from the deck chair or across the bed just to touch me, squeeze my hand, kiss my cheek or run his fingers through my hair. He got me so many drinks one bartender nicknamed him “the butler”. He said “good morning gorgeous”. Of course there was all the sex; three or four times a day, every day.

New sex stuff too – taking me from behind in the bathroom after we got out of the shower. He marveled at my ability to bend over in downward dog and touch the floor with my palms flat and he could enter me from behind. Flexibility and height has its benefits. He liked watching himself fucking me in the bathroom mirror.

I tried to peg him but it wasn’t particularly successful. He told me again I’m the only woman he’s dated that he fantasizes about. I’m filling the man’s spank bank.

He also talked about things he’s never talked about before. I had to be careful how I opened up the conversations, since he doesn’t like to talk about himself.

I finally know who he fucked between his wife and me. He’d always been cagey about it before. A couple of women who crossed his path. Fuck buddies who would hang out over movies and pizza; sex interests only. One who he tried Cialis with since he loses his erections when putting on condoms. Seems I wasn’t unique in my frustration with his erection issues (which have since been largely eliminated, for the record).

He talked more about the woman his wife accused him of having an affair with. He told me how it started: she was a bartender at a pub he frequented, he got tickets to a sporting event his wife wouldn’t go to and none of his friends were free, so he asked her. He maintains there was nothing physical between them; it was an emotional affair.

He told me his wife was the one who informed his mother they were separating, and told her he’d had an affair.

He told me his wife wanted to separate their bank accounts, which contributed to the demise of their relationship. She obsessively poured over their accounts to track every receipt, challenging him on expenses she didn’t recognize.

He told me stories of vacations with his friends, the one time he fucked a prostitute in a foreign country, how he’s never been with an escort (I was curious, given who he follows on Twitter), and the women who broke his heart before his wife.

Many of those women are still in the outer concentric circles of his life. Old high school friends or friends of friends. I commented there were a number of them skulking around and asked how Mary dealt with it. Seems she was as allergic to the idea as I am… Which got me thinking his distance and inability to reassure someone emotionally is probably not unique to me. Women in the past are no threat when I’m secure -like with Fox.


These were all nice things but they don’t change anything; I’m still in a bad place.

The unrequited love conversation led me to talk about the couple that I have – not with any specificity. I mentioned I turned down one (the Comedian) given I was with Tony and he started to say again that he doesn’t want to hold me back.

I wasn’t sober and quickly said “don’t tell me again you don’t want to ‘hold me back’. You know I hate that because it means you won’t fight for me.”

He tried to interject but I went on to say “you say that just to assuage your guilt. You don’t want to be accountable. But don’t you worry, I’m fully accountable for my actions, Tony. I own my shit. I know the risks with you; you said you didn’t ever expect to feel like this with someone so quickly after your separation. Do you think wanted to fall for someone who isn’t fully available to me? You aren’t fully invested with me and I’m crystal clear on that.”

And you know what he said? “You’re right, I’m not fully invested.”

Fucker. It reminds me of when Will (my ex-husband) would say something nasty to me like “you’re being a bitch” and when I’d say “wow you’re an ass for saying that” he’d say “well you told me to be honest; I’m just telling you how I feel. I feel that you’re a bitch.”

Tony has created a scenario where in his mind, everything he’s doing is okay because he’s told me that he’s not done with his marriage. Caveat emptor.

Buyer beware, indeed.

I do know the risks and own my shit, but it doesn’t make it feel any better. And frankly, there’s a difference between knowing he may take a long time in settling his divorce, and actively pretending to be married when it’s convenient and potentially leading his ex-wife down a garden path filled with lies of omission.

He told me that night when she asked for him to come back (last March), he didn’t because he knew it wouldn’t work.

So if he knows this to be true, why can’t he say he’s done with that relationship?

47 thoughts on “More things said on my Christmas vacation

  1. What IS he afraid of? He comes across as so weak in the behaviors you recount, and yet I know he can’t be fundamentally weak because you wouldn’t want to be with him if he was. He seems to generally be honest with you about where he’s at, so that’s something, but that doesn’t make where he’s at ok.

    • I am completely allergic to weakness in men so yes, the more I see of this the less it’s compelling to me. When I saw my therapist she always said to me that some of Tony’s stuff is a result of the situation he’s in, and some is just who he is. I’m hoping all of this is the former but I acknowledge that’s not the case.

      • He is in the situation he is in precisely because of who he is. Love him or leave him. As long as you are deeply feeling and expressing your disappointment at his lack of investment and his inability to match up with your expectations all the while visibly settling for exactly that, he will resist you. No one wants to feel (for long) like he doesn’t measure up, no matter how good the sex and chemistry are. People want to feel accepted as they are. Also, another point, how can he ever truly respect you and invest in YOU, if you consistently show him that sexy fun times with him are of more value to you than your own heart’s desire and your integrity. I suspect Tony may give a lot more weight to what you DO than to the reasonable, wise and insightful things you SAY to him. When you DO, he then gets to feel the impact of that and choose what to do for himself. No matter what you say or suggest he should do, he will never say “you are right, Ann, that is what I will do.” He just won’t. It’s emasculating; it might have been something he was doing with his ex, and for him, now, part of his growth, such as it is, is being honest and not acquiescing to the woman in his life. Doesn’t mean he is ready to have the relationship with you that you want, but he is likely growing up, changing and trying new things, new ways of being, in his own way. Not your way. You have be true to yourself AND have to love and respect his way to enter a real relationship with him. It does not seem like either of these things are currently happening or likely to happen. Please receive my comments as speculation rather than advice.

        • You raise a very good point and something I was challenged with when we dated the first time. I felt like I wasn’t completely accepting of who he was. This time it’s different. I’ve accepted his need for alone time (I need it too) and occasional being a hermit and his private nature and messiness and all those things. BUT this shit is different – this is lying and treatment that sure, is who he is, but to me its unacceptable. I’m not telling him he’s bad but am very careful to say this is behavior that hurts me, makes me angry, that I don’t like.

          I welcome both speculation AND advice. It’s all good. Thank you.

  2. it appears Tony doesn’t want to accept the demise of his marriage, which he may view as a failure rather than an opportunity to start anew – with you.
    Hang in there, Ann.

  3. As I’m feeling a little anti-man this morning, I will just say that some of Tony’s comments really sucked. I’m glad you still managed to have an enjoyable vacation, because some of the things he said really would have thrown a wet blanket on the whole thing for me.

    • It was VERY difficult to not think about that stuff constantly. When we were chatting or keeping busy it was good, but I barely read my book and often just stared at the ocean or the sky and pondered life and what to do.

  4. I wish this vacation had been more relaxing for you and I wish there weren’t so many disclaimers or footnotes to his contribution to his relationship. I am hoping it is as Hook says, that it’s just the transition and that this too shall pass.


    • Thanks Holly! It was relaxing at some level, but certainly not mentally! I’m getting closer to figuring out what I need to say to him, and then we’ll take it from there.

  5. Ugh. I always hated hearing “I don’t want to hold you back” and the “not as invested” sucks big time.

    I know Tony is the man you want, but is this the relationship you want? His improvements in some areas have been great, he clearly missed you and realized he needed to step it up, but is he where you need a man you are in a relationship with to be? Only you know how much you can handle and put up with.

    • Sassy, this is 100% NOT the relationship I want. Some stuff is good, very good, but I can’t live with this constant mistrust and the fear of truly being the “other woman”. So I know I don’t want to continue feeling this way. I’m sorting out what to tell him that’s concrete and not just “I’m unhappy”. I need to find the thing that will help me know whether there can be change. I’m doubtful, but I’m now past the “please be done with your relationship with your wife” because that’s not specific enough.

  6. He sounds like the type who just doesn’t let go easily. I’m sort of like that. I’m very glad my beast is accepting of the live I still have for my exes, but the difference is I guess I know I’m done, and he is all I want. I’m best friends with my exes and I know that would be a deal breaker for some people. But I share children with them.

    • As you say – the difference for me is all in the intention. Like you, I maintain a close tie with Will and should we do something together with Liam (like a school concert) I wouldn’t expect anyone to get their nose out of joint. But I’m very clearly over that relationship; Tony cannot say the same.

  7. Good comes with bad or was it the other way around.
    How we read this may very well differ from the truth.
    Still I feel betrayed in the sense that one cannot think it is okay to play two courts. Just because he said so. But the one thing he can’t say is his choice.

    At this time it is one or the other.

    Big hugs Anne and maybe this year should be about Truth and choices. and make a stand.

    He sounds to be unsure about his true feelings still. There is that lingering hesitance.

  8. You said, “You aren’t fully invested with me and I’m crystal clear on that.”
    And he said, “You’re right, I’m not fully invested.”
    And you thought, “Fucker.”

    I don’t follow. He confirmed that you had correctly intuited something about what’s going on in his mind, thus validating your experience, and now you’re pissed off. To me the big question is why isn’t he fully invested? I think it’s clear that he isn’t doing this deliberately to hurt you, though that is the result. He seems stuck or torn and I’m really curious about why.

    I’m not seeing the parallel with Will’s “honesty”. In the example you gave, Will said something deliberately hurtful – a conclusion based on his “feeling”; if there was any evidence to support that conclusion, it sounds like he didn’t provide it. I know I don’t have all the info, but this seems like apples and oranges.

    • The “fucker” thought was frustration more than anything else.

      He’s not fully invested because he’s not yet closed the door on the relationship with his ex. I believe him that it’s more about family / guilt / his kid than wanting to be with her, but it doesn’t change the outcome.

      And perhaps I didn’t make that point clear about the Will comment. It’s that just because someone speaks the truth, or their truth, doesn’t make what they are being truthful about okay. The nature of being truthful only gets you so far. The Will comment was just him being mean, but he defended it because it was “the truth. With Tony, he’s being duplicitous in his behavior but being truthful about it…which gets him to a place where he says “oh but I’m being truthful about it”. It really only makes it better to a point.

      • Frustration is understandable. As for the reason behind him not being fully invested, it’s those underlying reasons that I’m more curious about. He acknowledges that the relationship with her didn’t work, and yet that isn’t translating into him being 100% done. There’s something complex going on deep below the surface, and I suspect that even he doesn’t know what that is.

        • Exactly what I’m curious about as well. It’s not clear to me – and while it doesn’t change the outcome, depending on what it is I may be able to accept it to a greater or lesser extent. He’s a deep thinker – Philosophy degree – and there is definitely something pretty complex going on. I’ve suggested therapy and he knows it would help but hasn’t gone yet.

  9. I can’t help but think of economics here, namely the law of supply and demand. I know that you’ve claimed many times that the reason you stay with Tony and put up with his behavior is because of the “chemistry”, and I’m sure that’s true to an extent.

    But I can’t help but think some of this is also the fact that the less available he is, the more you want him and the more pain and shit you’re willing to tolerate. By contrast, Fox was fully available to you and you weren’t all that broken up about things not working out when he fucked up. With Tony, you have to fight for him to make you a priority in his life, and when he fucks up you’re much more willing to tolerate his bad behavior.

    Unless you’re willing to change that dynamic, there’s no incentive for Tony to change his behavior, after all he now knows he can continue the current status quo as it is and you will be there to accept it, albeit begrudgingly. He gets to have his cake and eat it too. So what you get is what you got, and you have to decide how much and how long you are willing to put up with that.

    • I’ve thought a lot about what you have said Josh. There is definitely something appealing to me about someone who is strong and has their own life and isn’t fully reliant on me for things. So some distance is appealing. Fox didn’t have it; it was as if he wanted to consume all of me. Tony has it… And I’m okay with it to a point – but not when it’s because of the wife / still tethered to the marriage bullshit. I won’t accept this if nothing changes. I’m trying to figure out what I need to have changed in order for me to continue – because it’s not as extreme as “settle your divorce” because that’s not really the issue. It’s something about not continuing to have any artifice in his relationships. Perhaps. I think I need to be specific and that’s where I’m challenged.

  10. I read this post twice, but didn’t take a shower to further ponder it. First, about all those past fucks/flings/Other Women – meh, it’s great that he opened up and shared that with you. I would not give them a second thought. It is a pretty good sign that they are still friendly, but given his lack of confrontation it isn’t surprising that he has few if any burnt bridges.

    Now, about Lovely Mary. Wow, a lot of interesting clues. She was scrutinizing the expenditures? She was smelling smoke and obviously felt the cooling of his love and devotion. Interesting — perhaps couples counseling would have better served them both. Separate bank accounts? I have a feeling that the two of them have a lot of fights/disagreements about money. It’s a continuing theme – can’t divorce because of the housing situation, she watches how he spends money, separate accounts. Interesting, but something to be aware of.

    And finally his confession that he isn’t all in – yep, just confirming what we all know. He enjoys your company, but he just wants the icing off the cupcake with you. All those lovely romantic gestures and comments were probably due to the great, frequent sex he was getting. Anybody having a fabulous vacation full of outstanding sex would turn to his/her partner and say lovely things, reach out to touch to continue the sensual sensations. It keeps the mood going.

    Here is my guess on the post-vacation return to reality. He was great for about 3-4 days post vacation with texts, calls & general communication but it is now tapering back to his usual “go dark” periods. He also has thrown himself back into work and hasn’t made time with you a priority. I hope I am wrong. If I am not, then, to me the writing is on the wall in large block lettering. I’m so sorry, Ann. I’m not sure Tony is in the same place you are. I think he will continue to be a source of futile hope and frustration as you keep wishing and wishing that he changes. I’m not feeling optimistic about this.

    • He’s actually not had any go dark periods, and hasn’t since we got back together. We’ve spoken on the phone every single day (there was only one day in the last couple of months where we didn’t speak) since we got back. We made plans for an overnight on Friday but then yesterday he asked if we could get together tonight after Liam goes to bed. He’s been buying my Christmas presents (he celebrates at a different time than most).

      Yesterday he told me about a new job he’s embarking on and when he told the colleagues he had to go pick up his son, they said “wait what? you have a kid?”… the joke of course being about how private he is.

  11. Oh Ann. This so does not bode well. I read your last post and didn’t have a chance to comment – but was going to say something like, if they were on the same page, why wouldn’t the wife have made begun making the typical plans for divorce – ie. custody arrangements, appropriate housing changes, etc. And now that you’ve said she allegedly wanted separate bank accounts – now I’m REALLY wondering why she hasn’t moved forward with legalities. Of course, one can never truly know what’s behind closed doors….but this current post stinks of a man who is happy to have his cake and eat it too. He’s made a lot of weak excuses. And what you just said above – “wait what? you have a kid?” almost sounds like he tells you this stuff to back up his “private” status and patting himself on the back. And let me just reiterate that Lying by omission is still lying. Which is what Tony is doing.

    In any case, it certainly seems as though he’s still married and you’re going to be the “mistress.” I don’t have to know you personally to know this is so NOT what you’re going to do, no matter what. You know your worth and you are strong and intelligent. And you already know where you’re headed on this path with Tony. Even if he fessed up to his wife tomorrow – I still don’t think anything will change. It’s a tough, emotional situation, but you will come out whole in the end.

    Always on #teamAnn xo

    • Okay so now they have separate bank accounts and have since their separation. I guess so that also means she won’t know about his spending and on what/whom. So in come the whole “Don’t ask, don’t tell” thing. Perhaps she’s told him that she just doesn’t want to know about other women he may see? Hence the omissions to her. And hence the not hurting her…..
      Ann… Only you know what you need and want to say to him. It’s on your heart and is being sorted….It’l come out the right way to him when the time is right.
      I know at the same time you don’t want to feel as though you’re pressuring him to choose between you and her either.
      What you two have together is special and you desire to make it stronger. Make it last… It’s too good to just walk away and let it wither and die…
      What you have is a bond, a love….

      Question Ann… Has he ever said to you to stick with him through this difficult chapter?
      To not give up on him?
      To wait till all this is sorted out with his ex?

      I know you’re hurting… HUGS!!!!!!

      • I’ve been trying to not think *too* much about why they could both be staying so closely connected and acting sometimes as if they are still married. He’s certainly shared some of his reasoning with me, but I have no idea about her perspective. It doesn’t matter really, although for sure I’m curious.

        I did share some of what was in my heart in the next post. I was finally able to figure out what I wanted to tackle with him. There’s more to come. But no, he’s never asked me to stick with him – I think he’d feel guilty and it’s too directive for him. xo

    • Taraka, I do agree with you on all counts. There is definitely a misalignment (or perfect alignment and he’s lying to me) in what they both believe their current relationship status is. It makes me ill to think about it. And yes, I’m not going to stay a mistress, no way. I do hope there’s a solution to this – that he’ll surprise me – but I’m not feeling particularly hopeful at the moment.


  12. This is a rough spot to be in! You’re in different places, and you want something from him that he isn’t ready to give. I can sense from your tone, from your sadness, that you realize that you can’t push him to change. He needs to change on his own. It also sounds like you are good at telling him how his behaviors impact you, stopping short of harranguing him to change. You know, deep down, that change needs to come from within him.

    You also can’t change yourself. You need the security of knowing that you are his top romantic priority, that nothing is in the way of assuming the full-status of being his girlfriend. It doesn’t work for you to take what he is offering you now. Some women would be fine with this.

    The only thing you can control here, now that you have shared very clearly your feelings, is whether _you_ stay or go. By going, you _show_ Tony that the relationship, as is, wasn’t acceptable to you, rather than _tell_ (ie browbeat). But, more importantly, you then give yourself the space to reflect on his pros and cons (given where he is, now), and also give yourself the space to find a more fulfilling relationship, should you decide that being with Tony is inherently unsatisfying.

    I disagree with readers who think that Tony is just using you for great sex. He clearly cares for you. He is torn. It takes some people years to get over the guilt of breaking up their family, especially if they were singled out for most of the blame for the marriage falling apart (which it sounds like he was, whether he deserved it or not). It doesn’t excuse their jerking people around, but its a fact of life, I guess. It’s all-too-familiar to me, as my lover is breaking up with his partner because she was tired of waiting for him to get over his divorce-guilt, was tired of being kept in the shadows, of being excluded from important events with his boys and his ex (while the ex felt great inviting her boyfriend everywhere). My lover had alot of guilt over how smooth his separation-transition was since his partner padded what would have been a hard-landing. It took his ex a couple of years to acknowledge his partner. So much guilt and resentment, and none of it got resolved. I am glad that I was on the sidelines for all of that.

    You don’t trust Tony. Maybe Tony also does not trust himself? He doesn’t trust relationships, but feels a tremendous amount of guilt over them. This is his work, and perhaps the only way you can motivate him to take a deep look at himself is to walk away, if only for the time being.

    • You are quite right, I know I can’t push him. I may be a catalyst but these decisions are his to make. And while I was able to be patient and relax into his timeline for divorce settlement, this new knowledge of their relationship I can’t put up with.

      I also agree with you about Tony and sex. I have no doubt he cares for me very deeply. It’s more than sex for him. And yes, as you point out, there is a lot going on with family / guilt etc. that he’s dealing with. And I can’t own his shit.

  13. Until Tony distances himself from the past he will be in this constant limbo of feelings and making no move to change. As males and humans we need the space to change as only time and distance can make us heal and be able to move on. Rock and a hard place for both of you but for very different reasons. Hugs.

    • Yes, David, I completely agree. And limbo is uncool with me. I was okay with slow progress but realizing what’s really going on between him and his ex – those emotional ties – I just can’t deal with that. It’s his decision what to do, if anything, and mine to walk away if I don’t like it.

  14. This is not you Ann, is it? A strong, independent, and intelligent woman is the Ann I learned to know through your blog, not to mention the unbelievable sexual being you are. How you would put up with someone that you give so much of yourself to, but yet told “You’re right, I’m not fully invested.” shocks me. This is not a fuck friend, this is someone you love, and they are not fully invested, and your wondering “why can’t he say he’s done with that relationship?”. Why aren’t you asking yourself why you are not done with this relationship? So I am asking you, why aren’t you done with this relationship? Imagine this was Fox. If he said this, you probably would have drove him to the airport and went back to the hotel for a good time…

    I went directly to writing, didn’t read any of the comments yet…That will be for later just in case there are similar comments.

    • Sorry this took long to respond to, Fred. I really liked your comment and it made me smile 🙂
      Yes, I’m still here, the same woman you know. I’ve been asking myself what I need in order to *not* be done with this relationship. I’m taking care of myself – I’m no martyr – but want to be honest with him about what I need and then see whether my needs and his abilities match up. I’m not feeling that positive they will – I don’t think he’s ready – and then I will have to end this. I don’t like the pain. .

  15. You mentioned “his distance and inability to reassure someone emotionally” and the fact that he’s not fully invested in this. Hmm. Many people have said this before, and I agree that you two don’t seem to be in the same place and that emotionally he is not what you seemed to have been looking for. I mentioned in a previous comment a while back that he’s playing a dangerous game with your heart but I was wrong. It does seem like you are upfront about your wants and needs, but in the end your heart is yours, and only you can allow someone to break it. It is so hard to see you suffer through this relationship…. Is the anguish worth all the other things? Only you can decide and I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes…really shitty situation.

    • No, if this continues without change, the anguish is definitely not worth it. I may waver but I know in my heart if he can’t be honest with me and her, I can’t be in a relationship with him.

What do you think?