More words for Tony. He’s such a lucky guy.

Yesterday I couldn’t keep it in anymore and had to tell him how I felt. You can read about it here if you haven’t already. I had gone to work and between meetings was reading comments and realized there was just so much more brewing in my head.

WAY more.

I had to get it out, so I just started typing. All the things I wanted to say to him but had never dared. The things I needed him to know. And probably most importantly, the things I know have to change for me to continue in this relationship with him.After a couple of weeks of internal torment, I had clarity. I’m so keenly aware that there is no foot stomping to be had, no petulant response that says “why can’t I be awesome enough that you leave your marriage for good”. Nothing good comes of that dynamic in a relationship. He’s either ready and desiring to move forward with me, or he’s not.

I’d love to believe he’s ready, but his behavior and words suggest he’s not. Can I be patient? It really depends on what happens next. But I cannot continue a relationship where it feels like I’m being cheated on with and being cheated on – even if it’s just emotional.

I wrote out the words until there was nothing more to say. I shared it with some friends to get their feedback whether I was making a mistake. Tony listens then goes away and processes what he hears. He doesn’t “talk things out” like I do. So writing a letter and giving him some time to reflect on it makes sense.

I didn’t hear from him last night; he was at a family celebration. He was too tired to even text me when he got home, despite saying he would call. I doubt he had that conversation with Mary – it wouldn’t have been the time or place – but I know he’s thinking about what I said. He did send a good morning text and I’m supposed to see him for dinner tonight.

I sent him the following (and those of you who accuse me of creating cliffhangers… this post is 2,500 words long!):

::::

I know there is a lot of stuff in this letter. These are things I needed to say, yet given you tend to listen then take away to process alone, I thought it best to write it out. I also just had to get it out as it’s been taking up far too much space in my brain and its eating me up from the inside.

We don’t have to talk about it later today but at some point I will want to know what you think about what I have to say. Please know this is written from a place of love and hope, and a belief that great things are possible with us if our needs and decisions can align.
~~~~~~

At work, I always tell my team I can only deal with the problems that I’m aware we’re having.

If you don’t tell me, we can’t address it.

In hindsight, I realize our decision to be exclusive last January was a massive mistake. You could have said no, but you didn’t. Your actions with Gina (I think that was her name; she of the now-famous oyster valentines night) and perhaps others demonstrated you were clearly not ready.

I realized in Jamaica you spoke of at least one of the women you were with between Mary and me you didn’t speak of it ending. My problem is I don’t believe it did. I have no basis upon which to believe that Gina was the only woman you continued to pursue after we agreed to be exclusive. Nor do I know when you finally cut ties with any of them.

You’ve made it very hard for me to trust you, and I don’t like how that makes me feel. About you, about our future, and the things it triggers in me. I am not by nature suspicious or jealous. I generally believe the past should be the past. But knowing you have lied to me and today are still lying to me and Mary and others (through outright lies, or partial truths, or omission) has become an untenable situation for me.

For what it’s worth, I do believe you aren’t kissing anyone else these days. But I wonder if there’s anyone you continue to reach out to and flirt with, who you’ve let believe you are available.

I say all this not to beat you up about your behavior, but to highlight some things.

First, I completely understand that coming out of a long drought of a marriage, one often needs ways to get mojo and ego back. Affection from others, being pursued, lots of sex. Whatever it might be, there’s a need to “refill your bucket” to feel whole again.  I get that it doesn’t always have to be about sex – just feeling wanted and attractive goes a long way.

But you never talked to me about that (you just once said you were lonely as justification for Gina). I don’t even know if that’s how you feel/felt; it’s my presumption based on the lies you told me and those I fear you told, and the things you let me believe.

Second, there can be no strong foundation in a relationship without the willingness to talk about these things. Even when it’s really hard to talk about. Even when putting yourself out there risks what you have with someone.

I am very rare and I’m not sure you realize it. You certainly don’t act like it, in this regard. There is so much potential with us.

You can trust me completely. I’m nothing if not highly analytical. I fight fair and am open about my feelings and needs. I understand human nature and human relationships and can deal with pretty much anything thrown at me.

If I started to feel next week like I needed to fuck someone else, and sensed I may act on it – as in, it’s not a transient thing or just a fantasy – I would talk to you about it. I would expect you to be a partner to me and figure out how we could deal with it. That’s why when you told me the one thing holding you back from a relationship with me was the thought of only having sex with one person for the rest of your life made you ill, I was okay with that. We can play together; it’s something I actively want as well.

But I have to trust you in order to do so.

If I started to feel like I needed more of those goodies of feeling attractive and desirable, and that I’m feeling the familiar pull to reach out to old lovers or go back onto POF or any such stuff, I would either deal with it so I didn’t act on it, or I would talk to you about it. That’s why I sometimes tell you about men I’ve turned down. Not because I’m trying to make you jealous but because I figure it’s fair for you to know that I’ve talked to them, but also want to tell you what the outcome was.

I see two problems with where we are today.

The first has to do with women other than me or Mary. Most of me believes there are no women out there today who think you’d fuck them if given the chance. But there is doubt…the seeds of which were planted last year.

If you were more transparent with me, and about me, this would not be an issue. If I knew deep down you were interested in only me, I would be secure. But this doubt is infectious. I wonder things like whether your “divorce lawyer” knows you aren’t single…and if I’m just believing a lie of convenience when you tell me you aren’t interested. I worry I’m not enough to “fill your bucket” of feeling good about yourself again. Virile and attractive and sexy. I wonder whether you are deliberately keeping your POF profile alive in case you want to go and look and see who is interested, even if you don’t act on it.

As I said before, I understand it’s an important thing to find post-split and I have no idea if I’m enough for you in this regard.

For me to feel better about this, I need you to be more transparent going forward. In addition, I’m debating whether I want you to tell me, just once, the things that I’d be surprised to learn when we were dating last year. To come clean, so we can press that reset button and move forward with a clean slate. I have things I can tell you, too.

This is all predicated on the belief that things have changed and you are genuinely and entirely only with me. If not, well then, you need to be open with me about that, and let me figure out how to move forward with full knowledge of where you and I stand.

And know that you may think you are doing me a kindness and saving my feelings by lying to me, because the truth may hurt. But I guarantee, lying to me will always hurt me more.

I am not willing to be in this relationship with you when physical and emotional exclusivity and honesty are one-sided.

The second problem is the nature of your relationship with Mary. As I said to you yesterday morning, I sincerely doubt if you told her you’d been dating someone for a year who you went to Jamaica with, that she’d say “oh yeah, I figured. Cool.” My gut tells me both she and you are continuing an emotional (and hopefully not physical) connection more than your role as co-parents.

Again, you’ve said to me a few times you’ve made the decision to not go back. Which leaves me wondering why you can’t tell her you’re dating. If I’m being ultra cynical, I wonder whether there’s something you are hiding from me. Were there things you did with her after you and I started going out, that means our timeline has to remain a secret? Did you maintain a physical relationship? Go on a family vacation together? Promise her something?

In the spirit of starting with a clean slate, it would be good for me to know these things. It would also demonstrate your trust for me and your investment in making this work between us.

You have always maintained you don’t want to go back to her, but perhaps going back is best for your son. You’ve been consistent in saying the things holding you back from sorting your divorce are practical ones – where to live, money, school, custody. These are not small things, and as I’ve said to you over and over, I am fine with slow divorce progress when the slowness is because of those things. I admire your commitment to making things right for your son and family.

I am inherently fine with you spending time with her and your son in things like sports lessons (as much as it admittedly drives me crazy because I don’t understand it, especially when your reason is just that he’s easier to handle) if that’s what you’ve decided is right for him. But it’s the pretense that worries me. Do you and her both agree you are engaging as co-parents and not anything else?

I will repeat what I said yesterday morning: I could spend a weekend with Will and Liam and there would be nobody – not us, friends, family, colleagues – absolutely nobody would think there is anything other than just he and I being together because of our kid. We would engage in no canoodling, no physical contact, no romance, no sweet talk, no emotional connection other than the history we share (you can’t erase that), mutual respect, and having a child together.

If she continues to think you may come back because you haven’t told her otherwise – hell, if either of you think you may come back, then I can’t continue our relationship until that’s resolved.

I understand you may not be ready and that’s the risk I’m taking in telling you what I need. You may not be able to tell her you’ve moved on and you want to start the divorce proceedings. Perhaps it’s not true: you aren’t ready to move on. Perhaps you are scared. Perhaps you’re caught in a lie and need to figure out how to get out of it. Perhaps you are frozen because the next steps are overwhelming. Unless you tell me why, I have only the cynicism and guesses and words in my head that replay over and over when I’m trying to sleep.

For what it’s worth, you telling friends and family and colleagues about me/us is something I think will happen only after you’re resolved with Mary. It admittedly makes me apoplectic to think about your colleague and you talking about how great a dinner the four of you had and you should really do it again. Let alone doing it again. He’s NOT on the periphery of your life anymore, Tony.

I am also going to stop asking you about us doing stuff with our kids together. I do not want to meet your son just to disappear. It’s not fair to him. Your continued avoidance of having me meet him makes a lot of sense given the reasons I assume you haven’t had the conversation with Mary.

I didn’t think I had so much to say. I guess I’ve been holding back, knowing you don’t like to talk about stuff. I’m loathe to go back and edit much of this because they are my words and my feelings, such as they are. They are messy and unpleasant and my grammar probably sucks. I’m not infallible. I’m trying to write from a place of love and hope, instead of the anger and sadness and pessimism that flare up on occasion. I’d love to be wrong about things so please, set me straight where I’m off-base.

Mostly, please know this isn’t an ultimatum. I’m sharing how I feel, what I think, and what I need. I’m well aware it may be too much to ask of you, for countless reasons. Maybe for now, maybe forever. Your timeline, approach, and decisions are your own. I could be a catalyst, sure. But you can’t do this for me; it has to be for you.

But you perhaps feeling you need to engage with other women, you actively hiding me from friends, family, and colleagues, maintaining me effectively as your mistress while at the same time having an emotional affair with your wife…these things are killing me inside, and if we can’t figure out a way to move forward that works for both of us, then I too will have decisions to make.

Love,

Ann

69 thoughts on “More words for Tony. He’s such a lucky guy.

    • I felt instantly lighter when I said all that stuff to him yesterday morning. It was amazing. And then getting the letter out helped as well. Part of it is the relief of knowing that I’ve taken my stand, even though when I hit “send” I felt sick to my stomach. I’m pretty sure this is going to be the end, which makes me very sad.

      I always ask my friends what problem they are trying to solve for or what outcome they desire. In this case, my outcome isn’t to “win” or “keep” Tony. Sure, that would be awesome. My desired outcome is to take care of my needs.

      Out of curiosity, what about this makes you respect me? I feel like this is taking forever for me to get through 🙁

      • The fact that you were able to articulate your concerns, thoughts, feelings in a way that sounds less threatening and more from a strong, independent woman. Well done, the letter. I’ve always been better at writing my feelings than saying them – and you are well adept at both. I’m stepping into this comment to tell you why “I” respect you. But if you read all the comments below, you will have your answer to the respect question. 🙂

        • Oh, also respect for standing your ground on what you need and doing so knowing full well that the outcome may not be what you wish for. That’s a difficult thing to do, especially when you love someone as you love him.

        • Thank you! I just said in another comment that I was pleased I could demonstrate to him how conflict can work in a relationship. He’s not used to it without screaming. And he was really good as well. Even Fox was cruel when he was angry and Tony has never been that way with me. He listens and respects what I have to say.

      • What makes me respect you? Because you are strong and love with your whole heart. Because you know yourself and that you can’t just go on like things are without it causing problems in the future. Because you love him enough to let him go as trite as that sounds. Because you have seriously amazing communication skills and despite being older than you (at least I’m pretty sure I am. I’m older than Hy.), I want to be you when I grow up. I don’t think this is something that you could get through quickly. I wasn’t reading you during your first time with him but I think this was a process you both needed to go through. Sending more hugs!

  1. Cancel the dinner tonight, it will be too soon after a letter like that. There is a lot to process and show him your serious about what you said. Not sure why you put out there that it wasn’t a ultimatum. But overall….BRAVO, SERIOUS BRAVO TO YOU ANN. Some major props to you for putting down your thoughts and letting him know fully what you need and not what your willing to give up! High five and a hug coming your way from me! Good luck with the next steps…

    • The ultimatum thing is really because it’s not only in his court. Ultimatum’s become about whether you are doing something that the other person wants. In this case (and I do understand it may be semantics), I could say “if you don’t do this then I’m going to leave”, which is the ultimatum. But that’s the wrong tone. This is “here’s what I need, I understand you may not be able to give it to me, and if not I have a decision to make”.

      Especially if any of this is actually him balancing his ex versus me, then I sure as hell don’t want to be held accountable for that decision.

      And I know you think I should cancel dinner, but he knows I’m serious. I walked away from him once before. And I don’t want him to think that this is all shit. There’s so much that is good and I like spending time with him and want to work this out in a positive way. I’m not sure whether we’ll see each other for dinner but I do agree it’s too early to expect any answers from him. If he has them, it’s likely to be him saying “this is too much for me”.

      • Just to clarify, I wasn’t saying give him a ultimatum. I was saying I would of left it out all together. By saying it is not one(An ultimatum), you are leaving a lot of wiggle room for him.

        And yes you walked away before, but honestly, you took a walk around the block and ended back where you started.

        No matter what, if you see him for dinner, you will talk about the letter, it is inevitable. And I agree with you, his answer tonight will be “this is too much for me”, but if you give him time to process it, and tell him how much you would love to see him, but you want to give him time so he can process what you wrote and would like to hear his response, a formulated response with thought behind it. one that you deserve. Seeing him tonight is going to muddle everything you just accomplished. I know what I am saying is “easier said then done.”

        As I was writing the last paragraph a thought peaked into my head that I hope you can honestly answer…Do you think or feel since you wrote him this letter, and after the other morning, that if you don’t see him, don’t have sex with him, that he will see or have sex with someone else? I say this because you don’t trust him, you feel insecure. And one of your biggest fears/suspicion is that this would happen?

        • Thanks Fred. I guarantee you if Tony isn’t ready to talk about something, he doesn’t. But yes, I hear you. And with regard to your other question? No, that’s not a concern. Since he came back in October I’ve been confident there is nobody else. Would he flirt if someone crossed his path? Yes. But given all the emotional stuff with me and his ex, I don’t think he would pursue someone for the emotional side of things. And physical? Maybe, but recall I don’t think he performs well with new partners and I suspect it’s a deterrent for him.

  2. I’ve read several of your posts and you’re a woman who knows herself and, as you said, you get human nature. You seem very intuitive on this and you’re likely not wrong. Being able to articulate your feelings in a calm way and express your expectations without demands and hissy fits is a mark of maturity. You know what you’re about, trust that, and your gut. Always listen to your gut.

    • Thank you so much. As much as I occasionally feel an internal foot stomp, I try to put that aside because indeed, life is hard sometimes and I am working at having the type of dialogue I’d want if the tables were turned. Not someone who just yells and gets pissy and punishes me.

      But we’ll see how it all works. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Relationships should not be this hard. You need to let him go so he can deal with his crap on his own. I still don’t believe he will ever change. As another commenter referenced, lying and omissions are ingrained in a person. You sound like such a great person and yet you waste your time on someone who isn’t much more than a project that will never be completed to your liking. They say you are supposed to find someone who has 80% what you want and 20% of what you can live without. Where does Tony fall in that? Sorry if I sound harsh but I dated a similar guy on and off for 5 years and at the end regardless of subtle changes and words saying he would be better, he never was. I wasted that many years expecting more. You have already wasted a year on Tony. Time to let him go.

    • I appreciate the blunt talk, Kay. You are right that its unlikely he will change – but he can, if he wants to. I’m doubtful. But we’ll see.

      When it comes to wasting time? I definitely don’t see it that way. I’ve learned a TON about myself in relationships. He helped me be more relaxed with things, patient, and understanding. Having been with him and Fox – who couldn’t be more different – it’s helped me understand the characteristics that I hold dear. I also know that the chemistry we have can make me blind to other things.

      I also have a better sense of how important having the emotions settled post-split.

      And we have had some really great times together. I choose from each experience to grow and figure out how to hopefully not repeat past mistakes.

  4. Your keeping your ship steady, getting the point across and gaining more strength. These last few posts have gone from straddling naked with a frank talk, to puking and now the fire breathing woman. Shows your strength, no nonsense attitude and need for affirmation. I doubt he will respond with true seriousness because it has not happened yet and I do not think it is in his nature. Big Hug for the weekend!!

  5. I’m proud of you! I know this was difficult to write and definitely hard to actually send. You deserve the things you need in this and any other relationship. It’s truly time for Tony to shit or get off the pot. Hugs! Hang in there as you await the follow-up discussion.

  6. Ann you’re such a thinker and really love the way you put things down for yourself first then for him..
    I trully love it.
    You’re am amazing writer and love that you’ve pored your heart out to him so he knows where you stand.
    You’re Taki g a risk because you KNOW what you want.
    Proud of you.
    Keep it up.
    You only deserve the best.
    Hugs

  7. Ann….I love this post and I love your honesty. The hardest thing to do, in my opinion, is laying out what one needs, with the fear of it ending something great. You are so strong and amazing. I feel blessed to “know” you. xoxo

    • Thank you Andi. It was very hard to send it because I knew what the implications could be… But I know I couldn’t continue if things remained the same. Thank you for your support…I’m honored.

  8. I’m very curious what his response will be. I have a feeling he’ll try to walk away and then try to come back. He’s not ready and it’s obvious but I really want to know what he’ll say. Way to be strong and mature in the face of this. I’m not sure I’m as capable

        • Oh I’ve had my moments. I fantasied about pretending to be writing a book and contacting his ex to interview her about her separation. Or “accidentally” outing us on Facebook. Things that came all from feeling hidden and frustrated. But I didn’t do those things, thankfully. Pain does strange things to all of us my dear! xoxo

          • Yes pain sure does do strange things to us doesn’t it. I’m licking my own wounds after my lover had to cancel our plans this weekend. He’s got and has had some very concerning health issues he’s getting checked out on Monday.
            But then I read some comment by a woman who is a facebook friend of his that he’s never met (?) that makes me wonder if she was here in my state! I highly doubt she was given that she’s about 25 hours away by car, (But what about that post she made on her wall about a long ass drive 3 days ago?) but that damn seed of doubt got planted! Grrr! I damn near responded to her response by saying, did you enjoy your visit? So tempting!! But I’m not sure if she meant it literally that she was here or not. He hates drama as do I, so I have to suck it up!
            Sorry.. this isn’t about me. But I did mention to you my birthday plans a couple of weeks back and well now we see what happened. I ended up going to a nearby pub by myself and had a blast.

  9. Ann, it seems like you are spending a lot of time thinking about this, trying to sort this out. Tony has known that you feel upset about this issue for a while. Why isn’t HE making such an effort to set things right? Sure, he might be used to lying, feel trapped, etc. But he knows your upset, and if he doesn’t spend the SAME concentrated effort you are to keep this relationship going, he isn’t really that invested in the relationship. What am I saying? He already said that. Sorry to play devil’s advocate, but somehow I don’t think he would go to the effort you had to to keep this relationship going.

    • I hear you. He’s invested, he’s just not 100% invested because he’s still sorting out how to get divorced. Minor point but given a few people have picked up on that, I thought I should clarify.

      I think if he knew what to do to start to sort out his divorce, he would do it. And while I’m not saying there aren’t things that are shitty, I’ve seen a marked improvement with him since he came back in October with regard to his communication frequency, time we spend together, and general availability. Which is him putting in an effort.

  10. Tony IS an amazingly lucky guy. Although you seem to love him for some reason, in my mind, at least, he doesn’t deserve you and you deserve better. I know how hard it can be to sever ties with someone you care deeply about, but, honestly, it seems to me that if he cared as deeply about you as you apparently do about him, he’d find the time and the energy to do a much better job of being in touch with you and sharing committing to you.

    I also just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing. You, and a handful of other women who blog about their lives and loves, are very special. I do wonder why there do not seem to be any men, at least that I have found, who are as articulate and compelling as you and Hy and a few others.

    I don’t feel the need to comment publicly but did want to tell you that what you do is appreciated.

    I hope everything works out in a way that makes you happy.

    • Bill – i’m so glad you commented; thank you for those amazing words about my blog. I’m honored you think so; thank you.

      I do think Tony cares as deeply. He’s been much more responsive and communicative this time around. But inertia and fear are strong forces. I’m curious to hear what you think about the post I just put up, and the discussion we had.

  11. Heavy. But necessary. Glad you feel lighter. Should sort the men from the boys here (Although I think he’s probably not ready to hear this yet) And canoodling is an under utilised word….! (((Hugs)))

    • Thank you LB. I texted Tony today to say even when the outcome of something is shitty, sometimes just having an outcome is a relief. It was a relief to put those words out there, even though I knew it was a big risk. xo

  12. I apologize in advance if I can’t read. To me the letter makes no sense and I’m not sure why you wrote it unless it’s a letter to you. You lay down the law, take back the law, soften the law, say you’re willing to change the law, ask him to help you disregard the law, tell him the consequences of the law, maybe, definitely, unless. I can see Tony testing or not knowing the boundaries. There are no real ones. I feel your frustration and confusion but seriously, they are brought on by you. I’m confused as a bystander. You ask for honesty, yet flick away pearls of honesty. Tony’s words are not mistakes in language, why do you treat them as such, insisting he take the opportunity to amend, redact or reiterate? As I have said, I see nothing but consistency from Tony, words and actions. Tony has said he is not invested so the response is to fashion another version of investment? If you cannot stomach him as he is, let him go. You talk about “our decision” to be exclusion but all Tony seems to be saying is don’t let me hold you back (or some version of that). At best Tony has agreed he’s least likely to want or have multiple dates. That is not the same as agreeing to be exclusive. Tony knows how to speak. He’s the one who said you’re the best sex he’s ever had and he’s fearful of having sex with one person for the rest of his life, and that he cares about you. If he doesn’t want to hurt you, but senses you cannot hear, what do you expect this non-confrontational person will do. You keep asking why he’s lying, why he’s quiet. Maybe it happens when people demonstrate they can’t handle the truth.

  13. Hugs!
    It helps to let it out sometimes, and you managed to do that in a quiet, non confrontational way.
    It’s too late for me to have real thoughts… So I’m sending hugs 🙂
    XOXO

  14. Well you have basically told Tony to poop or get off the potty. Now the question is does he want to move forward with you which means he needs to grow up, stop lying to you, Mary & himself OR will he take the easy way and dump and run. Hmmm, but dumping you would involve 1) a confrontation and 2) losing the best sex he has ever had with a smart, independent woman. Let’s see if Tony can man up. Good luck, Ann, you may be in for quite the rollercoaster ride this weekend.

  15. You see….everyone here thinks your brave too. It took major guts and courage to get this out because you know there are probably only 2 outcomes, and one may not be positive. You stood up for your needs and I admire you and the strength and courage it took ❤️

  16. By the way, here is the Hunter’s perspective from the condensed version I have given him. Tony should not be dating because he’s a rollercoaster and all over the place. You are going totally against what you are trying to find which is a person who is at peace with himself, confident, secure, stable and willing to be involved in a serious relationship. Willing also means able to make compromises. Hope a man’s perspective helps.

  17. I like it. Very well said and your grammar did not suck. Have you considered what to do next if you don’t get a satisfying response? You talked about him needing to fill his bucket, but what about your bucket? Tony may fill it sexually, but more often than not you seem left wanting emotionally.

What do you think?