When the words tumbled forth.

We’d just fucked and were lying spent on our hotel room’s king bed for the third or fourth time that day. I had been drinking steadily since 10am, wasn’t drunk but had been lightly buzzed for several hours.

I don’t recall how it happened or why I felt compelled to talk, but I did. I don’t remember everything we said because I didn’t have the luxury of taking notes afterwards so as not to forget.

Naked, straddling him, I told him I almost didn’t come on the trip.

He was floored, asking me why I didn’t tell him before. Iย said plainly it was because with all the holiday stuff going on we didn’t talk much before the trip, and because not goingย was tantamount to breaking up with him and I wasn’t ready to do that.

I calmly explained I changed my mind because I wanted to give him a chance, and I believed adults had all the capacity to change their behavior, should they desire to do so.

I challenged him why the hell he didn’t just go to that fucking dinner alone, or not at all. He said I was right that he should have and he didn’t know. I asked why Mary went and he said he told her she had to (path of least resistance I suppose).

He told me then (and other times) that his colleague was really on his outer circle; as much as they’d worked together recently he hadn’t done so much prior to late summer. He asked “have you ever heard me speak of him before August?” and said “I wish you’d know just how irrelevant he is.”

Like it matters.

I asked him why he seems to equate being a good father only with being a good father to his son along with Mary. In other words, why doesn’t he manage his child on his own? Why can’t he do his own thing with him, or with other people? One answer he gave me was that he and Mary do stuff together because it’s easier to manage their son with two people.

Another kinda bullshit response, in my humble opinion.

He has lots of reasons he can’t sort his divorce out. Neither of them have standard schedules that would allow for a regular arrangement for their son. She can’t afford to buy him out of the house and he can’t afford to keep giving her money for that house and get his own two bedroom place in the same neighborhood. He doesn’t want to move his son away from his school and his friends. Etcetera, etcetera.

I suggested he’s not the first person to face these kinds of issues and there are arbitrators and lawyers who can help with that, assuming it’s what he wants.

I know I said more to him but don’t remember the details: I will add them in the comments as they come back to me. I didn’t demand anything from him, or give him any ultimatums. But I wanted him to know how serious this was for me and how displeased I was.

When he reachedย his capacity for discussing the topic, we moved on to other things.

I told myself to keep it under wraps for the rest of the trip, to try to stay in the moment and enjoy hanging out.

I was only partially successful in doing so.

45 thoughts on “When the words tumbled forth.

  1. Please, have a happy ending! For you. For me. For Tony. I will always believe that the right combination of love and lust will win out in the end, but it would be great if that could be true this time! Trust your heart…

    • Thank you! I’m working on it… I’d like to have that happy ending (or beginning, as the case may be) but (and I’m sure this is obvious) it can’t be at the expense of my happiness lol…

      • Well, I thought ‘happy ending’ obvioulsy *included* your happiness, by its general definition of being happy, for an ending?
        Sorry, starting to make little sense :-/
        I’ll hush. Or try to ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Many women live in “hopium” because of the potential they see and feel is in the relationship and the man. This cam mean putting up with things they shouldn’t for a very long time. I have personal experience of this. I see you navigating a difficult time with your heart and your mind. We have both for a reason.

    Sending you all good wishes.

    • Yes, this is so very true. I also do this because I spend a lot of time trying to understand motivations…which then makes it harder for me to just focus on the behavior when it’s negative.

      While I believe people are capable of change, I’m also a proponent of not expecting them to. Although with Tony, some of this is due to his situation, but I also think some of this is just who he is…

  3. Oh Ann ๐Ÿ™

    He really sounds stuck in maintaining the family charade for both the outside world and his son. They still do things as a family? I totally understand and support parents still both being active in their children’s school and sporting/activity lives…but if he takes his son to the zoo does he bring the ex along as well?? For all intents and purposes they are really still looking like a family and it sounds like Tony is not close to making a break from that. It would feel much better if his ex at least knew about you…then at least you would know that she is on the same page in understanding that she and Tony are not a couple…right now I wonder if she knows that or if she thinks he is just on a break to sort out his head but that he will be back. Ugh.

    • Yes, they still do things as a family. There’s not much he does on his own with his son – he takes him to school every day, and sometimes has him overnight at his place on a weekend night. But things like holidays and some of the sports stuff his kid does, I think they do those together. But as you say, this would be way less of an issue for me if I knew she knew he was dating me, because of exactly that – it would mean at least they are on the same page and he’s not deceiving her into believing something that’s untrue. I’d love to know what she thinks.

  4. When my husband and I separated, we discussed rules and I was very explicit that we were no longer monogamous. As hard as that conversation was, it was one we had to have. I do hope Tony has had a similar discussion with his wife. If he has not, then he has put himself in an extremely uncomfortable spot and is deeply hurting at least one of you.

    • Were you still sleeping with your husband when you separated? I agree you need to have it, for sure. Tony has said time and time again that he is not physical with his ex. I tend to believe him – but I think he’s being sentimental and emotionally affectionate with her. Which is just as bad in my opinion, when he tells me he knows getting back with her is not the solution.

  5. I’m not reading as much negative in this as everyone else seems to be.
    I know it’s probably because I’m going through the same crap at the moment, so I totally see why Tony is behaving like this. It’s just moving too fast for him. There may be something in his gut that tells him to do so. It may be that he has no idea how else to do things. The ‘managing their son when there are two of them’ though… how do single parents do it? How do stay at home moms do it? My ex was never involved in most of the things I did with the kids. All our zoo trips/museum trips (and I used to go every week to one or the other with two toddlers)… I managed! By myself!
    He could safely mov slightly out of the neighbourhood into a two bedroom place, and take his kid to school when it’s his week. And have a nanny on standby for the times he can’t be there because of work. Other families do it. You do it. He can do it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Or he could invite you on an outing with his son, then you’d be two of you to handle him (does his son have any special needs that he needs two people to take care of him?).

    Sigh!
    I’m glad you got to talk to him. I’m sorry it hurts because you don’t see the resolution you wish for.

    This said… it’s always the same problem. Why do you hurt? Only you can change that fact. you can either decide to walk away, or you can decide that this is unimportant and enjoy each day as they come. Only you can solve this though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    XO

    • I told him a long time ago that other people can be with his son as well. I’ve been careful about pushing to meet him and will think twice about doing so if I’m close to walking away. But I’ve suggested an outing that is low stress with both of our kids, and will see what he says. It will be a good sign for me if we can make that happen.

      He probably can’t afford a nanny. And yes, there are definitely things he can do to sort out his divorce. He’s overwhelmed and has such a strong feeling of dedication to his family and kid…which is admirable…but it’s in conflict with the somewhat-selfish nature of splitting up.

      • A nanny doesn’t have to be full time. It can be someone who is willing/able to take his son when he needs him/her to. If they sell the house… he probably CAN afford a nanny. Or if he moves into a different, cheaper neighbourhood.
        But that’s nothing if he doesn’t WANT to get a nanny!
        The worst deaf person is the one who doesn’t want to hear, or something along those lines ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. At one time I had to maintain the charade of my marriage for the benefit of my in laws. It felt like sh*t, all that pretending. I don’t know why I did it other than that I was extremely vulnerable at the time. Eventually though, it all has to come out. There is no point delaying the inevitable.

    • I agree with you. The only reason, which is a very valid one, is that one is not fully ready to move on. Not because they’re not committed to leaving the marriage, but because they have many other things to sort out in their heads ๐Ÿ™‚
      I know that’s how it worked for me. I had to make sure that I was ready to move forward, not be taken advantage of, be strong enough to stand up for myself, before I could move the proceedings along. Though, granted, I’d already moved out of the house and taken my maiden name back months after moving out (I didn’t do it sooner because I was known in my place of work by my married name…).
      Everyone moves at their own pace, no one else has to understand it. But I totally agree, it has to come out sometime ๐Ÿ™‚

    • nope, and I joked today on the phone with him that I’m sure we have lots of mutual friends and he’s playing with fire keeping me like a “mistress” to some of his friends. I do know the value of getting my message across with humor some of the time!

  7. Ok I may end up being the Tony basher and I apologize in advance. I read your post before jumping in the shower (which is one of my best places to ponder). At first, I though that Tony wasn’t being a grown up and he is avoiding conflict, taking the oath of least resistance, etc. Then I thought about the similarity of Tony’s situation and a business colleague.

    My buddy took a pounding during the recession and his marriage was one of the casualties. They couldn’t afford to divorce or, for different periods of time, live separately. In the middle was their precious 4-yr-old child – the light of their lives and the successful result of an infertility struggle.

    These were two mature adults who were making decisions based on their love for their child, mutual respect for one another and practical economics. Fast forward several years and they are close friends, living separately (I have no idea if they finally officially divorced) and their child continues to thrive. They even give each other dating advice.

    My point in this story is that none of us can understand the dynamics of their relationship. Perhaps she could care less if Tony is dating. Perhaps they do better as friends and parents rather than husband & wife. Perhaps a marriage of convenience is more practical for them for numerous reasons.

    Now ASV, you need to ask yourself why you give a rat’s ass about their relationship. Do you expect you will replace her? Are you looking for another husband? Tony is giving you what he can give you and it sounds like it isn’t enough for you. Are you anticipating having this relationship conform to society’s norms?

    At the end of the day, I would suggest that you ask yourself what you really want in a relationship right now (not tomorrow or in 5 years– immediately). Then see how many boxes Tony checks.

    Wow, and I thought I would end up bashing Tony. I think I have turned a corner and am now defending him? I need more coffee….

    • I was wondering when the bashing was starting!! I do know nobody can understand the dynamics of a relationship. I don’t want to be married to him and have no desire to be some new mommy to his kid. I also firmly believe there should be a strong connection and interaction between parents even after they split. Will and I are an example of that.

      I also understand that every marriage and divorce looks different. For him, it might be that they need to spend more time together with their child. That’s not inherently a problem for me.

      BUT. Here’s what is. He’s lying – overtly and through omission. To her, and on occasion, to me. She might not care – you’re right. I saw some of her texts come through on his phone and she still says “thanks love” and “I can’t wait to spend tomorrow with my boys :)” and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Those are not texts of someone who is emotionally separated.

      So for me, a big part of this is the deceit he’s engaging in and what it says about who he is. He lied to me when we started our relationship, over and over, about being “exclusive” and a woman he went out with – they were “just friends”. That was all lies, Maggie.

      I could spend an entire day with my ex and there is NO WAY anyone thinks we are still a couple. We are co-parents and that’s it. Nobody is fooling anyone – not in our relationship or our friends, or our colleagues.

      So that’s my issue.

      • It almost sounds as though you are in the process of, reluctantly, letting him go. It is such an incredible bummer that the stars did not align enough to have you together at a time when you are both emotionally and physically available. Totally sucks.

        Calling him “love” and referring to them as “my boys” does not indicate that his wife is on the same page as Tony *says* he is. If it’s all a matter of convenience and economics, Mary seems to have missed that memo.

        • I like how you put it – that *is* what he’s told me, essentially. And I do know that he’s trying to figure out how to make things work and feel like a good dad and family man and not hurt the people he loves.

          I’m trying to be very honest with how I’m feeling and not ignore the behaviors I’m seeing from him that I don’t like. Traditionally I would have spent a lot of time convincing myself why the behavior is okay, rationalizing it away. And I’m trying really hard to not do that, even when I don’t like what it means.

          So that’s part of what you are picking up on. I may see deceit and not like it and talk to him about it and be satisfied it’s situational more than anything else, but at least I’m not ignoring what I see. Hope that makes sense…

      • You are right, those are not texts of someone who’s emotionally separated. They are also not texts of someone encouraged in that separation. He said he thought they were in a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” phase. I think that’s a blatant lie among many based on what you now share. Is the joy you feel with him enough? I cannot trust a liar, especially the ones who pretend to not see their lies.

        • I do plan to bring this up with him. A friend suggested some “gentle” ways to open up the discussion that isn’t just “you’ve gotta tell her” and more about “how do you think she’d respond” and “why are you afraid to tell her” kind of stuff. But I won’t get any answers if I don’t find the right time and way to ask the questions.

      • Ugh – lying is really bad and pretty much a non-starter, but let’s pick that apart for a minute. Is he lying because 1) he is afraid of a confrontation? 2) lying is easier than dealing with the ramifications of telling the truth 3) he doesn’t feel like he needs to tell you the truth because you aren’t integral to his life or 4) he’s got no integrity and is a weak sack of bullshit or 5) some other reason I haven’t come up with?

        I was a habitual liar in my marriage and it was because my Ex was so verbally abusive that I avoided anything that might set him off. I have been learning since I moved out that the truth will set me free and that normal people don’t fly off the handle when you tell the truth. Could Mary actually be a pyscho-bitch and he’s afraid of her wrath?

        There is some huge disconnect going on in their relationship if she is sending lovey dovey texts to him while he is fucking your brains out in Jamaica. Did he even tell her that he went with a woman?! WTF – there is a huge communication gap here.

        • I have been wondering the same thing for a little while Maggie. Could she be a psycho-bitch? It’s not the term I used, but I like yours better than mine ๐Ÿ˜‰
          And the thing is, he could even not be aware she is, for all we know. Just have learnt how to respond to it…
          Shrugs ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I wish I knew why he was lying, for me it’s not as much as he hasn’t told her about me but WHY he hasn’t. The night I told him I couldn’t see him anymore he said he wasn’t used to that kind of a discussion where there wasn’t yelling. He told me in the spring one day she was yelling at him that he had to get his shit together. She accused him of having an affair (and told his mother he did) – it was emotional, not physical, for what it’s worth. So yeah, I’m pretty sure some of it is he’s just avoiding the BS he doesn’t want to deal with.

          I also think he genuinely cares for her (even if he doesn’t want to be married to her anymore) and doesn’t want to hurt her. He also is stymied for how to finalize his divorce.

          A few people said in an earlier post that I shouldn’t give him credit for telling me about that dinner. But what you write above is why I do – he actually told me something he didn’t have to, that he knew was unpleasant. Which means he knows I can respond decently and not yell. He’s opened up to me a bit about other things in his past which also make me think he is realizing I’m reasonable and can tell him when I’m pissed or sad and it’s not Armageddon.

          She thinks he went away on his own. I don’t know if she asked directly and he lied, or they both just avoided the discussion. You’re right there is a big disconnect and it’s what has me so upset; it makes me think there’s more to what I said above about why he hasn’t said anything. It’s not just passivity and avoidance, he’s also letting her believe there’s more there (or worse, actively promoting the belief). Which means #4. Yuck.

          • Ugh. I am not one for ultimatums, but you might need to play that card. Have you asked him what Mary would say/think/do if she knew he was with another woman in Jamaica?

            There is no doubt that he’s got some major issues when it comes to relationships (although none of us is perfect). The questions become does he recognize it? Is he willing to change & grow? As a conflict-avoider myself, I know that it takes a lot of work and a partner who is patient and will not rest until the situation is unraveled and discussed. I have been lucky — the Hunter is at the opposite end of the spectrum. He never avoids conflict and jumps right into it. He has been learning that conflict can be handled without drama from the woman. That’s been a revelation for him — ๐Ÿ˜‰

            You are in a bit of a bind. I’m glad your mom is so attuned to you and can lend an ear. You are a lucky woman.

  8. I realize you love Tony and so walking away from the baggage he brings with him – and his own flawed views on relationships – isn’t an option, so I’ll simply do what I always do: Wish you nothing but happiness.
    Be well, Ann.

  9. I loved what Maggie wrote..she really put it out there very well and I was starting to think that I need to just really lay off any questioning of Tony and the situation.

    Until I read what you wrote about his wife’s texts. ๐Ÿ™ I can’t help but to suspect that she is still very invested emotionally in this marriage and he is still her guy.

    He needs to be honest with her, or with you, about what is truly going on.

  10. Good job!!. After intercourse straddle him naked and have a very frank talk. He has been an ass-hat all along. Your posts indicate the distrust he invokes. You did what was needed because you are certain of yourself and able to tackle the difficulties of this relationship. The vacation was with or without him, hence with him required this frank discussion. His dynamics are hard to discern, but his commitment to you is not strong enough.

  11. He’s not the only one giving mixed, confusing messages. You say to him that you’re upset about so many things but then you go on vacation and sleep with him repeatedly. Most people don’t sleep with people they are seriously upset with. He’ll take as much as you give. If you want to really send a message, stop giving mixed messages.

  12. “itโ€™s easier to manage their son with two people.”

    Oh boy. You know what? It’s even easier with 3 people, or 4. Or 5. Piss poor answer Tony.

    The nonsense about the living arrangements? Pshaw! Pffffft. Bah!

    I agree with your BS call, but maybe because I have lived it. My ex left me and our 2 young children (ages 7 and 5). He only wanted visitation after I started our divorce and he had to start supplying monetary support (2 years after he left. I stupidly held out hope. For what? I really don’t know. Self esteem so low that I would be willing to let him sleep around? Sorry.) He would go months with no contact. Long story short, I bought him out of our house, as I didn’t want to relocate the kids either, my retirement took a huge hit from him. None of it was easy, but I did it.

    Shit. sorry. Just saying, as much as I like Tony, this was the wrong answer.

What do you think?