He is my protector and I am his muse

I’m filled with words but they’ve stayed in my head so far. They are no good to anyone there. The inability to talk about the aftermath of a relationship gone wrong is very difficult. To be clear, I’m able to write, but I promised I wouldn’t. It’s the first time I ever agreed to be muzzled but when I fear for my reputation and my safety, it wasn’t a hill I was going to die on.

There’s a lot more to talk about than Tony, but right now I want to talk about him.

I’ve seen a lot of him lately. On a particularly difficult night, after receiving some threats I texted and called him and asked if I could stay with him. I thought I’d be fine, but alone in my house late at night, I realized I wasn’t.

I knew despite everything that happened between us, despite breaking up with him not once but twice, he would keep me safe. I knew even though I was running to him for protection from another man, he would be there for me.

I could spend a lot of mental calories being bothered by the fact that he’s not bothered about me being with others… But it seems rather pointless. He provided what I needed – security and comfort.

He still does.

He is, essentially, my protector. Last night we joked he could pre-screen my dates next time. We could “tinder” together. I sighed and said as much as I appreciated the sentiment, I wasn’t so comfortable with that thought, and even less so with the thought that it didn’t bother him at all.

I suppose that’s the kind of relationship we have now. I’m one of the most important people in his life. We are friends and lovers, with a shared history and relationship. A symbiotic relationship.

He is my protector, and I am his muse.

He stayed with me a few nights in a row when I felt the most vulnerable. While I told myself I wasn’t in immediate danger, I didn’t know for sure, and it wasn’t a time for strong woman heroics. I didn’t want to let Will (my ex) know what was going on; I never know when his response will be judgment instead of compassion. More importantly, I didn’t want to translate any of my fear or concern to my son Liam.

So Tony quietly showed up and stayed overnight, leaving before the sun, and my son, were up. He stayed without complaint. He did it willingly, saying he wanted to be sure he could keep me safe. Shockingly, we didn’t even have sex two nights in a row. We kissed and cuddled and fell asleep.

When the fear passed, the regular contact remained. I think we have spoken almost every day. I will send him a text to tell him I hope his work goes well the next day, and he will ask to call me. We have slipped back into something. But what?

I refuse to think about this as Chapter Three. He hasn’t moved forward, and nothing has changed. I know this to the core of my heart. There is no hope.

It wasn’t a throwaway comment in a recent post, but when I mentioned I might not even want the big fish if I caught him, I meant it. Something has changed for me, and it’s rather fundamental. With distance (and perhaps some pointed questions from my Mother), I realized since I haven’t ever really had the opportunity to have Tony in a full fledged integrated relationship, I don’t actually know if it would even work.

So why would I yearn for something that is truly untested and perhaps going to fail? And no, I’m not saying I don’t love him. But sometimes love is impractical.

All that to say, I’m perfectly at peace with where things are at today. Tony makes me feel secure, and loved, and sexy as all fuck. I feel like a goddamned rock star with him. He adores me, respects me, and looks up to me. He says I’m his muse.

I have made no commitment to him. I don’t have a label on what we are, and that’s fine. I can do what I want with others, when I want. But Tony is there for me when I need him.

I’m sure some day it will change. I’m being very aware of how it makes me feel… if I get back to yearning for more from him, I know I need to dial it back. The thought of going back online is so unappealing right now, but I know it’s temporary. And that’s okay too.

For now, I’m okay who have a protector, and I’m okay to be a muse. Especially because I can be a muse who has time with Lewis, and who is meeting a former blogger who also called me his muse (you can read two of the poems he wrote about me on my Awards & Nice Things page).

36 thoughts on “He is my protector and I am his muse

  1. This feels good. Also some time to take a breath and take care of yourself. Appreciate what you have and then move on if you need to. xx

  2. This is your first Tony post when I’m thinking you’ve now got this friendship relationship in context for what it is. No wedding dresses. No picket fence. Just a mutual enjoyment of each other knowing that’s probably all its ever going to be. Don’t spoil it by overthinking or over complicating it.

    • Thanks Jay. Your comment of wedding dresses and picket fences made me laugh… Not sure I’m ever going to that place again. But I completely understand what you mean. What we have right now works for me. It might not always, but I’m okay for now.

  3. Amen to the other comments! I like this a whole lot, because it speaks to a mature kind of comfortable with another human without pressure to be anything more than “there.” I’m so glad he’s there for you, and I think you’re in a good place within.
    For some reason I thought of that old movie with Alan Alda – Same Time, Next Year – maybe that’s what you and Tony are to each other (except a little more frequently) for now, and maybe that’s not so bad. 🙂

    • Thank you Tara. I will need to check out that movie, I haven’t seen it. I’m so glad he’s been here for me as well, it’s a huge relief. And it’s been just nice to have him around 🙂

    • He is a good guy depending on your frame of reference, I suppose. He’s been good to me in many ways, but very frustrating in others. Overall though, he’s been supportive of me, and kind to me. And those things mean a ton.

  4. Ditto Jay. I’m so glad you are safe albeit censored, but sometime sacrifices must be made. Keep writing whether it ends up here or not because it’s the best way to process events.

  5. I was very bothered when my ex husband, within weeks of asking for a divorce, was comfortable discussing our new sex lives with other people.
    No, just no.
    But I’m glad that Tony is there to keep you safe.

  6. You know I’m in a “relationship” of sorts with my ex. I was confident when I approached him with my “sex with no strings attached” proposition that I didn’t want him back – I just wanted sex. However, I’m noticing that the more time we spend together, the more I’m noticing that there are ties there – at least on my end. As we are always on our best behavior when we are together and have so much fun, it’s easy to start thinking that we have something more than sex. But then something will happen that makes me realize he certainly is not entertaining such notions himself – like when he mentions he went out of town to go fishing and, when I asked “Who with?” he just gave me a level look that spoke volumes. I have to admit, I felt jealous (although I’m 95% sure he was with a male friend) and it hurt my feelings that he would rather spend time with someone else than with me and that he wouldn’t tell me about it when I asked. He doesn’t answer to me – I know that – and I don’t want to have to answer to him. I also wouldn’t want to get back together with him (even though sometimes my heart tells me differently) because he has made no effort to change or learn to communicate more effectively. More importantly, I want my next relationship to be with a man who WANTS to be with me, isn’t afraid to let me know that, and is willing to join me in fighting for us if times get rough. The reason I mention any of this is that you also know where you stand with Tony, but I think that even though you don’t want this to be Chapter Three – your heart may be telling you a bit differently. It especially hit home when you talked about him joking that you could “tinder” together – and you were not comfortable with the thought that it wouldn’t bother him at all. I often have to have “talks” with myself to remind myself that a real relationship would be impossible with my ex and that he doesn’t even entertain the idea (as far as I know), so why am I even thinking about it? That while we are having lots of fun, it’s not sustainable or real, in a real world sense. There may be a time when I have to cut ties with him if our arrangement is causing me more angst than reward – I’m 100% sure you understand that feeling.

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I agree this is potentially a bit dangerous for me, and I’m keeping a close watch on my heart. I do think I’ve let go of a lot… Not trying to talk myself into anything, but more than anything just suddenly realized I was okay.

      I do think it bothers him, he’s made a few “joking” comments but I think it’s on his mind. But he knows he can’t be everything I need, and he wants me in his life, so what choice does he have?

      I may have to cut ties too. I’ve done it before, for a time. But for now given everything else that happened it’s been really nice to have him around.

  7. Whatever you choose to call, or not call what you have with Tony, it works. You both clearly care for and enjoy each other. Is he perfect? No, but no one is. You’re bothered by the fact that he is cool with you being with other people, but then you want a partner who lets you be with other people…so what’s wrong with that. He’s mature enough to contain his jealousy and support you, knowing that you are available to him. Just go with it and enjoy it.

  8. I’m not sure I had time to comment, the past few weeks were very rushed.
    I am just wondering something. Have you considered Tony might be a voyeur, and seeing you (or in this instance knowing you are with others) may be a turn on for him?
    I know I felt uncomfortable telling The Dancer of my trysts with other men at first. Until I realized that encouraging me to go on them was only partly because he’d told me he didn’t want a serious relationship and knew I was ultimately looking for one.
    The main reason is that seeing me with other men, even if it’s just through my words when I retell my evening, turns him on. 🙂
    I am not sure that’s what’s going on with Tony. And if it is, it is possible he isn’t aware of it himself. But it’s a possibility.

    Also, maybe he feels like me: getting out of a marriage where I felt like I was a belonging of my ex, I want something else for myself, and am willing to offer it to others as well. And you know that thought had been working its way to the top of my consciousness for many years prior to the breakdown of my marriage.
    I don’t want someone who stays with me because they have to. Even if it’s only because we decided together that we should be exclusive (or because they pushed it because they felt it was important for them). I want someone who feels free to go see what’s on the other side of the fence and still return to me because they prefer the grass on my side. It doesn’t mean that I’m not interested or even invested in the relationship. I’m probably the one who accepted the love I felt first in this relationship. I’m very much in love, and can see myself grow old with this man too. But I want him to stay because of me, to want ME. Not because of conventions.

    Maybe Tony is a bit like me?

    • He doesn’t like the thought of me with other men. We haven’t talked much about it at all, and he doesn’t ask. He knows only a little bit about how things went bad.
      So no, I don’t think he’s like you in that way. But it’s nice that you are like that 🙂

      • Oh, I don’t enjoy the idea of The Dancer being with other women. It certainly doesn’t turn me on, though I decided I needed to not let it bother me. But I like the idea that he comes back to me because of me, not because he feels he has to. 🙂

        • I understand. I suspect it does bother him, but we don’t talk about other men (and to be fair it’s not like there have been many!). He seems to be capable of putting stuff he doesn’t like aside so that it’s not a big deal. I’m not sure how his mind works when it comes to stuff like this. But I do believe he absolutely just wants me in his life in whatever form I’m willing to be there for him. He knows if he can’t handle me being with other men, since he also can’t commit to me, I will walk away again, and he doesn’t want that.

    • Seems that it has. I’ve had silence for a little bit, and it’s been good. I took some steps to try to ensure it stays that way, and I hope it does. I don’t want to continue to be afraid.

What do you think?