I haven’t written about Tony in a while, and it’s been deliberate: there’s not much to say. But I’ll say some things anyway.
He still hasn’t moved back in with his wife (I’m going to drop the “ex” because really, what’s the point). He still hasn’t put notice on his apartment. He’s still not sleeping there on a regular basis – a few times at most. He’s still not having sex with her.
And before you roll your eyes on the latter – they aren’t. They didn’t before. Like my marriage, it was essentially sexless. But ultimately it doesn’t matter because he’s on a path to going back to his marriage; that’s the intention he’s set.
He was away for work for a month. While he was still in regular contact with me, the frequency was diminished. It was good for me because I was able to break the habit of reaching out. He brought me gifts from his travels and I’ve seen him a couple of times since he returned.
I’ve stopped the regular outreach and proactively setting up times to see him. I just can’t. And while I still can’t see myself ever cutting him off completely, I know things will continue to change. Tony has been consistent for a long time that he wants me in his life even if it’s just as friends or even just to talk on the phone on occasion. And I want him around too, but he’s moving from the inner circle to an outer one of the concentric circles in my life.
He’s said all the things he’s said before – I’m hard to let go of, he loves me, can’t imagine not taking to me / seeing me, best sex ever, blah blah. It doesn’t warm my heart anymore as I hear a man who is willingly going back into something that won’t make him or his wife happy, necessarily. I don’t like weakness and indecision. Since he’s made the decision, I feel he should try his hardest to make it okay. Maybe he is, but he’s not let me go, so how hard can be possibly trying?
I came to the conclusion that my own marriage was beyond repair, but I tried. I ended my relationship with Faraway Lover for that very reason – I wanted to try with no distractions and influences. But both Will and I decided it was over.
Tony seems to have an internal “to do” list he wants to check off with me before we stop seeing each other. It reminded me so much of Madeline as she tried to justify “just one more” experience with the Cowboy before she was willing to break it off with him. As we well know, this doesn’t help with the healing, it simply delays the goodbye.
Tony knows I’m dating and he knows it’s just a matter of time before I’m “snapped up” (his words). He saw a picture on Instagram I posted while in New York, of a bottle of my favorite beverage and my favorite flowers which had been delivered to my hotel room by a lovely man. He told me later – after some prompting about something unrelated – it made him jealous.
He was disturbed he didn’t know what my favorite flower is. He said he didn’t tell me how the reminders I’m dating made him feel because who was he to say anything about it. Exactly.
All this to say, I can literally feel the difference in my mind and my heart in each of our interactions. The love is still there – it won’t ever go away – but I don’t yearn to keep him, or to fight for anything between us. He’s broken, and that makes me sad. Maybe it’s a loss of respect: if you can’t make a decision and stick to it and put your best into it, what the fuck are you doing? A big part of me – most of me – just doesn’t want to hear it anymore.
I don’t want to have these feelings be the legacy of my time with Tony. On balance, I need to do what’s right for me, so I can hold my head high and defend my actions. I suppose I’m into a grey area on that regard already but I’m okay with the shade of grey.
I haven’t missed the dating sites, for what it’s worth. I was supposed to see five different men five days in a row this week. It got reduced to four when Drew cancelled – the horror – and I have a date set with Kyle next week. Three, actually, over the next two weeks. He asked for them all. I’m doing just fine. Faced with a weekend of a lot of alone time, I lingered in bed, got my nails done, ran some errands, dealt with house stuff, and generally have had an awesome time.
Image from the Cary Grant movie “My Favorite Wife”