With all the recent judgment here – I don’t deserve Leo, it’s always wrong to lie to save someone’s feelings, how dare I play a game with him while I have lingering feelings for another, etcetera – it got me thinking about my moral compass. I don’t think I’m unique in an ability to justify my behaviors and choices. And in some cases, we believe we would never do “that thing” until we find ourselves in a similar situation.
Having a blog is a great way to keep oneself honest, assuming one is honest in the first place.
My Tony posts from a year ago spoke about my unwillingness to engage physically with him if he’s being intimate with his again-wife. Well, as was obvious from my subsequent actions, my need to say goodbye in my way, and my love for him, trumped any moral challenge with being in what at that point amounted to an affair.
I don’t feel remorse for those actions, but I do wish I was stronger and detached myself sooner. However that’s not because it became an affair and how it could have hurt her, but because I knew it wasn’t good for me.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t like my role in a situation that would hurt another woman. I’m not blasé about it. However I think Tony has primary accountability for his actions and his decisions as they relate to his relationship with his wife. I own mine, and if I ever met her and she confronted me with my behavior, I can own them and explain them. I’m reconciled to what I did and why.
Then there’s the choice I made to lie to Leo when he asked when I’d last been intimate with Tony: I have no issue with it whatsoever.
But as I was writing the post and comments, I was keenly aware that Tony also justifies his lies by saying he lies to avoid others hurt. It’s a slippery slope.
This where my world of grey and contextual decision making can drive people bananas if they are black and white.
Here’s how I think about my lie:
To let Leo think there is nothing recent with Tony, and/or that I have no feelings for him and have completely moved on, would be wrong. Given I am still processing that breakup and a part of my heart is still with Tony, it would be disingenuous and unfair.
I think Leo deserves to know I’m not 100% emotionally available yet.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, to tell Leo that Tony and I had the best physical and intellectual chemistry of any man I’ve ever met so far, that I’m still heartbroken at some level, that I’ve been tortured in not being able to fully let him go, that I have to essentially cut off all ties with him because otherwise any contact leads me back to being with him, heart and body?
God, I would never want to hear about that if the tables were turned. How can one expect to compare?
How could I ever explain to Leo that despite all of that with Tony, he couldn’t give me the stability or honesty or commitment that I need? How would it feel to be worry that I’m thinking “hey dude, I’m not as physically or intellectually into you, but you’re honest and stable so I will be with you.”
Killer. It would create an insecurity which doesn’t need to exist. There is soooo much Leo is, that Tony won’t ever be. I believe there are always positives and negatives to each relationship, and the trick is finding the combination that works.
All that to say, I made a judgement call on whether it was a “good” lie, and I believed it to be. Yes, I made a decision based on some assumptions of how Leo felt about me, and I certainly projected how it would feel for me. I’m not saying my decision-making is without fault, but I don’t think it’s as straightforward as saying “Ann you did a bad thing by lying about the date.”
I wrote this post before Leo had his big reveal, but I wanted to publish it anyway as I think it stands on its own.
Image from the 1960 movie “Never on Sunday”