I’m sharing this here to get my thinking straight about Tony’s potential divorce. I have clarity in this moment and am sure someday I will need to come back to this post to ground myself in what I know is right.
First, given what I’ve observed in the past, Tony’s divorce will take forever to happen, assuming it even does. He took six months to fully move back in after they decided he would. He doesn’t do anything quickly.
Of course, Mary is the wild card here. I don’t know, and don’t need to know, how much of this decision is driven by her. I certainly believe the best thing for anyone, in any divorce, is to do it as quickly as possible. But this isn’t my circus and they aren’t my monkeys.
All that to say, I have nothing to gain by wasting a lot of mental and emotional energy dealing with “what ifs”. It will probably happen, but it could be a year from now.
And then what? What if it actually happens?
I would bet lots of money that even once an official separation occurs (signaling they agree they are over), and he moves out (again!), it’s not as if he will say “Ann! Be my girlfriend! Let’s fully integrate into each other’s lives!”
Are you kidding me? You may recall he never told her he was dating, let alone dating me for a year. But she found out we went to Jamaica together. She found out we stayed in touch after we broke up, and she was livid. Rightfully so. I tried to get him to tell her when we were dating, but we all know why he didn’t.
So I can’t imagine she’d be all too pleased if he and I got back together. And one thing Tony is very good at is avoiding conflict.
While he may want to slide back into something more with me, I’d be shocked if he would be willing to actually have a relationship with me out in the open.
And I’m having none of that hidden shit again. Fuck that.
But even more importantly, is he even someone I would want to be in a relationship with?
Our entire relationship was marred by his lies of omission. From the early days where he kept dating another woman even though he told me we were exclusive, to his inability to be honest with Mary about dating me, to lying about going away with me, then lying about going away with her.
I understand why he lies. He lies to avoid conflict and due to a misguided belief that lying to avoid hurt is a good approach. But conflict resolution and honesty in a relationship is damn important to me. I know he was more honest with me than he normally is, but it’s not good enough.
Despite everything, I deeply love the man.
I love all of his broken parts, in addition to the good stuff. There is no denying our connection: both physical and intellectual. He adores me and makes me feel amazing when I’m with him. He’s been one of the very few men in my life who accepts me in all of my facets.
However, it’s been two years since we’ve had anything resembling a real relationship. Since I gave him the post-vacation ultimatum and we ended things, we’ve stayed connected to a greater or lesser extent. But it’s not been out in the open, and for a long while should accurately be considered an affair. And if there’s one thing I’ve always maintained, an affair will never ever be a good proxy for a “real” relationship.
You never have to deal with the day to day monotony of life. You can avoid lots of conflicts. You can restrict your encounters to wine, spa, and sex-filled getaways. It doesn’t reflect the full spectrum of a fully-integrated relationship.
In other words, most of what I’ve enjoyed about the time we’ve spent together has been a small slice of real life. He comes to me for respite and understanding. He said a few months ago how nice it was to spend time with someone who wasn’t angry at him all of the time. I didn’t say what I thought: that if he wasn’t really trying in his marriage, she probably had every reason to be angry.
And I’ve been far less emotionally invested with him for a very long time. It took a couple of months of no-contact, but it worked. He needs me far more than I need him. I’ve used him as a crutch: when feeling shitty, it’s been nice to spend time with someone who adores me. But he’s been cut off when I’m exclusive with someone. The affair has been one-sided.
I’m not saying I don’t love him or have feelings for him. But I’ve been okay without him. He’s been the one driving our connection.
I’m working on not thinking about this too much. I am happy with the increased silence in my dating life. I have projects and goals to work on. I’m busy with work, family, and friends. I don’t need to work through Tony scenarios in my head. There’s not much to analyze.
There are only things to remember, for when the time comes.
Image from the 1939 movie “Love Affair”