tony is getting a divorce

My Tony divorce thoughts

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.

So.

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”

22 thoughts on “My Tony divorce thoughts

  1. Be careful with this Ann, love muddles the thought process and you are so correct about the monotony of life. There’s always more boring days than exciting days.

    • I think the thing I need to be most careful of is not letting us just slide into something again. It would be so easy for it to happen, especially after he moves out. The best thing for me would be to be in an exclusive relationship so I won’t have anything physical with Tony.

  2. Oh man, you are hooked! I can tell you’re already a goner. Are you not dating anymore because of Tony? Do yourself a favor and RUN! This guy may care about you but he isn’t good for you. He should really be alone at this point.

    • Thanks for the laugh, Charlotte! Tony has nothing to do with why I’m not dating anymore. My choice to get off the dating sites had everything to do with a number of things that happened in the fall after I opened them up again. And it’s not that I’m not dating – Dan (the plumber) and Zane (guy I met at the party) are still around. I’m simply not pursuing anyone new, which has given me some great mental space.

      But yes, Tony is absolutely my kryptonite. It’s why I needed no-contact with him for a couple of months last year for me to break the cycle we had. And also why I wrote this post – I need to remind myself the things I’d be in for if I decided to try again with him. I won’t say it will never happen, but I know what I’d need to see from him in order to do it.

  3. I know that for me, at such a crossroad, its not just about you and Tony, but about your desire for a certain kind of drama. Drama is a loaded word, so maybe its better to say, a certain kind of intensity. Intensity can make us feel highly alive, purposeful, needed, important, etc. There is a vicarious (or vampire-like) quality to intensity… if one’s life seems boring or stuck, the opportunity to be part of someone else’s drama or intensity can fill you with a certain charge. On the other hand, especially if there is drama, that intensity/drama comes at a price. It is rarely grounding. It is exhausting, especially if there is unpredictability to it. I keep thinking back to where I was last April when “my Tony” broke up with his partner and needed me, on some levels. The drama and intensity were highly charging, even when things were negative, when I was neglected and found myself competing with other women for his attention. It was the focus of my life…. until I broke. In my case, it led to a chronic case of insomnia. This experience in part helped really train me to think twice before charging head-first into intense or dramatic situations. On this New Years Eve, while I can’t say that I’ve changed for good, I see that I work hard to mantain better boundaries between myself and drama, and while it means that my relationships across the board are less juicy, I no longer feel so yanked about… by myself.

    • I’ve managed to avoid drama for a while with him but I can see how it could easily come back. I’ve avoided most of it by being less proactive in contacting him, and by not asking many questions (if any) about life. When I’ve seen him, it’s been a very nice little bubble.

      You’re right thought, there’s something about how he makes me feel which is very reassuring. He’s been there for me with every other little rejection by others. Dangerous stuff, that.

  4. Rather than give opinionated advice as I usually do, I will say that I hope your new year brings you true, satisfying happiness in whatever form works for you.

  5. Hi Ann. I am going to give you my advice from my perspective, from the perspective of someone who has loved and lost a lot of guys and been messed around and always found it very hard to walk away. Even now, with my new approach, occasionally that one man comes along that I just can’t cut the cord with. It’s incredibly difficult and I don’t envy your situation at all. But with hindsight, eventually, I always look back and wonder what on earth I was wasting my time and energy on.

    It sounds to me like you have already answered your own questions. That this must end. But the final break is difficult and it’s harder when the other person doesn’t make decisions and never quite lets you go. IF you decide that you are going to continue seeing this man, you have to decide on boundaries because it doesn’t sound to me like you will get the kind of committment from him that you deserve. And given how you feel about him I’m not sure you could conduct a less than committed relationship with him without it affecting you emotionally so you have to decide if you can hack it.

    My personal feeling is that you need to be tough enough to walk away. The old line ‘you deserve better’ rattles here and you already know you can live without him. But equally he has to let you go. If he keeps popping back and reminding you of his existence it’s never going to be a clean break for you. I think you know what you need to do, but equally I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. Best of luck and I feel for your situation.

    • Thank you for your perspective. It’s interesting, because my first thought in reading your comment was that my decision is whether to Start…not to Stop. I already mentally severed the strongest tie – yes, I still love him, but many months ago I was able to stop needing him, to stop yearning for him. It took a couple of months of no-contact. That was the biggest thing I needed to do to stop the addiction as Phil calls it (rightfully so).

      But, for the last many months he hasn’t been cut off.

      You’re quite right about the boundaries, and that’s one of the things that’s bouncing around in my head. I suspect, if he was the only one making decisions, we’d fall back into a familiar pattern. Seeing each other, perhaps even him integrating somewhat into my life, but never really making it a full relationship on his side. I suspect I’m a crutch for him as well. Now, I have no idea how much he’s actively thought about “us”… I hope he’s been focussed on the divorce conversations he needs to have. But I’m certainly curious what he’s assumed. As you say, boundardies are going to be super important, especially while he’s still in a grey area… because I lived in that grey for a long time and don’t want to do it again.

      • I think you’re going about it the right way. You sound mindful of the pitfalls you may come across and of his shortcomings. If you can install the boundaries and still manage the situation to your satisfaction then go for it but you don’t want him pulling all the strings for his benefit because he can’t make up his mind. It’s not fair on you and whilst he has his stuff to deal with, this isn’t really your stuff and keeping you simmering whilst he decides isn’t really on. He needs to have honest conversations with you about where he is, guys are terrible at this.

        • I think the decision to divorce has been made for him, so *hopefully* there won’t be the limbo anymore about which relationship he will be in. But, it could take them months if not a year or more to actually get it all sorted out. I don’t want to be a part of that.

          He’s particularly terrible at it. Right now, I don’t need the answers – of course I have all the questions, but it’s not a dialogue I need to have right now. He needs to focus on getting himself sorted with his ex/wife and not assume I’m giving him a soft landing. Perhaps the latter is the only message he needs to hear from me right now… but I will only deliver it if he starts to act like he thinks that’s what’s going to happen.

  6. What I said on the last post. You’re pretty clear in your head about your needs and wants and balancing those things, and being realistic. I don’t rule out the return of Tony, but I believe you when you say you’re not sure this is what you want anymore… which is a great, healthy for Ann place to be.

    • I’m not good at saying “no” to him. It’s been much easier for me the past year or so because he’s been back with his wife and after she found out we’d been on vacation together the year before, she forbid him from any contact (not a surprise).

      So that meant we had to communicate using a burner phone app and I was rarely the one to initiate any dialogue. He’s been the one that’s proactively asked to get together. But if / when that changes, and suddenly he’s more available and asking to see me…. it’s going to be difficult to say no if there’s nobody in my life that would stop me from saying yes, other than me.

  7. I’ve always been a fan of Tony’s because I feel like I can understand and relate to him. I completely get your reservations about him, and you are right to have those reservations because he won’t change without professional help. He’ll keep lying here and there to avoid conflict and to avoid hurt, following the path of least resistance for those around him. If you can either get him to go to counseling to fix that, or learn to except it then you’ll have a potentially amazing relationship together. But he won’t give up his old behavior and the demons in his own mind without a lot of help.
    It’s always been clear to me that he has your heart, regardless of what is best for you or what you want. He’s a flawed guy, but so aren’t we all.

What do you think?