Monday night: Tony and a different kind of workout

I wish I could write about my new fitness regime, like some, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. My head has been up my ass with work and life. Emotional health, but not physical. Sex has been my only exercise.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I did get back on skates last week, which was terribly nerve-wracking given my accident a year ago… but very satisfying once I did it. I was proud of myself. And didn’t fall. I’m getting on skis for the first time in 20 years this weekend…keep your fingers crossed for me.

I did pretty well with my physical health for a while. I’d been seeing my personal trainer for over a year, except my stuck-on-the-couch-because-I-was-broken phase. Last Fall, he got fired from the private fitness center he worked at because he refused to work extended hours. He was amazing and I didn’t want to work with someone else. I was also irritated at how management dealt with letting me know, so there’s been no personal training for me. Work was also insane so it was a fine time for me to get two extra hours back in my week.

I have a gym membership at a chain with locations by my office and house. I figured it would be a good addition to my two personal training sessions a week. I get a discounted rate through my company and last year I used that gym – wait for it – once. And it was only because there was no hot water in my house and I needed to take a shower.

One of my intentions for 2018 (I don’t believe in resolutions) is to prove to myself I don’t need to book a trainer to work out.

Sex doesn’t truly count as a workout, although it helps.

Last night, as expected, I didn’t see Dan. I was pissed off he didn’t apologize for his ridiculous behavior on Friday night and even more pissed off at the thought he may think I should apologize. I heard nothing from him even though we were supposed to go out Monday night.

Tony was sniffing around and asked to see me. I said yes. There were some things I wanted to say.

I didn’t say them.

I told him I had questions and his first response was to decline to talk about it. I told him it wasn’t fair; while I knew it wasn’t about me at all, he should know his announcement has an impact on me. I’m an invested stakeholder.

I got a couple of answers. I asked if the decision to divorce was mutual. He said Mary told him it was going to happen, but he agreed. He said he’s looking for an apartment and they are talking about the terms of their separation, although he joked that knowing him, nothing is happening quickly.

He told me the two night trip he recently took wasn’t a family vacation; just him and his son. I had assumed the three of them went and while I felt a familiar pang of frustration (that they can’t be serious about divorcing if they are still going away together), it was the best thing for me. It kept the status quo.

So correct or not, finding out he went solo made me think perhaps the divorce is real.

Then he asked if I wanted to go away for a couple of nights with him next month. I felt a familiar flutter of excitement and said sure.

I’ve subsequently re-evaluated my answer, although he doesn’t know it yet.

You see, it was one thing for me to see him when he wasn’t mine and couldn’t be. I put walls back up around my heart to protect myself from being hurt by him. I put him in a non-relationship box. It felt nice to see him when we did, and there was minimal risk due to my Tony containment strategy.

My reaction – my thrill – at his asking me to go somewhere with him made me realize I shouldn’t do it.

In order for something to be possible with each other, in order for the Chapter 3 I yearned for so long to happen, I need to be vulnerable and open. Those walls need to come down.


Doing that prematurely comes at a high personal risk. If I let myself believe it could really happen with us, if I become vulnerable and take him out of containment… just to have it be too slow, or not enough, or anything else? Devastating.

And completely my fault. 

This divorce isn’t about me. These aren’t my terms to dictate. Tony and his soon-to-be-ex can do this however they want, in whatever way they want, and take whatever time they want. Obviously.

Tony has definitely changed how he’s interacting with me and the things he wants from me. Today, he called mid-day (somewhat unusual). I was in back-to-back meetings but sent a quick text which said: “hey saw you called but can’t talk, what’s up?”

His response?

“Just wanted to talk. Need attention. I’m not a cactus.”

Those of you who suffered along with the Tony story the last time may remember my nickname was cactus because I told him even a cactus would die from his lack of care and feeding. He’s funny, that one.

I called him later on and among other things, when I though I heard him say he booked something else for this Thursday, he said he wasn’t going to miss “Thursday night date night with Ann.”


So it’s on me to set boundaries, it’s on me to be careful with my heart, and for me to decide to what extent I can engage and not get hurt.

It’s going to be difficult.


And of course, laying in bed Monday night I got a series of texts from Dan as if nothing transpired: “Good evening. how was your weekend? Busy?…. Ok good night.” Since I was busy, I waited a couple of hours then replied: “Hi. Weekend was fine. Except you being bizarre Fri night, not listening to me, then hanging up on me and not replying to my text on Sat. We were supposed to go out tonight.”

28 thoughts on “Monday night: Tony and a different kind of workout

  1. Good for you to realize all this.
    Do be careful with your heart. But also… live. That would be my advice (probably the part of me who would DIE for a vacation away, with my Love even better, may be overreacting 😉 )

  2. Personally, although he does have feelings for you, I feel like Tony ramping up his contact/effort is him using you to get through this hurdle in his life. He is able to avoid dealing with his normal life and marriage/divorce business by throwing himself more into you…its like an escape..and it’s what he has been doing for ages..he doesn’t want to talk about that stuff with you as he doesn’t want the two world’s colliding. I worry that after the divorce is eventually all said and done is he really going to want to quickly settle into another real relationship or is he going to say he needs time to enjoy his freedom blah blah blah. I used to be so team Tony but really I feel like he uses you and doesn’t deserve to get to rely on you for an escape from the reality of his situation.

    • I’d agree he sees me as an escape – and a refuge. He always has.

      He’s never been a big talker about anything. It’s not only about worlds colliding. He has a parent who has been very ill and he doesn’t talk about that. He doesn’t talk about relationships, feelings, or dreams. It’s not how he operates.

      I suspect Tony would be completely fine settling into a relationship with me – he’s already seeming to go in that direction. What isn’t clear to me is how out in the open he would be.

      He’s not the type to want freedom. He wants security and comfort and stability. Its one reason he stayed in his marriage for so long.

      In no way am I suggesting there’s some magical relationship waiting for me. I think he’s using me and doesn’t think about it that way – I doubt he’s given much thought as to whats in it for me.

      • It sounds like he does want the security a stable relationship can offer…but he also cheats. So there is that to be careful of. You may be his safety net but I imagine that at one point his wife was that for him as well but he had continued to cheat on her.

        So, he doesn’t open up about much, is fine cheating and lying to avoid conflict or disappointing someone and he is using you to get through this difficult time…what exactly IS in this for you?

        • Well sure Sassy, his wife might have been that for him 20 years ago. He cheated after many years. It’s well known theirs was not a happy marriage, for a long time. I’m not excusing the behavior – but I don’t need to make a comparison between any relationship he and I may have now and what his marriage was like after 20 years. Yeah, I get that if he and I got together there may be a similar trajectory. I’m not fooling myself.

          This is exactly the same thing it’s been for the last year – I haven’t made any mental or emotional changes or commitments. For precisely all the concerns / reasons everyone has. I don’t want to be in a half way relationship with him now and I definitely don’t want to be in a full relationship without seeing some willingness on his part to be more transparent, among a few other things.

  3. It sounds like you should be very careful about letting Tony in. I’m sure he is having a tough time right now. What Sassy girl makes sense, what happens when things settle down for him.

  4. I’m sure it’s really difficult to maintain distance from Tony given your feelings for him. I hope he doesn’t take advantage of that.

    Dan is a big nope. He blew it! Block his number ASAP.

  5. My advice is to not go anywhere with Tony until you see the divorce papers. At this time, be a friend and keep the Tony containment strategy so he can’t screw with your heart once again.

  6. Tony lied to you about his relationship with his wife and his relationship with others while he was having a relationship with you. When the dance back to his wife was complete he kicked you to the curb and blocked your number each time you were inconvenient. He lied to his wife before and after their reconciliation. Every time he had sex with you he was lying to someone, one or both or who knows who else. Now he asks you not to force him to lie to you again.

    It’s not Tony who has to change it’s you. Tony is consistently inconsistent. He’s a user and a liar. He is self absorbed and a disappointment. He has not demonstrated by acts that he values you, only that he knows he can count on you. He stimulates you intellectually, but he is still all those things. If you are still hoping to find your value in Tony it is a fools journey. This is not love for Tony, unless it is possible to do so without loving yourself. All that I’ve been reading in your blog in recent times shows a change in you. Those wispy dreams that wander through your head, that turn and remind you of disappointment don’t belong to Tony. They’re not even real. Maybe they belong to your father, so leave them with him. Give yourself a chance Ann. Let the butterfly emerge. I think you’re right on the cusp.

    • There is much truth to what you write, Cheri. I appreciate your bluntness.

      I will say however, I know without a doubt how much Tony values me, and how much he loves me.

      It may not be right for me, and I am definitely not on an obvious path to getting back with him, but I don’t doubt his love.

  7. Mmmm. A difficult one. Sounds like he’s changing. Maybe????? I thought his cactus line was cute. But that’s just me. Now I’m thinking ‘give him a chance’. You see, I am as weak as anyone. I know this isn’t the right response. Sorry.

    Oh and also just for the record sex does truly count as a workout. 😉

    • I don’t know that he’s changing, but there is something different now that they have decided to divorce. I don’t have to come to a decision about anything just yet… I’m trying to be careful with my heart.

  8. It’s interesting to me that the men you have been most into (Tony, Bruce, Gregory) are all in a period of transition to varying degrees and somewhat unavailable. Do you think this contributes to your attraction to them? I’m curious what your thoughts are. Do you think Tony would want to go forward with you once his divorce is final? I think once it is official he will have a lot more options due to many women not wanting to date a separated man. I urge you to envision what that would look like and use your head, not your heart.

    • Charlotte, can you help me understand how you see Gregory as a man in transition and unavailable? He wasn’t honest about what he was looking for. He wasn’t more attractive to me because of that. My difficulty with letting him go was more to do with how abruptly and confusingly he ended things.

      Well, I guess he was unavailable because he wasn’t that into me, obviously.

      Bruce I liked because we had a great connection. He was very available to me I thought, except schedules were a bit of a disaster. It was only after the phone call incident, which helped him realize the boundaries weren’t there with his ex, that it was over. I really liked him, hence why that sucked for me.

      But Tony… yes. Totally. Emotionally unavailable is my kryptonite, when it comes in a package of a man that I find intellectually and physically attractive.

      I think Tony would absolutely want to go forward with me – he’s already started to make overtures that reinforce it. But all that to say, you’re quite right that I need to consider this very carefully.

      • Gregory had just left a 25 year marriage so in my mind, that is transition. Tony’s divorce will probably get ugly. I’m pretty sure if you move forward your relationship will be hidden. He doesn’t want to rock the boat and potentially lose more money to his wife. Are you sure you want to go on this journey with him? Why not wait until he’s divorced when the drama lessens? It will be a very stressful time in his life. Once the divorce gets rolling emotions run high. She might or he might change his mind. It’s your life, I just don’t see it ending well. And you may be back at square one with more time wasted.

        • I may have misunderstood your prior comment. I thought you were saying I was interested in Gregory because he was in transition. He didn’t portray a man in transition to all in the short time we were dating. He was attentive, he said he was ready for a relationship, and acted accordingly. Finding out it was a lie wasn’t what then made him appealing to me.

          I will absolutely agree that at some level, men who are emotionally unavailable, or when I have to fight for their attention, that’s a comfortable place for me. Even though it hurts. But Gregory doesn’t fit that category.

          I haven’t made any change to my interactions with Tony. I haven’t decided to go on any journey with him. We’ve maintained contact for a long while and chat / see each other here and there. Nothing has changed with that on my end. I am not going to start anything significant with him (if I do at all) before he’s far down the divorce path. Where I live you can’t get divorced right away, it starts with a formal separation and there’s a long time to wait before a divorce is granted. For me, he’d have to move out, demonstrate a different interaction with his ex (for example, they still took their son to sports lessons together, the last time they were separated), and I’d need to know that there is a notable difference in his willingness for us to be out in the open.

          I doubt that will happen anytime soon, and I’m perfectly fine with it. Honestly, it shouldn’t happen anytime soon. He should take him time to be clear of his marriage and not focus on me at all.

          All that to say – yes, I agree with you that this would be a bad time to start something, and I haven’t.

What do you think?