I wake from my sleep -not that I was really actually sleeping- and take a look at the digital clock next to the bed.
Where is he at this time of night? Okay, boys night, I get it. I get the bar-hopping and even the strip clubs. I get the stumbling in just after dawn. None of that bothers me one bit; truly. It’s a guy thing and I get that he needs to blow off steam away from me, doing and saying things he wouldn’t do or say in my presence. He comes home to me anyway. And he always comes home with a smile.
I just hope he’s not being stupid. I’m not worried about what he’s doing; I’m worried he’s out there being an idiot and that I’ll find out about it.
Things were so much easier before I fell for him. I didn’t care. Well, I did care but I hadn’t invested anything; no time, no intense emotions, no trust. I imagine that investing in someone in trust, more than anything else, is the most valuable investment. You expose a piece of yourself allowing them to do what they will with it. Should they want to betray you, betray that trust, you are helpless. You will be wounded and pain is as certain as the next day dawning. And I trust him, so long as I don’t have proof that I shouldn’t.
My discomfort is not jealousy either. I’m not the least bit insecure or worried about him fooling around. I’m not worried about a one night stand or him screwing some bimbo he picked up in a bar.
It’s quite simple as far as agreements go: Do what you’re going to do, so long as I never have an inkling of suspicion in my mind, so long as I never find out about it. If by some chance I do find out, if you’re sloppy enough for me to figure it out, or for it to be common knowledge so that there is gossip behind my back and I hear about it, then I’m gone. No screamimg or hysteria, no breaking things or threats, no ifs, ands or buts, no second chances, no discussion.
Because I can deal with a lot of things a normal person would call insane in the name of love, but not carelessness that borders overestimating my tolerance, or underestimating my pride. Nor can I control my imagination and the images it will create. And if that happens, I don’t need to explain how it’s shot to hell.
Therefore, in its simplicity and controversialness, this extremely insane notion of selective obliviousness to absolute freedom, eliminates all issues of trust. By trusting that a person will screw around given the opportunity, you cease to fear it and they cease to see it as “forbidden fruit”. But, as knowledge is power, in this instance, knowledge is also cyanide.
Very progressive of me? Naive? Neither really. It’s just that I know a person will do whatever it is they want to do in the end, and no amount of forbidding and prohibition will stop them. And, even if he’s not a player, shit happens. So long as priority number one is protection and taking care of himself and me, a “misdemeanor” should not be capable of ruining a sturdy relationship. And if it doesn’t turn into something more, then I need never find out.
Nothing slips my attention, I’m everywhere, I notice everything and people talk to me. Thus, in itself, hiding such an indescretion from me requires a giagantic amount of care. What I don’t know, can’t hurt me, can’t hurt him, and can’t hurt us either.
Because in some twisted way, the fact that he’d cover his tracks well enough for me never to find out means he cares about me, and fears losing me, more than he does anything else.
I am clear on another front as well. I will not do the same. Yes, double standards — it has nothing to do with accepting an “open relationship”, me wanting the moral freedom to do the same or any other new-age shit. I’m much too traditional. I do not cheat. Never, not in any instance, not under any circumstance. Loyalty is the one thing I can say, with absolute certainty, I will never forsake. It’s about my ego and pride; loyalty to myself, first. I made my decision to love and live a common life with a person and, if nothing else, I respect myself and my choices enough not to degrade them in that way. I’ll leave way before it comes to that.
So I trust him because I haven’t confined him. I’m not jealous because I know for a fact that I’m the best he’s ever going to find. Why grab a quick bite at “Wendy’s” when you’ve got a three course meal, exactly the way you like it, and dessert, at home? And sure, tequila shots are fun, but once you’re used to fine imported scotch, which of the two will you prefer?
Some would call it arrogance, but it’s not. Arrogance implies that you exaggerate your worth; and I do not. It’s simply trust that, though he may get cravings for, and indulge in, cheap fast food and shots from time to time, he’ll know how to appreciate a once in a lifetime deal enough not to throw it away for something he could get any day of the week, any place. I trust that he’s as smart as I think he is.
He stumbles through the door just before dawn, dropping his keys and phone on the counter as his jacket slides off it. He shushes them as they bang against the floor and I stiffle a laugh. I turn in bed smiling and watch him strip down to nothing and I hear him gasp as he showers in cold water – he’s drunk but still considerate of coming to bed stinking of booze and smoke. Momentarily stunned to find me awake, even though he always does, he smiles and kisses my forehead.
“Good to be home, baby. Love you.” he slurs, wraps his arms around me and he’s asleep in an instant.
I trust him. So long as I don’t find out.