Sometimes my ability to truly be “in the moment” and appreciative can be waning. Other times I’ll allow my mind to wander into dangerous territory based on one small moment. In these moments I’ll start playing head games with myself. And I’m so “good” at it that I’ll even know what I’m doing without the ability to stop it. I might even start hearing Head Games by Foreigner, yet I still can’t stop it!
Head games are a great way to let the jealousy monster take over and, admittedly, I’m much better at avoiding this today than I was in my youth. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have those moments anymore. And, today, they can be more destructive than ever.
A great example is our recent encounter with Ryan. In the post about that encounter, all is well! But for the purpose of that post, I left out a part of the story that I want to share here.
Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
So it’s about 5 AM, I’m coming home from an all night dance party, and Jeannie was out at an erotic party. I open the apartment door and the first thing I see are a pair of men’s shoes. I immediately surmise that Jeannie and Ryan had a such a great time that he came home with her. While this is uncharted territory for us, we did discuss this possibility. But we didn’t really cover all the possibilities. How can you?
Quietly I enter the apartment and assess the situation. Lots of lights are on and the guest room door is closed, so they must be in there. I listen for a little bit but hear no sound. Are they sleeping? Maybe. Are they fucking? Not unless there are gags involved. Are they silently awaiting my next move? Perhaps.
Our dog greets me and I assume that in the throws of passion, Jeannie has not walked her, so I decide to take her for a walk and assess the situation. Out on the walk my mind begins to really mess with me. We did discuss the possibility of Ryan coming home with Jeannie, but the entirety of that conversion was:
“What if I want to bring Ryan home with me. Is that OK?”
To which I replied:
“Sure, as long as I can join you when I get home!”
And while I was somewhat serious in that response I think Jeannine took it as a playful joke and wrote it off. (SPOLIER, if you haven’t read it, I did join them.) In any case, as I’m walking the dog I start thinking:
- What was Jeannie expecting from me at this point?
- Should I leave them be?
- What if they come out of the room, am I allowed to be present?
- Should I be avoiding them?
- Did Jeannie even consider how uncomfortable I’ll be skulking around trying not to be seen or heard?
- What about our dog? Did Jeannie even take a moment to consider that she needs to be walked?
I was really messing with myself. I was feeling a “jealous rage” and I didn’t like this feeling at all. But unlike in the past, I wouldn’t allow the rage to take over. Instead, I steered into a new conversation in my head:
- Isn’t this whole thing “uncharted waters”?
- Aren’t we supposed to be experimenting?
- Isn’t this all about having fun?
- We did agree that we always come first, right?
And with that, I decided that I would, in fact, return to the apartment and join them. And when I returned I could hear them talking this time, so I knew they were awake. So while they might not invite me into bed with them (SPOILER, they did) I knew that I could “intrude” and at least reach some agreement.
There have been other Head Games like this for me and I have no doubt there will be others. Jeannie has made minor slip ups along the way, and I’ve gotten angry. But the key, as always, is trust and communication. In this case, the communication was mostly with myself – and that is just as important! In the end, because I trust that Jeannie didn’t do anything to make me uncomfortable and communicated with myself (and then she and Ryan) we had an amazing morning. It could have really gone sideways fast if I didn’t get my thoughts under control.