Suspicious Minds

 Elvis sang:

We’re caught in a trap;  I can’t walk out
  because I love you too much,  baby.
  Why can’t you see, what you’re doing to me,
  when you don’t believe a word I say?

We can’t go on together, with Suspicious Minds;
 and we can’t build our dreams, on Suspicious Minds.

A friend found out last week that her fiance has been having affairs with two different women, one of them a stripper. He swears they were merely Weiner relationships and that he never actually slept with either of the women. One of the women admitted to sleeping with him, and he claims that was simply a vindictive lie on her part. My friend threw her fiance out of the house they were living in together, and she tried to scrape herself up off the concrete and take in the information. Ultimately she decided to try to work things out with him.

How do you go forward when the trust is broken? How do you work things out when you’re weighed down with a suspicious mind?

The night my friend told me about her fiance’s lies and betrayal, I found my own suspicious mind had awakened. Mack worked that night, and didn’t contact me until the wee hours of the morning. Where had he been during the hours after he got off work, before I heard from him? Was he involved in his own dalliance? Was he out prowling, looking for women, as I slept? And what about his own online activities? Did he have online sexual relationships with women? And how do you ask these questions without sounding like an insecure emotional basket case?

At the risk of sounding like an insecure emotional basket case, I asked the questions anyway. Where were you last night? Mack began to tell me, and then he became annoyed, saying he didn’t have to account for his every movement. But realizing the inquisition was a normal reaction to my friend’s betrayal, Mack continued with his step-by-step report of where he’d been. Eventually, I relaxed and was able to let it go. For the time being.

But as the days passed, I found myself scrutinizing things anew. Mack lives with his ex-girlfriend. While I tolerate that arrangement, sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes I ask myself why in the hell I’m continuing my involvement with a man who lives with his ex-girlfriend. An ex-girlfriend who could be hatching all sorts of plots and manipulations. At other times, I see it as a necessary evil. At least for the time being. The trick is, to get through the time being without losing my mind. Without driving Mack crazy.

Personally, I think Mack should indulge me a bit. This is not a normal situation. I deserve a bit of slack. If my suspicious mind takes over from time to time, I think it’s only fair that Mack do his best to calm me down. He should understand that if he disappears off the radar screen for five hours on a Friday night, I’m going to wonder where he’s been. Hell, he’d wonder where I’d been, and I only live with my cats, not my ex-boyfriend.

So how do you calm a suspicious mind? You ask questions. And you are given answers. Over and over and over again, until the trust is firmly entrenched and you know for sure where you stand with your lover. Also, if you don’t get involved in your own little Weinergate, or inexplicably disappear from the radar screen for five hours on a Friday evening, the suspicious mind would not be stirred up to begin with.

Suspicious minds are a bitch to deal with. They can kill a relationship just as surely as infidelity can. But they have to be dealt with, for left to their own devices, they will only grow bigger, and more dangerous.

Ella a/k/a unConfirmed Bachelorette

Ella a/k/a Confirmed Bachelorette (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.

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