Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gotta Have Faith

I decided to go with another Chuck Klosterman Hyperthetical for this week’s Sunday Confession. I talked
about the insane situations Klosterman, one of my favorite authors, developed sort of as a test for who he wanted to spend his time with in a confession a couple weeks ago. I don’t really have any sort of religious faith that I could talk about for this week’s prompt. I’ve already written so often about my lack of faith in the justice system, and I’ve certainly discussed the faith I need to have in myself to get over my body issues, so I felt like I should take a break from those two topics. And, let’s face it, the lack of faith I have in my country’s government altogether is far too encompassing for just one blog post. It would take me weeks of continuous discussions to actually air all my grievances. Instead, I thought I would get a bit off-the-wall but don’t expect my tendency towards heaviness to suddenly disappear.

On to the question…

“While traveling on business, your spouse (whom you love) is involved n a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. It is assumed that everyone on board has died. But then the unbelievable happens: It turns out that your spouse has survived. He/she managed to swim to a desert island, where he/she lived in relative comfort with one other survivor (they miraculously located most of the aircraft’s supplies on the beach, and the island itself was filled with ample food sources).

The two survivors return home via helicopter, greeted by the public as media sensations. During a press conference, you cannot help but notice that the other survivor physically embodies the type of person to whom your mate is normally attracted. Moreover, the intensity of the event has clearly galvanized a relationship between the two crash victims: They spend most of the interview explaining how they could not have survived without the other person’s presence. They explain how they passed the time by telling anecdotes from their respective lives, and both admit to having virtually given up on the possibility for rescue. At the end of the press conference, the two survivors share a tearful good-bye hug. It’s extremely emotional.

After the press conference, you are finally reunited with your spouse. He/she embraces you warmly and kisses you deeply.

How long do you wait before asking if he/she was ever unfaithful to you on this island? Do you ever ask? And if your mate’s answer is “yes,” would that (under these specific circumstances) be acceptable?”

In a nutshell, this question is asking that under circumstances where my spouse felt he or she was never going to get off this island, would I or even should I maintain expectation that he or she would remain faithful?

This question never even considers what I would have done given the fact that I thought my spouse was dead and never coming back. Would I have moved on or at least slept with someone, gone on a date? It’s highly likely, isn’t it? If I thought this person was never coming back then I don’t think I’d have given up on having sex again for the rest of my life would I? Uh, no. A resounding no. So, how could I care whether or not my spouse had sex on this deserted island with someone he or she obviously formed a close, deep connection with during the most stressful, insane circumstances?

I don’t think this is the question of faith, of having faith in your partner, of being faithful the way it is proposed. Ultimately, how could you expect this person whose life has changed so dramatically to not roll with those changes? What Klosterman really wants to know, I think, is if you’re petty enough to let it eat away at you that there’s a good chance your spouse had sex with someone else under the expectation that he or she would never see you again. What he wants to know is if you’re going to be so consumed by jealousy that you lose sight of what’s actually important—the fact that you actually have your spouse back in your life, that you are once again reconnected to the love of your life, that what was once lost has now been found. It’s not whether or not you’re concerned about faithfulness because the expectation in this situation is for both of you to have moved on. It’s whether or not you’re insecure enough to be more worried about what happened on that island than about having your spouse back.

Would I ask? Never. It’s none of my business. If my partner and I both had a calm, loving discussion once things were settled down about both of our activities while he or she was on that deserted island, perhaps we would talk about it then. Maybe we’d make it through all the changes life has thrown our way—the assumed tragedy of loss, the new experiences, the hardships. Maybe we’d get back on track. If we didn’t, it would never be because I chose to hang on to some idiotic idea of what my spouse should or shouldn’t have done on that fucking island, and I hope that should he or she choose to move on and make a go of it with this person who ultimately saved him or her, their light in the dark,I would understand and wish the two of them all the best.

What about you? Would you ask?

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  1. I think I'd be too happy to ask anything.
    After time, would I be curious? Probably. Would I be grateful to the other survivor for being there for him in a situation? Having someone to bond with, rely on and probably encourage when things got rough? Yes definitely.

    The only thing I think I'd ask is are they where they want to be now as I'm sure an experience like described above is life-altering to say the least.

  2. It would depend on how long the person had been stranded.

    After a week? She should be able to control themselves, as would I.
    After a month? I'd not hold my spouse to any kind of commitment. A month is a LONG time to spend with just one person without acknowledging and acting on an attraction. I wouldn't be dating anyone at this stage though. I'd still be going through the grieving process.
    After a year? I would EXPECT them to have become intimate in ways that someone who hasn't experienced that kind of trauma and survival could even wholly understand. I would have moved on for certain.
    For the latter two scenarios my question would be different. It would be "Which would make you happier, staying with him, or resuming our relationship?" I would honor her answer, even if it broke my heart. Forcing a woman to remain in a relationship with me after all they'd been through would be a terrible thing to do to them.

    Of course, while my answers seem pretty obvious to me NOW, if these events happened, I reserve the right to just go bat-shit crazy and act completely differently than I'd expect.

  3. I don't think I would ask. I'd probably wonder, maybe even assume. The only time I think I might get around to asking is if it seemed that their bond that sustained them was something meant to be whereas our marriage might already be over on both ends, and then I would only do so to wish them the best.