Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some of my thinking has changed about plural marriage

This process has changed me for the better in a lot of respects. However my beliefs about polygamy have also changed somewhat. I thought, naively, that the best way to enter in to a polygamous marriage was through the "romantic" way. WRONG! That is probably the most difficult way to begin this journey.

At least that is what I have come to believe. Let me tell you why if I can..

I believe in romance. It concerns me when I hear about people who are in arranged marriages or marriages of convenience. Romantic love, I have always believed, is the heart and soul of a marriage. In some ways I still believe that but for a plural marriage it is the one thing through which difficulty arises, making sexual jealousy, compromise, sharing everything, children, legalities, housework, all pale.

Now I have truly come to believe that this is a situation best entered in to through the hearts of the women. When women in a marriage choose as best as they can, the new member of the family. Are you shocked at me? You see, I just can't bring myself to "love" #2 in a way that would make life easier around me. She annoys the hell out of me. Sorry. I've learned to get along with her. I even can tolerate her incessant talking more than before, and frankly I think she has come to respect that I can't LISTEN constantly. I rarely find a person I can't be friends with, but I have found one in her. I really am I swear, a pretty tolerant person. But this woman has so many character flaws, and immature qualities, that there is no way I would have ever chosen to spend this much time with her. I've probably said this all before but it bears repeating simply because I've also noted that there have been some improvements. The thing is, if you are going to live in the same house with someone who has NO OTHER LIFE, and they are totally dependent on you and hubby for conversation and entertainment, you best adore her company!

The thing is hubby DOES adore her company. He admits she annoys him. He'll admit she's a dingbat, matter of fact that is the family's nick name for her. He'll admit that she is childish and irresponsible. That she manipulates people into getting her own way even about simple things. But I can tell he enjoys her company, even though he doesn't enjoy her chatter. The reason is plain, she worships him. However, that is one of the qualities I find so annoying. I mean WORSHIP. She refuses to do anything but utter compliments and criticises me for having the nerve to occasionally say things like "dear, I don't think you want to do that" or "Honey, wouldn't it be better if we did this tomorrow." Or, when he asks for opinion, she always agrees with him even if in private she'll mutter disagreement to herself. YUCK.

He even knows she isn't sincere. I THINK. Everyone in the family seems to see it anyway. But there you have it. My reason I would never choose her for a sister wife, or agree to have her here if she wasn't already here before me. And honestly, I'm sad about it. For the first time in my life, I find myself wanting to pray for help about something that isn't tragic, just annoying on a constant basis. What am I praying for? Not her poofing into thin air - but her changing just a little.

I mean she complained ferociously that I was allowed to put stuffing in to a Turkey (we made 2) for Thanksgiving, when it had never been done before in this family to her knowledge and she apparently asked to do it 16 years ago. (bear in mind no one will eat her cooking) She was yelling about it 2 days after the fact! Like a spoiled child who didn't get her way but someone else did. By the way, she likes stuffing cooked in the bird but she couldn't bring herself to enjoy it even though she ate it and didn't comment on whether or not she liked it. I mean REALLY.

I'm not giving up, but I know one thing for sure. If somehow someday I decide I made a big mistake by coming here and adopting this lifestyle, and I decide to leave, she will be the reason. I pray that doesn't happen.

Sorry if this post seems to be more of a rant. I need guidance from an experienced sister wife who has had similar experiences. I'm hoping I'm not alone.

I still believe in romance, I just think it's way more complicated in a plural marriage than I ever imagined and maybe it's best to have the romance come after becoming friends with the wives :)


Hidden Sage said...

That definitely can't be easy.

Can't you put more distance between the two of you? If you don't get along, and if her company bothers you, then why force it?

The Pastoral Princess said...

(((Hugs))) I am not in a plural marriage, but I have enough annoying family memebers that I feel qualified to answer this :0)~ Always remember you will never be able to change her, only yourself and how you react to her. Remind yourself that hubby chose you, loves you, and you were meant to be a part of this family.

I would venture to guess it's almost like any workplace I have ever experienced...there is always ONE! That one person who grates on your nerves, or upsets you. (In my life this would be my mother in law) Prayer would be my best suggestion, the answers may not be what you are looking for, miraculous changes in her are doubtful, but you may find changes in yourself that help you tolerate and accept her irritable qualities more easily.

Until then you will be in my prayers. Believe me I know what it's like to have a family member who has to always be the center of the world.

Anonymous said...

I know that I really don't have any right to ask you this and I am just being a busybody, but I have been wondering this for a long time about Plural Marriage.

What happens if you want to marry another man? Is it allowed? have you ever thought about it? Does it bother you that you are three women serving one man?

I'm a woman and I have been in two relationships at the same time, but it always bothers me when I see one of the guys I am with with another girl.

Anonymous said...

I know that I really don't have any right to ask you this and I am just being a busybody, but I have been wondering this for a long time about Plural Marriage.

What happens if you want to marry another man? Is it allowed? have you ever thought about it? Does it bother you that you are three women serving one man?

UCBerkeleyResearch said...

I have no idea how else to contact you other then through commenting. I am an undergraduate research at UC Berkeley doing a thesis on polygyny. More specifically I am studying polygamist families living urban areas. I would love to have a non-Mormon perspective on what it is like to be in a polygynist marriage. The study is focusing on how do people make the choice to live a plural life and how the family functions. Please let me know if you would be interested in participating or if you know anyone you think might be. My email address is I hope to hear from you soon.

kristadag said...

Hi, I am a college student trying to do a case study assignment of plural families. I am required to have an interview, of course I would stray from anything that culd cause you to feel uncomfortable. I am just trying to learn more about your culture. If you or anyone you may know are interested, please email me asap at thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she feels threatened by you, and probably a little intimidated. That's why the "turkey" incident. I have to assume she was on board with your joining the family initially.
You have chosen a hard life but hopefully a rewarding one. I pray you can find some peace of mind and she can find greater maturity and somewhere in the middle you can know harmony.

viola said...

Doesn't it change your opinion of your "hubby" that he actually are attracted to this woman? That he likes her enough to brung her into the household and make love to her, even though he must know about your feelings, and thereby indirectly hurts you?