I read and post the forums on HBO's Big Love website..and the subject of Responsible Polygamy has come up. Everyone of course has their opinions but I've come to one conclusion that goes for any type of plural marriage one would enter into..mine is a little bit like the Big Love marriage in that it is what I would call Suburban Polygamy, instead of the compound type.
The most important thing for harmony in a suburban plural marriage or any plural marriage is something I find myself surprised to say...I think it's very necessary for there to be a strong, responsible, fair and kind but also structure inclined FIRST WIFE.
Let me explain from my own perspective which isn't all that good! The first wife in our marriage is sweet and kind, devoted to the family, hard working and fair, BUT she doesn't have much spine and has let #2 over rule her or manipulate both her and hubby for YEARS AND YEARS. I come along and expect a little bit of special treatment because I am so new to this lifestyle and #1 agrees to a point. #2 however, in her insecurity and clinginess has a difficult time giving up her "newness" 16 years into the marriage!!! #1 can only guide but #2 doesn't listen. She is the Nicki from Big Love in our marriage, without the sexual hang ups.
Because of confusion in a structural way, I wind up having to take charge sometimes when it isn't really my place, that only adds more confusion and resentment and around it goes in a vicious cycle. All the while hubby watching and waiting for his turn to speak up and take the ultimate charge of whatever situation is in the works being discussed and argued over. This puts hubby in an unfair position because occasionally he has to be the bad guy or make someone unhappy................ that then makes me mad! #2 will cry and #1 will retreat to her room.
If she were stronger, and was willing to risk being disliked on occasion the way Barb, the first wife in BL is, things would go smoother. But she's not. She hates conflict.
I think what I'm trying to say here is that most people don't realize the importan role the first wife has, nor how hard it is for sister wives to get along and really LIKE each other most of the time. The people in Big Love at least have their own houses, their own place where they are the ONLY woman in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room etc. Thankfully, I bring no children to this marriage or it would be more difficult.
Living under one roof is extremely trying. The moments for intimacy of any kind are fewer I believe. I have to remind myself to leave time for romance and fun as I'm sure the others do. A strong first wife would somehow in someway make it easier...am I wrong? Maybe, maybe I'm looking for a scapegoat. I'm not sure but I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.