Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love, Romance, and How I got here.

Some plural families are formed out of religious belief as we all know, and some are not. All of Hubby's wives are here in this family out of love. At the time I first met our husband I had given up believing in romance; I had failed miserably at it before so it was something I thought was best to not even think about. But love came back into my life when as the cliche goes, I was least expecting it.

I was unhappily co-existing with my then husband. I had older teenage children that I was praying would hurry up and grow up so that I could make my move toward independence. We met online originally but soon struck up a real friendship. I found him very easy to talk to and I think he did me. I knew he had two wives from the very first, before we ever met in person. It seemed to me at the time that all of his life angst came directly from the living in a plural situation and needing to be all things to all people. That's not exactly true but it was definitely part of it. We both suffered from depression, he more than I or at least I thought so. As time went on our friendship grew to something else. I was desperately in love with a man who would never be mine. We didn't see each other for a year and a half. Our lives were very busy without each other. But I couldn't get him out of my mind and we talked everyday. We've always talked frequently. Once I was estranged from my marriage we saw each other again as though we had never stopped. But the question of plural marriage loomed behind us like a cloud about to burst into storm.

Polygamy goes against my traditional thoughts of romance and love. Doesn't everyone want to be someone's one and only? After much back and forth I agreed to visit where he lived and meet the women who could wind up being my sister wives. I don't think they liked me much at the start, but I was pleasantly surprised and taken off guard by their overall loving plural marriage. I'm not sure what I expected but I didn't think real love would have anything to do with it.Hubby seemed happy with them, I was somewhat disappointed, I'll admit. Disappointed and jealous. I'll admit that too. When I pointed out to Hubby that the situation wasn't what I had expected; that I thought he was miserable with them; he pointed out that all that was missing in his life was me. He loved them of course but he couldn't shake that he needed me in his life to feel content.

I'd been in love before and it has never ended well. I just didn't know what to do in this case. We were so close I wondered how well I could do without him.

He made me laugh, smile and feel younger than my years. He thought I was funny and he made me feel prettier than I am. He didn't mind that I was smart. I made him feel loved for who he is, with no further expectation or agenda. I think I gave him a certain confidence. We went on several trips; our relationship was full of love and adventure. Was I ready to give that up and go back to being plain old me? The answer obviously was no. I struggled with my decision for a very long time. I didn't want the music to end but wasn't quite ready to leap into the fire of a plural marriage.

I had all my life been a very jealous person. By some magic I learned to deal with my jealousies. I will say that Hubby is very good at putting me at ease. There has been from the beginning resistance from #2 but everyone else in the family welcomed me with open arms. Once I realized that 2's resistance came from feeling in some ways threatened by me, I realized that jealousy works both ways. Oddly that made me feel better.

It wasn't just the jealousy that had me concerned. It was also all of their collective history, of which I was no part. I was a newcomer, the noob, the outsider. That scared me. Then Hubby made it clear in an indirect way that he couldn't be happy without adding to the family and that he wished that person to be me but if not, this was who he is. I would never be his one and only but he would do his darndest to make me feel special in other ways.

So that is how I came to be a plural wife. For all it's flaws it's a situation that works for him, and now for me. It is built on love. It may be different than your love but it is love just the same. A love story with a twist as Hubby's niece has called it.

The transition from a candidate for plural wife and actually being one has been messy at some times; frustrating and even hurtful. It's also been fun and frantic. I think I might just be getting used to it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whirling Week

This has been a whirlwind of a week! We are fortunate that nothing all that tragic happened but still Tuesday through this morning was drama filled.

Our niece had a baby, by a man she apparently deeply loves but with whom she can't get along. A few days prior to the blessed event Hubby was behaving in such a way that I knew (because we have this silent communication thing) he was thinking about having a fourth again. If there is one thing that unites #1, #2 and I is our agreement that we do not ever want to add a fourth. We have a million reasons and Hubby agrees only because they are all good reasons. In his heart he would love one more wife, one that was young enough to bear him at least one more child. This has nothing to do with reason at all. So he and I went back and fourth about his behavior. These irrational thoughts of his seem to have passed shortly after his grandniece was born and thankfully didn't cause too much stress but it wasn't a fun few days. In the middle of all this a a day after the new baby girl was born her mother and father had a major blowout which resulted in the new daddy creating chaos - which was resolved as predicted by me, before they brought the baby home. Just for fun, we hired the father a couple of months ago to do a ton of work around our home. It is yet to be finished and has a schedule that is predicated on the young couple's fight and kiss and make up schedule! Another person in our family lost their job; we got a new puppy we didn't need; Hubby and I fought about the kind of puppy, he won and I am resisting falling in love with her and he bought me a lovely present for no reason:)

As far as Hubby's desire for the freedom to have time to search for a fourth or even if all it was was a desire to have alone time (something he never has) - it created interesting interaction between all of us wives...yes, eventually they were drawn into the conflict. We were quietly bonding. I remember one incident where I was particularly distressed, it was my day and Hubby decided on the spur of the moment to take everyone to to a huge flea market about 45 minutes from here. Ordinarily I would have been happy about a family outing like this but I just couldn't put a smile on my face. #2 wasn't going she had to work. She usually hugs everyone good bye as we leave, this time I hugged her, hard. Imagine.

As quickly as our lives got all frantic and complicated, everything has calmed down. Life is back to normal and all is good. I had my first good night's sleep in a week last night and I woke up remember the sound of Hubby's reassuring voice and how it brought me back to that time when we first met. I had a happily content day today, and it wasn't even mine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Reflections

I think this is my first Mother's Day here..last year I was with my new grandbaby. It was nice. Hubby bought us each a dozen roses and cooked a good meal for us. I got to sleep very late this morning. The sixteen yr old bought me Arby's for lunch! My boys sent flowers and the littles here gave us all cards. A nice day, truthfully nicer than it would have been in my old life. Somehow my ex skewed Mother's Day but I don't remember how.

I never really had a craving to be a mom until I was about 30 years old then it hit me big time. It's a really rough and tough job though and I don't recommend it for everyone. All the jokes you hear about being a mother are dead on true. I never dreamt I would ever take on the task of being a stepmother too! Raising a teenager again is my worst nightmare!!! But here I am. The good part is that it's not just me. The real mom and older step mom are here and Hubby is a very attentive and participating dad. I've honestly never seen a dad that is more liked by his kids than hubby. He is each of his kids favorite person.

Motherhood in polygamy for me is a trip! It's both easier and more difficult. If I were a kid I wouldn't want three moms in the same house.......sometimes I have the feeling they feel that way here and I don't blame them. But I love them. The truth is that loving them is part of loving hubby.

I wish my own kids knew more about my living situation. I know the oldest worries about me. The younger one is just glad I'm happy. But neither knows the truth of my situation and that pains me. In every other way we are close. We always were even closer than many moms and sons...their father called us a conspiracy of three, he envied my relationship with them. It's a pity because sons really need to be close to their dads. When I was in therapy, I was told that a good portion of my sons problems were due to the fact that after they reached puberty (that weird time between 11 and 13) their relationship with their father waned. It did. I couldn't stop that from happening and I regret it.

With the boys here I am more friend I think than mom. I have an active role in disciplining them but I am much stricter than their biological mom and dad are. Because of that I tend to back away from the discipline role because I learned as soon as I got here that it was a waste of my time. A kid is formed very young.

I wonder what kind of relationship other plural moms have with the children in the family. Most bloggers seem to focus on the adults and their feelings. I would love to hear other's stories on this topic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yogic Philosophy and such

I am very very tempted to tell my yoga instructor about my living situation. But I probably won't. I'm feeling ambivalent about the yoga at the moment anyway. What I enjoyed about her class when it was at the community college is that because the students were all seniors she went at a relatively slow pace with exercises and understood if there were just some things you couldn't do. Plus there was just the "right" amount of yoga, or yogic as I tend to call it, philosphy without being overbearing. She appears to have had an ephiphany or something because this last class I went to we had 35 minutes of meditation instead of 10 minutes of relaxation. I need a tad more exercise and a tad less spirituality. On the other hand I would so love to have a real friend who would accept and not question my choice of polygamy and I think she possibly would be the one. Will have to think more on it I suppose.

I've tried explaining the purpose of yoga breathing and the concept of being in the NOW to both hubby and #2..neither understands that they could do so much more for themselves to be happier people. Hubby particularly needs to learn the art of relaxation and the positive affects it has on your health etc.