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.


Mts511 said...

Good for you :) thanks for sharing!

Big Love over Logic said...

:) Thank you for the little window into your world, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hello. Am writing from Nairobi, Kenya. My name is Mumbi. Am considering joining a plural marriage (something that is quite common in Africa) but am worried about the reaction of the 1st wife. She's a commited aglican who will surely not be so happy in having an addition to the family. He proposed and am inclined to agree (as we are deeply in love) pending my resolving the inner conflict. My mother (a pentecoastal christian) would probably otracise me! I just needed to to share that with understanding people. Thank you.

new#3 said...

HOnestly Anonymous, I wouldn't join a family unless the first wife was fully onboard. It sounds like you are all in need of a group discussion. Plural marriage is difficult enough without adding a problem right off the bat. Best of luck to you though.