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Thursday, March 16, 2006

In Defence of Polygamy. Found on Beliefnet.


excerpt

'I Would Never...Go Back to Being a Monogamous Wife'
Polygamous women speak out in defense of their lifestyle.
By Mary Batchelor, Marianne Watson, and Anne Wilde


In April 2000, the authors contacted more than 700 plural wives, asking them about their experience. They were promised anonymity because it is against the law and currently being prosecuted in Utah. Within six weeks, they received more than 100 responses. The comments were reprinted, organized according to the age of the respondent. Here is one from RS, a woman between 41 and 50 years old.

"I would never ever, worlds without end, even if I could control all events, willingly go back to being a monogamous wife. Even if I were to discount the possibility of eternal blessings, the blessings I enjoy here in this sphere are enough to cause me to become a she-bear when someone threatens them.

"As the only wife of a good man, I had a good marriage. We got along well, and our children were emotionally healthy. But at times I felt an unspoken demand to be all things to my husband: a great cook, an organized housekeeper, an inspired home-schooler and an individual who kept up with current events, pursued her talents, never fatigued, always remembered details, kept the family social calendar, emptied the mending and ironing baskets daily, never overspent, looked appealing at all times and looked forward anxiously for the moment he walked in the door. I tried to be all things, and my husband told me constantly that I was loved and appreciated. But I worried privately that my lapses stood out more vividly than my achievements.

"After a second wife entered the family, I saw my husband’s eyes full of new respect and approval as he looked at me. This approval came NOT from my willingness to let him have another wife, but from his deepened comprehension of who I was as a woman, what strengths and gifts I had that were not an automatic part of simply being female genetically but were uniquely mine. Suddenly, I was seen as I had always wanted to be seen.

"Our relationship improved in other ways. Simultaneously with the second marriage, we had to revamp the way we spent our time together. I couldn't be more cheerful tomorrow after a good night’s sleep because tomorrow he’d be elsewhere. He could’t vegetate in front of the TV tonight and spend time with the kids tomorrow because tomorrow there would be different kids. We couldn’t make tomorrow special as we were too busy today, since tomorrow wouldn’t be there for us. So we instantly found ourselves putting aside less important things to make time for the more important.

"Then there were the nights he was gone. At first I felt socially embarrassed trying to make new friends and having a "single’s" social life; but as I did, I found myself feeling more connected to all of God’s people on this earth than I ever had. I found that I hadn’t become a part-time wife, I had become a full-time human being.

"For years I prayed to know true joy, to have my marriage become the one I had dreamed of in my youth, and to understand myself and my place here among humanity. I would never have believed, had someone told me, that all my answered prayers would be wrapped up in one gift called plural marriage, but indeed they were. When I hear threats of our way of life being driven out of existence, the grief twists inside me. Please, please, don’t try to take away the thing that has made my life whole!

"I have no confidence that were I to be my husband’s only wife again, that the lessons learned here in plural marriage could successfully be applied in a monogamous relationship. I have the marriage of my dreams (No, that’s not true because I have never dreamed it would be this good) and two sweetheart sister wives who are my best friends and who sacrifice so that I might have happiness. So, my friend, this is no pretense. This principle is my happiness."



Excerpted by permission from 'Voices in Harmony: Contemporary Women Celebrate Plural Marriage,' written and compiled by Mary Batchelor, Marianne Watson, and Anne Wilde.

5 comments:

  1. Dear Malcolm,

    Your post has a strange appeal... I've often wondered/wished for a polygamous relationship. My real yearning doesn't so much stem from pleasing my man (although this too is important!) But, rather the genuine 'sisterhood' shared between two women and being part of a much bigger family.

    I didn't know that such practises were against the law in Utah?


    Best wishes,
    C

    ReplyDelete
  2. C, I would like more than one wife but the problem I see is that if many men had more than one wife, many men would be left without wives. How do we solve that one?

    ReplyDelete
  3. malcolm... this is so obviously a propaganda from a minority... Hey... let's be serious a second... How many women are willing to share their husband or love one with one and an other??? I don't know many, a part those here in the realm of poly of the small Bloggerland... never met any face to face, never heard any talking right to me... and, I'm not even sure that those proclaming they are happy in it are really happy... remember swan and the new Tom's love a few months ago??
    I wont go for it... and I'm not the exception... as far as I kow, their are not much men either who would be happy to sahre their wives with one and another... Is is cultural, a part of our social behavior... it may be not the best, but this is what we all want... one for each other... a pair assembled to make a whole... This is how we live since... a too long time for it to be change suddenly...
    Only my humble opinion...;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jo, yes it may be a minority but it's hardly propaganda, certainly not "obviously". It's a sincere expression of preference. You can hardly go by Tom and swan's experience, either, as I saw it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know many women who actually are happy in their polygynous family arrangement. Here are some webpages where people share their feelings and experiences with it: http://steadfastlovesgod.blogspot.com/ and http://polygamynow.blogspot.com/. While I do not believe that polygamy works for everyone, I do know many men, women and children for whom polygamy is rewarding and fulfilling. This is a great article about one Fundamentalist Mormon family in Canada, with beautiful photo galleries linked to the article (one gallery is of photos taken by the children in this family): http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3905591. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete

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