One fellow we met recently told a story of when he visited Africa. He met a polygamous man who told him this (using accent): One wife, bad, she get too spoiled. Two wives, bad, they fight all the time. Three wives, bad, better sometimes. Four wives, just right!
We had a good laugh, and though our experience hasn’t been that way there is some truth to it. I remember when there were just 2 wives, and I got more ‘alone time’ with Joe because he was with me every other night instead of every third night. When he and Alina would go out, especially when the kids were all in bed, the house was quiet, my mind would start to wander, (we didn’t have TV). I couldn’t just go take a walk to clear my head (my head-clearer of choice). I was home with the kids! And then I might start to feel unappreciated for the ‘sacrifice’ I was making, staying home and being responsible for those kids. The more I let my mind wander and feel sorry for myself, the more sorry for myself I would feel. Having a third wife has definitely brought new dynamics to our family. One of them is simply not being the only one ‘left behind’ and not feeling bad for leaving only one person behind. (Yes, we have empathy for the feelings of other wives when we are going on a date-night, we know how it feels to be the one ‘left behind’ too)
We have heard some say that 3 is the ‘magic number’, much better than just 2, because when the husband is having ‘alone time’ with one wife, the other sister-wives have someone else there. This works, sometimes. There are times I may have been too upset to want to talk to anyone, especially when dealing with post-partum depression/anxiety. I would be too upset to even want to try to have fun or visit with anyone, much less try to be supportive of someone else if they were struggling. But many times it is a wonderful thing, especially when the sister-wives have a good relationship and connection. Just as there as an ebb and flow in the husband-wife relationship, there can also be the same types of ups and down between sister-wives. At times I might be much closer with one than another even though Val and I are sisters. This might be a result of not dealing with some small annoyance that then leads to lack of communication and mistrust, or it could be just a side effect of circumstance, getting busy with daily life and not taking time out to nurture the relationship. Or, a closer relationship could be a result of just happening to spend more time with one than another based on schedules or working together on a particular project, etc. All relationships need to be nurtured if they are valued. The nurturing of the sister-wife relationship can be a delicate thing. In one sense you can be closer than you would be in any other relationship, we do share a husband after all. Yet in another sense there might be issues that would be more sensitive and more difficult to talk about, we do share a husband after all.
Overall, I feel blessed that I have my best friends, sisters, and two women I genuinely love and cherish. Just when we thought we were pretty close, we started this experience of writing the book and subsequently being public. Writing the book brought up some old wounds. Yet I found support and understanding from my sisterwives; and being public has bound us together even more. It is rare to have the love we share but I feel grateful that we have such a bond between the three of us.