Wives and Sister-wives

Sister-wives, sharing experiences.

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.

This entry was posted in Daily Routine, Family, Polygamy, Random Thoughts, Time Alone. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Wives and Sister-wives

  1. Catherine says:

    I have recently read your book and found it fascinating. It is my belief that you are doing the right thing by going public. It is important that the general non Mormon public understand the differences between families like yours and the people in the FLDS, the Colonia LeBaron Colony, the Kingston Group etc. It is very important to advance your Religious rights, that people understand that you are all acting of your own free will, and are no different than other families. I wish you and yours all the best, and hope to see more of you and others like you in the future.
    Catherine from Canada

  2. Matilda says:

    This is such a great experience you have shared. I started with these beliefs but everything changed and found very hard each day. As you said going pblic will solve most of the problems

  3. Roeh Dale Gill says:

    Are you all worried about the cps splitting up your family? I mean I never was untill they did. Our SW passed a few years back so we weren’t even living PM at the time. This keeps coming back as the one factor, because according to CPS all people who live PM are pedophiles, though people whom practice PM know better. I hope you all the very best and though I am Messianic Jew and yall are Mormon I can see some sort of common bond in all of our unity. Thanks for reading! Roeh Dale Gill

    • Joe says:

      It is a very real concern. For those who have read the book, they will see in the Chapter on Kyra, where we did have CPS come in an threatened to take away our children. It is this fear that we have replaced with faith for us and it has spurred us to be more active in educating people. People fear what they don’t understand. This goes for us too, understanding CPS and how they work and what limitations they have to take away our kids has reduced our fear. We understand though how much families like yours suffer real prejudice and persecution simple for the way we structure our families. God Bless!

    • Joe Taylor says:

      To address the comment left Roeh Dale Gill: The Darger family are not “Mormon.” The “Mormon” church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) officially disavowed plural marriages in 1890. The practice of polygamy is grounds for immediate excommunication by the church authorities. Although several “splinter” groups have left the LDS Church because they wanted to practice polygamy, they are not “Mormons” according to the common definition of that term. Many of the groups have similar and often confusing names (such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – the FLDS – the group previously led by Warren Jeffs), they are completely separate from the LDS Church, just as the Roman Catholic Church or any other denomination would be.

  4. Sue Dirck says:

    I have just finished your book and enjoyed your honesty and openness about your life. I have read several books about polygamous marriages, but they were writen by members of the Jeffs group. I agree with you that that group does permote child abuse in several ways. I am much enlightened and I agree with you that you should be allowed to legally live as you are. May God continue to bless your family.

  5. Kelly T says:

    WOW. How beautiful u all are. Joe sure is a lucky guy:-). I just finished ur book and I have to say you all are an awesome family. If I could be half the mother any of you are, I will consider myself successful. I feel horrible that you all have to suffer the way you do and hide who you are. I am glad you have decided to share your life story and pray you do not suffer negatively for doing so. While I dont think the lifestyle would work for me, I dont think anyone should have a right to judge what clearly works for you and your family. I wish you all much luck and peace and will keep you in my prayers. Stay the path! God bless you all.

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