I kinda fell into watching this show by accident. One of my [many] weird quirks is that I cannot fold laundry or iron without either talking to someone or watching TV. No idea why. Just one more oddity, I guess.
Anyhow, I’ve seen most of this season’s episodes, and found it fascinating. I’d watched “Big Love” (courtesy of NetFlix), but that’s scripted, where this is a real-life family of polygamists. Now, understand that in theory, I couldn’t care less who sleeps with whom, and how people construct their families, so long as everyone is working on the same page. And it absolutely seems that this family is doing just that. I truly wish them all the happiness in the world, and they certainly appear to have a lot of love in their lives.
But I have to admit to wishing I could talk to the wives, to ask the questions rattling around in my head. I think I’d chicken out, though, because I sincerely have no wish to offend. I’m just so curious as to how they feel about things sometimes.
The husband’s name is Kody, and his wives are, in order, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. Meri admitted at one point to having some jealousy issues, despite her genuine enthusiasm for the lifestyle. In fact, she was the one who felt the first connection with Robyn, and suggested that Kody consider forming a relationship and inviting her to join the family. These women are truly like sisters, and I respect that bond. They all know that if anything happens to them, their kids are taken care of, and that there is plenty of help to go around. And in a way, I think I could easily get into a communal living type environment. I have always loved and embraced the idea that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and I am so very lucky to have that in my kids’ lives. They have two very involved parents, but my kids also know without a doubt that they have options for a “second opinion” when they feel they need, or even just want, one. The Artist, at one point, when having difficulty with some relationship issues, talked to me, and then also sought the advice of the Musician. The Ambassador, on another occasion, didn’t like my answer to a question, and went straight to the Trainer. I fully support these interactions, and I know this family definitely has that kind of attitude as well.
But something did kind of induce an eyebrow raise from me…each wife has Kody in her bed on every fourth night. Absolutely fair division, makes perfect sense and all that. But it got me thinking. While sex is part of most “normal” marriages, almost more important to me in the marriage bond for me would be the friendship. This is your best friend. And after a long day, part of the “reward” at the end is to crash out in your comfy bed with your spouse and just chill together and talk in the dark. It could be a comforting massage, maybe brushing her hair, or just holding hands, laughing quietly at the absurdities of life. But not in a communal marriage. Think about that for a sec. You pledge your body to one man forever. But not only can he pledge his body to however many people he wants when you cannot, but you only get to enjoy the closeness with him one week out of the month. He gets to have that snuggling, the warmth and security of a lover against him when he wakes up at 3am. But you? You spend 3 weeks out of the month in your bed alone. Your sexual needs don’t count unless it’s on your calendar night. Have a shitty day and want to cry in his arms for a while? Not if it’s another wife’s turn. She has been feeling the same loss lately, and she isn’t about to give up her turn to have him in her bed.
I’m not the jealous type, and if the Scientist took a lover, or even got into a relationship, it wouldn’t bother me. The thing is, though, that if he is spending the night with her, I too, have the freedom on my side, to decide if I want to do the same. I’m not saying I want to date someone or anything; holy hell, not even remotely. I cannot handle the drama or the effort right now, and there is already way too much chaos in my life. But the fact is that marriage is a partnership, and to borrow a stupid cliche, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I just don’t see the fairness of the way that’s handled in polygamist marriage.
Again, I don’t mean to offend anyone. I honestly do respect their choices and their decisions. They are all intelligent adults, who entered this way of life with open eyes and a clear understanding what it entails. Their religious beliefs are no more valid or invalid than any other dogma, and they have as much right to those beliefs and practices as anyone else. It just got my mind swirling last night, and so I core dumped it here.