“Let’s be sister-wives,” we young girl friends used to say to each other.
“But what if we don’t like the same man?” We’d question.
“I want to marry one of your brothers,” several of my friends would say.
“But you are so much prettier and smarter than I am, so our husband will love you more anyway.” I’d confess.
My girl-friends were mostly my first cousins, who, like me, lived in our neighborhood of 15, or so, homes full of several wives and dozens of children. Those on the “outside,” called our community Plygville.
Only a couple of my friends’ families were converts to my father’s huge polygamist group. Just like me, most of the kids had already spent their younger years within the confines of a belief system that dictated; Polygamy must be lived on this earth so that families can attain the Celestial Kingdom, and men may become Gods of their own worlds. Once you’d been taught those edicts—if you denied “the truth,” you would be damned for eternity without your family, having no hope for redemption.
Somewhere inside, we girls knew our meager lives would depend on the number of wives and children who would certainly divide and deflate our husband’s emotional, physical, and financial capabilities.
At 17, I chose to marry a good friend whom I adored. He was 7 years my senior. I doubt I was in love with him, but I was excited to be getting married before I’d be considered “an old maid.” Yes, I’d even say I was happy. At least I would be his first love and for a while I couldn’t allow myself to think of his future wives. In time, he convinced me that he and I were soul-mates, and assured me that we’d be happy-ever-after.
Eight years, four children later, and after withstanding the heart-ache from my husband’s flirtatious, (but religiously acceptable) desires for the young girls that he was attracted to, we married my second cousin.
Like a “good, dutiful” wife does, I controlled the vile taste in my mouth and forced the tears back during their wedding. When my husband and his new young bride drove off on the honey-moon I never had; I thought I would faint from what felt like my husbands doubled up fist, and a swift, powerful blow in the stomach. Still I covered my pain and grief with smiles and laughter—that required “sister-wife, keep sweet and behave your-self attitude that rebukes and camouflages a woman’s authentic self.
After I tried to kill myself when I heard my husband having sex with his new wife, I swore I had to get control of those God given “evil, disgusting feelings of jealousy.” Like most polygamous women, I too, got better at covering up those natural feelings as time went on. We couldn’t let anyone know we were defective. When I wasn’t able to completely stay in my numb workaholic void, and not care where my husband was, what he was doing or when he’d be back; a lot of practice helped me appear to be happy and content. Not knowing it, I was just all like other women around me, including my sister wife. We worked hard to keep God’s commandments of plural marriage and overcome our “petty”, sinful feelings.
Our “glorious” calling also required us to give birth to as many children as our wombs would conceive. We were to sustain our husband’s growing kingdom without complaint; remaining sweet no matter how depraved or horrendous any ordeal might be.
So, if you really want to be sister-wives, it’s important to try to love, and care for each other. Otherwise you might slap the holy snot out of her, drag her down the stairs by her hair, and clog her toilet with a dirty diaper, whenever the devil begs you to—especially when it comes to the gut wrenching sounds of lust coming from your husband and his young wives. When you see their starry-eyed faces the next morning, you should stay poised. Hold yourself together, give them a big smile and a hug, and command yourself to keep sweet!
Oh, the definition of sweet: suck up, shut up, kiss up, and endure to the end – no matter what hell you’re in and feeling; it’s a matter of life and death.
Our husband’s small family, of only two wives and 11 kids was considered completely insignificant. In no way did he qualify to become a God of his own world in the after-life. Neither did my sister-wife and I succeed in becoming queens in his non-existent kingdom. Though we tried, we didn’t get him more wives; nor did we have enough children. According to that Fundamentalist God, we were doomed to Hell.
I’m not kidding you! The average polygamist wife has from 8 to 20 children, and the head honcho has to conquer at least 3 wives to even begin to have a chance at becoming a God of his own kingdom.
Supposed “reality” shows, portray these life-styles as the “average” polygamist families whom are self-sufficient, wealthy, happy, people. The truth is, these and similar families are only a handful among thousands. The average polygamist family falls far below the poverty level, while too many men show up long enough to discipline, and often abuse their wives and children, and impregnate their spouses. Then they are off working and seeking new wives to satiate their lustful desires. While most women are stranded at home, they get to abandon the noise, their disheveled, filthy homes, their crying, often hungry, neglected, and un-educated children for a religious mayhem they created, yet refuse to stomach or to cease.
Even fathers who try to be financially responsible still have to use some kind, if not all forms of government assistance to provide for their ever increasing religious families.
Did I really hear you say, “Let’s be sister-wives?”
Now days, I delight in NOT having sister wife friends, but rather wonderful friendships with awesome women. I can be away from my husband without any concern that he’ll be sleeping with them. When I’m gone he can do his own cooking and laundry. I’m grateful to be out of the insanity that glorifies the idea of more wives to help work, cook, clean and take care of the kids and bills that we wouldn’t have, if we didn’t have more wives and kids in the first place. . . .
You don’t have to smile while your husband is having sex with other women to insure your devotion to him, or to become the significance noble women you already are.
I dream that every sister-wife will discard their erroneous belief in polygamy; get over the need to wallow in miserable happiness, and find the genuine happiness that’s just waiting for them.
This Heaven is worth it!