During all the packing, sorting and tossing during these last few days, HBO's "Big Love" was playing in the background. This show is about polygamy or plural marriage. One man, Bill Paxton, is married to three wives ((L-R) Barb-first wife, Nikki-second wife, Margene-third wife). They all live this life, forming a family, calling this life "living the principle".
On the drive back, as I am wont to do, I took a mental trip down another path for the Hall Marriage. One that included adding a second and third wife to our family. I used the conflicts and plotlines from Big Love as an outline for my thoughts. It is a three hour drive. Lots of time to wax poetic. Mr. Hall always leans in while I talk. It is very sweet and tender.
First, in order for a plural marriage to survive, all parties must be willing to sacrifice their own personal needs for the greater good. There must be religion involved. It doesn't matter how much you believe in any alternative lifestyle, if you don't have an almighty God directing you, then you don't have sustainable motivation. Polygamy takes fortitude and renewable motivational. Without religion, the marriages will fail. Therefore, in order for us to become polygamous, we would have to step up our Christianity from interested and happy to obsessional and delirious.
Also, I believe, we would need to create a self sustaining family. I have read a lot on polygamous clans and the best ones, the ones that last, live off the land and are an agricultural society. I could do this, become a farmer's wife. Maybe. In the HBO show however, they are all supported by the husband's job. This is no good, it could come crashing down all around him and the family would be left bereft.
Second on the list, the husband must be of supreme quality. He must be unrelenting in his kindness, energy and devotion towards his wives. If the marriages are to thrive and grow, he must grow with each wife according to their needs. He must also be a facilitator and leader within the family as he will no doubt, be in charge of the lot. Well, in co-charge with the first wife.
The first wife is essential to success. She will be seen as the leader of the wives more so than the husband in a lot of ways. Again, I have read a lot about polygamous marriages and frankly, the husband often seems secondary to the every day needs of the wives. After all, the demands on him (making money, servicing other wives, actively directing a church of some sort) eats up his time. Hence the term of 'sister-wives'. The wives have their own family, a sub family of sapphic support.
This is why the first wife is so important. Most wives, in a single marriage, direct the various day to day doings of family life. They handle the organization of the family in terms of child care needs, organizing meals, cleaning of the house, negotiating the emotional needs of each family member, booking medical appointments et cetera. The first wife must be a proficient family manager, after all, with a second and third wife and their children, she manages them as well.
I can say, it looks exceedingly difficult, living in a plural marriage. But I believe that Mr. Hall would be an excellent husband for such an arrangement. He was brought up a single mom who worked a lot and was basically in charge of two high maintenance sisters. Plus, he is a little bit older than me. He has as keen sense of women and how they operate. He also has a deft way of negotiating and supplying any needs they might have.
The first wife in the show, Barb, seems to be doing well. She could care take a little more but, meh.
First wife, very pretty curly hair, just like me
I would be an excellent first wife. Now that I have been married for about eight years, I have learned how to temper my emotional needs, how to smooth out sleep deprived feelings. I have learned how to respond and organize the needs of the entire household and create a warm and thriving family. I am a fully functioning partner in our success.
I would also be an excellent resource while choosing the second and third wife. I would have never picked, Nikki, as second wife. She is a spoiled prairie doll, unable to communicate her needs in a healthy way. Always scheming and manipulating. Not only is she not second wife material, but she is not any wife material.
Who in the hell picked her as second wife? I mean come on!
She would pose a problem for me, as a first wife. She is in her early thirties, same age as me. I would need ten years yet before I could handle the all the ages of the younger wives. The third wife from big love, Margene , SHE would be no problem whatsoever. But, yes, this type of arrangement would have to wait ten years, for me to be mature enough.
Margene is a doll
This is when, for the first time, Mr. Hall pipes up.
"TEN YEARS!! You realize I will be 50 years old at that point right?!, There's no way that would be a good thing, adding another wife and kids to the family."
By golly he's right. And really, there is absolutely no need for to complicate things with extra wives and children in this family.
I mean jeez, one wife is enough for everyone!!!
So that ends another side trip in the mental journey of Mrs. Hall :)