I thought I would share some quotes I have flagged in the book.
"Plural marriage isn't easy. We're the first to admit that. It's a lifestyle that requires of each woman a constant gentle empathy for her sister wives and a respect for boundaries and fairness. We face the same struggles that monogamous wives do, but those trying times are often magnified because there are multiple partners whose perspective and feeling have to be considered."
Really good words. I think it requires quite a bit of empathy, respect for boundaries and fairness.I know it is really hard for people to do poly. One thing that many get hung up on is the not keeping every one in mind. When I lived in the poly household, one of my clear signs that it might work was if that other person kept the women in the household on their mind. Such as when they called did they ask about us or want to speak to us, did they try to form a relationship with each of us or just him, or did they like to pretend we didn't exist. Poly won't work if you don't take everyone into account and be very empathetic to what each person is going through.
"When people say I 'practice' polygamy, they've got it right: my efforts to live this lifestyle are contanst and ongoing. There are many religions that have practices aimed at deepening spiritual insights and expressing faith, such as fasting, saying the rosary, and making a pilgrimage. That's what plural marriage is for me: a daily practice that focuses my attention on the highest ideals of my religion. The benefits to me, in terms of spiritual and personal growth, joy and completeness, far outweigh the hard work and sacrifice it takes."
Poly is constant work. The area of this quote I would change instead of saying it is "my highest ideals of my religion" - I would say it is the highest ideals of myself.
"We have the closeness of sisters and the comaraderie of friends. I love it when I head for the kitchen late at night for a taste of chocolate and find Vickie or Val there, spoon in hand and ready for conversation."
Yes. Oh yes. The closeness goes beyond friendship to me...it is family but not in the sense of bio family. I mean my biological sisters don't know things about me that I have told sister slaves. Some of my favorite memories of living in Ohio, where doing mundane things with the other women in the household. Bug sitting on the dryer folding clothes as I put the next load in - talking and laughing the whole time. Laur and I singing as we made dinner. So many wonderful moments in the everyday living of life. I want that again.
"Early on, I tried to assert my status as the husband to get my wives to do what I wanted, but playing the patriarchy card wasn't working for me. ... I realized I was trying to drive them, not lead them."
Just liked that quote because with so many personalities sometimes I can see how "driving" might seem like the solution but it is quite the opposite because there are so many personalities - better to lead then to try to force things to happen.
"That's something a lot of people miss when they look at this lifestyle: it requires a willingness to take personal responsibility and be accountable for yourself."
Joe talks about how he can't carry 3 wives luggage through the airport. And one of the wives talked about how she has some issues cropping up and she realized Joe couldn't fix it - can't fix everything - that she had to look at those issues and see why they were coming up and work on finding the solution. It wasn't Joe's responsibility to help her with her issues - it was hers. Throughout the book they all mention personal responsibility and I just feel that is something needed in all relationships just not poly. But with poly I can see how sometimes we have to take that responsibly because there are so many people in the household you can't put it on everyone else.
Joe and the wives mention that although they are taking personal responsibility - everything is easier because they have love and support from each other.
Overall, I liked the book. Even though they come at poly from a religious standpoint...I still related to many things in the book. The book starts out with them growing up, how they basically came into poly. That part I didn't relate too as they were all grew up around polygamy. But the second half of the book is where they talk about their plural marriage and those are the parts I can relate too. I hope their book does help give another perspective of polygamy - where they aren't on a compound and wearing prairie-garb.
They were on 20/20 a couple weeks ago. You can watch the episode online.
Here is a video clip I found from Our America with Lisa Ling about a young family. I usually seem them mid-30 to 40's.