I know I have spoken of various other wives in many other posts, and it gets confusing at times. If you are lurking and not in the know, I consider myself a polygamist, though I loath slapping labels on myself or others. To put it simply, I believe that some people are capable of compersion--they receive joy in seeing others happy. They are capable of being in loving, committed relationships with more than one spouse at a time--called polyamory.
People enter polygamy for many different reasons, and there are many forms of poly out there. I believe as long as you are not hurting other people and are not "abusing the system"--that the relationships are free -will and not forced--live and let live. I say we need more love in the world, not less.
I have been of the "poly mind-set" since I was very young, although I didn't know it was called polygamy. I just wondered why people couldn't be married to more than one person at a time if they loved them. I remember being so relieved when I was dating Bud and we had those long, all-night conversations about anything and everything that the subject of loving more than one person at a time came up. Even then, Bud and I were not calling it polygamy. We just were amazed and intrigued that we were of the like-mind on the subject of loving more than one person. At that point, I already knew K and was well-aware of their long romance. They had been an exclusive couple for more than 7 years--Bud was 16 when they met, Kate was 19. When they decided to split, it wasn't for lack of love for each other. Even after I met her, it was obvious that the two of them still loved each other immensely. I admired the relationship rather than envy it.
It was K and B who introduced Bud to S, Bud's second wife. As you may recall from an earlier post, B is a very good friend of K and Bud, and their lives have been intertwined for years. In fact, K and B were a couple for a short time. I know! Bud, B and I are all the same age; K is three years older, and S is 20 years older. Bud and S were married a year. They love each other dearly, but at that time, they truly could not live together under one roof. As with K, they remained fiercely loyal to one another. That was 4 years before I met Bud.
I am wife number 3, and for all intents and purposes, I am the primary wife, as I am the one who has been married to him for 18 years. K and S have both been in my life nearly as long, since I met them while Bud and I were still dating. There are so many intertwinings in our lives. Bud and I both grew up in the same small town, and went to the same elementary school, though he was a grade ahead of me, and we never knew one another (or rather, neither of us has a memory or recollection of the other at that age). I went to high school with S's son. He lived with his father at that point, and I never knew S back then. Her son was the best friend of my high school sweetheart. S later worked with my step-mother, which Bud and I figured out one night after we were dating.
Through the years, Bud has maintained relationships with all of his wives, though we never had lived under one roof. As S is fond of saying, "Bud never gets rid of his wives, but keeps them near..." Several times over the years, we have spoken of getting a home together. Much laughter and tears have been shared amongst us, many meals and cups of coffee have been consumed.
Bud and I made the move to Alabama in 2000, and we lived there until the end of 2009. We met ES in 2006. ES was our first attempt at truly living a polygamous life under one roof with another partner. She and Bud married in April of 2006, and Bud and I remained legally married as well. We were together 3 years before she moved to Florida to care for her father. By that time, the relationship between she and I had become strained. Her health had taken a toll on all of us. She pushed us away, and the anger she felt over her illness was often unleashed on those she loved--Bud and I. She wanted to be in control, as she was used to always having control. But she often felt helpless and victimized by the PAD, diabetes, Lyme's disease, and chronic pain. Not to mention losing a leg. ES was never the same after that...
ES passed in December of 2010. It was quite a shock. We had been discussing once again getting all the wives under one roof, but I wasn't ready. Things were still too raw and painful, and I needed more time to heal...
So there you have it: the 4 wives of Bud. Granted, we never have all lived under one roof, and it is rather non-conventional according to poly standards, but we are a poly family. We all love each other beyond friendship--no envy, no jealousy, nothing we can't say to one another. We tend to be starkly honest with one another. We each have very different personalities and talents, but we eagerly foster each other's strengths, and are there to catch each other when one of us takes a fall.
Because K, S and I have had longer to develop our relationships, I am not sure ES thrown in the mix so soon would have worked. Don't get me wrong--ES was very strong. But she liked to be the boss, and I know that wouldn't have flown with K and S. They are both very strong women as well. I tended to let ES bulldoze over me rather than having a confrontation with her; ES would never have been able to bulldoze K or S. I think the 4 of us under one roof would have been hell for Bud--just my honest opinion. Having that many strong-willed women around would have probably put him over the edge!
I know I am a strong woman as well, but it a much different way. I have perseverance. I tend to internalize a lot so as not to burden others.
I know that if we were to miraculously come in to a boat load of money, we would be looking for the perfect property with either an existing home to accommodate us, or one we could build on. Heck, I have already designed a home with three wings and a large common area consisting of the living room, kitchen and dining room. I think each of us needs our space, but we long to be near each other. God willing, some day, maybe we will have our perfect arrangement.