One Wife, Happy Life

Polygamy, which has been in the news quite a bit recently, is the practice or custom of having more than one spouse. Polygamy usually consists of a man having multiple wives. However, it can also consist of a woman having more than one husband. But this is extremely rare as few women want to pick up after more than one man.

Quadruplet sisters might be able to cooperate tho.

This lifestyle has been discussed more since the airing of the HBO drama Big Love about a fictional family that practiced polygamy (the normal kind, i.e. a man with many wives). And on TLC there is a show called Sister Wives which is a reality show about a real life polygamist family. Sister Wives documents the life of Kody Brown, his four wives and their passel of children (18). Let the record show that Mr. Brown is only married to one of the Mrs. Browns. The other marriages are merely spiritual unions (with benefits). This is because having more than one spouse is illegal in all fifty states including Utah.

Besides the recent television shows, polygamy has been in the headlines as a result of a court battle over its legality. In 2011 Brown sued the state of Utah claiming that the state’s bigamy law violated their constitutional right to privacy (with 18 kids I’m not sure there was a lot of privacy in that house to begin with). Under Utah law it is illegal for a married person to cohabitate with another adult in a marriage like relationship. Surprisingly, in 2013 the court agreed with Mr. Brown and struck down the cohabitation section of the law. Not surprisingly, this past January a Federal Appeals court overturned the lower court’s decision and reinstated the ban on polygamy.

Clearly going against the word of the Lord.

With the recent interest in polygamy, I think it would be interesting to interview a man with multiple wives to find out what it’s all about. I imagine the discussion would go like this:

Me: I understand that you have multiple wives. How many do you have?

Polygamist: Four

Me: There must be some benefits to this arrangement. No doubt one of them must be a great cook and they probably don’t all get a headache on the same night, if you know what I mean.

Polygamist: Yes, those are advantages. There is certainly no need to covet my neighbor’s wives since I have so many of my own. So I am a better person in that respect. But it is turning me into the biggest liar. Imagine being asked four times a day, “Does this dress make me look fat?” or “can I cook as well as my sister wives?”

Me: You don’t sound overjoyed by your situation.

Polygamist: Well there are some pretty big downsides to living with so many women.

Me: Such as?

Polygamist: For starters, since I have four wives, I have four honey-do lists. The tasks are endless. My evenings and weekends are consumed by these chores. I haven’t golfed in years. Another problem with living with four women is the bathroom. Someone is always using them. I need an appointment to use the toilet. Speaking of toilets, last week I forgot to put the toilet seat down. I’m still hearing about that.

Me: Wow. I never thought about the practical issues.

Polygamist: You probably have a hard time remembering your wife’s birthday and your anniversary. Well I have four birthdays and four anniversaries to remember and, of course, Mother’s Day is impossible. I also have to remember what presents I bought each of them because they always need to be comparable. No favoritism you know. The cost of all of the gifts is driving me toward bankruptcy.

Me: That does sound difficult.

Polygamist: Just reading the newspaper is a challenge. My wives always want to chat. There is no peace. They say that women, on average, speak 20,000 words a day while men average only 7,000. I fall way below average. Living with four women, I can’t get a word in edgewise. And I can never win an argument as I am always outnumbered 4-1.

Me: Wow, that’s rough.

Polygamist: Everything is worse during “Hell Week.”

Me: What’s that?

Polygamist: Well there is a thing called menstrual synchrony. It turns out that women who live together menstruate at the same time. Which means that, one week a month, my life is a living hell. Who knew? During that week I would love to sneak into a man cave to wait it out but with so many wives there is no room for a man cave. There is no escape.

Me: Ouch

Polygamist: And don’t forget four wives means four mothers-in-law!

Me: Oh God No.

Polygamist: As somebody once said, “marriage is about becoming a team” and there are just way too many people on my team.

Me: Do you think that men should just stick to one wife then?

Polygamist: Yes. One is enough, two is too many, three is dangerous and four…..forget about it.

So I guess for men, when it comes to spouses, one wife means a happy life or as that famous philosopher and chocolatier Willie Wonka said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Everyone should have one and one is enough for anyone”. He was talking about candy but it holds true for wives as well.

One is enough.

John Wade, a frequent contributor to Unhinged Magazine, is a retired Chief Financial Officer who lives in Wildwood, Missouri.

Want more Unhinged stuff from John Wade? Read how he will defend the American values of freedom, liberty, and beer.

©2017, all rights reserved
published with permission of the author