We have settled into a calm life of polygamy, plain sailing most of the time. The conflicts that do arise are mostly minor and easily settled. When my first husband was still with his #2 there were LOADS of conflicts all the time, every single mole hill turned into a mountain. Not so now. That just shows how important it is that polygamy is voluntary, just and equal. And it clearly shows that women don’t cope with sharing a spouse better than men – it’s all about how polygamy is done, not about gender.
Anyway, now and then we keep stumbling over minor issues, the typical complaints of polygamy. The most common complaints being:
1. Time issues. There is no way everybody concerned in polygamous marriage will be content with the division of time. Weekends, holidays, anniversaries… the best way to cope, for us anyway, has been to set a three day schedule (it used to be four, but we changed it because of Tamsin) and stick to it no matter what. In the beginning we allowed for my husbands to choose three set dates each, so Graham e.g. chose Christmas Day, his birthday and our anniversary. (If you want, you can find an early post of mine showing how I used this system to get at my husband’s #2!) We had to give up on that too, because if something happened that forced me to give the “set date” to the other husband, like somebody being ill, it just made matters worse… “You always give up my time, and now you even gave him my set date!!”. So no, now we have a three day schedule, with 14 days holiday for each husband. And Christmas Day together. This way nobody is completely satisfied, and there are always grumblings about the schedule.
2. Intimacy. There is no way ever anybody can be completely at ease with sharing the person you love sexually with somebody else. I have to be very careful about e.g. not wanting sex, because both my husbands would see that as a sign that I might be more attracted to the other one. If I am uninterested in sex on change over day, the husband I just came home to would interpret that to say that I just had sex with the other husband before I left him (which might be true) and this always triggers hurt and jealousy. For me, this really isn’t a problem since I can always just have sex anyway, but I don’t understand how polygynous men handle it. I have also made a habit of taking a shower and changing clothes the first thing I do when I change homes. I used to get complaints about the way I smelled, Mark e.g. buys me very spicy perfumes, Escada is a favourite, while Graham prefers light scents like Happy. Ok, so I shower and change. That way, I also get rid of most of the scent I carry from the other husband. Graham only uses Clinique deo without scent, but Mark usually wears a rather heavy Gaultier perfume. Anyway, they both claim that they can smell each other on me, so I shower and change clothes. I’m also very careful about intimate hygiene. If a candida infection starts bouncing back and fro, it’s really irritating and also makes my husbands intimately aware that they are sharing body fluids so I do everything I can to avoid that. It was extremely difficult while I was pregnant I can tell you! I also avoid changing my behaviour in any way, such changes only cause jealousy, so if a husband wants something new to happen in bed – he has to initiate it himself!
3. The Wall of Silence. The silence that is caused by the fact that my husbands can share everything with me, but I have to be very careful about what I share with them. Some doors just have to be kept locked. I usually try to avoid ending up having to say “I can’t share that with you” or “I can’t tell you that”, but when I do it can cause weeks of grief. It’s a permanent conflict even when nothing really sets it off. Sometimes both Graham and Mark hide things from me, and try to hurt me by hiding things, just to sort of equal the field. And the fact remains – I am their best friend, but none of them can be mine.