As I have written in other places, it has been difficult for me to ascertain what this all means. There were times that I thought, with absolute certainty that not only was I to have another wife, I knew which woman it was.
Things unfolded so different from what I was expecting that I was left dumbfounded. All I know is what I experienced. Yet, I was confused about events.
Back in April 2015 I received some pretty hefty criticism. Ultimately, the criticism had nothing to do with trying to understand what I was doing, or why. The criticism became barbs against my character.
I have met plenty of people in my lifetime. I have had plenty of insults cast my way. But two things really bothered me a great deal during the last ten years. One, learning that the religious heritage I was a part of truly did not want anything other than its own brand of Christianity. Two, learning that the people I gave inherent trust to truly did not reciprocate.
So stinging criticism came from my religious heritage and stinging criticism came from those that I inherently trusted. For a long time, their conjoined criticisms made me doubt myself, question my beliefs, my convictions, my own self.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with my experiences during the last few years. I finally came to terms that it happened. I finally came to terms that those experiences cost me family and friends.
I am not yet in a relationship with two women. Because it has been so long in the making, part of me wonders if it will ever actually happen.
I have practical experience with one wife. I don’t have practical experience with having a relationship with two women at one time. But considering the dynamics of inter-relating to a woman, I wonder if I even want to experience the dynamics associated with two women.
Look, I’m simply being candid. I’m not trying to claim that I won’t have another woman in my life, because it seems probable, highly likely, that I will.
But when I look at the experience, when I am honest with myself, I doubt not only some of my experiences, but I have my doubts about interacting with two women.
Consider that I have heard from many men: one woman is enough, why would anyone want more? Their statement does acknowledge something that I’ve felt, because on the surface, their question makes sense.
Having a successful marriage is ridiculously difficult work. I hear similar from women. I accept their statement as true.
This is not to disparage my wife Mary, or any other woman. No matter the current social climate, men and women are totally different.
Women approach life differently. They analyze problems differently. They use different vocabulary. They use different logic structures. They construct their thoughts differently. They have different values. They esteem different things.
Some people might not identify as cisgender, and I am not here to comment or debate that issue. So please consider that I am talking about cisgenders.
No matter how we (both men and women) try to bridge the gap, no matter how we try to grasp things from the others’ perspective, there will always be this difference, it’s genetic – men are not women, women are not men.
Candidly, I love interacting with women. They are a joy to be around. To hear their thoughts. To listen to how they interact with and engage life.
But quite frankly, when I want to discuss heavy duty topics, give me a group of men. We react differently and we actually empathize with each other. Sometimes, we even break down in front of each other, but that’s accepted, because it certainly is not accepted anywhere else.
No matter how much I have tried, there is no way I have ever found a woman who sympathizes with a man. She condemns. She judges. She analyzes. She thinks he’s not man enough. She thinks he’s falling down on the job. She feels she’s being mistreated, misjudged, misappropriated.
At the end of the day, most men are trying to do the best damned job to keep their woman happy, he tries to talk, but gets no ear, and then is chastised for wanting to hang out with the guys.
In short, why on earth would a man put himself through such heartache, twice over?
So it doesn’t help me when I have prayers like the one I had back on April 8, 2015 (Month 1 Day 19).
In that prayer, I began: Father, I am here, what will you share with me today? In the response, the Divine conveyed:
My son, you have it figured out, their life will be so unique that you truly do become pointless, their third wheel.
The ‘their’ in that statement refers to the two ladies, if/when I ever have this relationship.
But what stands out for me is the concept of the third wheel. Throughout my life, I have interacted with plenty of women, and during the experiences of the last few years, I have researched several things.
You know what the women seem to be the most concerned about?
The answer is given right there in that prayer, becoming a third wheel.
You want to know something? I don’t want to be their third wheel. But if I am to have a relationship with two women, it seems that someone will be.
Should it be me? Personally, it doesn’t seem fair, but neither does it seem fair for one of them to feel like the third wheel. So if it has to be someone, then I suppose let it be me.
But, let me tell you, that is a unique weight. I can sense it, but I have not experienced it. Do I want it? Not really. It just looks like part of the package. So consider how the Divine continued:
This, for you, is not so good, but is necessary for them.
Necessary? Well, from all the conversations I’ve had, from all my observations, yeah, it is necessary, because if one or the other feels that she is the third wheel, the deal breaks. Why? Because no woman wants to be the third wheel.
So I guess what I am learning is that in a marriage with multiple women, the husband really is not the winner. Sure, he looks like he has won, but if he is doing his job properly as a husband of multiple wives, he loses his power as a coequal, he becomes their servant.
That is TOTALLY not what the world sees with polygamy, but that is exactly what is needed, FOR the benefit and well being of his wives.
Want to know something? Men might not understand that cognitively, but if a man is not powered by his ego, he intuitively knows it, and intuitively works for the betterment of each of his wives, to the point that he himself becomes less important, in a healthy way.
Why do I say that? Because of how the Divine continued:
This is not about you. This is about them. They must increase. You must decrease.
Look, polygamy challenges so many cultural, religious, and social strata assumptions that I don’t think that the above has much airtime.
But if a man has multiple wives, and he is a Christian, but he wants to show a healthy, prosperous, vibrant multi-wife relationship, then it almost necessitates that he turn everyone’s expectations on their head – expectations that the relationship is all about him, because for me, the Divine has declared that the expectations are NOT about me, but the ladies.
So they must increase in importance. I must decrease in importance. Why? Because this particular marriage is not about me, but about them.
Want to know something? It has not been easy for me to come to this realization. Not because I am pompous. Truly, I’m not. It’s just that I actually like having equal partnership in my current marriage. If/when the relationship with two women comes around, the entire game changes.
Consider the magnitude of that thought, consider a prayer that I had on April 10, 2015 (Month 1 Day 21).
…let’s face it, you have it understood, you are less, they are more,
I may have understood it, but letting it settle into your being is another thing entirely. The Divine continued:
you have accepted that truth, that truth will be as profound as it is profound,
Think about that, I mean really think about it, cogitate on that for a few minutes. Meditate on it if you need. Let it sink not only into your being, but let it express itself in how you would go about your day. It is as it was described – profound. It’s a life changer.
It is I who will find himself out amongst the audience, managing the kids, holding one child, point up to the stage where their mother receives an honor, gives a speech or some other presentation.
You see – the stage, that’s where I wanted to be. Not because I have some kind of ego to prove. It’s just that I had such a different expectation for myself and my life. I thought it would be me who would be the presenter, the face.
But my life took a whole unexpected turn. Do I mind being in the audience? No. But doing so is a game changer, and runs counterintuitive to everything that I was taught, and counter to everything that was expected from me.
So it is even more profound to me that the Divine conveyed:
Others will not experience this, for this is yours.
So this is mine. This is what I am to experience. You want to know something, what I describe is more than enough to ward off a few men. It is a risk, but the possibilities are just as extreme. And without taking the risk, nothing can be gained.
My prayer life revealed to me something that I, on my own, would have never done. I would have attempted to manage a multi-wife family in a manner similar to the way my research revealed.
The multi-wife families that I research many would describe as man-centric. In many cases, it really isn’t, but neither can I say that which I have researched is the healthiest. And there are lots of other family dynamics that are available, where multi-wife dynamics are a reality.
What I have come to understand through my prayers is a unique dynamic. It is far more oriented toward their health and well-being than my own. In many ways, it almost expects me to put my trust in my wives that they will treat me right.
In some ways, this is scary, especially when one considers the things that I discussed at the beginning of this Installment.
How do I move forward into this?
You know, I don’t know. But I will share with my reader what came to my mind – a scene from a famous movie.
Perhaps, for me, it only works when one knows the breath of God, the word of God, and the path of God.
Blessings and Shalom