Big Love

Big LoveI was browsing the message boards for the HBO show Big Love when I stumbled across this post which appears to be authored by several real-life polygamists.

The posts seem genuine, with lots of fascinating detail. A couple of the members are lawyers, and registered their unit as an LLC to gain similar legal protections to marriage. Excerpted below is the first posting… grab the Firefox Bugmenot plugin (to get around the pesky registration) and read the rest about this taboo lifestyle:

Well, I’m living ‘the principal,’ and I am not Mormon (or Catholic). In fact, we’re all (14 of us – one husband with 5 wives and 8 children) of varying religious beliefs, and have chosen to simply allow each person to be as they are. We’re not as rare as you might think in the U.S. either.

Check out accounts by Elizabeth Joseph, a former acquaintance of ours. She called the polygamist lifestyle “the ultimate feminist lifestyle.” Of course it depends upon the core beliefs of the adult male in the group, but in our situation, we’ve done everything we can to promote the full education and independence of our women. The primary male is a lawyer, as is one of the wives. Among the other wives, we have a certified nurse midwife, a neurologist, a business executive and a family therapist who chose to leave her job when the rest of her wives decided to pay her more than her previous annual income to stay home to take care of all of our children. She has done a tremendous job with the seven she has raised from infancy to young childhood (the eighth was already 7 when she became the primary caregiver). If at any point she were to decide she wanted to go back to work, we have her second (the midwife) and third (the lawyer) backups already volunteered to fill the vacancy. She is by no means forced into her role as primary caregiver. But considering that she is making a 6-figure income for the position, I suspect she would have to truly be at her wits end to give it up to go back to therapy.

In addition to the freedom they have in their respective careers, they also have complete romantic freedom. They’re free to have relations with each other and outside of our marriage as well – provided that all relations are first negotiated with the primary family. Our first loyalty is to each other – and thereafter, it is to ourselves as individuals.

Nobody in our family believes that underage marriage or female subjugation is appropriate. We are entirely open with our children as to the nature of the relationship. All of our kids are in public school, and we encourage them to choose whichever lifestyle, and/or religion fits them best.

Between the 6 adults, we own 7 houses. Each of the adults has their own house (we make a combined income of about $2 million yearly), all located on the same block – many with adjoining backyards. The 7th house is a home for guests and for our children as they become 15 years of age or older. We currently have 3 children who are 15-18, and they live together in the 7th house.

Our children who are “of age” are by no means obligated to live in the YAG (young-adult-guest) house, but we feel that they could benefit from that opportunity in order to prepare them for living on their own or in university dormitories once they turn 18. It is our small way of allowing them to become adults at their own pace.

Two of us have been together for 22 years. Three of us have been together for 19 years. Four of us have been together for 18 years. And six of us have been together for 12 years (wives 4 and 5 joined us within a month of one another). We’re open to more wives, however, since we are all aging, we realize that our appeal to younger, more progressive women is declining. This is to be expected, and we accept the general course of reality.

We are used to being judged, and do not fault anyone for doing so. Our lifestyle is quite contrary to the “norm.” I do hope that programs such as “Big Love” will eventually offer us mainstream legitimacy… but if not, we are content.

We do not believe that the way we live is the ultimate end to salvation. We do not believe that people who live differently are inferior or bigoted. We are just a unique group of 6 individual adults who chose to come together in order to better our own individual lives.

read the rest…