Beliefnet
In April 2000, the authors contacted more than 700 plural wives, asking them about their experience. They were promised anonymity because it is against the law and currently being prosecuted in Utah. Within six weeks, they received more than 100 responses. The comments were reprinted, organized according to the age of the respondent. Here is one from RS, a woman between 41 and 50 years old.

"I would never ever, worlds without end, even if I could control all events, willingly go back to being a monogamous wife. Even if I were to discount the possibility of eternal blessings, the blessings I enjoy here in this sphere are enough to cause me to become a she-bear when someone threatens them.

"As the only wife of a good man, I had a good marriage. We got along well, and our children were emotionally healthy. But at times I felt an unspoken demand to be all things to my husband: a great cook, an organized housekeeper, an inspired home-schooler and an individual who kept up with current events, pursued her talents, never fatigued, always remembered details, kept the family social calendar, emptied the mending and ironing baskets daily, never overspent, looked appealing at all times and looked forward anxiously for the moment he walked in the door. I tried to be all things, and my husband told me constantly that I was loved and appreciated. But I worried privately that my lapses stood out more vividly than my achievements.

"After a second wife entered the family, I saw my husband's eyes full of new respect and approval as he looked at me. This approval came NOT from my willingness to let him have another wife, but from his deepened comprehension of who I was as a woman, what strengths and gifts I had that were not an automatic part of simply being female genetically but were uniquely mine. Suddenly, I was seen as I had always wanted to be seen.

"Our relationship improved in other ways. Simultaneously with the second marriage, we had to revamp the way we spent our time together. I couldn't be more cheerful tomorrow after a good night's sleep because tomorrow he'd be elsewhere. He could't vegetate in front of the TV tonight and spend time with the kids tomorrow because tomorrow there would be different kids. We couldn't make tomorrow special as we were too busy today, since tomorrow wouldn't be there for us. So we instantly found ourselves putting aside less important things to make time for the more important.

"Then there were the nights he was gone. At first I felt socially embarrassed trying to make new friends and having a "single's" social life; but as I did, I found myself feeling more connected to all of God's people on this earth than I ever had. I found that I hadn't become a part-time wife, I had become a full-time human being.

"For years I prayed to know true joy, to have my marriage become the one I had dreamed of in my youth, and to understand myself and my place here among humanity. I would never have believed, had someone told me, that all my answered prayers would be wrapped up in one gift called plural marriage, but indeed they were. When I hear threats of our way of life being driven out of existence, the grief twists inside me. Please, please, don't try to take away the thing that has made my life whole!

"I have no confidence that were I to be my husband's only wife again, that the lessons learned here in plural marriage could successfully be applied in a monogamous relationship. I have the marriage of my dreams (No, that's not true because I have never dreamed it would be this good) and two sweetheart sister wives who are my best friends and who sacrifice so that I might have happiness. So, my friend, this is no pretense. This principle is my happiness."

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