Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Three Wives, One Husband: A Refreshing - And Real - Look at Polygamy

Three Wives, One Husband is a documentary-style mini series on TLC. While it's similar to TLC's other polygamy shows, I liked its documentary style, which is different than TLC's typically overly dramatic style. (This wasn't originally filmed for TLC, which explains that.) But anyway, what I liked about this show is how real it is. It doesn't paint a rosy, picture perfect view of polygamy; it shows a tough lifestyle that isn't exactly easy.

First and foremost, the show portrays people who are sometimes happy, but struggle with their lifestyle. Marina, the third wife of Abel Morrison, clearly struggles with jealousy, which takes a huge toll on her husband and sister wives.

A fascinating family on the show was Christian and Sasha, a currently monogamous couple who are seeking a sister wife. They have one son, but Sasha had multiple miscarriages, and situations like this could limit the number of kids they can have. This seems to play a big role in why she's willing to accept a sister wife. That being said, she clearly struggles with the idea, and turns to her religion to justify why should do something she doesn't seem to want to do. When she talked to some of the polygamist families about her concerns, they too backed their decision and justification with religion: their human selves want to be competitive, but their religious selves know not to, so they try to follow that. So, accept a sister wife, don't be jealous, and love her for who she is. And that's great, in theory, but real life is not that simple.

Also interesting was the case of Anazella and Melinda, widows of Jim Morrison. Jim's dying wish was for his wives to marry his brother, Abel, so they'd be taken care of. And according to his wives, if Abel had kids with any of them, they'd be the same as Jim's kids because Jim and Abel share DNA. While I can understand and respect polygamy, this is a bit much for me - and Jim's wives seemed to agree, as they decided not to pursue this option. Seriously though, that's a bit much, isn't it? Yeah, it would keep the kids together but can you really just stick two families together and expect it to work?

Do I think the women that appear on Three Wives, One Husband are brainwashed or oppressed? No. I think they are free-thinking and free to leave their lifestyle at any time. I think like anything else, their belief system dictates that they do things that they may not otherwise do, but that's their choice. Are there terrible polygamist communities out there? Absolutely. But I don't think this is one of them.

What do you think of the show and the families?