For example, are you familiar with the term polyfidelitous? It turns out that there are some folks who engage in relationships that involve multiple people bonded equally. That is to say, not he’s with her and she’s with her and him and her - although there’s nothing wrong with that if everyone involved is a consenting adult. Nor do I refer to what many simply shorthand as Sister Wives.
What I mean is that some people find themselves with some count of adults otherwise carrying out what many would consider a traditional marriage - emotionally, financially, physically - just more so.
I know, because it happened to me
And it could happen to you.
This brief guide is intended to aid you through such a life transition. While too broad a topic to cover in a single post, here, as a bit of Finger Food, is a brief sampling of advice gleaned from my own marriage.
Yes, we’ll get to some sweaty bed-based nitty gritty, but first some more practical considerations:
Back when I was married to just one person the choice of where to eat out was often a battle of indifference - well, let me tell you: With two spouses it hasn’t changed all that much.
A front of indifference is often a way of letting the other person have their way, but, as it turns out, they then want you to have yours - and when you toss in a third person to shrug towards matters tend to wind up in a swirling drain of indecision.
This can actually get a little problematic, as frustration sets in when your intended gift isn’t just accepted. Eventually, because you all respect and care for each other so much, you find yourself in an argument about how you all respect and care for each other so much.
Here’s the secret though: Everyone does actually have a preference about where and what they’re going to eat.
Through trial and error I have discovered that the most surefire way to reach an a decision is to suggest a place you know the others will be disgusted by.
Yes, sometimes the most effective solution is to troll both your wives with that greasy diner with the fantastic Texas toast that they’re convinced, rightfully, has a kitchen overrun with filth.
But, I mean, how gross can a toaster get, realistically?
Whatever the answer, if the proposal is presented in the most innocent of tones you’ll soon suddenly find yourself flooded with counter-suggestions and a full gullet.
Now, I’d like to think that perhaps it requires a certain sort of thoughtfulness to find yourself with two spouses, but it may also be the case that you’re twice as berated when you’re not pulling your weight. Whatever the case, pitching in is important.
There are some advantages to having, say, three adults in any given household. Many of the day-to-day duties can be pooled and shared, and there’s (theoretically) less complaining when the chore list is divided into three - even if four children means that each job on the list is a little bit more of a hassle to accomplish.
Did you know, however, that having two spouses means they can go through your clothes twice as quickly as you can? It’s true, and, even if you double up on socks and undies out of spite, if you ever want to see your favourite hoodie again you’re going to need to put yourself in charge of laundry.
Which leads us to an important secondary truth: Whoever controls the laundry controls the loose change. In the end you’re going to be stuck doing your share anyhow, so you may as well claim the position that’ll eventually provide enough rogue quarters to hit Subway when you’re done.
In this day of online mattress delivery and the Matress-Store Bubble you may be scanadalized to discover the hideous truth Big Slumber doesn’t want you to hear: King size just isn’t big enough, especially if you’ve drawn the short straw of sleeping in the middle. Eventually you’ll learn the Jerk and Scoop technique, which isn’t nearly as exciting as the name implies. Either you’ll find your elbow pinned against the headboard as if you’re constantly signalling a right-hand turn, or you’ll slip a tender forearm beneath your beloved’s sleeping head.
Fine enough until your shoulder stiffens up. Inevitably you’ll find yourself snuggled on the opposite flank, giving no escape room, and you’ll have to release yourself by sitting up suddenly while pulling your arm as smoothly as possible from beneath your sleeping loved-one’s head.
Best case scenario: You turn over and settle into the same conundrum on the opposite side.
Worst case scenario: Sitting up suddenly in the still darkness, like a crazed jack in the box, startles the person sleeping behind you, who then instinctively pushes your clearly nosferatu-infected self away. That, in turn, locks your lifting elbow, causing you to raise and drop the head of the other sleeper, who, having been given the sensation of unexpected falling, also begins to flail in panic like you’ve all signed up for a Naked Gun movie sketch.
That said, especially with seasonal change, temperature regulation is a tricky bit of business. You don’t realize how badly you need to hang a leg off the bed to keep yourself from overheating until you’ve found yourself the center in a 7-Eleven hot-dog roller of a bed.
My advice for you is twofold.
First, keep a blanket folded at the foot of your bed like your grandmother. If you awaken to find yourself sweating like you’ve just survived a Rocky montage the best option is often to extract yourself as gracefully as possible and sleep on the uppermost surface of your bedding. Having the grandma blanket will keep you from freezing to death, and you can amuse yourself with comparing your sleeping spouses to Morlock’s beneath the surface of the crust. With any luck this position is comfortable enough that you’ll be asleep before you realize you’re only making the unfavorable comparison because you’re bitter that you don’t have the ability to hang your leg over the side, or that, logically, the notion means you’re the Eloi.
The second part of my advice is to start a letter writing campaign, because eventually there’ll be enough of us to justify a size bigger than King (or the utter scam that is California King. Fah!)
I hope this quick guide to the world of polygamy has helped shed a little light on the cold, harsh realities of multiple marriages. Remember: I believe in this utopian future of sizable mattresses and reasonably quick eating decisions, because it happened to me - and it could happen to you.