Q: You want to know what problem with polygamy is?
A: Multiple Mother-in-Laws.
OK, joking aside (and I’m only partially joking), I feel the need to say a few words about the Snowdens’ most recent interaction with Ashley’s mother, Donna. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Snowdens are doing great this time around! But I did find something very disconcerting about the most recent episode of Seeking Sister Wife.
Let me also say, I am very happy that Dimitri’s surprise turned out so well. It was a bold move for Dimitri, and, after all the extreme discomfort, Mama Donna was ultimately very graceful. It was a gratifying moment, and a lot of the credit for this had to do with Vanessa’s heartfelt and touching words – she is a gem. I think she won Mama Donna over. I also have to give some applause to TLC and the producers of Seeking Sister Wife. They are the masters of suspense and of the awkward situation. The awkwardness was so thick it was palpable. I’m sure there was so much editing and splicing in this scene, but it was entertaining nevertheless.
Alright, here is the issue I wanted to address: At 20 minutes and 24 seconds into the episode Dimitri says,
“If Mama Donna is not on board with Vanessa, you know, this could be the end of our relationship with Vanessa.”
As I mentioned earlier, I am very glad that things worked out for them, and I hope that this is not really what Dimitri meant to say; because, it is completely wrong to involve your parents, or your in-laws, in your marriage to the point of giving them veto power. Yes, parents need to be respected and indeed honored, but they are also supposed to be left behind.
Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
They are supposed to be left behind in many ways. They are no longer supposed to be relied upon for financial or emotional support. And, while they may be consulted for advice, they are no longer to have any authority to make decisions for your life. Adults, and especially married people, must live their own lives, be responsible for their own decisions, and responsible for their own support, independent of their parents and other relatives. There is no closer relationship, and no bond tighter, than the one you have with your spouse(s).
This can be a very difficult thing for some people to do – difficult for both the parents and the children! I remember making announcements to our own extended family members when we had become polygamous. I had to remind so many of them that they could not make decisions for us, and to stop trying, and to stop fretting about it. After all, it would not affect them any more than they allowed it to.
I liked so much what Sophie Winder had to say on this subject a little earlier in the episode when she was talking to her brother,
“I feel like I’m living this lifestyle with Tami and Colton because I was called to it. My marriage with Tami and Colton is what we build up, not what your opinion of it is.”
She goes on to say,
“The fact that my brother doesn’t necessarily agree with this lifestyle, you know, kind of sucks, but I firmly believe in my lifestyle, and I don’t feel like there’s any need to apologize, and so I’m going to choose what feels right for my life.”