Mama Donna (and Other Relatives)

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.”

the end of 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,

Sophie Tells it

“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.”

Preach it Sophie!

10 thoughts on “Mama Donna (and Other Relatives)

  1. I love your comments very much. I was wondering, how do these families find potential sisterwives. They keep showing a dating website but, is that real or is that just for the show?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment, and good question. The dating website is real, and there are several of them. I think the most popular one, and the one that has been used by families in the show is http://www.sisterwives.com. Another is http://www.polygamy.com, and another is http://www.secondwife.com (for Muslims only). I have never been on any of these websites, but there they are. They may be useful resources for you. I would say the vast majority of plural marriages happen when people meet in groups of like-minded people. For Mormons there are several different branches of the church that still practice and teach plural marriage, and many marriages are arranged that way (I don’t have any experience with this), for other Christians there are also groups and get togethers such as the Biblical Families annual retreat https://biblicalfamilies.org/events/retreats. It doesn’t look like they have planned this year’s event yet, but I’m sure it will be a great time, and very interesting and useful as well (I have also never been to one of these – I probably wouldn’t be welcome either,😉).
      Perhaps it goes without saying, but I’ll just warn you anyway. I’m sure there are many fake profiles on those sites that are there just to troll the people who are legitimately interested in joining a plural marriage/relationship, so exercise some caution. Best of luck to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you make a moral equivalence error in voicing approval of the Snowdons. I do not believe in mormonism; nor do I believe in polygamy. BUT. . . If you claim a sincere belief, I can respect that. The Snowdons do not have any religious imperative. They are motivated only by physical lust and a chance at fame, with a “spiritual” life that is obviously made up, as they go along. They aren’t even married, to begin with! They are a polyamorous, and have already demonstrated that a one night stand with a stranger is no big deal, as long as they ask first. It cheapens your family’s moral stand to cheer that on.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. There is a lot to address there. First off, I guess I’ll say that I don’t feel like I cheer on bad behavior – at least, I’d like to avoid doing that. However, I certainly want to cheer on good behavior.

      What happened last season between Dimitri and Joselyn was reprehensible without a doubt, and I don’t support what happened at all. I have never supported one night stands (with or without permission). I wrote several posts about what happened last season with the Snowdens. Here they are.
      https://speakingofpolygamy.com/2018/02/17/dimitri-and-joselyn/
      https://speakingofpolygamy.com/2018/02/22/where-are-the-men/
      As for their marriage status: they are married. I have written about that too.
      https://speakingofpolygamy.com/2018/03/02/are-the-snowdens-married/
      https://speakingofpolygamy.com/2019/03/09/common-law-marriage-in-georgia-or-are-the-snowdens-married-season-ii/
      These posts are worth a read.

      Now that I have hopefully clarified my views about what was portrayed last season, I can provide an answer to what I believe is the crux of your comment which could be summed up in one question, “How can I write positive posts about people who have done bad things?” (Please feel free to correct me if this fails to capture the essence of what you wrote.)

      I think it is a fair question, and I’ll answer it by saying first of all – we’re all sinners. This world would be a very dreary place if all of our communications consisted of constant condemnation and accusation for past offenses – especially for offenses that have already been corrected, repented of, and forgiven. There would be no peace at all. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for condemnation, because there is. Bad behavior can, and should, be condemned, but that shouldn’t stop us from praising and encouraging good behavior – and that is absolutely what I see from the Snowdens and Vanessa this season.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your take-away was dead wrong. I can say positive things about almost anyone; supportingtheir “lifestyle choice”, based onky of hubris, lust, and greed is another story. They have not repented of anything–they just agree, “it’s cool” (Ashley’s statement in an interview).They have openly stated–if not on the show–that they don’t believe in marriage. They have also lived with a woman for a long term–who described their immoral relationship. She was expected to engage in a bisexual relationship; Ashley began pushing this after she had moved halfway across country. Dimitri had a long string of meaningless affairs, which Ashley blamed on their live-in. They have never refuted a word she said. They both have a long history of fame-seeking, including Asley’s on YouTube career. Dimitri has misrepresented or greatly exaggerated every educational and professional claim he has made. These things have been backed up by a lot of easily found evidence–I don’t link to public information; but a 2 minute public records search will prove my point. I only encourage families like yours not to cheapen your genuine values by accepting any sort of polyamory as equal.

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        1. As for, “fame-seeking”, it only works when other people spend their spare time watching your show, visiting your YouTube channel, doing public records searches to check on all the details of your life, delving into your professional and educational claims, and gobbling up gossip about you from your “ex’s” Facebook posts. Like it or not, it is a mutually negotiated phenomenon between the celebrity and the audience. People are only famous because other people give them their attention – whatever the reasons for that may be. Something to think about.

          As for the many things you say about the Snowden family, they mostly sound like hearsay to me, and are utterly none of my concern. I just watch SSW and provide some commentary on it; that’s it. I don’t follow these people’s lives outside of that, and why would I? I have more than enough of my own life to live. The truth is, this show could be about an entirely fictional family, and I could still write useful commentary about it. I will probably write more positive things about the Snowdens in the future. I will probably criticize them in the future as well. Either way, it will be based upon what I see on the show. I haven’t got time to give them any more fame than that.

          You think that you can say positive things about almost anyone – I dare you to prove it 🙂

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    2. About the Snowdens
      “They are motivated only by…”
      It is a mistake to watch a short TV show and pretend to totally understand what motivates people.
      “…with a “spiritual” life that is obviously made up, as they go along.”
      It is a mistake to pretend to understand their position spiritually with the little time they have been given to explain it.
      I do think one advantage to them being on the show is that there are other reasons for polygamy besides Judeo-Christian faith
      based reasons.
      “They aren’t even married, to begin with!”
      If there is one thing you need to learn from watchin polygamy shows is that pretty much all polygamy supporters do not believe
      that a marriage is not valid unless you have a license from the state. Pretty much all polygamy supporters belive that if the man and the woman claim that their relationship is a marriage than it is just as valid of a marriage as those who hold licenses. For this reason, the Snowden’s marriage is just as valid as anyone else’s.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Joshua, you would be welcome to go to a Biblical Families retreat. You might get a lot of friendly discussion about the Book of Mormon, but you (and your wives and children) would be welcome. Although the ministry is designed for non-Mormon Christians, I think anyone is welcome as long as they do not have an intent to be disruptive. It would also not be unusual to find other Messianics there as well. People get on the BF forum and see heated scriptural arguments and and often get the wrong impression. In general they are a very friendly bunch.

    The retreat is not scheduled, yet, but there is still an effort to hold one this year, probably in August and probably in the Texas or states near there.

    Liked by 2 people

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