What I have to say here is not specific to polygamy, but will apply to all marriages. Women, you don’t want your current or future husband to “need” you. It might sound romantic, but having a needy husband will be an emotional drain on your naturally fluctuating emotional state. You do not want someone who needs to rely on you (that is not to say that you will do nothing for your husband).
I once had a conversation with a female coworker about her rocky love life. Aside from her personal life (which was a disaster), she was relatively accomplished in an educational and professional capacity. In this conversation she told me that she likes to date (and live with) men who are inferior to her. This, in hopes that it will cause them to be dependent on her and therefore stay with her. She wanted someone who was not as smart as her, nor made as much money as she did. At the time of our conversation she had such a man, AND ABSOLUTELY DESPISED HIM for his general incompetence, and laziness. Her strategy didn’t work anyway. These weak men would eventually leave regardless. Can you blame them? They surely felt their uselessness, and perceived her disdain. Both she and they were generally miserable while they were together. Neither of them were satisfied by the situation. Her efforts to reverse the God-given and biological roles of men and women put her at odds with reality and resulted in misery.
After telling me about her situation, she asked for my advice (which I usually keep to myself unless requested – this is a good policy). I told her what she really wanted. I told her that she wants a man better than herself. She wants a man stronger, smarter, more educated, more stable, and more successful than herself. She wants a man that can take care of her (and her child), and not the other way around. She thought for a brief moment and then said to me, “That is what I want.” I don’t know if anything has shifted in her life; she took a new job elsewhere shortly after this exchange.
No indeed, you do not want someone who “needs” you. Rather, you need someone who loves and wants you (this is different than “needing you”). You need someone who can (and will) cherish, protect, provide, and lead you and your family.
If you want to feel needed, if you want someone to be physically and emotionally dependent upon you, then have children. Nothing else will better fulfill your need to be needed.
I was chatting with one of my readers who is being courted as a potential second wife. My conversation with her brought up some things I felt I needed to share. Consider it advice if you want to, but I have such a big beam in my own eye that I wouldn’t dare correct anyone. I’m just sharing some thoughts.
First off, I don’t see why it’s ever a good idea to criticize your (potential) husband’s current/first wife. She has made it just fine this far successfully without you, and she doesn’t need you to waltz in to her life and start telling her how she should and shouldn’t behave. The possibility of living plural marriage will bring plenty of things to her awareness that she needs to fix about herself without you pointing them out directly, trust me. If you do see something that you can’t bear to just leave alone, tell your (potential) husband and leave it to him to handle.
The above advice applies to first wives as well. Your (potential) sisterwife is an adult who has long ago moved out of her parents’ home and isn’t looking for another mother. Just focus on improving yourself and your own children. When things come up that need to be addressed, either trust your sisterwife to figure it out on her own or bring things up with your husband.
Come to think of it, this advice applies even more broadly than merely sisterwives.
Think about how difficult it is to change yourself. Consider how often you fail to follow your own sage advice.
If your experience is anything like mine, upon reflection, you’ll realize how overwhelmingly improbable it is that you will ever succeed in changing another person.