In the episode of Seeking Sister Wife called “Risky Business,” Ashley tells her mom Donna that she and Dimitri are starting to date again.
“When I’m doing something I know my mom won’t approve of, I just love telling her about it!” said no one ever.
I think the conversation between Ashley and Donna went pretty well; here’s what Donna said [timestamp 33:23], and it is my favorite SSW moment thus far:
You a queen and he a king and y’all have your own castle, so you make your own decisions, and you do you.
– Donna (Ashley Snowden’s mom), Seeking Sister Wife, S1E2
What better response could you expect from a parent? I absolutely love this.
Parents need to let go of having control over (or even having a say in) their adult children’s lives. I’m happy for Ashley that her mom could be so mature and accepting of a lifestyle she wouldn’t choose for herself or her daughter.
I’ve had my share of similar dialogues. They can be very difficult. In our house, we’re not allowed to complain, but we’re allowed to say that something is “not my favorite.” So I’ll just say… Conversations like that one are not my favorite.
When we tell people about our polygamy, we never know what to expect, and we have gotten a whole spectrum of responses.
Some responses were laughable, some were cringe-worthy, some were supportive, some were hurtful, and some were memorable enough that they’ve become classic stories in our family. We’ve been cursed (literally); we’ve had people overcome with the Spirit and gain a testimony that we’re doing God’s will; we’ve had people shrug as if we just told them we like to eat spaghetti for dinner; we’ve had the cops called on us; we’ve had our Church leaders called on us; we’ve had DCFS (child protective services) called on us; we’ve had people stop talking to us; we’ve had people tell us about Dreams they’ve had about us; we’ve had people act shocked; we’ve had people nod and say, “Yeah, I figured.” We can never be sure how a person is going to react, but we always learn something about the person by how they behave towards us after they find out we’re polygamists.
Strangers have been easier for me to tell than people whom I’ve known my whole life. I suppose it’s because with a stranger I have nothing to lose: if they respond negatively, the relationship ends before it even begins. But with a long-time friend or a family member, I’ve invested in the relationship and will suffer a great loss if they reject me.
And rejection has been in plenty. Perhaps I will describe the depth of it in future posts. For now I’ll keep it on the positive side and share one of my favorite stories of a person’s reaction to my polygamous status:
We were at a large gathering and were meeting a lot of new acquaintances. Joshua and Melissa met this guy and got introduced as husband-and-wife, and 5 minutes later I met the same individual. He asked who I was married to, and I pointed out Joshua. He was confused and said, “But… I thought she was his wife…” and I just stood there nodding and smiling, and it slowly dawned on him what that meant. He said, “So… You’re polygamists?!” I confirmed and waited to see what his reaction would be. Pause… pause… pause… “That’s awesome!”
All these experiences, both positive and negative, help us figure out who our true friends are and who it is we want to continue having in our lives. And maybe my sisterwife Melissa is right when she says, “We are a test for people, to see whether or not they will be kind to us.”