This blog has featured scores of exclusive interviews with lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and are, by law, denied the freedom to marry and have that marriage treated equally under the law.
The man interviewed below is, and was, clearly able to consent to his relationships. Along with his spouse, he should be free to decide whether or not to legally marry another spouse, yet they are denied this right could be harassed and persecuted if they were open about their love for another.
They are consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone; why should they be denied
their rights? In Utah, they could be criminally prosecuted for their love. In any US state and many countries, they would violate the law if they filed another marriage license with another spouse.
Read the interview below and
see for yourself what he has to say. You may think his relationships are shocking, interesting, or you might find them to be ideal, but whatever your reaction,
should these lovers be denied equal access to marriage or any other rights?
This is one of the longest interviews this blog has featured, as our subject has much to share. If you're curious about polyamory or plural marriage, you'll find much insight herein.
(PLEASE NOTE that our interview subject has chosen "Cowboy" as a pseudonym. This relates to his profession, and is in no way referencing the "cowboy" term used in polyamory and ethical nonmonogamy communities.)
FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Tell us about yourself.
Cowboy: As you drive to my house you will leave the city and drive down a rural road passed many beautiful homes until you end up at my ranch. Like my name suggests, I am a rancher. And for those of you that don’t know what the life of a rancher is, it’s quite simple. I go to work when its dark and I come home from work when it’s dark. I work no matter what the weather is like. But I prefer the sunny days the most.
I haven’t always been a rancher or always lived in the country. I went to school and got an Electronics Engineering degree and worked for some of the biggest companies in the U.S. making more money then I knew what to do with. I was single at the time and loved it. Well. No. The truth is that I loved the money. The only problem was I never spent any of it because I lived at work. I would eat all my meals, shower and sleep at work. It wasn’t my choice, of course. It was because I was on call all the time. I never had a day off. I was like a robot.
But I realized that I didn't have a life. So I decided to change careers and went into construction. Have you ever been in a Home Depot? How about a Staples? I have built so many different things, from Home Depot to Staples to mansions. But the same thing happened. I would just travel the country building places for everyone else to enjoy.
I realized that I wanted to have a family. But not just have a family. I wanted to be there for my family no matter what. That why I got into ranching. It was because I wanted a family and to be there for them. Besides ranching, I have written about a lot of things including polyamory. I am currently working on two books. One is about polygamy and the other is a book which is part of a program to help children overcome mental health issues like anxiety without medication. I’m constantly pouring over medical information.
I am 5'10" with brown hair and hazel eyes. If I wear green clothes my eyes turn green. If I wear brown clothes they turn brown. I’m Spanish, Cherokee Indian, with some Irish in me, all of which are very important to me. My heritage means the world to me and I want to pass it on.
I try my best to stay grounded and connected to what really matters to me. But if it helps you understand things, I have sacrificed so my children won’t ever have to worry about anything. If you see me around it will be in a pair of nice jeans and shirt.
I have eight brothers and sisters. Well, actually, seven. One of my brothers died a few years back. I have two small baby boys and one on the way. I am also married to a wonderful girl who loves me. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Kidding. I live with my pregnant wife and our boys.
I love nature and the outdoors. If you ever want to find me, start there.
FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation... are you heterosexual, bisexual, what?
I am heterosexual.
FME: Are you a polyamorist, polygamist, or practitioner of plural marriage, or....?
I am all of the above. I am a polyamorist. I am a polygamist. I am also a practitioner of plural marriage. But more importantly, I am a practitioner of love, and all its many faces. It may sound corny but It’s true. I don’t really call myself anything other than a man. I am a man. But I don’t mind being called any of the above names. It really is based on what makes someone else comfortable. I try not to label anyone because I think that’s how people begin to hate others. People get confused with what something means and because of their misunderstanding it becomes hateful. For example, when people think of the word polygamy they automatically think of some 80-year-old dude with 64 wives that he abuses.
I just call myself a man. But to my kids, I am called Dad. And to my wives I am just their husband, and any other term of endearment that they may choose to call me. There is a girl I love that would always call me a butt. To this day, I laugh and smile about it. She was the only one in my life to ever call me a butt. I miss being her butt.
My preference is plural marriage. I’m less a fan of the term polygamist because people tend to think of polygamists as crazy people that belong to a cult. I don’t belong to any cult. I’m just your average Joe.
FME: So your ideal relationship is a plural marriage?
Yes. My ideal relationship is a plural marriage. I’m just not me without it. It’s like a part of me is missing.
FME: When did you first realize that is what you needed or wanted? Was it something you were raised with? Is it required by your faith/religion, encouraged by it, or merely allowed by it?
I first realized that this is what I wanted when I was five years old. I remember sitting on a bus with two little girls and wishing that I could marry them both. I also had plenty of dreams at that age where I would dream about marrying more than one girl at the same time. I have never been able to settle down with just one girl.
No, I wasn’t raised this way. It was just something that was a part of me.
I was born into a Catholic family and Catholics don’t agree with it. But strangely enough, it was part of the Catholic Church’s history in different parts of the world. But in today’s Church it is not allowed. I am a Christian. I believe that my faith has allowed it and has approved of it. All you have to do is pick up a Bible and you will find countless stories of it. Even Jesus Christ was descended from polygamists.
FME: Is your marriage a legally recognized marriage? What are your ages?
Yes, it is a legally recognized marriage. I’m 39 and she is 30.
FME: How did your current relationship start? Are you looking for another wife?
I had been married before to two wonderful women at the same time. That marriage ended due to one of my wives dying in her sleep while visiting with her parents on vacation. My other wife couldn't handle the sadness that she faced not having the other wife in our lives and she just gave up on life. She loved her sisterwife so much that she didn't know what to do without her. After a few years passed since the death of my wife I moved on and decided to look for another woman to spend my life with. I knew that I wasn't complete and that the only thing that would make me complete was to have another family again.
My current wife and I met online. I believe in serendipity. We werent on each other’s match list. But some way, somehow, I came across her profile and the rest was history. After talking for eight hours a day with her and not sleeping, I finally asked her out on a date. She lived in one state and I lived in another. I drove to her and we finally met at a casino near her house. We went to a comedy show where her parents were in the back keeping an eye on me just to make sure I wasn’t some criminal type. After the show we ditched her parents and I took her out to eat at a nice restaurant. From there we walked outside, I pulled her close to me, and we just stood in the parking lot kissing for everyone to see. That was the beginning of our life together.
Yes of course I am still looking for another wife. In fact, I am in love with a girl right now. Her name is E. She is the one that would call me a butt. When I look at her face, it's the only time that I am happy. Her eyes, her hands, her smile, way she frowns. They make my heart soar. I cannot imagine my world without her in it. She means more to me then she will ever know.
FME: Describe past relationships. How did they start? How long did they last? How did they end?
My first sweetheart was Nikki. We met at school. I lived outside the U.S. at the time, and I was twelve. She was the cutest and the sweetest little blonde haired girl I ever met. I remember I just had to be with her. She was surrounded by her little girlfriends and I just walked right up to her and asked her out. All the little girls just gasped and watched us both. She was shy but managed to say yes. There was a little shop down the road from the school. I took her there for some ice cream. After that, we were inseparable.
But as happy as Nikki made me, I still felt like I needed something else. I felt like I wasn’t complete for some reason. While we were together we took a class trip for our geography class. We went to a fancy hotel for 1 week to study the local river. The first night there we were all at the table eating dinner when another girl, Pamela sat down with her and they were chatting in another language. Pamela was a bit different from Nikki. Pamela had brown hair, brown eyes and was a bit more talkative and outgoing. Pamela was talking about how cute I was and how beautiful my eyes were. What Pamela didn’t know was that I spoke her language also. I got up, walked around behind them and I told Pamela that if she wanted to see more of my eyes that she should come out with Nikki and I. She did.
When I was with Nikki and Pamela, I felt more complete then ever in my life. I loved them both equally. You have to understand that we went to an international school and surrounded by international kids. Everyone was rich. All the kids’ parents were busy being ambassadors or high level officials from around the globe. So because of that, we were free to live our lives as we saw fit. We could come and go as we pleased. And we did. When we were at school we would all sit together in class. We did everything together. During lunch we would go outside and lay in a big ball together on the soccer field. After school we would go about town doing what other kids did. We would go to movies, go to restaurants and eat burgers together. We did it all. And back then we didn’t care what people thought. We did what made us happy. That relationship lasted three years with both the girls until I had to move to the U.S.
After that I moved to Texas. When I got to the U.S., everyone seemed to act a bit different than the girls that I was used to outside the country. The girls outside the U.S seemed like more fun and free. The U.S girls seemed to uptight.
I met Veronica when I was 15. I met her in school. What caught my attention was her smile. I just melted around her. She always would come looking for me and sit with me wherever I was. She loved to talk. We had a great time together. I would always go to her house or we would sneak out together at night just to be together. We were together for a year. Things went well until Veronica saw me talking to another girl. I was confused. I didn't understand what the problem was. I tried to explain to her that we were just talking. But I asked her what was wrong with me being with her and another girl at the same time. It was then that I really started to get confused. I’d never paid attention to any other relationships before. I just thought that what I felt was normal and that there was nothing wrong with it. But Veronica didn’t agree with me. She thought that I should only have eyes for her and nobody else. For once, I had a problem and I didn’t know how to solve it. Someone who meant so much to me was telling me that what I thought and felt was wrong. We broke up because I couldn’t be with just her.
I didn't know how to be monogamous. I remember that I kept asking myself, “Why would anyone want to be with just one person?” How did that work? Was I the only one who felt this way? I mean, I saw so many people around me this way, but I could never figure it out. How could only two people be together? Don’t they love others?
After we broke up she went and told everyone that I liked to be with more than one girl at a time. I learned quickly that that wasn’t socially acceptable to people in the U.S. All the other girls avoided me for that simple reason. I would try and ask girls out but they all told me the same thing. “Veronica told us all about you and how you can’t be with just one girl.” I didn’t date anyone after that until I graduated from high school and went to work.
I met this girl Lisa 21 on the job. We hit it off as soon as we met. What attracted me to her was her smile. We hit it off so good that my boss made me transfer to another department in the company because we were just a little too close at work. She was a single mom and had a little girl. We were together for a year. It ended because she was looking for someone to settle down with but when I told her that I was polyamorous she broke down in tears and gave me an ultimatum. She told me that I had to choose her or to be polyamorous. Obviously, I didn’t choose her.
I finally met Stephanie at age 20. We hit it off really well. I met her at the grocery store. I saw her, I thought that she was cute, so I asked her out. We dated for a few months. During that time I also met Amanda, who was 18. Amanda and I met one day while I waited for Stephanie at her job. I had been dating both girls for a few months when Stephanie invited me over to her house for dinner with her family. It was great until that night the door opened and I was invited into the house only to see Amanda there, too. They were sisters.
As soon as Amanda saw me, she stormed out of the room. I ran after her to explain things when Stephanie ran after me wondering what I was doing with her sister. Both girls liked me and wanted to date me. I was caught in the middle. What we didn’t realize was that their dad was furious. I had just blown up his dinner and evening.
We all sat down in the living room while he read me the riot act for hurting his girls. But in the end, he said that he was OK with his daughters dating me as long as in the end only one would marry me and not two. So the girls and I dated for a few months. One night, the dad took me out to talk man to man. I was told in a very fatherly way that if I loved the girls that I would let them go because he could see that neither one of them wanted to give me up and he wasn’t OK with them both being together and me at the same time. It broke the girls’ hearts and they hated me from then on.
When I was 21, went to a bar with a buddy and as soon as I walked in the front door, I saw this beautiful girl sitting by herself. I took a moment to look around to see what things were like in the bar. When I turned around she was gone. I thought that I had lost my chance. But then I noticed her walk in the bar from another door and she was with this other girl. And when I mean that she was with her, I mean they couldn’t have been any closer. But her friend seemed a bit older then her.
My buddy asked them if they wanted to go to another bar because this one was dead. They said yes. I got in the back of my buddy’s car and the strangest thing happened. Both women started to fight over who got to sit in the back with me. I was shocked. The younger girl hopped in with me. I remember going to the other bar and I got wasted. I was trashed. But this chick was all over me. We decided to leave and go back to my house. When we got to my house, I was surprised because both the girls wanted me. My poor buddy was left hanging. I felt bad for him. So I asked the older one if she wouldn’t mind spending time with him. The younger girl and I went outside and we sat on my lawn in my front yard.
As we were kissing and making out on my front lawn, the other girl came out because buddy was too drunk and had passed out in the bathroom. The older chick got turned on and wanted to know what we were up to and if she could join in. I found out the younger girl was Susan and the older girl was Penny.
We all talked for hours, just laughing and having a good old time. We finally decided to go inside because it was getting time for them to head home. They asked if I could give them a ride back to get their car. I dropped them off, and as the girls got out of the car, they kissed me and Penny went to the car exhausted. Susan then asked if she and her aunt could come by my house later after work and spend time with me.
This huge monster truck pulled in behind me. It was Susan’s father.
And that is when I learned that Susan and her family had a very special relationship with each other. They lived a consanguinamorous lifestyle.
Susan and I hit it off and for once I was surrounded by people who understood what it meant to love other people. We got along great. The only trouble I had was keeping track of who was in what relationship with whom.
Susan and I got married. We went down to the Justice of the Peace office. Susan and I lived two happy years together but we weren’t complete. We both were polyamorous people. When we met Jennifer, we had not been looking for someone to join our family. It just happened.
Susan worked for a major bank, and on Christmas Eve, I came to the bank to take her to my company Christmas party. Little did I know that the girls inside the bank were all discussing me with Susan. One of the tellers, Jennifer, didn’t know that Susan and I were married, and after Jennifer was talking about me, Susan encouraged Jennifer to talk with me.
Jennifer wanted to have coffee with me; we explained to her Susan and I were married and polyamorous. We all went to the party, where we had a great time. I didn’t stop to think of whether or not anyone would care to see us three out together but I realized that everyone was too trashed to care.
Life was great for us. We were married for eleven years.
One day, Susan asked us if we would mind if she went to visit her family for some vacation. She missed them. So we told her it was OK. The next day, Jennifer and I were sitting on the front porch drinking coffee when the phone rang. All I heard was screaming. I couldn’t tell who was screaming. I finally was able to make out the words, “She’s dead.” I grabbed my keys and wallet and grabbed Jennifer by the hand and ran to the truck as fast as I could. We drove until we got to Susan’s parents’ house.
After the funeral, Jenn never bounced back. She would hardly eat. She never would talk. She just stayed in bed. After months of her going downhill, I called her family and asked them if they could help me out. They came and collected her and took her back to their house to get better. But she never did. After taking a couple years to recover from that I finally decided it was time to open my heart and try again.
I met my current wife, Lindsey, on an online dating site. We talked for hours and hours every day until I decided to ask her out. We are still together and happily married for five years now.
FME: Do you consider a plural marriage situation to be one marriage with multiple wives or separate marriages?
If I were to marry someone else, I would view it as still having one marriage. It’s one family. I wouldn't view it as two separate families. The reason that I would view it as one family and one marriage is because I would view it as a union. I think if you view it as separate families or as separate marriages then you will end up with more problems because nobody is united for the common good. Each family and each marriage would be competing against each other instead of working for the common good. I want us to have one marriage and one family united together forever. And yes, when I mean forever I do believe that we will be together for eternity.
FME: You'd only be in a situation with one husband (yourself) and multiple wives; the wives would not have other husbands, correct?
I’ve never thought about that situation before. I have never had a wife that wanted to have another husband. But here is the thing. I know that there are families that live that way where there are multiple men and women. In my opinion, very few work. And the reason that I think that is because the more people you start to add to a family, the more complicated it gets. I find that one man and a couple women work because of the dynamic. I’m not saying that other dynamics don’t work. I’m just saying that it becomes harder to keep everyone united. If you have one man and several women it works because they are united with the man and have a strong family unit. I would not want to be in a situation where the wives had other husbands because I think it would be to chaotic and not work well. I would only want to be in a relationship where it was me and multiple wives.
FME: What would you say to people who'd say that isn't fair or goes against equality?
If another man thinks that it isn’t fair that I have multiple wives and he doesn’t, then I suggest that he take a good look at himself in the mirror and ask himself why he is jealous.
If someone thinks that it is unfair or against equality for a man to have multiple wives and the wives don’t get to have other husbands then I would tell them to talk to the wives. The fact of the matter is that the women are the ones that choose the man.
Here is my example. I am married and looking for another wife. I met a girl who I love and really like. But for some reason, she doesn't love me or want a future with me. I can’t force her to be with me. I have to respect her wishes and hope for the best for her. Every woman has a choice. They have free will to choose what they want. So if the love of my life called me up today and asked to be a part of my family I would welcome her home with open arms. But it would be her choice, not mine. Everyone thinks that the man is forcing women to be with him. It’s not true. The truth is that the women are the ones that choose, not the man.
So how is it not fair for a woman to choose for herself what she wants in life? I think it’s more than fair for a woman to choose who she wants to spend her life with.
So the truth is, it is fair. No matter how much I want this girl to marry me, no matter how much it hurts me to not have her in my life, I respect her decision to not want me and I think it is fair for her to choose what she wants, no matter what I want.
FME: Would you only marry strictly heterosexual women, or would you he OK with having wives who would be with each other at least from time to time?
I have been married to both heterosexual women and bi women. It doesn’t bother me at all if my wives want time to be with each other. I would be happy no matter what. I think the closer the wives are together, the better. They would be more strong and united and that helps the family. Even if the wives were heterosexual, there is nothing wrong with them kissing each other or showing love for each other in a sexual way. I would be happy either way, but the more they interacted together the better the family unit as a whole would be.
FME: Would you ever marry sisters?
As I said, I have dated sisters before. I don’t see anything wrong with marrying sisters. I would love it. I think sisters are great because they already have a special relationship with each other.
FME: Do you have to have a ceremony, beyond what the government might do, in order to consider yourself married?
No, I don’t, but I would want my wives to be happy. What would make me happy is for them to get the wedding ceremony that they wanted. You see, nothing makes a husband happier than seeing his wives happy. I would be happy with whatever my wives wanted. As for me, I’m a simple man. I don’t need anything fancy.
FME: Is the sex and sleeping arrangements always, sometimes, or never one-on-one? Is there or would there be a formal schedule?
I’m not a fan of having separate bedrooms or houses. That creates a division in the household. I want my family united. I would love to have my wives and I sleep in one room. The reason for this is that we would always be connected and share our whole lives with each other. It doesn’t matter if the women are bi or straight because when you all sleep together and the women hear each other and their husband snore and make bodily noises it really does bring them close together. They can all laugh at each other and connect. It brings them close together to feel each other lying next to them. There wouldn't be anything to hide. We would all know the most intimate details about each other.
I would love to lay in bed with my wives together and have sex together. It would bring us all together. But sometimes I may not always be having sex with them together. There might be one night that I need time just with one wife. That doesn’t mean the other wife doesn’t matter or is less important. It just means I need something from her. There might be a time where I am fooling around with one while the other is at work or somewhere else. Life happens. So does sex. Sometimes people get sick. So if one woman gets sick then I would want her to rest and get better. During that time I might have sex with the one who is not sick.
There might be a time when one of the women comes to me and tells me that she needs more time with me, that she misses me. Because of that, I would spend more time with her. But that doesn’t mean that the other wife would get neglected. It would just mean that I would be having more sex.
What people also don’t realize is that if each woman had her own room it would make it harder on the man because he would be constantly changing rooms and beds. Who wants to be sleeping in a different bed each night? I don't. I like being used to one bed.
But in the end, I would want my wives to be happy. So I would do my best to accommodate them.
As for a schedule, it doesn’t bother me, but I think it would lead to jealousy, because we would be keeping tabs of whose turn it was. Jealousy can be a relationship killer if you allow it.
The good thing is that my current wife has a low sex drive, so If I had sex with another wife more it wouldn't bother her at all if I didn’t have the same amount of sex with her. My wife would want me to be happy and if my other wife and I spent more time together having sex then she would be happy, too.
FME: Does anyone know the full, true nature of your relationships and how did they find out? How have they reacted? What kind of steps, if any, have you had to take to keep your privacy?
Yes. There are some people that know the true nature of my relationships. First off, my family, meaning my parents and siblings, aren’t in my life. I haven’t spoken with them in years and have no desire to have them in my life. I don’t have a problem telling them about my life but they don’t care. They have never wanted to be a part of my life. So my family is not a problem.
With my previous wife Susan, everyone in the family knew and supported it. They kept the love in the family. They were a consanguineous bunch. So they didn’t have a problem. Nothing was private with them. Everyone knew and supported us.
With my previous wife Jennifer, she was scared to death to tell her parents. I told her that we had to do it. So we sat down with her parents and had a heart to heart. Man, that was difficult. Her dad reacted in a very negative way. As soon as he found out, he blew up. He literally wanted to fight. I guess he thought that his baby girl was joining some kind of a cult. But Jennifer got in between us. She was crying more than I had ever seen her do. As she was crying she managed to tell him, “But I love him, Daddy.” And then she paused. And then she said, “I love Susan, too. Susan is part of our family too.”
Her dad calmed down and sat back down. But make no mistake about it, he wanted to kill me. Her mom was shell shocked. She didn’t say a word.
I asked Susan to take Jen outside for a moment while I spoke with her parents. It was one of the hardest things that i have ever had to do. But I was open and honest with them and told them all about us. I went into all the dirty little details. And yes. I even had to bring up sex. I had to explain that our relationship was based on love. I tried my best to reassure them that I was not recruiting girls for a cult.
They understood, but they were still upset. I got Susan and Jennifer to come back and I filled them in. Jennifer had to have her heart to heart with her parents and explain that she wasn’t a little girl anymore. That helped because her parents could see that nobody was forcing her to do anything or say anything, and that she truly loved Susan and me.
I invited them to our house to visit for two weeks so they could see how we lived. Her parents were not thrilled with the idea of visiting, but they did. They saw us three sit on the couch together and watch movies together. They saw us cook and prepare meals together. They saw us sit at the table and discuss bills together. We made love in our room a few nights while they were there. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. We’d wanted to have sex but we just couldn’t knowing they were there with us. After a few days, we couldn’t take it and we started playing with each other while cleaning the kitchen after dinner. We started to horse around and got so heated we ran to the bedroom. We locked the door and never came out.
The next morning her parents were sitting at the kitchen table staring at me with big grins. I didn’t know what to expect. All I could think of was how i spent the night burning up the sheets in bed. They sat us all down together and told us that, originally, they thought that all we wanted was sex and play time together. But what they witnessed was a love that they had never seen. They saw how we interacted together from paying bills to cooking and cleaning to even sex. They realized that when we were all in bed having sex all they could hear was the love coming from our room. They had a change of heart and were happy for us.
As for my current wife’s family, we have tried many times to talk to them about our life, but they don’t understand or don’t want to understand. We aren’t really close to them anyways. They aren’t a part of our life.
We have had some very nosy neighbors, and yes, we have had to hide who we are. We have learned over the years that it’s very hard to trust people, especially neighbors. That’s also one of the reasons why I ranch. I love having my privacy. The sad thing is that we have had to learn the hard way. There have been times years ago when a neighbor would get mad at us for no reason at all. And when they got mad they would call the cops on you for living this lifestyle. We would be ratted out just because someone was mad. There have been some very understanding neighbors, but most of them have viewed us as freaks or deviants because of how we live.
We also have had to hide who we are from our coworkers and jobs.
Things that we have had to do is watch what we say around kids because kids can provide testimony to law enforcement officials and they also can be hurt by other people’s prejudices.
We always have to have a cover story no matter what. We always have to be prepared to anticipate questions from anyone whether it is friends, neighbors, or colleagues.
We are always cautious about who we tell about our lives and what we tell them.
Something else is the fact that the world we live in is electronic and very much connected. It’s hard when you have to hide what you say or do online because it’s easy for everyone else to get it.
Some of our biggest challenges in life were when we were out in public. On one occasion, we all went to a Sam’s club to get groceries we were walking around holding each other when the girls decided to look at some clothes. I had looked up and noticed this older gentleman just staring at us. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why he was looking at us. I looked at him and smiled to be friendly but I think that made it even worse. I tried not to pay attention to him but he kept on and on. I finally nudged the girls and told them that this guy just kept staring and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
He came up and said that he had been watching us in the store and asked if we were all together.
Before I could say anything, the girls responded that they were married to me and that I was their husband. The guy went nuts on us making a scene telling us how evil and dirty we were and that we were going to Hell. The girls and I just left our stuff and went home.
We decided to get dinner out and we were eating at the table when we heard a knock at the door. I got up. Answered the door and came face to face with a cop who informed me that the police were notified about a disturbance at the store that day and they came to investigate. Apparently with store video and Sam’s Club having our membership info it was easy to locate the "polygamists" as he called us. He asked if he could come in the house and look around.
I told him no and that if he wanted to then he needed a warrant. But after me being outside for so long the girls came to the door and wanted to know what the problem was. The officer explained that he was investigating a complaint about polygamists disrupting the peace at a local store. He asked for our identification. We gave it to him and he was asking all kinds of intrusive questions like what our relationship was with each other and who lived where and where we all slept and so much more. So he flipped through the IDs.
When he went to Susan’s he stopped. He looked at her for a moment and then said, “Hey, aren’t you so and so's daughter?”
And she said yes. Come to find out the cop was one of her dad’s friends.
He gave us our ids back and said, “Look, I’m going to give you kids some advice. But understand that I’m not telling you this as a cop. What I am telling you is from a friend.” And he spelled it out as clear as day that although we thought we lived in the U.S. and it was the most free country on Earth that there were still people who would hate us and not understand how we live. He told us that we had to keep our lives private. He also said that it was illegal for us to live our lives this way and that he could make this all go away this one time, but if it ever happened again, he would have to arrest someone. When he said “arrest someone,” he looked directly at me. It was then that I realized how serious things were.
We had some minor brushes here and there with the law but we managed to have a backup story to explain things.
FME: Having to hide the full nature of your relationships from some people can be a disadvantage. Can you describe how that has been? Are there any other disadvantages? Conversely, do you think plural marriage has some advantages over monogamy or being unmarried?
It’s a blessing and a curse. There have been so many times we just wanted to get out and live life like everyone else without worrying about anyone watching us, staring at us, or worse. It’s hard when you are always looking over your shoulder. Some of the disadvantages are that we have to stay at home more. We have to be careful how we act in public, especially when it comes to the children. People are so willing to call the police on you for any reason. The children are our number one priority, so we can’t do things that will draw attention to us. I may want to give public displays of affection but I have to be careful when and how. When we are out, there are subjects and things we don’t discuss no matter what.
The only place that we really feel safe is at home. At home, we feel like we can be ourselves and act and live how we choose to live. We only invite people over that know how we live.
One of the very biggest advantages of hiding our full nature is that there is a lot more quality family time. It really brings us closer together.
In my opinion, plural marriage is the way to go.
First off, there is more love in the family. There is always someone else there that has your back and wants the very best for you. Most people think that a plural marriage is just about sex. It’s not true. It’s about the relationships and the love. In a plural marriage you learn to trust each other more, you learn to communicate more and share more. In my opinion, it helps you become a better person.
FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationships, or disapprove of anyone having this kind of relationship? What's your reply to those who would say that this is one of you preying on the other, and that the women can’t truly consent?
I’m glad that you asked that. I would tell them: How dare you! You don’t know me or my family! And whether you realize it or not you are hurting not only me and my wives but my kids. It’s not right for my children to suffer because of your stupidity. My children are sweet, loving, innocent, and have done nothing wrong for you or anyone else to hurt them by hurting the ones they love the most. All they want is to be loved. Any you are making them feel like they and their family are trash. I’m a grown man. I can handle all the hate that comes my way. But you are preying on the poor innocent children. How dare you!
As for anyone who thinks that I am preying on women, go ask them for yourself. They are free to choose this lifestyle on their own. They aren’t chained to a wall in a dungeon somewhere. They live full, productive lives outside in the world right alongside you. Don’t just take my word for it. Go ask them.
FME: What do you say to other professing Christians who say monogamy is the only acceptable relationship?
In my book, Christian is someone who follows Christ. Nowhere in the Bible does Christ say that there is only one acceptable relationship. If you don’t believe me, look it up. But what I do know is that Christ has called us to love one another as he has loved us. How can you love Christ with all your mind, heart and soul when you hate your neighbor? The answer is you can’t. In order to love Christ with all your being you have to love your neighbor too. Love is the key word. On top of that, the history of the world and the Bible tells us that monogamy was not the only acceptable relationship. I could go on and on about this. I could cite so many examples of plural marriage in the Bible. Let’s starts with Jesus Christ. He was a descendent from many polygamists, David being one of them.
How about Adam and Eve? I’m sure Adam and eve had to have incestuous relationships with their grown kids or we would not be here.
So, you can try and deny it all you want but the facts remain the same. There have been many plural marriages and consanguineous relationships throughout the Bible and again nowhere in the Bible does it say that is wrong. But in the end, you’re free to believe whatever you want just as I am free to believe what I want.
FME: If you could have a LEGALLY RECOGNIZED plural marriage situation, protected from discrimination, would you want to get legally married to both/all wives?
Yes. Of course I would! What you need to understand is that not only would it make me happy but I think my wives would want it the most. My happiness would stem from them being happy.
FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be considering plural marriage?
The first thing that I would say is that you need to be open and honest. You need to communicate more then you otherwise would. And trust! Trust is something big. Don’t ever do anything to lose the trust that you have been given by your partners because it will really break things up. Don’t hide who you are with the people you are involved with.
It seems to me so many people these days are into this lifestyle for the wrong reasons. They think it will help their current marriage get better. Or the sex will be better. It’s not about sex. You should want it because you love your partners. It should be about your relationship. If you try and build a plural marriage on a marriage that has problems it won’t work. It will end badly. Don’t play games with the hearts of those you are trying to build a life with.
I think a plural marriage requires more than a monogamous relationship. You have to be even more open and honest.
FME: What advice do you have for family members and friends and neighbors who know someone considering or entering into plural marriage?
The very first thing that you need to know is that it’s not your life. I know that you care and love the individuals involved, but in the end it is up to them to choose how they want to live their life. We all have our own opinions and ideas about life but they should be free to discover things for themselves. And no matter how you chose to live your life, that doesn't mean that will work for others. Try and think back to when you were young or when you were developing relationships. Maybe your parents or friends didn't approve of who you wanted. But look at where you are now. You proved everyone wrong because your relationship is still going strong. You knew what was best for you, the same way that the person you care about knows what’s best for them. If you truly love someone considering a plural marriage, be supportive of them. Let them know that you care. You never know; you might be surprised by what you learn.
FME: Any plans for the future?
It won’t be long until our newest addition is here. Right now we are waiting for his arrival. We also can’t wait to find another woman who wants to make a life with us.
FME: Anything else to add?
I just want to thank you, Keith, for all your hard work in fighting for my family and all the other families out there that have been denied our right, our basic human rights.
We need to create awareness for all of us. Those of us who have been affected by the stupid laws, the prejudice and discrimination, need to have our voices heard. People need to know that we aren’t bad people. We are your next door neighbors and coworkers. We don’t belong to some cult. We are good, hard working, loving people.
I know that you don’t realize the effect that you have on people. I am sure that people have written to you to thank you, but sometimes you, Jane and others really make an impact on people’s lives without even knowing it. It’s therapeutic to just talk about one’s own life.
Clearly, he and his wives have been consenting adults who haven't hurt anyone and yet they couldn't and still can't even exercise their basic human right to marry as they wish. It is likely Cowboy has a polyamorous orientation. Shouldn't he be free to have the relationship that meets his needs and the needs of the spouses?
Why should they be denied their rights? There’s no good reason.We
need to recognize that all adults should be free to be with any and all
consenting adults as they mutually consent, and part of doing that is
adopting relationship rights for all, including full marriage equality sooner rather than later. People are being hurt because of a denial of their basic human rights to love each other freely.
You can read other interviews I have done here. As you'll see, there are people from all walks of life who are in "forbidden" relationships that are discriminated against.
If you are in a relationship like this and are looking for help or others you can talk with, read this.
If you want to be interviewed about your "forbidden" relationship, connect with me by checking under the "Get Connected" tab there at the top of the page or emailing me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com.
Thank you to Cowboy for doing this interview! We wish you and your spouses well in being complete with a plural marriage.
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