Frank Relationships: Polygamy in the African-American Community

Sunday, Jun. 2nd 2013 11:04 PM

 

There have been two television shows, of note, about polygamy in the white American community. Here is an African-American polygamy story … on this edition of Frank Relationships.


FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: Frank & A Woman of a Polygamous Relationship
Date: June 03, 2013

Frank: Many shows ago we talked with a man in a polygamous relationship. Now we’re going to talk to a woman of one with children, on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. Once again, I’m joined by my super duper co-host. What’s up, Dr. Gayl?

Dr. Gayl: Good morning, Frank.

Frank: I love to see and hear about relationships that work. I can generally care less about the details. All I want to know is are the people involved happy. Well, that’s where I differ from many, probably including my co-host.

Dr. Gayl: Probably.

Frank: But I could be wrong. Maybe she’s accepting understanding and flexible. But then again, it’s only been a week since I last talked to you last. See, when you do the intro you get the first shot.

Dr. Gayl: Right. I’ll get the last.

Frank: Today we’re talking with a woman that did what many consider to be the unthinkable. She had a 25 year relationship with children with a married man.

What are the details? I’m glad you asked, because that’s where it gets good. In the studio today, we have a guest that has quite a story to share and I hope you’ll appreciate the opportunity to listen and learn about the highs and lows, ins and outs, ups and downs of a 25 year long polygamous relationship. Welcome to the show.

Female Guest: Thank you.

Dr. Gayl: Good morning.

Female Guest: Good morning.

Frank: Why would a woman be willing to “share” a man?

Female Guest: Good question, very good question, and unfortunately I believe that’s what a lot of us women are doing. I just believe that it’s better to be open with it.

Frank: Is it sharing a man? Is that what you felt as though you were doing?

Female Guest: I felt I was having a relationship with another person.

Dr. Gayl: Can you explain it further, because Frank introduced it as a polygamous relationship, but at the same time, he said that he was a married man, so can you explain that further for us?

Female Guest: Sure. He was definitely married after he and I already developed a relationship.

Dr. Gayl: So you guys were together first and then he got married?

Female Guest: If I remember correctly and if I believe him correctly, it was like one right after another. I met him in April, he met her in May and was working, I guess, to see who would be like a typical young man, who–

Dr. Gayl: Who was going to be the wife.

Female Guest: Yeah, who was going to be the one.

Dr. Gayl: And he ended up marrying the other woman?

Female Guest: Correct.

Dr. Gayl: How long was it between when you guys met and when he got married?

Female Guest: A good four or five years. It was quite a few years. It wasn’t like within the year. It was definitely close to five years.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: And what made him legally marry her and not you, do you think?

Female Guest: Don’t laugh, but he was going for his papers. He wasn’t a United States citizen.

Dr. Gayl: Okay. And were you not having it or were you a citizen?

Female Guest: Oh, definitely I’m a citizen.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: I think I was a little bit more hardhead. She was easier to handle.

Dr. Gayl: Now, is she aware of you?

Female Guest: Oh definitely, definitely.

Frank: Maybe that’s why Dr. Gayl’s ex-husband married her. She was the hardhead.

Dr. Gayl: And what’s the reason that your ex-wife and current wife married you?

Frank: Tell us about the courtship.

Female Guest: Oh, it was sweet. It was really nice. It was really truly nice. He made sure that I got home from work. He made sure I ate.

Frank: Made sure you ate?

Female Guest: That I ate dinner, because I was–

Frank: Did you cook?

Female Guest: No, sometimes he would cook, because he’s from the Caribbean. He loved to cook. A lot of men like to cook. Or he’ll make sure I got home from work, because it was up north; cold weather, bad weather. He would come pick me up at the subway. It was nice. I’d said, “Oh wow, this is cool.”

Dr. Gayl: It sounds like he was a perfect gentleman.

Female Guest: Very much so.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: Oh yeah, it sounds like “was?”

Female Guest: It was.

Frank: That didn’t continue?

Female Guest: He was never disrespectful to me. I can honestly say he never called me outside his name, even when we had one of the biggest, biggest some years–we had one major, major, major–he never did. What he did do was walk away when he got that angry, which I respected that. I saw how he treated his family, his mother. I was introduced.

Dr. Gayl: And how were you introduced to the family and to the mom?

Female Guest: By my name. He didn’t say–

Dr. Gayl: He didn’t give you a title?

Female Guest: No not at all until after the kids were born. Then he said these are *(inaudible) 06:04 my two kids.

Frank: And how honest was he with you about the other woman and with her about you, do you think?

Female Guest: I can talk about me from what I was told, because I would pull questions out of him. I feel he was scared to tell the truth to say the whole things at the time.

Dr. Gayl: Scared about what?

Female Guest: That’s a good question. I don’t know. His wife loved the ground he walked on. I found that out. That’s why I knew it was a real marriage and not getting his papers. I saw the wedding pictures. I said, “Okay, this woman really, really, truly-”

Dr. Gayl: And it was a real relationship that he was involved in?

Female Guest: Yes, oh definitely; kids, bought a house, a full marriage. Even at that point that’s when I was going to step away.

Dr. Gayl: After five?

Female Guest: Yeah.

Dr. Gayl: How did you get to the five year mark before without stepping away? How did you do that?

Female Guest: Because he wasn’t married then. He was a single man, doing his thing.

Dr. Gayl: Obviously, he wasn’t that single.

Female Guest: No, no.

Frank: Legally single.

Female Guest: Same legal *(inaudible) 07:17, yeah–

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Female Guest: Because he didn’t even live with anybody until he got married. He was living with his cousin and I met them. You understand what I’m saying? He lived that type of life.

Dr. Gayl: Now in your mind did you think that you were the main chick, that you were his girlfriend?

Female Guest: Maybe it was wrong on my part, but no, because I saw how he came to me and I saw how he acted around other females. No I was hoping, like I said–maybe that was wrong on my part, hoping maybe he’ll grow up, but I kind of saw that he can be a player if he wanted, for lack of a better word. I could see that in him.

Frank: And how were you able to resolve that?

Female Guest: I told him the truth. “If you don’t want me, there’s the door. I gave him an opportunities.”

Frank: What if he wanted both of you or three or four?

Female Guest: That’s exactly what he wanted.

Frank: And how did you resolve that?

Female Guest: Well, it was never really resolved, because I’ll always say, that man never let anything stop his show. He went for what he wanted, for who he wanted. He never let nothing stop the show.

Dr. Gayl: Now when did the kids come along, before his marriage or after his marriage?

Female Guest: After.

Frank: And so, how was that negotiated? And what was your relationship like with her, with his wife?

Female Guest: I met her right after they got married. I just happened to be walking down the street and he introduced me. We shook hands and she looked at me and I looked at her and I just gave her like a shrug, like, “You know what this is.”

Dr. Gayl: So, how were you introduced?

Female Guest: My name. He always introduced me by my full name.

Frank: And who was he walking down the street with her or you?

Female Guest: Yeah. As a matter of fact, they were in the laundry mat and I just waved. I was going to keep on going and he told me, “Come here,” and he introduced me.

Dr. Gayl: Wow.

Female Guest: Yeah.

Dr. Gayl: So you guys lived in the same neighborhood?

Female Guest: Town, more or less.

Dr. Gayl: Same town.

Female Guest: Yes.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: Miles apart, but there’s a general area like the city. You might be surprised who you meet up with.

Frank: Yeah.

Female Guest: And that’s exactly what happened.

Frank: I don’t know how I met this young lady here.

Dr. Gayl: No clue. Can you tell us what stories you told yourself in order to keep this relationship going? Because as you stated, I noticed earlier you said that many men are living in relationships. They have a main person or a wife or a steady girlfriend, but they have someone else on the side. With that said, what other stories did you tell yourself in order to remain in this relationship?

Female Guest: Because of the other relationships I’ve had earlier in my life. There was always another woman. One of main boyfriends who I was going to marry, this other woman was across the street and unfortunately the area I grew up in, my uncles, my uncles.

Frank: So did you accept that as being a part of having a man or did you wrestle with it? How did all that work?

Female Guest: I wrestled with it and I said, “Wow.” It took me awhile to say, “Daggone, there’s no true blue man out here. There’s none.”

Dr. Gayl: Now, do you still believe that?

Female Guest: Unfortunately, yeah.

Dr. Gayl: And are you–

Frank: What do you believe, doc?

Dr. Gayl: This is not my interview.

Frank: I want to know. Do you believe that there are men that will just be monogamous?

Dr. Gayl: I absolutely believe there are men that would just be monogamous.

Female Guest: My fingers are crossed. I hope you’re right.

Dr. Gayl: Obviously, as our guest stated that for some time there has been plenty of examples where they haven’t been monogamous, but I have to believe that there are some that are monogamous.

Frank: Why do you have to?

Dr. Gayl: Because that’s my belief system.

Female Guest: Okay.

Dr. Gayl: And let me ask you this, did you just accept the fact that men or in your opinion, men are going astray and they’re not going to have just one woman or at the heart of it, would you rather be with somebody that’s just with you?

Female Guest: If the men can be true, I would not have a problem being the only one.

Dr. Gayl: Now answer the question, would you rather be with someone that’s just with you or would you accept the fact and say, “Hey they’re all cheaters. They’re all players, so I’m just going to go with it.”

Female Guest: True. I’m going to go with it, because I don’t believe there’s, I’m sad to say, and I have daughters and god daughters.

Dr. Gayl: Is that what you teach your daughters?

Female Guest: I just told her to, “Listen, observe, listen, look, so that your heart will not be broken. Believe in that.”

Dr. Gayl: But what does that mean?

Female Guest: It means listen. It means listen, look.

Frank: So, does that mean “Pay attention so that you know,” or does it mean, “Pay attention so that you don’t find a man who is going to do this.” What is it?

Female Guest: Pay attention so that you know.

Dr. Gayl: So, it means “Pay attention that you know, but at the end even if you know, he still maybe with someone else.”

Female Guest: Yeah, and, “It’s your decision if you’re going to stay in that.”

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: That’s the rest of it.

Dr. Gayl: Now let me flip it on Frank. Do you and are you monogamous? Do you believe that men can and will be monogamous?

Frank: I think men can be. I don’t think they want to be and I don’t think women want to be.

Dr. Gayl: Explain that.

Frank: Generally speaking, women and men both have interests in exploring over the course of a lifetime and to think that someone’s just going to have one lover if you’re married to them over the course of life and not have interest in doing something different, whether they do it or not in many ways, is a moot point. Because if you want to, I want to see you fulfill the things that you want for yourself.

Dr. Gayl: I don’t think whether you do or not is the moot point. I think that–

Frank: I think it is.

Dr. Gayl: What makes you say that?

Frank: Because it’s one of those things where I want to see you self-fulfilled. I want to see you do the things with yourself that you want to do. I want to see you do what you want to do. And so, I don’t want you to not do it, because I don’t want you to do it. In fact, that’s the last reason I don’t want you to do something. Do it because if you want to do it, I’m all for you doing it.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, now there’s a difference in saying, “I want you to explore all the employment opportunities or occupational opportunities or hobbies that you want to do. Yeah go do that,” verses saying, “We’re in this monogamous relationship, we’re going to get married and we’re committed to each other, but once we’re committed to each other and you want to be with someone else, I support that too.” I think that’s completely different.

Frank: Why is it different?

Dr. Gayl: Several shows back that we’ve always had this debate. In my opinion, what’s the point of getting married? If you’re going to be with someone else, what’s the point of getting married? For financial stability, for insurance–

Frank: For some people, yes.

Dr. Gayl: For insurance? What’s the point?

Frank: She thought at one point, it was for him to become a citizen. Marriage for different people, it comes with different reasons.

Dr. Gayl: But she also stated that once she met the wife and saw the wedding pictures, she saw that on the wife’s point of view or the wife’s end, she was wholeheartedly in it, for real, not because he needed a citizenship.

Female Guest: Correct.

Dr. Gayl: So, that is withholding information from someone else.

Frank: Well the point was, whatever the reason is, there are multiple reasons. People get married for whatever reasons they want to get married and I’m cool with it. And so why get married, simply put, because you want to get married.

Dr. Gayl: Why’d you get married? Not once but twice?

Frank: Well, the first time and we’ve had this conversation before.

Dr. Gayl: Yeah.

Frank: But the first time it was primarily because I wanted children and I wanted children in a “marriage,” because that was the “right” thing to do. The second time, I got married, because I wanted to. And I mean you can’t ever really say you do something, because you don’t want to, that you didn’t want to do.

So, the second time it was because I felt happy to be in that relationship. This is something that she specifically said that she wanted. It wasn’t really that important to me, but because she wanted it and because I loved her and I enjoyed our relationship, I was happy to do it.

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You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with a woman that had a 25 year relationship and two children with a married man. What promises did Joe make you or I’ll call him Joe–the man you’re involved with?

Female Guest: Well, the main thing was that, when I told him that I wouldn’t mind having children, and I was in my 30′s by then, my mid-30s. I decided I was going to have children. I definitely wanted my children to have one father, something that I didn’t have and I wanted them to know the family life.

Frank: So you had more than one sibling?

Female Guest: Yes, I’m the oldest out of six.

Frank: Wow. Okay, and how many different dads?

Female Guest: It was only two, but I never knew my father.

Frank: Okay.

Female Guest: And I asked him point blank, “Can you give this to me?” The answer was, “Yeah.” I kind of felt after while, the long and short of it is that I really felt that, “Wow, I’ve never been pregnant, this woman never been pregnant, that was something on his clock calendar. I looked at it like that after the fact.”

Dr. Gayl: You were trying to up one on her.

Female Guest: No, he was, because by the time I had my daughter, he already had two children with her, but–

Frank: And your daughter’s the oldest?

Female Guest: Yeah, my daughter is the oldest of my children. He had other children before he even came to the country. He had children. He had two.

Dr. Gayl: Okay. Were you the only other woman?

Female Guest: No.

Dr. Gayl: Is that something that gave you comfort too in saying that, “Okay, I can do this since it’s not just me?”

Female Guest: No, that part, it was after I had my first child that I said, “Wow, even the two of us can’t satisfy him.”

Frank: Did you really think it was an issue of being satisfied. You wanted him to be satisfied or what?

Female Guest: Yeah, I did. I kind of wanted him to be happy. Why not?

Frank: And you thought two women or a finite number of women should, in your mind–

Female Guest: Exactly.

Frank: Satisfy him.

Female Guest: Exactly.

Dr. Gayl: Now what about your upbringing and your esteem or self-esteem played a part in wanting to make this man so happy with negating your own feelings and your own happiness.

Frank: She didn’t say she negating her own feelings or happiness.

Dr. Gayl: It sounds like you negated your own feelings and your own happiness. And just to be real, that’s what women think. From a woman’s standpoint–now tell me if I’m wrong–

Female Guest: You’re right.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: I have to give you that.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, so from a woman’s point of view, it sounds like, and maybe I’m projecting a woman’s point of view onto you–

Frank: You are.

Dr. Gayl: But it sounds like you are putting your own feelings and I don’t know if you still are, but were putting your won feelings aside to say that, “I wanted him to be happy. He wasn’t fulfilled with just the two of us.” It sounds like your underlying thought would be, “What’s wrong with me? If it’s not me and it’s not her, what is it? Not that what’s wrong with him, but what’s wrong with me that I can’t fulfill this man?”

Frank: That’s loaded.

Female Guest: Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. And no, not really, because I think I got a lot of swag with me as the kids say–

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: And definitely, until this day, I still say, “I’m a beautiful person that definitely would give joy.”

Dr. Gayl: Now that you say that on the surface, but underneath all of that, what would make you remain in a relationship for several years to a man that obviously, did not, and sounds like he never committed to you, and only you.

Female Guest: I felt there was a commitment, because there was love. Alright there was definitely love. I really digged him and this man and in my heart and in my mind was in love with me.

Frank: And was he?

Female Guest: Yes.

Frank: Yeah.

Female Guest: Yes, I mean to this day, he’ll never lie. If you ask him to this very day, he will tell you that.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, now let’s go back. I asked you before, what made you stay in this relationship? I understand you stated before he got married, he was living with a cousin, he was living his bachelor lifestyle and then boom, he got married. What made you say, “Okay, I’m still just going to roll with it?”

Female Guest: Okay, not boom he got married. It was something he kind of like was telling me, because I even helped him start his paperwork. But he needed to get it going faster than I really realized, because he’s been here in the country for a little while. Back in the day, it was a time limit. That was one.

Two, he really did make me happy. He made me laugh. We had good times. We had some real solid good times, before the kids, during the kids, after the kids and even up until it started dwindling away. But I know I made this made this man happy, because he came to the house all the time.

I saw him. My kids saw him. A man don’t do what they don’t want to do. They will do that disappearing act.

Dr. Gayl: And they also won’t do anything we won’t let them do.

Female Guest: True that and I agree.

Dr. Gayl: I must honestly say, that it sounds like you’re kicking excuses for him and his behavior.

Frank: No, it doesn’t. It absolutely does sound that way. She said that she was happy.

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: She was in a relationship where she was happy. There were things about it that she didn’t like necessarily or it wasn’t optimal. But when she weighed it all, it sounds as though she was happy.

Female Guest: I have to give him that. I was.

Dr. Gayl: And when he decided to marry the other woman and you found out that it was a real relationship, how did that make you feel?

Frank: She was still happy.

Dr. Gayl: Frank. Let her answer, how did that make you feel? Stop projecting your–

Frank: This is what she said. I’m just saying what she said.

Dr. Gayl: How did that make you feel?

Female Guest: I said, “Wow, it took me a full loop for a minute. Oh, okay. This is really real. And I asked him, I said, “You know this woman really loves you.” And then I said, “Now if this is what you want, let me step back,” because it was also before the kids were born. “Let me step back and–”

Dr. Gayl: And what made you say that, “Let me step back?”

Female Guest: Because I saw another woman caring for another person. I was willing to step back and move on with my life and go on. It would have been hard, because I digged the man. I really truly did.

Dr. Gayl: Now what made you proceed into the relationship and not step back?

Female Guest: She was happy.

Dr. Gayl: Frank, let her answer the question.

Frank: She answered the question.

Dr. Gayl: No she didn’t. Let her answer.

Female Guest: Truth of the matter was, he kept on. He proved to me that I was loved. I was loved. And there was love there. There was love there between the two of us.

Frank: After the birth of your daughter, did you feel as though the three of you all were a family?

Female Guest: Yeah, because he was there. He was there. I thought, “Okay, I done did this. I’m going to have to do this by myself, no.”

Dr. Gayl: Now, how long into his marriage did your daughter come along?

Female Guest: Let me do the math. It had to be close to seven, six, seven years.

Dr. Gayl: Six, seven years into–

Female Guest: Yeah.

Dr. Gayl: Into his marriage that your daughter came along?

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: What was the conversation like? You talked about it a minute, but what was the conservation like that led to children?

Female Guest: I asked him. “At this point in my life,” I said “I would like to have my children.” I said, “I’m just letting you know, because we do have a relationship. I’m willing to step away, move on and get a family someplace else,” with another. He promised.

Dr. Gayl: He promised.

Female Guest: He promised.

Frank: That he would–

Female Guest: That he would be the father for my kids.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: “I will be the father. They will have my name. I will have them covered. I will be there for you.”

Dr. Gayl: Now, what allows you to accept or what allows a person or allowed you to accept half of a relationship or half of a person, rather than having their full undivided attention?

Frank: That’s loaded. Half, what–

Dr. Gayl: It’s an open-ended question, Frank!

Frank: It’s not open-ended. You’re asking a question as though she accepted a half a person.

Dr. Gayl: She did.

Female Guest: I don’t feel so.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, let’s take it off of you. Frank, you’re married, right, allegedly, so you–

Female Guest: Wow.

Frank: Alright, I think she’s up three to one at this point. Ref, she’s not playing fair over here. You going to call some of these shots.

Dr. Gayl: No, let’s just keep it real. Now you are allegedly married, right? Allegedly happily married, because you got this contract, that’s probably going to expire tomorrow with your current wife, so you then determine that, “You know what? I’m going to accept this other relationship from home girl on the side.”

Now you are giving her half of you, because you’re still in the house. You’re living with your current wife, you’re in the house with her, you guys have kids together. Neither one of them are getting your undivided attention.

Frank: What you just said is so untrue as it pertains to half of me.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: Number one, being married, you don’t know. I don’t care who you’re talking to, me or anyone. You don’t know how much time my wife and I spend together today. You don’t even know if we live together.

You don’t know if we live together, if we talk, if we enjoy each other’s company or how we quantify the time we spend together without there even being anyone else, so you don’t–

Dr. Gayl: You’re absolutely right.

Frank: Have any idea about that. And so if us being just exclusive with one another in your mind is being a 100 percent together, that’s a little warped. And I understand why you would conceptualize it that way, most people do. But if we spend half of our time together or half of our nights together, what you’re not clear about, you could easily say, that’s 50 percent right there or that we are, in your way of looking at it, having 50 percent of a relationship.

Dr. Gayl: Well, let’s just say, if you’re a 100 percent committed to one person, right or if you’re only committed to one person.

Frank: I don’t believe in the concept that you’re saying around commitment.

Dr. Gayl: What’s commitment to you then?

Frank: Okay, commitment is something that you make to yourself. You’re a marathon runner, you’re an athlete, you commit to train and do whatever you have to do in order to complete a marathon or complete a triathlon, that’s what you commit to. It’s a cliché that we commit to another person.

Now, we can commit to feed another person, we can commit to only have sex with another person, but that’s really our commitment to our self, when you really break it down. It’s something we are agreeing to do in our conversations with our self. So, whether they know it or not, whether you know that I am only having sex with you or whether you know–

Dr. Gayl: Right, you–

Frank: That I’m only feeding you. The commitment that I make is one that I have with–

Dr. Gayl: Right, you can make that commitment–

Frank: To my self.

Dr. Gayl: To yourself first. However, when you bring someone else into the equation, you are making that commitment to them.

Frank: No.

Dr. Gayl: You guys are sharing that commitment.

Frank: I disagree. In fact, I can make a commitment to be monogamous with you without you making a commitment to be monogamous with me and it’s just as valid of a commitment. So it’s still a commitment to myself.

Dr. Gayl: Right, it starts with you, but–

Frank: Yes, and it ends with me.

Dr. Gayl: When you bring someone else into the equation, then you guys are sharing that.

Frank: No. It’s we’re sharing it if I commit to just have sex with you and you commit to just have sex with me, then we are–

Dr. Gayl: Then you guys are sharing a commitment.

Frank: Then we are–

Dr. Gayl: You’re sharing the commitment. You’re agreeing your idea of what commitment looks like to you.

Frank: No, you are committing to something for yourself and she’s committing something for her.

Dr. Gayl; Okay, we’ll never agree on that.

Frank: That’s fine.

Dr. Gayl: We’ll never agree on that. Now, let me go back to our guest, whatever percentage that you had of him, what in your mind allowed you to be okay with sharing that? And as you stated, it wasn’t just you, it was with someone else.

Female Guest: Right.

Dr. Gayl; So, rationally, what type of man or what type of person was he able to be to share his time with you, with his wife, with whoever else he had on the side. How were you able to be okay with that?

Female Guest: Because I had–

Dr. Gayl: Did you have other people or other relationships?

Female Guest: No, I never really truly could do that. Maybe I talked to people, but I never really had relationships with no more than one person at a time, okay? And that’s what I had. I had a relationship with him.

Dr. Gayl: So you were committed to him, but it doesn’t sound like in my view of commitment or monogamy, that he was committed to only you.

Female Guest: No, because he has a wife and he had me, so he was committed to us and then he went outside of that.

Frank: What agreements did you all create when you decided to have your daughter?

Female Guest: That he would definitely be there to help me raise the child or children. I told him I did not want just one child by one man. If I had 10 kids, they were going to all be by the same man. I asked him the financial part. “Would you be able to handle it, financially?”

Frank: Was that defined or was just loosely? You expect him to financially support the family?

Female Guest: Financially support the family. And I asked him, “Can you do that?”

Dr. Gayl: Now, was the wife included in you guys decision, or was it just you and him?

Female Guest: It was he and I. It was he and I, because his wife and him, that was their relationship, that wasn’t my relationship.

Dr. Gayl: So you guys were not in a polygamous relationship, you were the person on the side then?

Frank: No.

Dr. Gayl: Polygamous relationship doesn’t that state that, you guys are all in agreeance and understanding?

Female Guest: Well, I understand what you’re saying.

Dr. Gayl: By definition?

Female Guest: Well no, because a polygamous relationship can be that a man can have family in one country and a family in another one, as long as everybody knew about it and she did know about us. She did know about us.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, so is that what made it okay with you, the fact that she knew about you guys?

Female Guest: No, no it was okay with me, because that’s what I wanted. That was basically what I wanted. You didn’t have to be under me 24 hours a day seven days a week. And I definitely didn’t want to that.

Frank: That’s funny to hear a woman say that she actually did not want this man to be around her or with her a 100 percent of the time, which is interesting commentary about what you were saying a few minutes ago of Dr. Gayl. What you were saying in terms of sharing, because she didn’t want him all the time anyway.

Dr. Gayl: When you’re in a relationship with one person, that one person, no he cannot fulfill and you can’t fulfill all their needs.

Female Guest: Correct.

Dr. Gayl: You just can’t-

Female Guest: Right.

Dr. Gayl: Which is why–we talk about this before on other shows. You just can’t fulfill that one person’s needs and desires. That’s why you have good girlfriends. That’s why you have hobbies. That’s why you go to work. That’s why you do other things outside of that relationship, to fulfill your emotional needs and desires.

So, that you’re saying I didn’t want him around a 100 percent of the time that’s not something that’s ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s nothing major Frank. Nobody wants anyone around them a 100 percent of the time, unless they have a dependant personality.

Frank: Well, none of us were alluding to anything around a job or recreation. We were talking about at the end of the day a home life. That was the tone of what we were saying. So as far as what I heard was, that she even at the end of the day, she didn’t want him around her everyday at the end of the day. That’s what I got.

Female Guest: And that’s exactly what I meant. He could stop by for a couple–

Dr. Gayl: From people–

Female Guest: Of minutes. “Okay, I’ll see you later.”

Dr. Gayl: Let me ask you this. When you were raised, what type of relationship was merit for you? While you were growing up-and you stated earlier that, you were raised in a household with your siblings having different fathers, what was that like? Did that mean that your mom had several relationships? Does it mean that you weren’t raised with one person or one male figure, particularly–

Female Guest: I was.

Dr. Gayl: Being a model for you?

Female Guest: Yeah, I was raised in a mother and father relationship and he was my stepfather and the younger children were his children.

Dr. Gayl: Okay. So, it was you and the other five have their own dad?

Female Guest: Yes.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: Yes and I never knew who mine was.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: To me, to this day his name is daddy.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: That’s daddy.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: Did you believe that at any point he was going to leave his legal wife?

Female Guest: No.

Frank: Okay.

Female Guest: No.

Frank: So, he never told you anything like that?

Female Guest: No, and I never even asked. I didn’t even want even to bring that up, because that was not what I wanted him to do or what I wanted to do. No.

Frank: Tell us about the co-parenting side. Once the children were here, what was it like co-parenting with their father?

Female Guest: Okay of course I was the primary. He came in and stuff. He would make sure that they were fed. He would tell them that his history growing up. He would spend time with them.

I had a son, the only thing I felt that he didn’t spend a lot of time showing him how to be a male.

Frank: How many years between your son and daughter?

Female Guest: Two years and two months. He was around. He knew them and they knew him and they also knew things that they can do with him. They would call him and tell him, “I need this. I need that.”

Of course his princess was the girl, because that’s male and their daughters. And with my son, he made sure that he got them into soccer, because he’s from the Caribbean.

Frank: Did he go to the games?

Female Guest: Oh yeah.

Frank: Did he take them to the games?

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: Okay.

Female Guest: As a matter of fact, I didn’t know where there games were. And he took them with his other son. His other young son.

Dr. Gayl: So he knew that that was his brother?

Female Guest: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gayl: What type of limits were placed on their relationship with their father, because he was married?

Frank: If any.

Dr. Gayl: There were. What type of limits were placed on their relationship with their father?

Female Guest: Surprisingly. Maybe I’m not understanding the question. They went to his house.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Female Guest: They hung out with his other sisters and brothers. He made sure that they all knew each other. He got mad at me one year, because I didn’t get the kids passports, because they were ready to go across the waters, because he wanted to take them to meet the other family.

Frank: And why didn’t you?

Female Guest: I didn’t have the money.

Frank: But you were okay.

Female Guest: Yeah, I was good.

Frank: Principle-wise.

Female Guest: Yeah, principle-wise. I just didn’t have the money at the time to get it. I said, “Why don’t you help me?” But he was paying for the plane tickets. It was my job to get the passports.

Dr. Gayl: What type of occupation does he have to–?

Female Guest: He’s in construction, so you know that was seasonal.

Frank: Tell me about his relationship with your children’s relationships with their other siblings?

Female Guest: To this day, they are buddies. And they’re so similar. They make me laugh. They are real good. I’m kind of happy about that. I’m glad about that.

Dr. Gayl: And when your children go over to his household with his wife, does she care for them? Does she–

Female Guest: Yeah.

Dr. Gayl: Welcome them?

Female Guest: Well, I don’t know about *(inaudible) 40:12. They make sure she talks to them. My oldest one, she watched and observed. She said, “No, she was fine. She was fine. She made sure we ate. The house was this.”

Frank: Very nice.

Female Guest: It wasn’t that underlying–you know what I mean.

Frank: And was there any of the catty stuff between moms? She should be doing this? Or from the other mom, you should be doing this? And did his other children ever come to your home?

Female Guest: Yes. Oh yeah, they were all invited. Even when the ones that came from overseas from the Caribbean; they came and hung out, spent the night. One thing I got to give him. He made sure everybody knew each other and family. He would take them to one borough or another to meet the uncles, cousins. They got a big family. They got a big family and it is well known.

Frank: I suppose it comes as no surprise to you that some people get divorced. What can I say? It happens.

Dr. Gayl: It happens.

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And you’re listening to Frank Relationships. We’re talking with a woman that was in a polygamous relationship for 25 years. And I noticed that your daughter’s 24. You said you all were together around six years before that. So, that means the relationship is over.

Female Guest: For sure.

Frank: How did that come about?

Female Guest: Bottom line, we couldn’t come to some kind of agreement on our relationship. He and I. It was nothing to do with the kids. It was man and woman. We’re talking man and woman. There were things that he felt that I wasn’t doing.

Dr. Gayl: Like what?

Female Guest: He felt that I wasn’t raising the kids right.

Frank: Interesting.

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: And you were the “primary?”

Female Guest: Primary. And I took offense. I said, “Well then, you take them.”

Frank: Really?

Female Guest: “You take them and do better.”

Frank: What did he want you to do that he didn’t feel you could do?

Female Guest: He never explained. He never explained. And, “I’m sorry, but maybe some mothers out there will know.” We’ve become very lioness. I became a panther. I was going to scratch him up. No, don’t talk about my kids, especially if I feel that if you’re criticizing me and that’s where a lot of things break down, when you start criticizing and just complaining. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that in my life at all.

Dr. Gayl: What other things lead to you guys–the demise of you guy’s relationship?

Female Guest: That he was going through some financial strain. Which money will put a damper on everything. We all know that. So he was going through that and there was nothing I could do, because I felt I was doing my part. And then I just told him, I said, “I’m good now. I said I’m good. Thank you and there’s the door.”

Frank: Wow, after 25 years?

Female Guest: Yeah, and I needed to be happy. I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t even loved anymore.

Frank: Was there ever a time during the relationship where his support or even parenting of the children changed and wained or anything of that nature?

Female Guest: Yeah, near the end. One of the main things, like my daughter graduated high school and he couldn’t get off of work, but yet the week before that he was in Florida to a cousin’s graduation. That little stuff like that. No, I don’t have to take that.

Frank: And that was particularly irritating, I assume?

Female Guest: Oh yeah, because then you’re not even bringing your kids up.

Frank: How did your children respond?

Female Guest: My daughter was like, “Really?” But I made sure that–let’s do our relationships. I made sure she got what she needed. She got what she needed. And my brother stepped up. As a matter of fact, her karate school teacher stepped up. So she got like a male. Of course it doesn’t–

Dr. Gayl: Replace her father.

Female Guest: Replace her father, but it did–

Frank: Make a difference.

Female Guest: Yeah, it made a difference. So, it’s all good.

Dr. Gayl: Did you start dating after you ended the relationship? Did you start dating other people?

Female Guest: No, to this day. No.

Dr. Gayl: And you’ve lived this life long relationship with this man, in which, quite frankly, you painted as a perfect picture–

Frank: Where did she?

Dr. Gayl: She did.

Frank: She didn’t paint it as perfect. Where did you get that from?

Dr. Gayl: She painted it as–

Frank: Happy.

Dr. Gayl: Right. That’s what I said.

Frank: That’s not perfect.

Dr. Gayl: She painted it as a good picture or a good situation for someone to be in. She did paint it as that.

Frank: She painted it as it worked for her.

Dr. Gayl: That’s what I’m saying Frank.

Frank: That’s not perfect.

Dr. Gayl: She painted it as a good situation for her to be in. Don’t worry; we’re like this all the time. So, she painted it as a good situation for her to be in–

Frank: This is our studio marriage.

Dr. Gayl: Which obviously is not working, right?

Frank: But you’re happy?

Dr. Gayl: Sometimes. Did you hear that pregnant pause right there?

Frank: I think I get double points for that. We’re tied.

Dr. Gayl: I don’t think so. Now, you paint it as a okay situation to be in, right?

Female Guest: Uh-huh.

Dr. Gayl: And at the end of it all, how do you feel now? Kind of giving this person your youth, your life all of those-

Female Guest: Uh-huh. I understand.

Frank: No. Give me a break.

Dr. Gayl; She said, “Uh-huh.” She did.

Female Guest: Yeah, I gave–

Frank: She understands.

Female Guest: Yes, what I felt I gave him. I gave him a lot–

Dr. Gayl: You were in your mid–you did?

Female Guest: Uh-huh.

Dr. Gayl: You did. You gave him your late 20′s, your early 30′s. You gave this person your youth.

Female Guest: Uh-huh.

Frank: And he gave her the same thing.

Dr. Gayl: Let me finish. No he didn’t. Let’s say what it is. You gave him your youth and all of those things. Now at the end of it, 25 pluss years later, how do you feel now? It sounds like, in my point of view, in a majority I would think point of view, committed monogamous relationship. You were, but he wasn’t. So at the end of it–and you still aren’t, right, because you said–

Female Guest: I’m single.

Dr. Gayl: You’re single. Okay. Now how does that feel?

Female Guest: I’m going to tell you the truth. Lessons learned. And when other people have to asked me, I’ll never say I was sorry, because I wasn’t.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, how do you feel about it though?

Female Guest: What I feel is that I did some stuff that I liked. I enjoyed. I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the majority of that relationship until it started to demise. Do it again? I probably would if there was somebody that made me smile and make me happy, because that’s basically what everybody really wants.

Frank: I love it.

Female Guest: That’s what I want. If you make me happy and you make me smile and you’re good to me, you got it.

Frank: What are some of the lessons that were learned?

Female Guest: Make sure the man has a backbone. Sorry. Talk and listen. But talk it out. Throw it out there on the table. That I really feel that I wish I’d did a little bit more, even though I felt I did, but now that I know what, more questions to ask.

Dr. Gayl: Would you suggest to your daughter to be in a relationship like you were?

Frank: If she’s happy, but I’m–

Dr. Gayl: Let her answer the question Frank. Geez.

Female Guest: I wouldn’t have a problem with it as long as he treats her right and make her happy, mentally, financially, spiritually. Go for your happiness. Go for your happiness. And if that’s what does it for you, then go for it.

Dr. Gayl: And Frank, would you support your daughters in–

Frank: Absolutely.

Dr. Gayl: A relationship with someone that obviously had other relationships as well?

Frank: As long as she’s happy. I’m fine with it.

Dr. Gayl: I don’t believe that.

Frank: Okay. Did your children’s father’s marriage–the legal marriage, did that end or what’s going on with that?

Female Guest: Yes. it did.

Frank: Really?

Female Guest: It did and that was for financial reasons.

Frank: Wow, so it was financial?

Dr. Gayl; So where is he at now?

Female Guest: He’s on his own. He was finally able to get out of the financial strain. He has a home. His mother lives with him, because his mother’s still alive.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, and does he have a relationship with your children still?

Female Guest: Yes. Strained a little bit, because now that the kids are older, and then they listen to him, they can understand. “Oh, okay why would he think that way?” But it’s a little strained, but they do. Next month is his birthday. They’re already planning something for him.

Frank: What was it that he might have said to lead them to be irritated with him or his beliefs or anything of that nature?

Female Guest: It was basically that, I think in his last 10 years, because it’s been quite a few, he hasn’t been happy with himself and he disappears.

Frank: Okay.

Female Guest: Like they’ll call him, ask him some information. Like one of them wanted to go the island where he’s from. And she’s still waiting for an answer and that was last year sometime.

Dr. Gayl: Well quite frankly, that doesn’t surprise me. I mean clinically speaking, if someone needs that many relationships to be fulfilled there is something underlying.

Female Guest: So I think at the age he is now, it’s coming on to him.

Frank: And what is under lying, if you want multiple relationships?

Dr. Gayl: If you need multiple relationships, especially multiple–we talked about this before on other shows too Frank–really it’s not intimacy, it’s false intimacy–but romantic relationships to be fulfilled then at the core of it, what’s causing you to not be fulfilled?

Frank: That doesn’t answer the question. What is underlying?

Dr. Gayl: That’s what I’m saying, what is it? You have relationship instabilities, difficulties, oftentimes it does go back to your parental figures. You have difficulties with those parental figures and growing up early in life that you didn’t have your needs fulfilled or needs meant that you needed early on in life. Typically, it goes back that far.

Female Guest: Something to think about.

Frank: Are you saying that if a person wants to have two separate relationships, something is wrong with him?

Dr. Gayl: It depends on whose viewpoint and I’m not putting a label on them and saying something is wrong with them, but I am saying that there’s a disparity in there, the needs that they need met.

Frank: Okay, I–

Dr. Gayl: Or fulfilled.

Frank: Okay, I don’t understand, but we’ll go on. Tell us about what you would consider your accomplishments as a mother. And when I first was conceptualizing the question, I wanted to say “single mother,” but in my own way of looking at things, you weren’t a single mother, you had a co-parent.

Female Guest: Yes I did.

Frank: Now you are a single woman, that is a co-parent, but you were even over the 20 something years, you weren’t a single parent.

Female Guest: There was two parents.

Dr. Gayl: You don’t view yourself as being a single parent?

Female Guest: Not at the beginning, no. Now I am, because we don’t have nothing to do with each other at all. I don’t even talk to him or see him or anything. I haven’t seen him for some years. But in the beginning of the children’s lives? No, because he was there. He was there. He helped support those kids.

Frank: He helped support you?

Female Guest: Yeah, because–

Dr. Gayl: Was he there to help with homework and–

Female Guest: Yes, because he would make sure that they got home, because I worked later. So, he would get them started or he would take them to the babysitter when he had to go work late or anything.

Because, like I said, he was in construction and sometimes he worked 12 hour shifts, but he would make sure that they would get what they needed to get. Make sure my car was already set. As a matter of fact, he bought our first cars, to make sure that we got home safe, etc. and the homework part, yeah.

Dr. Gayl: Are you still in love with him?

Female Guest: No, I don’t even like him.

Dr. Gayl: You can like someone, like I don’t–

Female Guest: I don’t even like him.

Dr. Gayl: Me and Frank don’t always like each other, but I still find a way to work with him.

Female Guest: No, I don’t. As a matter of fact, probably if I ever see him in the streets or something like that, I’ll keep on going.

Dr. Gayl: Wait a minute.

Female Guest: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Frank: Back to my question, and I didn’t quite get you on track with it, but what do you consider some of your accomplishments as a mom?

Female Guest: Well my two children. They’re very strong, opinionated, they’re healthy, they’re accomplishing things. They’re very much well-loved and liked individuals. That was one of the main things that I wanted.

Dr. Gayl: And with your daughter in dating, what’s her viewpoint on dating and men?

Female Guest: She likes older men. I noticed that. She likes older men and she kind of just started per say. So, we’re just working through it. I just say, “Go for what you want.” My son, I tell him, “Give the young lady or the young ladies a choice.” I beg him. “Please be open. Tell the truth.”

Frank: And that pre-supposes that he has more than one young lady?

Female Guest: Yeah, he’s–

Frank: Which goes to your theory about men in general?

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: There we go. We can round it out there.

Female Guest: Yeah.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with a woman that was in a polygamous relationship for 25 years.

Along today’s journey we’ve discussed co-parenting in the polygamous paradigm, her children’s relationship with her partner’s wife and happiness in her polygamous relationship.

I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had talking with our guest about her successes and difficulties navigating her relationship. I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity and the information.

As always it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, keep rising. This is Frank Love.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

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