I’m still going through my binge watching of Sister Wives. I totally see how I got my desire – I lived the same way they are (well except the sex with the same man which I still want to know how they don’t spread yeast infections but that’s another story). In the latest episode they were trying to figure out their communication styles and expectations. That’s what cohousing groups have to do or mediators make you think about.
They are struggling with Covid 19 and staying distant and some taking the precautions more seriously than others – just like cohousing communities all over this country.
However, they are feeling jaded and frustrated with polygamous marriage as they get older and their children grow up. That’s the opposite. Cohousing groups seem to get better as they age and learn what works and what doesn’t. When they get those skills to communicate or let it slide or even have seen it before. I recently spoke to someone in an older community and I think that made all the difference in the world from his experience of a caring, thoughtful community versus mine that is pointing fingers and still trying to figure out everything.
Last night’s episode had a bombshell. One wife wants to leave (at least the trailers teased that though it may have been a momentary frustration outburst). She may not really want to leave the marriage but she does want to leave Flagstaff and move back to Utah now that polygamy is just a misdemeanor. The others are against that idea.
That’s hard. When you are in a community, the decisions may not go your way. She is free to leave just as I was. She can move to Utah and they figure it out or she can divorce. If a community isn’t working for you, you can move. And there are others if you want to try elsewhere.
It is so difficult to make decisions as a group. I thought one great thing about our group was that we were relaxed on all the rules until that bit me in the butt. First by others not following the pet policy and a dog bit my kid and then when no one could agree on kid behaviors and when I took someone’s word that they wanted to stop something and took it to the highest level of accountability and that apparently broke some unwritten rule.
Now I”m feeling frustrated. There are many reasons why houses re sell or don’t. I see groups that send out emails and write up beat blogs about how great their community is. I don’t see that from my group. They have tried to sell three houses and all fell through. It’s not all marketing’s fault i’m sure – other factors like personal financing and wanting other things (one buyer choose to move to their own edible farm which I wondered why not use all our property to grow those crops and, excuse me, but haven’t farms always been edible – kinda the point of a farm, right?)
Anyways, the marketing department wants to focus on everyone sprucing up their porches which is noble. However, some members think that means staining them (no problem, that makes them last longer) and another thinks they would be all wrapped. That’s where I draw the line. I like the natural look. The wrapped looks like suburban houses everywhere. I like the rustic charm. I know it’s a question of beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I also wonder about financing. I know I put a lot of money into the house to make it mine so I could live there the rest of my life. And then to feel so unwelcome and that I didn’t want to live with these people – I wasted all that money! I don’t want to spend more on a perfectly beautiful house. The other issue is not all the neighbors are in the same financial place and I know some of my porch buddies didn’t seem eager on staining or finishing attics or anything until they have more equity into the houses.
It goes along with the conversation I had with someone from an established co-housing community – the main conflicts are pets, parenting, and paint. We never had paint until now – and instead of what color is our house or front door, we are all wrapped up in differences.
I’m free and live elsewhere. That housewife can move on too but she would still be attached to the polygamous marriage through the children. I”m in a custody battle with my community until I sell off the unit in question!