I've talked to several women who have been married to FLDS men. It's not an easy life. Your husband comes and goes at will. He may or may not tell you where he's going or how he can be reached. He may or may not respect the schedule designed by the wives that takes into account birthdays, anniversaries, and dates of ovulation.

Many husbands are fair, knowing that showing favoritism or disrespect will only backfire in the long run. Karma catches up even for fundamentalist polygamists. The patriarchs keep an even keel so that nobody rocks the boat. Men who have come home to one angry wife can only imagine what it's like to encounter seven or eight women unified in their rage against their shared husband.

But some husbands can't resist abusing the power they have. They like to lord it over their little wives. They like to refuse respect just because they can. The women find covert ways to get back at their husbands. Disrespectful men may find that their buttons fall off their shirts or their pants split at the seams at inopportune times; they wake up with swollen eyes from pepper-spray or animal allergies, or their children suddenly turn against their fathers. But that's true in monogamous homes as well, isn't it?

In a future blog we'll talk about women who run the show behind the scenes. Women with ulterior motives and a talent for manipulating people can make even a polygamist live monogamy. Send your comments and questions!

What Do You Think?