Polygamous Marriage and Wellness

Oct 13 '2022, 11:49 AM | By Chris

In a study of polygamous marriages in the Middle East and Africa, it was found that women who practice polygamy are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and marital dissatisfaction than women in monogamous relationships.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Sister wives may find themselves ‘competing’ for attention and affection from their shared husband, and in general, there are so many more factors to juggle in polygamous marriages than there are in monogamous relationships. All these intertwined lives mean that paying attention to mental, emotional, and physical health (wellness) is all the more important for people who practice polygamy.

What is wellness?

Wellness can be described as your overall state of being in terms of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. (Financial wellness is also a factor.)  It’s a qualitative measurement of your mindset, mood, or health, and it affects all of us, not just people in poly relationships.

But, being in a poly relationship means wellness can’t be ignored. Practicing polygamy means facing emotions when they arise. Otherwise, the relationship is doomed to fail..

The impact of polygamy on mental health

No doubt that polygamous relationships abound with beautiful advantages like a wider support network and more financial help. However, poly marriages also come with their own brand of challenges.

One of the biggest is overcoming jealousy as a sister wife. When a husband seems to prefer a wife (or household) over others, this can create tension and negative energy within all the sister wives’ relationships.

Another difficulty in polygamy is keeping an identity separate from being a spouse and/or mother. When we put so much of our love and labor into our relationships, we often forget to check in with ourselves and make sure that we’re meeting our own needs and following our own dreams.

A disconnect between a sister wife identity and our long-term goals can lead to feelings of loneliness, discontent, and even resentment. What can help is to set aside time for checking in with our emotions.

Although poly relationships come with an automatic support system, our mental health is our responsibility. If we don’t learn to give ourselves the love and support we need, it can turn our relationships into a pool of drama and toxic cycles.

How to navigate mental health in poly relationships

The good news is that mental health is always a work in progress, and there are many avenues for help to follow.

1. Lean on your loved ones

Your first line of defense against fighting mental illness or relationship woes comprises your significant others, family members, and friends. Chances are, they may not always be able to help you overcome deeper scars like childhood trauma or marital battles.

2. Get treatment

For these, a trained counselor or therapist can help you reframe your thinking or create a mental health plan to get you on track to wellness. Both pharma and non-pharma modalities are fantastic sources of respite and ammunition against mental illness and negativity.

Counseling, therapy, meditation, acupuncture, group support activities, and new hobbies are just a few ways that may bring balance.

3. Be your own advocate

Even though your husband and sister wives may have your best interests at heart, you are responsible for your wellness at the end of the day. When there are issues in the relationship that are affecting your health (whether it’s the way family time is distributed among sister wives or how much each household contributes to the family budget), it’s on you to bring it up in an honest, respectful way.

Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself—you deserve a peaceful mind and healthy body, too.

Ways to improve wellness in poly relationships

There are many ways to stay happy and healthy in a polygamous relationship.

1. Spend time with yourself

Relationships can sometimes feel suffocating if you’re with your loved ones every hour of every day. Sometimes it can’t be helped, and wanting to get away doesn’t mean you love each other any less.

Alone time is crucial to fulfilling your mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. We suggest taking a weekend trip every now and then or taking an hour or two a day to de-stress and reflect on whatever may be weighing you down.

2. Get social

In the same vein, your mental health may be suffering if you’re not getting the social interactions we need as humans. Though some of us are more introverted than others, interacting with people outside of immediate family is vital to wellness.

When you want to cultivate new communities outside of your marriage, starting a new hobby or activity is a good place to start. Try volunteering with a local group or joining a hands-on class like pottery, walking, or improv. You never know what beautiful friendships you can make—or what hidden talents you might unearth.

3. Be kind

Around family members and significant others, we tend to talk more freely because we know that our relationship will bounce back no matter what hurtful or strong words are exchanged. The beauty of marriage and familial bonds is unconditional love, but some fights can create irreparable damage to a relationship.

During disagreements, remember to be kind. Take a few breaths or walk out of the room if you feel like your emotions are speaking for you through vicious words.

4. Respect others’ communication styles

In addition to being kind, remember that not everyone communicates in the same way. You probably know how your husband or sister wife acts when they are upset. Try to take what they say or do during arguments with a grain of salt.

For instance, if your husband is known to take a few days in silence to process what was said during an emotional time, remember that this is his way of dealing with a problem. It does not reflect how he feels about you or your marriage.

5. Take care of your needs

From consistent, high-quality sleep to regular, nutritious meals, you’ll feel better when you take care of your urgent needs. This frees you up to think of ‘deeper’ issues like solving relationship pain points or making career decisions.

Wellness and marital success

Some health concerns are with us for a lifetime, but this shouldn’t stop us from putting our best selves forward in our marriage and relationships. Step into your best self every day by making wellness a priority in your life. When we’re mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually well, we’re more capable of nurturing our relationships.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc


Oct 30 '2022, 6:08 PM
Very one-sided article
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