A Direction For Polygamy

May 13 | By Chris

Polygamy has enjoyed some time in the spotlight in recent years and is now very publicly  running into difficult realities. Shake-ups in well established polygamist families have eliminated any delusions that polygamous relationships are lacking in serious hardships, as in any other relationships. As polygamy evolves and grows, and continues blending into modern society, it faces an identity crisis. We’re a long way from the days of it being a tradition in only a few religious sects or cultures. The lifestyle is reaching across all cultural and social barriers. As we witness this evolution we need to consider the ways to affect positive change. We need to ensure darker aspects in the history of polygamy don’t find their way back into the mix.

Female empowerment is one of the most profound influences on modern polygamy. Women today can choose the husband they want to marry and are not expected to ‘submit’ to him as they have done in the past. This goes for monogamous relationships too. The power of choice is something women have fought long and hard to enjoy. A woman that wants to become a sister wife can now explore her options, weigh them, and choose the most fitting family or man. Modern polygamists can welcome a broader spectrum sexually as well. Polyandry is a relationship in which a woman has more than one male mate. Roles can be reversed! This is where the lines between polygamy and polyamory begin to blur. A question starts to present itself. Is polygamy simply a form of polyamory?

Polygamy, in my opinion, should fall under the umbrella of polyamory. There are so many options for intimate relationships and it’s difficult to categorize them all. For the sake of this argument, let’s consider maintaining any intimate relationship with more than one person at a time polyamory. From this view, a very traditional polygamist family involves a male with multiple wives, or lovers, and is therefore polyamory. Some will refuse to accept this view, but when considering the benefits, it’s hard to deny it would help countless people find and maintain successful poly relationships across the board. Being inclusive is almost never a bad thing.

There is power in numbers. Segregating one alternative relationship form from others isn’t really helping anyone. There is also power in helping normalize alternative relationships that make people truly happy. Helping polygamy evolve into a socially acceptable option for those wanting to be sister wives is a benefit. A prospective sister wife should be able to openly date multiple options and not have to settle for a less desirable situation, possibly dangerous, because she has been limited by society. Allowing for the persecution of a woman that wants to be a sister wife only alienates her and encourages rash and desperate decisions. Polyamorous people need to build each other up and help keep each other safe. All of us.

Polygamy may be a concept you’ve never considered because polyamory is the only thing you’ve explored. Believing you are one thing so strongly that you refuse to consider other ideas is selling yourself short. You may find you could enjoy a polygamist family, or something similar. The term does have a bad connotation for some, but it’s time to shift it away from that. A relationship involving multiple people can operate like a traditional polygamist family and be every bit as healthy as any other polyamorous family. The patriarchal constructs are no longer necessary with polygamy. Polyamorous people shouldn’t be afraid to explore the lifestyle if they feel so inclined.

If a man in a relationship with a woman is looking for another woman to date, and both women are aware of it, he is seeking a polyamorous situation (not cheating). This is no different than a man with a wife seeking a sister wife. It’s important not to get bogged down in specific characterizations to define your relationships because it can lead to limits you don’t desire. Polygamous people embracing the idea of being polyamorous leaves doors open for opportunities or desires that might make sense for your family. In the reverse, polyamorous people being open to polygamy might find restraints they do ultimately desire. Being open all the possibilities in polygamy and polyamory will strengthen relationships for you and the entire poly community. It’s perfectly reasonable for a poly family to practice polygamy for a period of time then open up the relationship, or vice versa.

Unfortunately, a lot of people in the poly community have a tendency to place themselves in strict categories and defend their relationship style staunchly. Rather than keeping an open mind we sometimes like to school each other in things like poly ethics, or whatever. It’s a defense mechanism. Life is tough, so segregating yourself into a narrow world feels safe, and you feel you must defend that safe place. This needs to change. Monogamous people often feel very strongly about what relationships should be, and yours isn’t it, but their disapproval shouldn’t push you to be as narrow minded as them. We need attitudes and laws to change to make sure we are all safe and allowed our personal pursuit of happiness. The first attitudes that need to change are ours. Polygamists and polyamorous people should work together, as one in the same, to bring equality to plural relationships.









Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc: Sisterwives.com

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