The Do's and Donts of Polygamy and Polyamory

Jun 12 '2019, 2:26 PM | By Chris

There are plenty of universal do’s and don’ts when it comes to relationships and marriages. Honoring commitments, being supportive, contributing to the overall well-being, and living honestly are things everyone should do with, or even without, a relationship. Polygamy comes with its own unique dos and don’ts, any polyamorous situation does. Involving more than two people in a relationship will lead to interesting situations and solutions that work for some, but not others. The list of specific do’s and don’ts will differ depending on the standards set within a relationship, but here are some basic helpful concepts to keep in mind.  

Polygamous men looking for a sister wife should avoid making assumptions about what a woman wanting to be a sister wife is looking for. Polygamist families come in many shapes and sizes and finding a family that actually suits a sister wife is not cut and dried. Polygamy dating can be complicated. Don’t jump into an exciting new prospect blindly and end up getting people hurt. Do keep an open mind while dating and consider how a sister wife with different ideas might be able to fit in your family or situation. Perfect matches are rare, but being somewhere in the same range is important. 

Women looking to explore polygamy or become a sister wife also can’t assume the men she’s meeting have the same ideas. A polygamist family with very traditional (and very heterosexual) values will never work for a bisexual woman that wants to be a sister wife. She’d be wasting her time, or ruining her long term happiness, joining such a family. Don’t compromise your real desires just to have a relationship. Do be honest about what you’re looking for from the beginning. A handsome face and lovely family are attractive, but a lifetime of denying your true self will lead to self destruction, or worse. Seek to be a sister wife with long term happiness in mind, never short term satisfaction. 

Polyamorous people inevitably face questions about sexuality at some point in their lives because polygamist and polyamorous families, or groups, naturally involve more than one person of the same gender. Whether the questions about sexuality are within you, or coming from the outside world, it’s best to handle them with grace, never with fear. Don’t let anyone inside, or outside, of your relationship limit your right to explore your sexuality. Don’t let anyone pressure you to answer a question about your sexuality you’re not prepared to answer. Be honest with yourself and unafraid of your true self. Maintaining confidence and protecting your right to privacy will ensure personal control over your journey. Just make sure your family, or everyone in your poly relationship, is on the journey with you. 

Heterosexual people in the polygamy dating or polyamorous world may never face sexual feelings toward the same sex. Consider yourself lucky to have such natural confidence in your sexuality, but never forget the importance of supporting others that are sorting out their sexual desires. This means not just your lovers, but anyone in your life that may be struggling to know themselves better. A little support goes a long way. 

Anyone in a so-called ‘alternative relationship’ will face adversity. This adversity is usually subtle and easy to ignore but in reality can escalate even to life threatening levels. ‘Life threatening’ does not only refer to physical harm. Polygamist families can be targets of a person eager to hurt others in order to achieve moral superiority in their own minds, and in the public eye. Your well-being is of no concern to them. Solidarity among polygamists and ployamorous people can help outsiders have a better understanding, and respect, for families that look different from theirs. Do indulge in the life you create but don’t forget about harsh realities. If you see a chance to help the poly community, do it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, but always be prepared to handle some blowback. 

Disagreements about the definition of polygamy and polyamory are far too common even within both communities. Many polyamorous people refuse to entertain the idea of polygamy being a form of polyamory, and many polygamous people refuse to embrace their position in the field of polyamory. This is a huge problem because it’s divisive and weakens every valid definition of intimate relationships involving more than two people. Don’t dismiss another family or group’s love for each other because it’s practiced in different ways than yours. Quite frankly, it’s pure arrogance for any poly people to judge the relationship choices of others. You can’t ask for the world to be permissive of your non-conformity while insisting the unique lives of others are invalid or wrong. Diversity makes the world a better, and happier, place. Do embrace it!

People and relationships are always evolving. Your polygamist family today might look very different in five years. Your polyamorous group might add three people and lose one in years to come. Sometimes a sister wife decides she’s ready to move on. Sometime’s a polyamorous person meets someone they simply can’t share with anyone else. Allowing for these changes in your relationships and learning to support each other is so important. Nobody wants to hurt anyone, but sometimes an unavoidable choice you have to make is going to hurt. People can still love each other when their relationship dynamics change. Don’t hold each other back. If the relationship has to end, help each other forward and hang onto the memories you’ve built. If it has to change, embrace the changes. 

Even if nobody is considering leaving a relationship, at times dynamics can ostracize someone within it. Affections can ebb and flow so it’s important to pay attention, intentionally, to all of your partners. A polygamist man needs to ensure all his sister wives have his affection. A polyamorous group has to make sure everyone involved feels like they belong. Never team up against a sister wife or poly partner. If anything like that feels necessary the relationship has already gone sour. Rather than stooping to the level of joining together to attack someone you love, sit and talk about what needs to happen to resolve your grievances. Don’t ever lay the amount of pain on a loved one that jointly scheming against them will cause. 

Plenty of polyamorous people out there will tell you they have no interest in joining a group or family. They only wish to date and have minimal commitments. Listen to them. Don’t try to change them. Don’t assume you or your group might change their minds. Enjoy them all you’d like, but respect their request for autonomy and give them no caveats. If you insist, be prepared to get hurt, but it’s always better to embrace and encourage honesty.     

The range of possibilities on the poly spectrum is incredible. Options really are endless but so are opportunities to get hurt, or hurt someone else. With polygamy and polyamory only recently becoming truly mainstream many of us aren’t certain what exactly the rules are yet. On top of that, the rules are different depending on where you fall on the spectrum. Even among different polygamist families the rules run a gamit. Polygamy dating and polyamorous dating are exciting, and if approached responsibly can lead to unimaginably happy lives for so many people. If everyone on the poly spectrum can agree to some basic standards, and support each other across the spectrum, we stand to lead the world into a better future for everyone.   

Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc:


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