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Definition of Polygyny (Polygany)

Polygyny, also known as polygany, is a practice where a man has more than one wife at a time. This is a form of polygamy, which encompases any marriage with more than two partners. Polygyny is the only type of polygamy legal in the majority of Muslim-dominated nations. Polygyny is distinct from polyandry, which is when a woman has more than one spouse.

Men are known to have one or more mistresses whom they do not marry in certain nations where polygamy is banned, even in some countries where it is allowed. Mistresses do not have the same legal standing as wives, and children produced from such relationships are still regarded as illegitimate and susceptible to legal consequences.

Where Is Polygyny Practiced?

Polygyny was once tolerated in ancient Hebrew civilization, classical Chinese society, and sporadic traditional Native American, African, and Polynesian societies. It was reported to be performed in India throughout ancient times. It was widely recognized in ancient Greece until the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church came into being.

Polygyny is practiced by several Mormon groups in North America, including the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church).

Polygyny is now more common in Africa than everywhere else in the world.

Historical Perspective: Polygyny in Premodern Era

Monogamy and polygyny were practiced in Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia throughout the Premodern Era, which lasted from 600 BCE to 1600 BCE. Even in regions where monogamy was common, polygyny existed. During these periods, wealth had a significant influence on the development of family life. The most powerful males had numerous secondary spouses due to their wealth, a practice known as resource polygyny. As a symbol of authority and prestige, local rulers of villages generally had the most wives. Village conquerors would frequently marry the daughters of the previous rulers as a sign of conquest. With the emergence and growth of Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia, resource polygyny persisted. These children were deemed free because they were born into these families. Children born to free or slave concubines were free, although their status was lower than that of children born to spouses. The living arrangements differed per region. Each woman in Africa had her own house, as well as property and animals. The concept of the spouse owning all property developed in Europe and was not accepted in Africa. Wives lived together in isolation in many other regions of the world, under one home. The wives had their harem (also known as a prohibited section) in the house.

Polygyny in Africa


Let’s discuss polygyny in Africa. As many as a third to half of the married women in the African polygyny belt, that stretches from Senegal in the west to Tanzania in the east, are in polygynous partnerships, and polygyny is particularly prevalent in West Africa.

The influence of the slave trade on the male-to-female sex ratio, according to some researchers, is a major element in the establishment and strengthening of polygynous behaviors in African countries. In general, the higher the prevalence of polygyny in rural regions with rising populations, the longer young males wait to marry. The higher the average polygyny rate, the more gerontocracy, and social inequality are present.

Reasons and Explanations

Improving the division of work

Boserup 1970 was the first to argue that the high rate of polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa is due to the sexual division of labor in hoe-farming and women's significant economic contribution.

Labor is often clearly divided between genders in various shifting agricultural zones where polygyny is most commonly reported. In many of these situations, older boys and men are in charge of cutting trees in preparation for new plots, erecting fences to keep wild animals out of fields, and sometimes even the initial planting of crops (along with hunting, fishing, and the raising of livestock). Wives, on the other hand, are in charge of various elements of the family's food production, processing, and distribution, as well as performing domestic tasks for the husband.

With many wives and presumably several young male offspring, an older farmer benefits from having a considerably bigger workforce inside his family. He may progressively extend his agriculture and grow more affluent thanks to the joint efforts of his young sons and young brides. A guy with a single wife receives less assistance in agriculture and is likely to receive little or no assistance in tree felling.

Women living in such a framework, according to Boserup's historical data, also welcome one or more co-wives to share the load of everyday labor with them. The second wife, on the other hand, will generally undertake the most exhausting labor, almost as if she were a servant to the first wife, and will be lower in status than the first wife. A 1930s study of the Mende in Sierra Leone determined that having a high number of wives is an agricultural benefit since having a big number of women eliminates the need for paid employees. In many rural regions, polygyny is seen as a financial benefit.

In certain situations, the second wife's economic function allows the husband to spend more time with his family.

In the majority of Sub-Saharan African civilizations, anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative research of marriage using the Ethnographic Atlas revealed a historical link between widespread shifting horticulture and polygyny. Goody, citing the work of Ester Boserup, observes that women perform the majority of the labor in parts of Africa's sparsely inhabited shifting agriculture zones. This favored polygamous marriages, in which males attempted to take control of the production of women "who are valued both as laborers and child carriers." Goody, on the other hand, points out that the relationship isn't perfect and goes on to describe more traditionally male-dominated but relatively large farming systems, such as those found in much of West Africa, particularly in the savanna region, where polygamy is desired more for the production of male offspring labor and wherein farming is valued.

White and Michael L. Burton analyze and support Goody's observations about African male farming systems, noting that "Goody (1973) speaks against the female contributions theory." He mentions Dorjahn's (1959) comparing of East and West Africa, which shows higher female agricultural contributions in East Africa and higher polygyny rates in West Africa, particularly in the West African savanna, where male agricultural contributions are notably strong. "The motives for polygyny are sexual and reproductive rather than economic and productive," according to Goody (1973 -1989), claiming that men married polygonally to maximize their fertility and establish big families with many young dependent males.

Desire for offspring

The majority of study on the causes of polygyny has been on macro-level issues. Polygyny is widespread among family groupings that share a common ancestor. Polygyny was also used as a "dynamic basis of family survival, development, stability, continuity, and prestige," particularly as a socially acceptable technique for rapidly increasing the number of adult employees and eventually increasing the workforce of resident children.

Scientific investigations have determined that the human mating system is relatively polygynous, based on both global population surveys and reproductive physiology features.

Economic burden

Scholars have suggested that in farming systems where males perform the majority of the labor, having a second wife might be a financial liability rather than an asset. To feed a second wife, the husband must either work harder himself or hire employees to help with some of the jobs. Polygyny is either non-existent or a luxury enjoyed by a small group of wealthy farmers in such areas.

One of the strongest appeals of polygyny to men in Africa is because of its economic aspect, for a man with several wives commands them to get more land, this can produce more food for his household and that can achieve a high status due to the wealth which he can command," according to a report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) secretariat. According to Esther Boserup, tribal land tenure norms still apply to most of Africa. [Needs a page] This means that members of a tribe that controls a territory have a natural right to cultivate the land for food production and, in many circumstances, cash crops. An additional woman is an economic advantage in this tenure arrangement, as it allows the family to extend its productivity.

Polygyny-practicing societies, according to economist Michèle Tertilt, are less economically stable than monogamous countries. Polygynous nations have a greater fertility rate, smaller savings reserves, and a lower GDP than monogynous ones. If polygyny were outlawed, fertility would drop by 40%, savings would grow by 70%, and GDP would rise by 170 percent. Because monogamous males may save and spend their resources because they have fewer offspring, monogamous cultures have higher economic output. Males in polygynous cultures put more money into techniques of mating with women, whereas monogamous men put more money into their families and other associated institutions.

Men gain from polygynous marriages, despite the costs, because familial relationships provide economic and social security. These guys have the links they need to compensate for other income shortfalls because of their extensive network of in-laws.


Some experts believe that a strong libido may play a role in polygyny, while others dismiss the possibility. Although such libidinal perceptions were sometimes discarded in favor of seeing polygyny as a factor of traditional life, sex drive as a factor in some Asian cultures was sometimes associated with wealthy men, and those who were adjuncts to an aristocracy, such libidinal perceptions were sometimes discarded in favor of seeing polygyny as a factor of traditional life. Polygyny, according to some interpretations, is a technique employed to fend off infidelity tendencies.

Findings of the Studies on Polygyny

According to certain studies, men who live in polygynous relationships live 12 percent longer. Polygyny may be used in situations when there is a reduced male-to-female ratio, such as when male newborns are more likely to die from infectious illnesses.

According to other studies, civilizations that practice polygyny becomes more destabilized, bloodier, more prone to invade neighbors, and more likely to collapse. This has been ascribed to the polygyny inequality factor, in which wealthy men can have several spouses, leaving more impoverished men unmarried. After adjusting for other variables, the research found that African children in polygynous homes were more likely to die young owing to less attentive dads.

Effects of Polygyny on Women

In a study of the Ngwa Igbo Clan in Nigeria, Exposito discovered five primary reasons for men to have many wives: because the Ngwa husband might have more than one wife be able to have as many children as he wishes inflate his ego and elevate his status among his peers raise his social standing in the community guarantee that enough labor is available to undertake required fieldwork and the processing of commercial oil-palm output and fulfill his sexual desires. None of the reasons mentioned are advantageous to the women; instead, they are all beneficial to the husbands. Feminists in Egypt have pushed to ban polygamy, but because it is considered a basic human right, the struggle has been unsuccessful. Women have more marriage equality and are better able to convey their views on family planning in nations where polygyny is less common.

Women in polygynous marriages face many of the same marital challenges as women in monogamous marriages; nevertheless, some issues are specific to polygyny that impair women's overall life satisfaction and have serious health consequences. Polygyny exposes women to STDs, infertility, and mental health issues. Fear of contracting AIDS or getting infected with HIV has influenced women's decisions to marry polygynous partners among the Logoli of Kenya. Polygyny is seen by some as a way for males to avoid picking random sexual partners and therefore spreading STDs into partnerships. In interviews with members of the Logoli tribe in Kenya, it was revealed that they were afraid of polygynous marriages because of what they had seen in the lives of other women in similar partnerships. Some women in polygynous partnerships have reported feelings of envy, rivalry, tensions, and psychological stress. Envy, hate, and even violent physical conflicts among co-wives and their children become the norm when some spouses fail to share affection and other resources equitably. Women are less likely to engage in polygynous marriages as a result of this. According to research, competitiveness and conflict between co-wives can escalate to an unacceptable degree, prompting women to commit suicide due to psychological suffering. According to the findings, the wife's order has an impact on life satisfaction. According to Bove and Valencia, elder wives frequently abuse their status to get healthcare benefits in nations where only one wife is eligible. Higher incidences of mental health problems such as anxiety, sadness, and paranoia have been linked to conflict amongst co-wives.

The level of jealousy and conflict among wives has been reduced by a variety of techniques. Sororal polygyny, in which the co-wives are sisters, and hut polygyny, in which each woman has her own home, and the husband visits them on a rotating basis, are examples. A defined status hierarchy among wives may also be utilized to prevent fights by clearly defining each wife's rights and responsibilities. Even though there are numerous negative features of this practice that affect women, there are also documented personal and economic benefits for women, such as sharing household and child-rearing tasks. Co-wives also provide support and company to women.


Polygynous marriages serve a significant part in preserving gender norms on the African continent. Although African women account for more than half of the continent's population, they are seen as second-class citizens compared to African males. Polygyny contributes to gender inequality by establishing a legal tie through marriage that binds women to a subservient position. Although women across the continent are responsible for a substantial percentage of agricultural output (both sustainable and cash crops), males married to these women receive the advantages and are free to divide their earnings as they see appropriate.

‘Sister Wives’ Star Mariah Brown Comes Out As Gay: WATCH

Sister Wives star Mariah Brown (above) came out to her parents on Sunday night’s episode of the TLC reality show.In the clip, Mariah gathers all five of her parents together to tell them that she identifies as a lesbian.

One of 18 children in the polygamist marriage, Mariah tells her parents “I’m gay.”

In a preview for the next episode, her birth parents Kody and Meri are less than pleased about the announcement.

US Weekly reports:

Meri tells Kody, “You were like smiling and happy and saying you were so happy for her. And I’m just … I don’t …” Kody replies, “We’re not happy Mariah’s gay; we’re happy Mariah knows herself.”

However, in an interview last year sister wife Robyn revealed that although Mormon Fundamentalism does not approve of homosexuality the family believes that “all adults should be able to choose who they love and how they structure their family.”

Watch Mariah’s coming out clip and the family’s comments on same-sex marriage below.


Source : US Weekly

Seeking Sister Wife viewers are used to watching drama between poly families on the show, particularly from Dimitri and Ashley Snowden. Their rocky relationship with potential sister wives - including Christeline Peterson, who accused them both of abuse - and with each other is a big plot point each season. While every cast member struggles in their own way with the polygamous lifestyle, the Snowdens have faced more difficulties than most, with a record of failed marriages, allegations of abuse, and restraining orders.

Ashley Snowden’s Instagram Posts

Not long after allegations came out against the Snowdens, fans began speculating on the status of the remaining two members of the family, Dimitri and Ashley, after Ashley posted a cryptic post on Instagram. The caption for the post was centered around emotional maturity and appeared to be Ashley’s way of separating herself from Dimitri and the stories regarding his previous relationships. “Sometimes emotional maturity is apologizing when you were wrong…and sometimes it’s knowing what isn’t yours to apologize for,” Ashley wrote in the post. “Being emotionally mature is taking heed to red flags, giving yourself grace for past mistakes you’ve learned from, knowing your boundaries and upholding them, knowing when something is good for you and when it’s not, not giving life to every negative thought that pops into your head or being consumed by the past or thoughts of the future, and finally, looking in the mirror and knowing your worth, even if those around you don’t.” She concluded the post by saying, “Emotional maturity isn’t martyrdom. It’s learning thyself, and then applying the knowledge despite what others think they know about you. And, it’s also knowing that letting go may be painful, but perhaps the best thing that can happen for you.” 

The Instagram post, published on June 27, left many fans speculating because it seemed like Ashley was saying she was done with her marriage without actually saying that. This week, those fan theories were validated as Ashley posted again less than three weeks after her original post. In this one, she does say the words “I’m single” in the opening line of the post. She also said she is choosing to share her truth publicly because “misinformation is harmful.” She goes on to share tips that “may make this world a kinder place for everyone, especially people who are experiencing trauma.” Her tips are essentially advising people to reach out to people they’re concerned about in private and “if you can’t approach them privately, 9x out of 10, it’s none of your business.” Sometimes it’s hard to remember we may feel like we know reality stars, but they don’t know us. Even though sharing their lives publicly is what they “signed up” for, that’s really only true to a certain extent. At the end of the day, cameras aren’t rolling right now, and regardless, people do deserve to still be in control of their lives.

Dimitri Wiped His Instagram Clean

Toward the end of Ashley’s post she says, “It’s cool if you don’t like me, that’s life. However, there’s power in redirecting energy to things you do like. Unfollowing is an undervalued tool for a peaceful life. Blocking or restricting accounts are dope features, too.” Her now ex-husband, Dimitri, seems to have taken this advice and has since deleted all the photos from his Instagram. This is not the first time Dimitri has gone quiet on social media - most recently before this, he placed his accounts on private when news broke about the situation with Christeline - but it is the first time he’s actually wiped his account clean. Not just the photos with Ashley, but all of them, including ones with his children. While Dimitri has not specified why he deleted all of his Instagram postings, there are already numerous fan theories circulating. The timing of it indicates that he may be attempting to remove Ashley and their life together from his memories. While Dimitri has had at least five wives and Ashley is not his first, she has been with him the longest, and her decision to leave may be more difficult for him to accept than any of his other marriages.

Our Thoughts

Despite having five sister wives between 2003 and 2019, Dimitri clearly does not appear to be a polygamous relationship expert. Even though you’re able to delete images from social media, you cannot delete the actual memories with the person. This is especially so for Ashley and Dimitri as they have three children, so their lives will never be fully disconnected. Dimitri's 140,000 Instagram followers are ready to learn what happens next for this unconventional former couple, but it’s looking like they’re going to have to wait until the next season of Seeking Sister Wife.

We think that Dimitri’s reaction kind of shows that his method for dealing with these things is to not deal with them. Breakups, especially poly breakups, can be a lot to digest. However, if you don’t truly process them and learn from them, you shouldn’t be surprised if it keeps happening. It’s all too easy to place the blame on the person who’s not there anymore, but even if the majority of the blame does rest on their shoulders, it’s pretty rare for only one person to be completely responsible. Maybe you ignored red flags or swept their seemingly petty grievances under the rug. Whatever it is, really try to understand their perspective and identify how you can avoid those missteps in the future. The goal of this isn’t to beat yourself up or rub salt in a wound, but to adapt and grow into the best polygamous spouse you can be. 

Season 3 of Seeking Sister Wife just recently ended and many fans have already been asking for Season 4. However, as of now, TLC has neither confirmed nor denied if the show has been renewed for another season. Plus, a tell-all for season 3 has not been filmed, and considering the state of the Snowdens, fans can’t help but speculate if they will film the special. Hopefully, the show will figure out a way to move forward with the other families. Be sure to check back here for more updates on all things Seeking Sister Wife, Sister Wives, and polygamy dating/marriage!

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

Seeking Sister Wife Update

Dimitri Snowden, of TLC's Seeking Sister Wife, has filed for divorce from wife Christeline Peterson. Although filing didn’t occur until this month (May 2021), their date of separation is listed as January 21 of this year, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce.

Dimitri also requested that the court not grant Christeline spousal support, noting that there are no assets or debts to be divided. He also stated in the document that she "has abandoned the marriage" and that he "does not know her whereabouts."

Seeking Sister Wife fans know the Snowdens have spent the last 10 years or so searching for a third wife to add to their family. We’ve seen their journey over the course of 3 seasons now: The season 1 courting which ended with Dimitri getting intimate too soon in the relationship, the season 2 courting and marriage to Vanessa Cobbs (and subsequent break up via text), and the season 3 courting of both Christeline and Tayler Monique.

 After a few months of long-distance dating and a successful first visit, the South African native Christeline and her two children moved to California to be with the Snowdens (and Tayler) shortly before the COVID-19 travel ban. Not long after Tayler’s exit from the show, Christeline and Dimitri were legally wed in July of last year. The storyline is still unfolding on our TVs as season 3 episodes air.

Abuse Allegations

The divorce filing comes after allegations of abuse against both Dimitri and Ashley, for which Christeline attempted to get a restraining order against them both. She claims that Dimitri was physically and verbally abusive, including when the two were sexually intimate. The allegations towards Ashley were that she was aggressive and verbally abusive as well. According to documents Christeline filed to get the restraining order back in January, she claimed Dimitri woke her up by "slamming [her] head into the headboard of the bed and he was yelling at [her]." She said she filed a police report as well and was issued a temporary restraining order. However, she was unable to secure one against Ashley due to a lack of information provided to the court. In April, the temporary restraining order and case were dissolved when Dimitri appeared in court.

Additionally, a woman who was involved with the Snowden’s before Seeking Sister Wife began named Ariadne Joseph has made allegations similar to Christeline’s. After news broke about the allegations against the Snowden’s, we saw Tayler send love to Christeline via Instagram (notably, before it was revealed on the show that Tayler had left the Snowdens) while Vanessa from season 2 shared support for domestic abuse victims. It should be noted that all of the women beside Ariadne - who created a GoFundMe to support Christeline and her two children during this time - apparently signed NDAs. 

Ashley’s Miscarriage

On Mother’s Day, Ashley shared via Instagram that she had suffered a miscarriage. This news broke a few days before Dimitri officially filed for divorce from Christeline. In her post, Ashley wrote:

“To the Mothers, all the mothers, and especially the mothers who have known great loss. To those who wanted to be mothers, but never got the chance due to physical issues or forlorn relating. To the mothers who miscarried or experienced stillbirth. To the mothers who have experienced the death of their once living children. To the mothers who were “done mothering” only to be tasked with mothering another’s children. To the mothers who’s children were taken in custody battles. To the mothers of kidnapped children. To the mothers of children they gave up in adoption. To the mothers who may have incarcerated children. To the mother’s incarcerated. To the mothers who have children who don’t want to have a relationship with them. To the mothers who can’t bring themselves to face their children. To all the mothers and and their children lost during the pandemic. TO ALL THE MOTHERS.


Motherhood is a beautiful initiation. But it can be one of the most painful to endure. This Mother’s Day, I honor every aspect of motherhood. I’ve known great loss in my life, but losing a child under any circumstance certainly impacts the subtle body on multiple levels. I’ve recently had to sit in the pain of miscarriage, so I offer this message today: Be kind always, and especially, because you never know a mother’s story. Be slow to judge and quick to love, because many mothers are carrying not only their own pain, but the pain of every mother down their lineage. Until we can heal that pain, until that pain can be transmuted, reflect back love to every potential mother’s path you may cross. Reflect love.


Happy Mother’s Day to ALL THE MOTHERS.”

There’s not much else reported on her miscarriage at this time, but we send love and healing to her and anyone else who has experienced this loss.

Our Thoughts

We are deeply troubled and saddened regarding the abuse allegations against the Snowdens. While we may not know for sure what happened, and may never know, it’s always important to us to discuss and denounce allegations of abuse in the Polygamist community. We hope to gain more insight one way or the other from the Snowdens or from Seeking Sister Wife. We know that a petition to have the Snowden’s removed from the show was created, but it only has 100 signatures as of May 23.

We know how much watching the real journeys of poly families who are searching for a Sister Wife helps people like us and our members as we are on a similar path, but it’s important to remember these are real people. When situations like this arise, it can be tempting to speculate on what really happened, but we have to remember how serious of a situation it is and the real lives impacted by it. Additionally, we should also remember to never idolize people just because we enjoy watching them on TV. This also serves as a reminder of how crucial it is to take the time to choose the right poly partners for you. There’s never any reason to rush into anything, and you want to be sure everyone involved has enough time to healthily adjust to the process of finding and adding a Sister Wife to your family. You also want to be sure you really know who is joining your family, and they should be sure they really know you. 

Seeking Sister Wives airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.

At Sister Wives, our poly matchmaking service is committed to finding love for each and every one of our members. Be sure to check out our services and resources that serve as a guide to help you discover the best polygamy dating app for you.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

'Sister Wives' Star Christine Is Selling Her Las Vegas Mansion — Take a Tour!


It's official, y'all! Everyone's favorite Sister Wives are headed to Arizona with their shared hubby, Kody Brown. However, before the dynamic fivesome can hit the open road, Christine has to sell her spectacular Las Vegas mansion. Check out the video above for a full tour of the reality star's Sin City home. 

According to Radar Online, Christine put her impressive abode on the market back in July for a whopping $675K. Seeing as she initially purchased the home in 2012 for $443,315 — that's a pretty substantial markup! Turns out, wives can be savvy with real estate, too. 

With five bedrooms and four bathrooms, it's safe to say that whoever purchases the home next will have to boast a family just as big as the Browns. Who knows? Maybe the Duggarsare in the market for a vacation home. All jokes aside, the Browns aren't just moving because they seemingly need more space... you know, because they have 18 children, but they're also looking for a much-needed change in lifestyle.

"As much as we've loved making our home and memories here in Las Vegas, we are excited to embark on a new adventure in Flagstaff, Arizona! We are looking forward to cooler temperatures, the mountain air, scenic views, and the slower lifestyle of Flagstaff," The Sister Wives stars spilled to People on July 10.

And don't worry, folks, it sounds like all of the wives will be making this move. Despite all of the drama following Meri Brown's catfishing scandal, she made it clear that she's still with Kody when a fan asked if they were getting divorced on Instagram. "Uhhhh, did you see the post just three photos back? That's Kody lol! Don't listen to tabloid lies! Haha!" wrote Meri. Janelle also recently promised fans that she's still devoted to her family, and not planning to leave the show or her husband. 

Well, here's hoping all of Kody's ladies love Arizona! After all, it's hard enough to please one wife with a new home, let alone four. 

Source: inTouch

Avoidance is a very natural part of being human. It stems from fear — whether it’s fear of the outcome of an event, fear of the difficult feelings that accompany an event, or just general fear of the actual event itself. Whether that’s fear of being your true self or fear of sitting down with a loved one and telling them how their actions are hurting you, avoidance is a common escape route.

Avoidance can chip away even at the strongest of bonds between sister wives and husbands. Poor communication skills, unresolved personal issues, and insecurity can manifest as avoidance and extreme fear.

Avoidance can work as a de-escalation tool in the short term. For instance, avoiding a big verbal fight can save you from saying things you don’t really mean in the heat of the moment. Avoiding a physical fight means you’re thinking sensibly and preventing yourself from getting hurt, potentially in a fatal way.

But avoidance as a coping mechanism? It can lead to relationships crumbling to the ground, in a span of a few weeks or over decades. Let’s look at some key examples from Sister Wives and Seeking Sister Wife to fully analyze this very human trait.

Feeling Neglected: A Sister Wife’s Catfishing Scandal

Years ago, Meri of Sister Wives was caught in a scandal after getting catfished by a woman posing as a man online. Her reasoning for chatting up strangers online? She felt neglected by long-time husband Kody Brown and needed affection he could not provide.

The issue:

Kody and Meri Brown had been facing marital issues for some time. Kody even went as far as to say he no longer felt romantic affection for his first wife. As a result, Meri looked for it elsewhere.

Bottom line is, Meri did not want to confront Kody about their deteriorating marriage. Yes, they had been attending therapy and needed to put in extra work to maintain their relationship, but at the end of the day, Meri made a choice. And this sister wife chose to avoid expressing her feelings and keep working on her relationship with her husband Kody.

The aftermath:

To this day, Kody feels somewhat betrayed by Meri seeking connection from internet strangers. This isn’t to say Kody doesn’t share the blame for their declining marriage, but now both must work to repair the damage. Presumably, Meri feels the weight of her decision — as we all do when we make decisions based on fear and insecurity. 

But what’s done is done, and by avoiding the hard work of repairing a marriage and laying their feelings out on the table, Kody and Meri’s relationship is still recuperating.

Jealousy: Paige McGee of Seeking Sister Wife

Another emotion humans tend to gloss over is jealousy. Even before the late Bernie McGee began testing the waters for finding a sister wife, wife Paige McGee was already anticipating jealousy. When he dove into the sister wife dating pool, Paige experienced these feelings a thousandfold.

The issue:

I’m no psychologist, but I believe that root of jealousy in sister wife relationships is partly the immense worry that your partner will like their new love interest so much that they’ll leave you behind to start a new life. And this is a valid fear. What if all those years you’ve dedicated to building a life with this person is suddenly gone because they’re electric with new relationship energy?

That’s likely what Paige felt, alongside the primal feeling of seeing her husband express interest in and spend time with other women. According to sources, her jealousy did not even stem from hearing family members speak about her husband’s interactions with other women: it was just pure jealousy. 

In this case, Paige avoided dealing with her intense feelings. She did not ask herself how she could manage jealousy, giving herself the grace needed to confront such strong feelings. Instead, she was consumed by them and in the end, she and her husband could not pursue a relationship with a new sister wife.

The aftermath:

Again, Paige and Bernie could not bring in a sister wife to their life because of Paige’s jealousy. It’s completely normal, and it’s one of the main reasons why exploring polyamory and polygamy can feel daunting. What do you do when you enjoy a sister wife’s companionship and love, but still feel resentful when they spend the night with your shared husband?

Don’t let things fester

Just from the two instances above, we can see that not talking things out — avoiding potentially difficult conversations — can lead to some pretty bad consequences. They can lead you to miss out on life-changing opportunities or creating irreparable damage.

What’s more, avoiding these feelings usually indicate that we need have a talk with ourselves. When we accept that some feelings just can’t be avoided in a polygamous relationship, we’re more like to face them with the assurance that we’ll come out on the other side as a better person.

We’re more likely to look jealousy, resentment, and insecurity in the face and say: I see you, I acknowledge you, and I have the power to move on from you. Of course, this is easier said than done. When we are in the middle of a rough patch (either for personal, interpersonal, or professional reasons), it can be easy to get lost in the tunnel and never see anything beyond another dreadful day.

But listen. Avoiding your feelings only makes you feel worse. It feeds negative energy that can make even the simplest issues feel Herculean. So I challenge you today to be brave and confront life and your relationships with newfound confidence. Because relationships are never easy, but healthy relationships are so worth the fight.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

In a conventional, monogamous marriage, divorce and death are somewhat straightforward. Often, the property both spouses acquired during the marriage is split evenly. Everything else each spouse already had before the marriage or other assets they inherited is not shared. This practice, known as community property law, is present in just nine states across the US.

So when a couple files for divorce, sorting out property and assets is generally an uncontested process, especially if they have a prior agreement like a prenuptial. But what happens in polygamous relationships where there may be three, four, or five people involved? What happens to a sister wife if their husband dies and she was not legally married to him?

Bigamy, the act of marrying someone while you’re already married, is illegal in every state. Consequently, polygamists marry just one wife (on paper, anyway) and then “spiritually marry” sister wives who later join their home. When a primary spouse passes away – aka someone who was the original legal marriage agreement — the process gets tricky.

Legally, most assets and properties belong to the person they were married to, and not the sister wives who came later on. In many cases, a husband might marry and remarry sister wives just to obtain certain legal rights for the wife and family. For instance, Kody Brown of TLC’s Sister Wives divorced his first wife Meri and married his fourth wife Robyn so he could legally adopt Robyn’s children.

Certain benefits are born from legal marriage, too. Insurance benefits, tax deductions, and even work leave benefits come to mind. Polygamists are deprived of these basic rights because the system does not recognize the validity of their relationship. It does not fit the man-marries-woman framework that property laws cater to.

But to answer the original question, only a sister wife who was legally married to her husband has a right to any property or asset. Everything else must be settled personally or through lengthy court processes which differ by state.

Do modern sister wives live together?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for living arrangements, especially in polygamous relationships. There are, however, trends we can observe. Here are some common living habits a sister wife might experience.

Everyone lives under the same roof.

Often, a large house with sizable outdoor areas is preferred. With the stigma surrounding the polygamist lifestyle, many families might seek out more suburban or rural areas.

For city dwellers, younger partners, or people with no kids, living in an apartment or small house may be the best solution.

Each wife and/or family lives separately.

This might be true for extra-large families that simply need their own space. Clashing schedules, strong personalities, and different work locations all come into play. Families may meet as often as once a day or a few times a week, and special holidays are a big deal.

Each sister wife visits their primary partner in turns.

In cases where there is a “home base” plus separate homes, families may take turns spending time together. This could be a weekly arrangement to ensure every sister wife (and children, if applicable), receives the same amount of quality time with the main spouse.

A sister wife lives on her own but visits often.

Not every polyamorist wants to live together or spend every waking moment together with his or her partners. You and your partner might work out an arrangement where a sister wife stays over every weekend. After all, you are all adults with separate lives.

Everyone lives in a commune.

This is far less common than other types of modern arrangements, but it does exist. In some pockets across the US, commune living is possible. Several families live in a village-type community where the rules aren’t so rigid. 

The exact relationships between adults may be undefined and are up to the consenting individuals to determine — if they wish to do so. A benefit in commune living is receiving more help with childcare, utilizing a better support system, and experiencing less pressure stemming from social discrimination.

The future of property laws in plural marriages

As you can see, dividing properties in plural marriages may not be so simple. Already, you have the issue of partners not being legally married but are still just as committed as a couple holding a marriage certificate.

As Diane J. Klein states in the article “Plural Marriage and Community Property Law,” there must be “...the introduction of new marital property concepts” if polygamists are to receive the same benefits as everyone else. This will help streamline property division processes in the event of death or divorce.

A recent survey found that one out of five adults in the US thinks polygamy is “morally acceptable” so social opinion is already shifting. However, legal overhauls may still need decades of work to fully serve sister wife and polygamous arrangements. What do you think is the next best step for lawmakers?

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

When humans transitioned from nomadic hunter-gatherers to stationary agriculturalists, populations grew, and STIs spread more easily. There’s interesting research that postulates humans shifted to monogamy due to higher sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates under the previous polygamous society.

Why? In ancient communities where STI checks, medication, and sex education weren’t invented yet, this change makes sense. However, other factors could have triggered the change from polygamy to non-monogamy. 

Nevertheless, most people today associate consensually non-monogamous relationships with higher risks or instances of STIs. With potentially more sexual partners, this seems like a harmless, logical assumption. When you think about it, though, it’s detrimental to polygamy’s reputation. So how true is this assumption?

Comparing STI rates in monogamous vs. polygamous relationships

Perform a Google search and you’ll find that research on STI or STD risk in polygamous relationships isn’t too extensive. Some articles focus on animals’ non-monogamous mating patterns. Others focus on very specific communities outside of the United States. I did discover some credible information, though.

One study by The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people in consensually non-monogamous relationships have more sexual partners (naturally), but they also take more precautions against STIs. They practice safer sexual habits overall compared to people in monogamous partnerships. These safe habits include getting tested regularly and using condoms with all of their sexual partners.

My takeaway: People in polygamous relationships might be more likely to be exposed to STIs because of a higher number of sexual partners, but these same people are more responsible, too. I take this to mean that STI rates are more or less the same between both types of relationships - at least according to current research.

In other words, polygamy dating might technically put you at a higher risk for an STI just because of the number of partners in the mix, but polygamous couples and polyamorous partners are more careful about sex than monogamous couples. Frankly, researchers haven’t conducted enough studies to make a definitive statement. For now, it all comes down to personal responsibility.

What do I do if I contract an STI?

Poly dating is synonymous with openness and honesty. We’re willing to talk positively about sexual health, history, and status. If you test positive for an STI, disclose your test results to all recent sexual partners. It may have been a one-nightstand or a group affair - make sure to tell them so they can get tested.

Common STIs

STIs are common and are harmless if treated on time. Here are the most common ones in the US.



Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

When left untreated, bacterial or viral infections can evolve into diseases. These diseases are more harmful, and some are untreatable. Note that many online publications use STI and STD interchangeably, but the main difference is that some diseases originate from an infection.

Genital herpes



What do I do if my sexual partner contracts an STI?

First, don’t panic. Sometimes even if your partner has an STI/STD and you engaged in sexual activities before they found out, you might not get it. Either way, getting tested is the responsible thing to do. If you’ve been intimate with a different person, make sure to let them know, too.

How often should I get tested?

The minimum is once a year. If you have multiple sexual partners (as is the common case in poly dating), it’s every three to six months. Whenever you connect with an individual, couple, or group on Sister Wives and want to get intimate, everyone should take an STD screening before taking that step.

What can I do to lower my risk of an STI/STD?

There are several steps you can take to protect you and your partner(s) against STDs.

Get tested regularly.

Like we mentioned above, the minimum is once a year but every three to six months if you have multiple partners.

Always use protection when necessary.

Note that condoms do prevent some STDs, but infections like genital and oral herpes can spread through other means. Also, consider dental dams for oral sex.

Be honest about your relationships.

Consensual non-monogamy requires openness and effective communication above all. If you have multiple relationships, keep them updated about any STI scares or positive tests. They (and you) have a right to decide for themselves what sexual risks they’re willing to take.

Get the HPV and hepatitis B vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is administered to children when they’re 11-12 years old. Anyone can get the vaccine before they turn 26. If you’re over 26, you might want to consult with your doctor - this vaccine helps prevent genital warts and certain cancers.

The hepatitis B vaccine is usually administered to infants. Older children and adults can get vaccinated, too, depending on your sexual activity and other risk factors. This vaccine helps prevent hepatitis B, which can be transmitted both through sexual and nonsexual means.

Use separate towels and other personal items.

Certain infections like herpes, hepatitis B, and HIV can spread through nonsexual ways. For instance, sharing needles, participating in skin-to-skin contact, sharing utensils, and platonic kissing can put you at risk of catching an STI.

Take care around recreational drugs/alcohol.

Certain drugs and large amounts of alcohol are known for releasing inhibitions. Unfortunately, in an altered mental state, we’re more likely to engage in risky behavior like unprotected sex or sexual intercourse with partners who haven’t been tested.

My advice? Always surround yourself with people you trust, and when in doubt, take yourself out of the situation while you’re still sober.

Seek proper treatment and complete it.

Most STIs are treatable with simple regimens like taking a pill once a day or applying a topical cream every few hours. However, these treatments are usually only 100% effective if you follow the doctor’s orders to a T. 

So if you’re currently weathering an STI storm, hang in there! In the meantime, read more about sexual health in polyamorous relationships for other issues beyond STIs.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

Poly dating and poly relationships can be amazing. Meeting new people and beginning a new phase of your life is exhilarating, especially when you find someone you really click with. However, things can go wrong. If it does, the heartache can have a serious impact on your mental and emotional well-being. 

All forms of dating are full of ups and downs, but the experience of polygamy dating is a unique one. It can be difficult to feel confident in your pursuit of finding a sister wife or poly partner when you’re new to the community and/or have been burned when poly dating online. That’s why we’ve compiled all the top tips to maintain your mental health while dating as a polygamist.

Set and maintain boundaries

You, your spouse(s) or partner(s), and the person you’re dating should all set boundaries that make you each feel safe and comfortable. You don’t all have to have the same boundaries, but you do need to respect them. Don’t allow yourself to give into any mental, physical, or commitment pressures. If you are the person who is pursuing a new partner, then it’s your job to facilitate any communication between your current and potential partner. If anyone in the equation cannot respect your boundaries and use anger, guilt, or other emotional manipulations to force you to shift your boundaries for their benefit, you must remove yourself from the situation. True love does not manipulate in any shape or form, and you shouldn’t accept anything that makes you feel unsafe and/or disrespected.

Check-in with yourself

Throughout the poly dating process, frequently take time to reflect on your own. It can be a few minutes each day, or an hour every 2-3 days. Polygamist relationships can move quickly, much quicker than a monogamous one. Taking time to be alone and be introspective can help avoid you getting swept away in the excitement of falling for someone new. Ask yourself things like: 

● Are there any potential red flags I overlooked?

● Is what I’m feeling lust or love?

● Do I feel like I can truly trust this new person?

● Will this person make a good partner to me and a good addition to my family as a whole?

● Are our goals and plans for the future aligned? If not, what sacrifices am I willing to make?

Remember that rejection isn’t indicative of your worth

If you interpret every rejection as a reflection on your self-worth, poly dating will be a nightmare. Everyone has their own requirements for partners and lifestyles, which they cannot change. As polygamists, sometimes rejection can feel like a harsh judgement of us due to our non-traditional lifestyle. However, it’s important to take rejection as a reflection of that person’s preferences, rather than as a judgment of you.

Have realistic expectations

Beliefs, values, and lifestyle choices are important in finding a companion, but you should not expect your next partner to share the exact same ones as you. Keeping your feet on the ground will be difficult if you really like someone, but it's important to resist being carried away by fantasies and daydreams. Don’t try to fit the person into a specific mold, or be completely turned off when you’re unable to do so. This is especially applicable when dating someone who is new to the poly lifestyle. If you’re their first venture outside of monogamy, always be prepared for them to get cold feet. A good mantra to have is “hope for the best, expect the worst” - that doesn’t mean be pessimistic, it just means don’t get overly optimistic and naive. This will help cushion the mental and emotional blow if things don’t work out.

Communicate openly and often

When it comes to poly dating and relationships, you can't expect your partner to assume your thoughts and feelings without you voicing them. Vice versa, you shouldn't assume that their feelings or thoughts about you and your new relationship are the same as your own. Directness is an important part of building and maintaining a good poly dating life.

Practice positive self-talk

There is still a ton of stigma associated with people that struggle with mental health, which can make it really tempting to keep it a secret. It can often cause those who are struggling to develop negative self-talk about themselves, which can potentially keep you from speaking up about your needs in your relationships. To alleviate this, try reframing any negative thoughts related to you as a partner, your dating life, and your overall self-worth.

Maintain your own identity

In general, it is natural to relinquish some of your personality, identity, and independence to your spouses/partners as you become closer to them. Although this demonstrates intent to be together, it could harm your mental health. Your identity should not be discarded. Maintaining a feeling of self, especially in relation to your relationship, is not good for either of you.

If you want this, remember to put your mental health first and give priority to your partner's decision to be with you for other reasons. When it comes to a poly relationship, you may end up feeling less of yourself if you keep aspects of yourself suppressed. It is possible that your loved ones may no longer see you as the person they once fell in love with.

Lean on the poly community

Sister Wives is more than a poly dating website and app, we’re a community! On our site, you’ll find forums, groups, events, personal blogs, and more to help you feel connected and supported. Don’t be afraid to utilize these channels to ask for advice and learn from other people’s successes and missteps alike. No one will understand what you’re going through better than people who have already experienced it! 

Be sure to keep up with the official Sister Wives articles section, too. There, you’ll get posts that give you poly dating advice (like this one!) and community updates.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

When the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, people had no idea how much their lives were about to change. We don’t just mean wearing masks and working from home, either - quarantining alone with one other person was enough to bring a lot of monogamous relationships to an end. Due to the pandemic's exposure of the flaws in traditional marriage, several people have turned to polyamory and polygamy to suit their needs.

Society's perception of poly dating has already evolved significantly since Sister Wives debuted on TLC. What was once largely dismissed as an "alternative lifestyle" and/or a “loophole to cheat” is now being viewed as a viable way of life. This acceptance is partly due to increased awareness created from social media. Things such as Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, which recently aired an episode on the subject of polyamory that garnered 4.3 million views, the poly subreddit with 200k members and growing, and content creators on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok who create content that follows the everyday life of being in a poly relationship. 

So, why is this happening? Ross Dawson, a futurist and co-author of the 2016 Future of Sex report, feels that the pandemic simply accelerated pre-existing patterns and trends that existed going into the pandemic. People who may have been interested in pursuing polygamy or polyamory before the pandemic are now more likely to pursue things that were once out of their comfort zones. After over a year of social distancing and near solitude, people are pursuing any and all outlets that can provide pleasure - not just sexually, but mentally and emotionally, too. Plus, seeing how fast the world changed last year, many are choosing to live exactly how they want without fear of judgment in order to make the most of the time they spend living their lives. 

There’s also an increased need and prioritization of finding something new and exciting. That’s why online dating is popular: There’s always someone new to interact with. Sometimes, craving something new is a desire born out of pure boredom. However, sometimes that desire comes when something just isn’t working anymore. The pandemic provided the ideal opportunity to expose and intensify the flaws of traditional marriage: Namely, the fact that running a household, raising kids, maintaining careers, and paying the bills can feel like a workload that’s just too big for two people. 

Add in trying to do that with someone you’re in a relationship with while trying to still feel like you’re in a relationship with them. Being able to ensure that everything goes properly in the family and that adults get ample time away from the children - whether together or alone - was a bigger struggle than ever thanks to remote working and learning. All of this can deplete anyone's passion, making the prospect of a third partner - or more - sound not just thrilling, but comforting as well. 

All of that is to say, extended time together made a lot of couples realize their needs weren’t being met. So much so that many felt they were hitting a breaking point. It makes sense that when life got harder on everyone, more and more people started to feel like they had almost earned the right to pursue things that would make their lives more fulfilling. Especially those who either divorced or almost divorced: What’s the worst that could happen at this point? We’ve all lived through a year of losing loved ones, jobs, savings, etc. Once you’ve lived through this kind of unexpected hurt and loss, it often removes the fear surrounding getting hurt again. 

Plus, going back to the need for connection, people are realizing that they might actually communicate better in non-monogamous relationships than monogamous ones. Polygamists and polyamorous families have had to learn how to be really thorough, honest communicators with one another in order to make the relationship work. That level of consideration and transparency is often a much-welcomed change to a formerly monogamous person. 

Many people’s biggest fear in a traditional relationship is that they’re being cheated on, and many of the biggest problems traditional couples face revolve around a lack of communication, honesty, and/or trust. So when they begin poly dating and experience this new communication style that really promotes mutual respect and trust, it really breaks down barriers that the person may not have been able to break down because they didn’t have that with their previous partners. The more people feel they can trust their partner, the more vulnerable they allow themselves to be, which results in a deeper connection than they’ve felt in a long time, or ever. 

To understand the bigger picture, the concept of marriage as a whole has evolved a lot, too. The rise of platonic marriages is another trend that has been accelerated by the pandemic. More and more people are marrying someone with who they have good companionship that would be a good partner, but have their own respective rooms and sex lives. This is relevant because the further society moves away from the traditional lens it views marriage in, the less room they have to not allow polygamous and polyamorous people the same rights as everyone else. 

Polygamy is practiced by up to 60,000 persons in the United States. Even though they’re U.S. citizens, polygamists encounter a slew of legal obstacles, impacting inheritance, hospital visits, parentage rights, and taxes. For example, if a sister wife who isn’t legally married to their spouse files for assistance as a single parent, they’re considered dishonest or even accused of committing welfare fraud, but if they file their taxes jointly then they’re breaking the law, too. 

We say this information not to scare people new to the practice, but to point out that there are fundamental flaws in the illegality of poly lifestyles that will have to be addressed as more and more people identify as polyamorous or polygamist. Seeing so many people join and be embraced by the poly community has been heartwarming and instilled a lot of hope that change is around the corner. And, it’s no surprise that after spending months in isolation, people are realizing that sometimes more really is more when it comes to love!

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

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