Chris's article

There's a chance the sexual culture being cultivated by Millennials can diminish the environment of harassment and assault that's plagued so many workplaces.

From Matt Lauer to Louis C.K., and now Asia Argento and (allegedly) Avitel Ronnell, unwanted sexual advances made by highly accomplished, older, and otherwise highly intelligent people have left us wondering what, exactly, informs such widespread abusive behavior.

One explanation centers on power. Money and prestige—qualities that foster the kind of intimidation confronted by the #MeToo movement—come with age, and can both erode judgment and foster coercive behavior. As the economist Teresa Ghilarducci explains in Psychology Today, "Money, not sex, is at the root of #Metoo." Assuredly, there's something to this argument.

But there's also a deeper history to consider. Most of the abusers identified by the #MeToo movement came of age in an era of conflicting sexual norms. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s brought Americans greater access to birth control, and, in countercultural circles at least, experimentation with free love. At the same time, conventional marriage—heterosexual and monogamous—remained the sanctioned end goal of the mainstream. So often the establishment looked at the sexual expression with begrudging acceptance—so long as the weirdos, after sowing their oats, began finally acting like the Cleavers.

Might the clash of these competing expectations—premarital freedom and marital monogamy—have fostered a dysfunctional sexual identity that's especially predisposed to abuse others? Might the brief taste of sexual liberation followed by the early expectation of monogamy lead to repression, frustration, a failure to communicate as sexual selves, and, alas, for some, an abusive response?

The idea is only a hypothesis. One way to start testing its validity might be to look at the emerging sexual habits and ideologies of Millennials (and Gen Z). On the one hand, people in their 20s and 30s are growing up in a culture that, largely through social media, is infused with sexual content—porn, porn, and porn—to an unprecedented degree. Some view this exposure as a sign of liberation. But we are also well aware of the dangers, especially for young women, of this chronic exposure to graphic content, dangers that include cyberbullying, revenge porn, and sexual aggression. "Sexually explicit material or pornography," according to a meta-analysis of the relevant scientific research, is associated with "a greater likelihood of perpetuating sexual coercion."

On the other hand, the easy prevalence of sexual themes and content also fosters, according to the same meta-analysis, "more permissive sexual attitudes." This permissiveness, notably, has not led to greater promiscuity among young adults. According to one study, American adults born in the 1980s and '90s had the same number of sexual partners as Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Contrary to the stereotype of a "hook-up generation," young adults are also waiting longer to have sex. And while greater sexual permissiveness has not coincided with greater promiscuity, it has emerged alongside a broader tolerance for multiple partners and open arrangements, skepticism of marriage and childrearing, and a radical openness to all gendered and sexual identities.

At the core of these expanding attitudes is a suspicion of monogamy. According to a 2016 study, nearly 20 percent of people who are under 30 and in a serious relationship have engaged in sex outside of their relationship with their partner's knowledge. Nearly half interviewed expressed some level of tolerance for consensual non-monogamy. Endorsing this perspective, and perhaps speaking for her own generation, the actress Scarlett Johannson said, "I don't think it's natural to be a monogamous person."

Boomers throw up their hands at this news and lament the end of romance. But tolerance of non-monogamy demands something the Boomers, half of whom are divorced, did not practice especially well themselves: constant communication. Non-monogamous seekers of multiple relationships are more obligated to discuss boundaries, needs, and desires than are monogamous couples (who can more easily go on auto-pilot). Whereas some have hypothesized that Millennials are in desperate need of relationship guidance, Bjarne Holmes, a Chapman University communications professor, explains how "People in these [non-monogamous] relationships really communicate.... They are potentially doing quite a lot of things that could turn out to be things that if people practicing monogamy did more of, their relationships might be better off."

According to Karen Trask, director of Loving More, a non-profit dedicated to fostering polyamorous arrangements, polyamory is increasingly popular with Millennials. Trask works closely with all age groups to support polyamorous relationships (which can be sexual or platonic or even alternate between both). But she notes that, while overall interest in polyamory is "on the rise," "this growth appears to be driven by the 20-something crowd."

And their approach, she suggests, is unusually tolerant and communicative. She says people in their 20s are "much more comfortable exploring polyamory" and that, in so doing, "they are constantly dealing with a need to communicate better"—about jealously, family, sexual health, wants and needs, and so on. "They're really lucky," she adds, "to be more exposed through the Internet and social media" to options beyond monogamy. They're also lucky to be more accepted by society if polyamory is a path they choose.

Polyamory isn't going mainstream anytime soon. But to the extent that its growing acceptance portends a larger cultural shift away from the demands of monogamy (both within marriage and not), and to the extent that this shift is complemented by healthy communication over sexual issues, the conflicting cultural norms that plagued those raised in the 1960s and '70s may yield to a sexual culture that, while more exposed to graphic sex, is nonetheless less repressed, no more promiscuous, better able to discuss sexual desire, and, no matter how powerful a person is, cognizant that we all have boundaries.

Sex and power might be inseparable, but it will be interesting to see if the sexual culture being cultivated by Millennials diminishes the need for an ongoing #MeToo movement. Interestingly, the little research that's been done comparing the generational responses to #MeToo indicates that older women are more likely to be silent about harassment and less likely to say that men should lose their jobs for harassment, while younger women are more likely to tolerate flirting in the workplace. In other words, the Millennials might be saying: Sexual banter is fine. Coercion is not. The world is changing. So let's talk.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

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

One of the growing trends in the dating world, not just among polygamous relationships, is the growing importance of vaccine status. In a survey by Pew Research Center from July 2022, 47% of the respondents who had used a dating site or app in the past year said COVID-19 vaccination status was at least somewhat important when looking at someone’s dating profile, and 23% said this information is very important to them.

What does this shift mean for polygamous relationships and poly dating services?

Why vaccine status matters more in polygamous homes

Poly relationships can include as few as two people up to dozens, depending on whether the group has children, is casually dating, is cohabiting, etc. With this many people involved, taking risks with safety issues like pandemic and vaccination statuses is neither practical nor responsible.

If anything, the pandemic has shown us that polygamous families (as well as multi-generational households) are more vulnerable to infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Case in point: TLC’s Sister Wives

In the newest seasons of Sister Wives, Kody’s strict pandemic rules were a pain point for the sister wives. While it can be argued that Kody had everyone’s best interests at heart by enforcing social distancing and quarantine rules, he seemed to cherry-pick from his guidelines at his convenience.

For example, he missed one of his children’s major surgery appointments because he allegedly wanted to avoid travel and keep the rest of his family safe during peak pandemic times. Fans (and the sister-wives) were quick to notice that Kody stopped making his rotations and stayed with Robyn and their shared children for the bulk of the pandemic.

Although Kody approached COVID-19 best practices from a misguided direction, it still stands that polygamous and polyamorous relationships were put on pause during the pandemic, more so than their monogamous counterparts.

Frequent meetings between multiple households simply weren’t feasible when there was a highly contagious disease around, and some polygamy dating sites adapted to these circumstances.

What this means for poly dating sites

Poly dating sites have been catering to different needs and current events since the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in 2020.

1. Vaccine status as a deciding factor

In the survey I mentioned, many respondents said that seeing vaccine status was at least somewhat important or very important on someone’s dating profile. Some companies have allowed users to display badges on their dating profiles in the past, and many users simply indicate their status on their dating profile bio.

2. Political affiliation is now important on dating sites, too

Like any hot topic, vaccination is often a political debate. Of the survey respondents, 53% said it is at least somewhat important to see someone’s political affiliation on their dating profile, while 18% say it is very important.

Moving forward, it may be more common to see someone’s political affiliation on dating sites. This seems a natural shift particularly for polygamy dating sites since polyamory and polygamous marriage are polarizing issues discussed through a sociopolitical lens.

3. More video calls and phone calls before in-person meetings

To practice caution and safety, people on dating sites are having more video dates and phone call conversations before they meet in person. The report found that  28% of Americans who used dating sites in the past year have gone on a virtual date first either by phone or video call. 

Video calling (available on reliable poly dating sites like Sister Wives) helps prevent romance scams by vetting a person before you meet, and it’s also necessary when physical meetings aren’t feasible, like during a pandemic.

What this means for poly dating

COVID-19 may have taken a lot from us, but it has also renewed a sense of mindfulness when it comes to poly dating.

1. Take more time getting to know people

This shift to a slower, more careful way of dating is another trend we see in monogamy and polygamy dating. Now, we draw important information from someone’s vaccination status and political leanings, on top of their career choice, hobbies, and other interests.

2. Prioritize emotional fulfillment over immediate physical needs

When we don’t (or can’t) jump into relationships due to external factors like COVID-19, we prioritize emotional fulfillment as opposed to dating as many people as we can. Another unintended consequence of the pandemic and the vaccination status trend is increased sexual safety.

Fewer physical interactions and higher risks associated with meeting someone for the first time have led to more caution in the bedroom.

3. Less spontaneous outings

In the same vein, people who date are less likely to go on spontaneous outings that involve alcohol and other risk factors. Meetings are more intentional and mindful, especially for people who are in a polygamy relationship and who have to consider multiple people’s safety and their own.

4. Increase in communication, openness, and vulnerability

When we’re more mindful about who and how we date, we put our needs first. Dating trends show that we’re now more open about telling potential partners what we want out of a relationship - a phenomenon called ‘prioridating.’

We seek a single priority in dating someone, whether it’s emotional support, financial wellness, or sexual satisfaction. This way of thinking in poly dating allows us to view relationships as a mutually enriching experience, not something that just takes from our emotional, financial, or mental wells.

Vaccine status and well-being in a poly relationship

Ultimately, asking for someone’s vaccine status allows us to prioritize our health and well-being. The shift towards being open about vaccination status (and whatever political affiliations it comes with) has trickled over to another trend, which is being more open about our needs and relationship priorities.

Loss, health scares, and mental exhaustion is part of the COVID-19 aftermath, but the poly dating world may be better off by emphasizing mindful habits, honest communication, and self-care.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

Table of Contents

Definition of Polygamy

What is the true meaning of polygamy? The practice of marrying numerous spouses is known as polygamy (from the Late Greek "state of many spouses"). Polygyny is the term used by sociologists to describe when a guy has more than one wife at the same time. Polyandry is the practice of a woman marrying multiple husbands at the same time. Group marriage is defined as a marriage that involves multiple husbands and wives.

Monogamy, on the other hand, is defined as a marriage between just two people. Like "monogamy," the term "polygamy" is frequently used in a de facto meaning, regardless of whether the state recognizes the relationship. Polygamy is a wide term used by academics in sociobiology and zoology to describe any multiple mating.

Polygamy in Different Cultures

Polygamy is either encouraged, accepted, or outlawed in many civilizations across the world. Polygyny is acceptable in the great majority of societies that allow or tolerate polygamy. According to the Ethnographic Atlas (1998), 588 of the 1,231 cultures studied had frequent polygyny, 453 had occasional polygyny, 186 were monogamous, and 4 had polyandry; nevertheless, new research shows polyandry is more prevalent than previously assumed. There have been mentions of polygamy in the bible. "The Bible mentions over 36 identified males who had more than one wife," says a religious scholar. Polygamy is typically linked to class and social position in societies where it is practiced.

In many nations, while marriage is officially monogamous (a person can only have one spouse, and bigamy is prohibited), adultery is not, resulting in a scenario where de facto polygamy is permitted but without legal recognition for non-official "spouses."

Based on surveys of world populations and features of human reproductive physiology, scientific research has shown that the human mating system is fairly polygynous.

What Are the Three Types of Polygamy?

There are three kinds of polygamy:

  • Polygyny is a condition in which a guy has several wives at once.
  • Polyandry is a type of polygamy in which a woman has several spouses at the same time.
  • Multiple men and wives create a family unit in a group marriage.

Some species, such as the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, are polygamous.



The most frequent type of polygamy is polygyny, which is when a man has many wives at the same time. Polygyny is allowed in many Muslim-majority and Muslim-majority nations and some secular ones to various degrees.

Polygyny is more common in Africa than in any other continent, particularly in West Africa. Some historians believe that the slave trade's influence on the male-to-female sex ratio was a significant role in the rise and strengthening of polygynous behaviors in African countries.

In most Sub-Saharan African civilizations, anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of marriage using the Ethnographic Atlas revealed a historical link between widespread shifting horticulture and polygamy. Goody adds that the gender distribution of labor differs between male-dominated intense plow-agriculture in Eurasia and widespread shifting horticulture in Sub-Saharan Africa, citing the work of Ester Boserup. Women perform the majority of the struggle in parts of Africa's sparsely inhabited shifting agriculture areas. It encourages polygamous marriages, where males seek to dominate women "that are valued both as laborers and as child bearers." Goody, on the other hand, points out that the correlation is imperfect and varied and discusses more traditionally male-dominated but relatively extensive farming systems like those found in much of West Africa, particularly in the West African savanna, where polygyny is desired more for the creation of male offspring whose labor is valued.

In their book "Causes of Polygyny: Ecology, Economy, Kinship, and Warfare," anthropologists Douglas R. White and Michael L. Burton examine and defend Jack Goody's findings of African male farming systems, writing, "Goody (1973) speaks against the female contributions theory." He refers to Dorjahn's (1959) comparison 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 subsidies are particularly strong. "The motivations for polygyny are sexual and reproductive rather than economic and productive," writes Goody (1973:189), claiming that men marry polygonally to maximize their fertility and establish huge families with many young dependent males.

Types of polygyny

There are two forms of polygynous marriages: sororal polygyny, in which the co-wives are sisters, and non-sororal polygyny, in which the co-wives are not related. Polygyny permits men to have more offspring, may supply them with a bigger number of productive employees (where those workers are family), and helps them to have politically beneficial relationships with a wider number of kin groupings. Senior women may also profit from the addition of younger wives to the household since it reduces their workload. Spouses' standing in society might arise with the arrival of additional wives who contribute to the family's riches or signify ostentatious expenditure (much like how a large house, domestic help, and expensive vacations operate in a western country). For these reasons, senior women may occasionally work longer hours or donate money from their own pockets to help their husbands save enough for the bride price of a second wife.

Levirate marriage can potentially result in polygyny. In such circumstances, the deceased man's heirs may inherit his possessions and wife, or his brothers may marry the widow, which is more common. It offers assistance for the widow and her children (general members of the brothers' kin group) while also keeping the husbands' and wives' kin groups together. A widower must marry his late wife's sister in the sorority, similar to the levirate. In other words, the late wife's relatives must find someone to replace her to keep the marriage together. A guy can have numerous wives through both levirate and sorority.

In monogamous civilizations, affluent and powerful men maintained long-term relationships with many female companions and set up separate households for them, in addition to their lawful spouses; this practice was allowed in Imperial China until the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). It is known as concubinage, which is a type of de facto polygyny.

Household organization

Marriage is the beginning of a new home; however, depending on the type of marriage, different arrangements may arise, and some polygamous marriages do not establish a single household. In many polygynous marriages, the husband's wives may reside in separate houses, sometimes far apart. As a result, they may be defined as a "collection of connected nuclear families that share a father."



Polyandry, or having many husbands simultaneously, is far less common than polygyny and is currently banned in almost every country on the planet. Only isolated communities are affected.

Polyandry is thought to be more common in civilizations with limited natural resources because it is believed to decrease the human population and improve infant survival. It is an uncommon type of marriage found not just among the impoverished but also among the wealthy. Polyandry, for example, is linked to the land shortage in the Himalayan Mountains; marrying all of a family's brothers to the same bride permits family land to stay intact and undivided. [Required citation] Family land would be divided into unsustainable tiny parcels if each brother married and produced children independently.

Types of polyandry

Nomadic Tibetans in Nepal, portions of China, and northern India used to practice fraternal polyandry, in which two or more brothers married the same lady. It is particularly prevalent in civilizations with a high male death rate. It's linked to partible paternity, the notion that a kid can have many fathers.

Non-fraternal polyandry occurs when the wives' husbands are unrelated. In the Nayar tribe of India, females marry before puberty, and their first husbands are recognized as a father of all their offspring. On the other hand, the lady is forbidden from cohabiting with that guy and must instead take several lovers; these men must pay the midwife to certify the paternity of their children (and so establish that no caste rules have been broken). The ladies live with their brothers in their maternal house, and property is passed down through the generations. Walking marriage, a matrilineal, de facto polyandry practiced by the Mosuo tribe of China, is a comparable form of matrilineal, de facto polyandry.

Group Marriage

Group marriage is one in which the family unit consists of more than two spouses. Each of them shares parental responsibility for any children born as a result of the union. Non-monogamy and polyamory are both forms of group marriage.

Serial Monogamy as Polygamy

Serial monogamy refers to remarriage after a monogamous marriage ends in the divorce or death of one of the spouses, i.e., numerous marriages but only one legal spouse at a time (a series of monogamous relationships).

Serial monogamy, which includes divorce and remarriage, is considered a type of polygamy by anthropologists since it may create a succession of houses connected by shared fatherhood and shared wealth, according to Danish academic Miriam K. Zeiten. As a result, they resemble the family structures that result from divorce and serial monogamy.

The "ex-" is a new type of relative created by serial monogamy. For example, the "ex-wife" can remain an active participant in her "ex-husband's" life since they may be linked by legally or informally required economic assistance, such as alimony, child support, and joint custody, which can endure for years. Bob Simpson points out that in the case of the United Kingdom, it forms an "extended family," or a group of homes linked together in this way, including mobile children, noting that Britons may have ex-wives or ex-brothers-in-law, but not ex-children. These "unclear families," he claims, do not conform to the monogamous nuclear family model.

Attitudes about Polygamy in Today's Religions

Polygamy in Hinduism

According to the Rig Veda, a man may have more than one wife during the Vedic time. Epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata include references to the practice. The Dharmashastras allow a man to marry a woman from a lower caste if his first wife is also from a lower caste. Even though it existed, it was most commonly performed by males of higher castes and positions. Only if the first wife was unable to bear a son was a second marriage permitted.

The number of spouses is related to the caste system, according to Vishnu Smriti:

  • In the direct sequence of the (four) castes, a Brāhmaṇa may now have four wives.
  • A Kshatriya, three;
  • A Vaishya, two;
  • A Shudra, one only.

Baudhayana Dharmasutra and Paraskara Grihyasutra establish this relationship between the number of permissible spouses and the caste system.

If the first wife cannot fulfill her religious obligations or bear a son, the Apastamba Dharmasutra and Manusmriti allow for a second wife.

Only one wife may be the primary consort of a Brahmana, performing religious ceremonies (Dharma-Patni) alongside the husband. The primary consort had to be from the same caste as him. The eldest wife is the primary consort if a guy marries numerous women from the same caste. Hindu rulers frequently had more than one wife, and the texts often ascribe four wives to them. Mahisi, the primary consort, Parivrkti, who had no son,Vaivata, the favored wife, and Palagali, the daughter of the last of the court officials, were among them.

Polyandry, where a woman marries more than one guy, is another tradition that isn't extensively recorded. The Pandavas were five spouses for Draupadi in the Mahabharat epic.

If the first wife was unable to bear a son, Hindu tradition permitted polygamy.

Polygamy in India was declared illegal in 1955 by the Hindu Marriage Act, which the Indian Parliament adopted. Hindus were allowed to practice polygamy before 1955. The religion of the parties in issue determines the marriage rules in India.

Polygamy in Buddhism

Marriage is not a sacrament in Buddhism. It is entirely a secular affair in which monks do not participate. However, priests and monks do marry in some groups. As a result, it is not religiously sanctioned. As a result, marriage forms differ from country to country. "A man who is not happy with one lady and seeks out other ladies is on the path to decline," according to the Parabhava Sutta. Other bits of Buddhist scriptures appear to be critical of polygamy, leading some scholars to conclude that Buddhism as a whole opposes it or that it is an accepted but inferior marriage arrangement.

Thailand acknowledged polygyny until 2010. Since 2015, Myanmar has made polygyny illegal. Polyandry was used in Sri Lanka until recently (albeit not widely). Others' concubines were added to the list of unsuitable spouses when Buddhist teachings were translated into Chinese. Polyandry, like polygyny, was prevalent in Tibet in the past, and having several wives or husbands was never seen as having sex with unsuitable people. In today's world, Tibet is home to the world's largest and most prosperous polyandrous society. Typically, fraternal polyandry is practiced, however in certain cases, father and son share a bride, creating a world-first family arrangement. There are also other types of marriage, such as group marriage and monogamy. In Bhutan, Ladakh, and other regions of the Indian subcontinent, polyandry (particularly fraternal polyandry) is also popular among Buddhists.

Polygamy in Celtic Traditions

Although the Celtic peoples fluctuated between polygamy, monogamy, and polyandry depending on the period and region, certain pre-Christian Celtic pagans practiced it. The Brehon Laws of Gaelic Ireland, for example, clearly allowed for polygamy, especially among the aristocratic class, even after Christianization began. Polygamy is tolerated to different degrees in certain current Celtic pagan faiths. However, it is unknown how common the practice is.

Polygamy in Judaism

Exodus 21:10 says, "If he takes another wife for himself, her food, clothes, and the marital obligation must not be diminished." Deuteronomy 21:15–17 indicates that a man must give the inheritance owed to a firstborn son to the son who was born first, even if he despises that boy's mother and prefers another woman. Deuteronomy 17:17 states that a king must not have too many wives.

With the prefix "to," the Torah may distinguish between concubines and "sub-standard" brides (e.g., lit. "took to wives"). Despite these variations in the biblical attitude on polygamy, several prominent characters, such as Esau (Gen 26:34; 28:6-9), Jacob (Gen 29:15-28), Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:1-8), David (1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 5:13-16), and Solomon (1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 5:13-16), had multiple wives (1 Kings 11:1-3).

In the case of famine, widowhood, or female infertility, multiple marriages were regarded as a viable option, as in the practice of levirate marriage, in which a man was obligated to marry and support his deceased brother's widow as prescribed by Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Despite its presence in the Hebrew Bible, academics think that polygyny was not widely practiced throughout the ancient era since it necessitated a substantial amount of wealth. "Polygyny continued to be practiced long into the biblical period, and it is documented among Jews as late as the second century CE," according to Michael Coogan.

The Roman Empire's monogamy was the source of two explanatory remarks in Josephus' writings detailing how Herod the Great's polygamous marriages were permissible under Jewish law.

Polygamy was tolerated throughout the Rabbinical era, which started with the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. "Raba said: [If a man proclaims,] 'Be thou betrothed to half of me,' she is betrothed: 'half of thee be betrothed to me,' she is not betrothed," according to Kiddushin 7a of the Babylonian Talmud (BT). The BT appears to replicate the precedent set in Exodus 21:10 when discussing Levirate marriage in Yevamot 65a: "Raba said: a man may marry women in addition to the first wife; provided that he had the wherewithal to sustain them." Polygamy was outlawed in Judaism thanks to the Jewish Codices.

In his Mishneh Torah, Maimonides argued that polygamous marriages were legitimate, despite his personal beliefs to the contrary. While preserving the privilege of numerous weddings and the obligation to provide completely for each, the Mishneh Torah went even further: "He is not, however, permitted to compel his women to share a courtyard. Rather, each person has the right to their own house",

The Talmud's lone example of a polygamous rabbi serves as an outstanding illustration: Rabbi Tarfon married 300 women throughout his lifetime. Why? There was a famine in the country. Rabbi Tarfon, on the other hand, had plenty of food since he was a kohen and got priestly tithes. A kohen's wife is likewise allowed to consume those tithes. Those 300 women were delighted that the Torah had made polygamy legal.

The Shulchan Aruch adds further subtleties to all of the earlier works: "...however, in any case, our sages advise against marrying more than four women, unless he can fulfill their conjugal demands at least once a month. He is also not allowed to marry another woman over his current wife in a country where it is usual to marry just one wife." As can be seen, while the Rabbinic period's tradition began with establishing legal definitions for polygamy that corresponded to precedents in the Tanakh, by the time of the Codices, the Rabbis had drastically curtailed or eradicated the practice.

The synod of Rabbeinu Gershom was the most significant in the Rabbinic period on polygamy, albeit it was more especially for Ashkenazi Jews. Around 1000 CE, he summoned a synod to be deliberate on the following issues:

  1. Ban of polygamy.
  2. Requirement of both partners' permission to divorce.
  3. Revision of the regulations for people who were forced to become apostates.
  4. Restriction of opening mail sent to another.

Polygamy is practically non-existent in Rabbinic Judaism nowadays. Since the 11th century, Ashkenazi Jews have followed Rabbenu Gershom's prohibition. Several Mizrahi Jewish groups abandoned polygyny (especially Yemenite and Persian Jews) once they emigrated to places where it was prohibited or outlawed. Polygamy is illegal in Israel. However, the legislation is only weakly implemented in reality, largely to avoid interfering with Bedouin culture, which practices polygyny. This Israeli law does not apply to pre-existing polygynous marriage among Jews from Arab nations (or other places where the practice was not forbidden by their tradition and was not unlawful). In Israel, however, new polygamous marriages are not authorized for Mizrahi Jews. On the other hand, polygamy may still exist in non-European Jewish communities that live in countries where it is not prohibited, such as in Yemen and the Arab world.

Polygamy is practically non-existent nowadays among Karaite Jews who do not follow Rabbinic interpretations of the Torah. Karaites, like other Jews, interpret Leviticus 18:18 to mean that a man can only take a second wife if his first wife consents (Keter Torah on Leviticus, pp. 96–97), and Karaites interpret Exodus 21:10 to mean that a man can only take a second wife if he can maintain the same level of marital duties due to his first wife; the marital responsibilities are 1) food, 2) clothing and 3) sexuation. Because of these two scriptural limits, as well as the fact that it is illegal in most nations, polygamy is seen to be impracticable, and there are just a few known examples of it among today's Karaite Jews.

Polygamy is prohibited in Israel. Existing polygamous households were granted permission to immigrate from countries where the practice was lawful. Furthermore, former head rabbi Ovadia Yosef has advocated for the Israeli government to legalize polygamy and the method of pilegesh (concubine).

Tzvi Zohar, a professor at Bar-Ilan University, has argued that the notion of concubines might serve as a practical Halachic explanation for premarital or non-marital cohabitation, based on the opinions of prominent halachic scholars.

Polygamy in Christianity

Was there any mention of polygamy in the Bible? The Old Testament makes no mention of polygamy. Even though the New Testament is mostly quiet on polygamy, others refer to Jesus repeating older passages, stating that a man and his wife "will become one flesh." Some, on the other hand, turn to Paul's letters to the Corinthians: "Do you realize that when a man marries a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? 'The two will become one flesh,' as it is written." Polygamists argue that this proves the term refers to a physical union rather than a spiritual one.

Some Christian theologians claim that Jesus indicates in Matthew 19:3-9, referencing to Genesis 2:24, that a man should only have one wife:

Have you not read that he who created them, in the beginning, formed them male and female, and said, for this reason, shall a man leave his father and mother.

Polygamy should not be practiced by some church leaders, according to the New Testament. "A bishop must be blameless from these, the spouse of one wife, sober, of good character, dedicated to hospitality, apt to teach," 1 Timothy says (chapter 3, verse 2; see also verse 12 regarding deacons having only one wife). In the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus, similar advice is given.

Periodically, Christian reform groups that have attempted to reconstruct Christian theology based only on the Bible (sola scriptura) have recognized polygyny as a Biblical practice, at least briefly. For example, during the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther granted Landgrave Philip of Hesse, who was living "constantly in a state of adultery and fornication" for many years, a dispensation to take a second wife in a document known simply as "Der Beichtrat" (or "The Confessional Advice"). However, to prevent public controversy, the double marriage had to be carried out in secret. Luther had previously said in a letter to the Saxon Chancellor Gregor Brück that he could not "forbid a person to marry numerous wives since it does not contradict Scripture," and that he could not "forbid a person to marry several wives, because it does not contradict Scripture." ("Ego sane factor, me non posse prohibited, if plures velit uxores ducere, nec repugnant sacris literis.")

There has long been a conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa between the Christian stress on monogamy and customary polygamy. Mswati III, the Christian monarch of Swaziland, for example, had 15 wives. There have been recent attempts for accommodation in certain cases; in others, churches have fought such moves vehemently. In justifying polygamy, African Independent Churches have resorted to sections of the Old Testament that mention the practice.

Polygamy in the Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church condemns polygamy; the Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions it under the heading "Other crimes against the dignity of marriage" in paragraph 2387 and declares that it "is not following the moral law." In addition, in paragraph 1645, under the heading "The oneness of marriage, clearly acknowledged by our Lord, is made evident in the equal personal dignity which must be granted to husband and wife in reciprocal and unreserved devotion," according to "The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love." Polygamy is incompatible with undivided and exclusive marital love."

Polygamy in the Old Testament was a source of contention for Saint Augustine. He abstained from passing judgment on the patriarchs, but he did not infer from their behavior that polygyny was still acceptable. On the contrary, he said that the Fathers' polygamy, which the Creator permitted because of its fecundity, was a deviation from His original purpose for human marriage. "The beneficial aim of marriage is better to serve by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with numerous wives, is demonstrated simply enough by the very first marriage pair, which was formed by the Divine Being Himself," Augustine said.

Augustine believed that patriarchs had numerous wives because they desired more offspring, not because of immorality. He backed up his claim by demonstrating that their marriages, in which the husband was the head, were structured according to management principles: those in charge (quae principantur) in their society were always single. At the same time, subordinates (subiecta) were many. He provided two examples: dominus-Servus - master-servant (in an earlier translation: slave) and God-soul. Worshiping many gods, often known as idolatry, is frequently equated with adultery in the Bible. "On this reason, there are no True Gods of souls, except One but one such," Augustine says.

Fertility was no longer an acceptable argument for polygamy as tribe populations grew: "I would not quickly declare whether it was lawful among the ancient ancestors, or if it is lawful now as well (utrum et nunc fas sit, non temere dixerim). Because there is no longer a need to have children, as there formerly was, when, even when spouses have children, it was permissible to marry several wives to have a larger posterity, which is no longer legal."

Augustine regarded marriage as an unbreakable commitment between one man and one woman. The Creator instituted monogamy: "Therefore, man and woman are the earliest natural bonds of human society." The Saviour's presence at the wedding at Cana (Matthew 19:9) and in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 19:9) verified such marriage (John 2:2). Marriage is a sacrament in the Church—the City of God—and may not and cannot be dissolved as long as the spouses live: "But a marriage once for all entered into in the City of our God, where, even from the first union of the two, the man and the woman, marriage bears a certain sacramental character, marriage can in no way be dissolved except by the death of one of the spouses." "For it is in a man's power to put away a barren wife, and marry one of whom to have children," Augustine pointed out in Chapter 7 that the Roman Empire forbade polygamy, even if the reason of fertility would support it: "For it is in a man's power to put away a barren wife, and marry one of whom to have children." But it is not permitted; and it is not allowed even now, in our days, and after the usage of Rome (nostris quidem iam temporibus ac more Romano), to marry in addition, to have more than one wife living. He goes on to say that the Church's position toward monogamy goes far further than the secular law: Remarrying is forbidden, as it is considered a kind of fornication: Except in the City of our God, on His Holy Mount, the situation with the womb is different.

In recent years, a small group of Roman Catholic theologians has maintained that, while not ideal, polygamy can be a valid form of Christian marriage in certain areas, particularly in Africa. The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church says that "Polygamy is against the rule of morality. Polygamy fundamentally contradicts [conjugal] communion; in fact, it directly contradicts God's revealed purpose from the beginning, for it is incompatible with the equal personal dignity of men and women who, in matrimony, commit themselves to a whole and thus unique and exclusive love."

According to certain Bible texts, the illegality of polygamy in some regions adds to the grounds against it. "Submit to the authorities, not only for the sake of probable punishment, but also for the sake of conscience," Paul says in Romans 13:5, since "God has instituted the authorities that exist." (1 Corinthians 13:1) "Submit yourselves for the sake of the Lord to every authority created among men," writes St Peter, "whether to the king, as the ultimate authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good." ' (1 Peter 2:13,14) Pro-polygamists believe that no laws are broken as long as polygamists do not get formal marriage licenses or seek "common law marriage status" for extra spouses, just as monogamous couples do not cohabitate without a marriage license.

Polygamy and the Movement of the Latter-day Saints

According to a revelation to Joseph Smith, the practice of plural marriage—the marriage of one man to two or more women—was introduced among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s. Despite Smith's revelation, polygamy was officially denounced in the 1835 version of the Concept and Covenants' 101st Section, published after the doctrine of plural marriage began to be practiced. In Liverpool, England, in 1850, John Taylor used this scripture to dispel Mormon polygamy allegations. Several senior Mormon leaders, including Smith, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball, declared polygamy illegal in Illinois during the 1839–44 Nauvoo period. Kimball has several wives. Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who openly preached that all males were ordered to engage in multiple marriages were severely reprimanded. The Nauvoo Expositor chastised Smith for numerous weddings on June 7, 1844.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a religious organization dedicated to the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world (LDS Church)

Following Joseph Smith's assassination by a mob on June 27, 1844, most Latter-day Saints fled Nauvoo and accompanied Brigham Young to Utah, where plural marriage was still practiced. In a speech delivered in 1852, Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church, openly recognized the practice of multiple marriages. Following that, senior Mormon leaders delivered more sermons on the benefits of polygamy. When polygamy became a societal concern, it sparked debate, and writers began to produce works criticizing the practice.

"To ban throughout the territories those twin remnants of barbarism, polygamy, and slavery," the Republican Party's platform said in 1856. In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, making polygamy illegal in all US territories. The LDS Church believed that the United States Constitution protected their religiously based practice of plural marriage. Still, the unanimous 1878 Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. the United States declared that polygamy was not covered by the Constitution, based on the longstanding legal principle that "Laws are designed to govern activities, and while they cannot regulate religious beliefs and ideas, they may regulate behaviors."

Some Mormons emigrated to Canada and Mexico when anti-polygamy legislation became more severe in the United States. In 1890, LDS Church president Wilford Woodruff made a public statement (the Manifesto) declaring the end of new plural marriages. Anti-Mormon hatred, as well as resistance to Utah becoming a state, began to fade. The Smoot Hearings in 1904, which revealed that the LDS Church was still practicing polygamy, prompted the church to release a Second Manifesto, declaring that new plural marriages were no longer being performed. By 1910, people who entered into or executed multiple unique weddings were excommunicated by the LDS Church. Despite this, many spouses and wives continued to live together until the 1940s and 1950s, when they died.

Various breakaway organizations left the LDS Church to maintain the practice of multiple marriages after the year 1890 Manifesto was enforced. Polygamy is still practiced among these communities in Utah and adjacent states, and the spin-off colonies. Even though they are not affiliated with the LDS Church, polygamist congregations of Mormon heritage are sometimes referred to as "Mormon fundamentalists." Such fundamentalists sometimes cite a supposed 1886 revelation to John Taylor as justification for practicing multiple marriages. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, there were 37,000 fundamentalists in 2005, with less than half living in polygamous families.

In Brown v. Buhman, US Federal Judge Clark Waddoups found that sections of Utah's anti-polygamy statutes prohibiting repeated cohabitation were unconstitutional but that the state's prohibition on multiple marriage licenses was upheld. Since the 1882 Edmunds Act, the principal tactic used to prosecute polygamy in Utah has been unlawful cohabitation, in which prosecutors did not need to establish that a marriage ceremony had taken place (just that a couple had lived together).

Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism

The Council of Friends (also known as the Woolley Group or the Priesthood Council) was one of the first manifestations of Mormon fundamentalism, with its roots in the teachings of Lorin C. Woolley. This dairy farmer was expelled from the LDS Church in 1924. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church), the Apostolic United Brethren, the Centennial Park group, the Latter-Day Church of Christ, and the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are just a few of the Mormon fundamentalist groups that claim lineage through the Council of Friends.

Polygamy and the Community of Christ

Since its founding in 1860, the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS Church), has never sanctioned polygamy. Following the Reorganization of the church, Joseph Smith III, the first Prophet-President of the RLDS Church, was an outspoken opponent of plural marriage throughout his life. For most of his career, Smith denied that his father was involved in the practice, insisting that Brigham Young was the one who started it. Smith went on several expeditions to the western United States, where he met and questioned acquaintances and ladies claiming to be his father's widows, who tried to persuade him otherwise. When confronted with such allegations, Smith would generally react by claiming that was "neither positive nor confident that [his father] was innocent" and that even if the older Smith was engaged, it was still a fraudulent practice. Many members of the Community of Christ and other previously affiliated groups do not believe that Joseph Smith practiced multiple marriages and believe that the evidence that he did is faulty.

Polygamy in Islam

A Muslim man may have up to four wives simultaneously, given reasonable and justified conditions, according to Islamic marital doctrine. Under no circumstances is it permissible for a Muslim woman to have more than one spouse simultaneously.

The perfect relationship, according to Quran verse 30:21, is the comfort that a couple finds in each other's embrace:

"And among His Signs is this: He chose for you mates from among yourself, so that you may live in peace with them, and He has placed love and kindness between your (hearts): indeed, in that are Signs for people who ponder."

— Sura 30 (Ar-Rum), Ayah 21 of the Qur'an

Polygyny is permitted in the Koran only in exceptional circumstances. According to Islamic law, when a man marries more than one woman, he must treat them equally in terms of financial assistance and support provided to each wife. If a guy worries he won't be able to treat his wives fairly, Islam recommends monogamy. It is based on Quran verse 4:3, which says:

"If you are concerned that you will not be able to treat orphans fairly, Marry the woman you want, Two, three, or four; but if you are afraid that you will not be able to deal justly with them, then simply one, or one that is in your right hands, will be enough to keep you from doing injustice."

— Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 3 of the Qur'an

Muslim women are not permitted to marry many husbands at the same time. However, if their spouses divorce them or die, women can remarry once Iddah is completed, as divorce is allowed under Islamic law. Because her marriage with her non-Muslim spouse is Islamically dissolved on her leaving, a non-Muslim woman who adopts Islam and escapes from her non-Muslim husband has the choice to remarry without having to divorce her prior husband. A non-Muslim woman taken by Muslims during a battle can remarry since her marriage to her non-Muslim husband is Islamically dissolved at the time of captivity. This permission is granted to such ladies in Quranic verse 4:24. In contrast to prostitution, the verse also emphasizes transparency, mutual consent, and financial remuneration as criteria for marital relationships; it says:

"Women previously married, except those in your right hands, are also prohibited: (Prohibitions) have been established by Allah against you as follows: Except for these, all others are legal if you seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, desiring chastity rather than lust, and seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if you agree Mutually (to vary a dower after it has been specified), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing and All-wise."

— Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 24 of the Qur'an

Muhammad's first wife, Khadija, was his monogamous wife for 25 years until she died. For social and political reasons, he married a number of women after she died. The majority of them were widows. According to reports from his lifetime, he had nine wives in all, but not all at the same time. The Qur'an makes no distinction between husbands who have more than one wife. One argument for polygyny is that it permits a guy to provide financial security to several women who might otherwise be alone (e.g., widows). The wife, on the other hand, might stipulate in the marriage contract that the husband cannot marry another woman while they are married. In this situation, the husband is prohibited from marrying another lady while still married to his wife. Each of those wives, according to traditional Islamic law, retains her property and assets separately and is given Mahar and maintenance separately by her husband. The women usually have little to no contact with one another and live separate lives in their own homes, sometimes in different cities, even though they all have the same spouse.

Polygyny is permitted in most Muslim-majority nations, with Kuwait being the only one that does not have any limitations. In Muslim-majority Turkey, Tunisia, Albania, Kosovo, and Central Asian nations, the practice is prohibited.

Polygyny is often permitted in countries that require a man to get permission from his prior wives before marrying another, as well as proving that he can financially support several women. A man must justify taking an additional wife during a court hearing in Malaysia and Morocco before being allowed to do so. To expand the population in Sudan, the government supported polygyny in 2001.

Polygamy and the International Law

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has formed in the year 2000 that polygamy violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), citing concerns that were lack of "equality of treatment concerning the right to marry" meant that polygamy, limited to polygyny in practice, violated women's dignity and should be outlawed. Reports to UN Committees have specifically identified breaches of the ICCPR due to these disparities, and information to the UN General Assembly has urged that it be prohibited. Many Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Brunei, Oman, and South Sudan, are not signatories to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Therefore, the UN treaty does not apply to them.

Polygamy in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, bigamy is prohibited. De facto polygamy (having many partners simultaneously) is not a crime as long as the person does not register more than one marriage. Adultery is not a crime in the United Kingdom (it is only a ground for divorce). In a written response to a question from the House of Commons, "Polygamy is only recognized as legal in the United Kingdom if the marriage ceremony took place in a nation where polygamy is legal, and the parties to the marriage were domiciled there at the time. Furthermore, since 1988, immigration laws have largely prohibited the creation of polygamous families in the United States."

The UK government's Universal Credit (UC) will not recognize polygamous marriages, which will replace means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age individuals and will not be fully implemented until 2021. "Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as distinct claimants might mean that polygamous families get more under Universal Credit than they do under the existing regulations for means-tested benefits and tax credits," according to the House of Commons Briefing Paper. As previously stated, the amounts that must be paid for additional spouses are smaller than those that apply to single claimants. Official statistics on cohabiting polygamous couples who have married in religious ceremonies are presently unavailable.

In October 2017, a dating service providing Muslim men the option to find second or third spouses received media attention in the United Kingdom. The website had 100 000 users, 25 000 of which were from the United Kingdom. When website founder Azad Chaiwala was looking for a second wife, he developed the website.

Polygamy in the United States

In the United States, polygamy is prohibited. Despite religious concerns from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Supreme Court upheld federal legislation banning the practice in Reynolds v. the United States in 1878.

On December 13, 2013, a federal court threw down portions of Utah's bigamy statute that criminalized cohabitation, but admitted that the state may still enforce restrictions on possessing multiple marriage licenses, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations.

Individualist feminism and proponents like Wendy McElroy and journalist Jillian Keenan believe that adults should willingly engage in polygamous relationships.

Authors like Alyssa Rower and Samantha Slark argue that there was a case of legalizing Polygamy based on regulation and monitoring practice, legally protecting polygamous partners, and allowing them to participate in mainstream society rather than being forced to hide from it when a public situation arises.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, claimed in an op-ed for USA Today in October 2004 that polygamy should be allowed it is a question of equal treatment under the law. Although Turley acknowledged that teenage girls are occasionally forced into polygamous marriages, he responded that "prohibiting polygamy is no more a remedy to child abuse than banning marriage is a solution to spousal abuse."

At the start of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, many people thought that creating honest nonmonogamous relationships would be easy. Instead, half a century of false starts and painful discoveries has taught us that polyamory exacts a price. The fact is that most twenty-first-century humans have many contradictory impulses that pull us in the direction of inclusive love and simultaneously push us in the direction of jealousy and possessiveness.

These opposing forces must be reconciled before we are truly free to love and therein lies one of the benefits of being polymorous. Polyamorous relationships place people in the center of the cyclone, with an abundance of opportunities to confront these opposing forces and to learn from their mistakes along the way. Learning theorists have found that the more mistakes you make, the faster you learn. In polyamory, it's possible to get the benefit of several lifetimes’ worth of mistakes in a relatively short time because you are engaging in more than one intimate relationship at a time.

Can a polyamorous relationship be healthy? Polyamorous relationships offer many means of accelerating personal growth. All intimate relationships at their best are a path to higher consciousness and greater self-knowledge, largely because of the valuable feedback - or mirroring effect - one receives from a beloved. Having more than one partner at a time not only increases the available quantity of feedback but also makes it harder to blame your partner for the problems you might be creating in the relationship. Of course, serial monogamy also offers the opportunity to see the same issues arise in one relationship after another, but not only does it take longer to get the lesson, but, if you're a fast talker, you may be able to convince one person at a time that it's not your fault, whereas two are less likely to be fooled.

Bill is an attractive man in his late forties who has never been married. Over the years, he'd had a series of monogamous relationships, each lasting about four years. "I'm not sure why none of these relationships lasted," he told me. "I always assumed it just wasn't a match and moved on to the next woman, but I'm getting older, and I really want to settle down." Bill decided he wanted to try polyamory and took my advice to start by dating women who weren't seeking a monogamous commitment. Soon he was dating three different women and was thrilled when it turned out that the two of them knew and liked each other. After a few months, however, he found himself struggling. "Liz, Helen, and Angie are all mad at me," he complained. "They started comparing notes and found out I'd told some white lies. Now they're accusing me of manipulating them. I really don't understand what their problem is, but I'd like to find out. Can you help me?" Bill was reaping the benefits of polyamory in a different way than he'd expected, but his openness to taking a look at himself—once three women instead of one were insisting on it—was promising.

Because multiple-partner relationships are inherently more complex and demanding than monogamous ones and because they challenge the norms of our culture, they offer other valuable learning opportunities. Lessons about loving yourself, tolerance for diversity, speaking from the heart and communicating clearly, and learning to trust an internal sense of rightness and to think for yourself rather than blindly relying on outside opinion are only a sampling of the lessons. These qualities are earmarks of an emotionally and spiritually mature person—the kind of person who makes a good parent and who can contribute to his or her community.

One of the most common concerns about polyamory is that it's harmful to children, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Multiple-adult families and committed intimate networks have the potential of providing dependent children with additional nurturing adults who can meet their material, intellectual, and emotional needs. While parents may end up focusing less attention on their children, children may gain new aunts, uncles, and adopted parents.

More adults sharing parenting can mean less stress and less burnout without losing any of the rewards. In a larger group of men and women, it's more likely that one or two adults will be willing and able to stay home and care for the family or that each could be available one or two days a week. If one parent dies or becomes disabled, other family members can fill the gap. Children can have more role models, more playmates, and more love in a group environment. Of course, these advantages can be found in any community setting, but people sometimes avoid intimacy with other adults in a conscious or unconscious effort to safeguard a monogamous commitment.

Polyamory has the potential to create stable and nurturing families where children develop in an atmosphere of love and security. With the traditional nuclear family well on its way to extinction, we are faced with a question of critical importance: who will mind the children? Neither two-career nor single-parent families offer children full-time, loving caretakers, and quality daycare is both scarce and expensive. Even at its best, full-time institutional care (including public schooling) cannot provide the individual attention, intimacy, flexibility, and opportunity for solitude that children need to realize their potential. Serial monogamy presents children as well as parents with a stressfully discontinuous family life. Meanwhile, an entire generation is at risk, as divorce is an increasingly common fact of life.

We don't yet know how polyamory impacts the rate of divorce; the little data we have suggest that it doesn't. That is, divorce rates appear to be about the same in monogamous and non-monogamous marriages. Some people have begun to joke about "serial polyamory," and it may turn out that any kind of lasting relationship is simply less likely in the twenty-first century. We do know that practicing polyamory can help prepare parents to maintain family ties after a divorce because the issue of becoming jealous when confronted with a former mate's new partner has usually been dealt with already.

Polyamory can mean a higher standard of living while consuming fewer resources. Sexualoving partners are more likely than friends or neighbors to feel comfortable sharing housing, transportation, appliances, and other resources. Even if partners don't live communally, they frequently share meals, help each other with household repairs and projects, and vacation together. This kind of cooperation helps provide a higher quality of life while reducing individual consumption as well as keeping people too busy to overconsume. Multiple partners also help in the renewal of our devastated human ecology by creating a sense of bonded community.

Polyamory can help parents and children alike adapt to an ever more complex and quickly changing world. One of the greatest challenges facing humans at the dawn of the twenty-first century is coping with the increasingly fast pace of life. We're constantly being inundated with more information than we can absorb and more choices than we can evaluate. New technologies are becoming obsolete almost before we can implement them. Trying to keep up can be stressful if not impossible for a single person or a couple. But a small group of loving and well-coordinated partners can divide up tasks that would overwhelm one or two people. Multiple-partner relationships can be an antidote to future shock.

One of the most difficult challenges confronting men and women in the twenty-first century is making the transition from the rigid and well-defined gender identities prevalent in the twentieth century to the more fluid and androgynous roles preferred by many individuals. Diverse opinions as to the healthiest, most natural, and most functional approach to gender roles are still being debated by social scientists, psychotherapists, and spiritual teachers. Most people would agree, however, that both John Wayne-style masculinity and the classic 1950s housewife version of femininity, as well as any identity based solely on gender, are prescriptions for unhappiness. While the extreme versions of these old stereotypes are increasingly rare, many people are still struggling with the more subtle effects of generations of gender-based tyranny.

Marriage, as we know it today, is based on patterns established in biblical times governing men's ownership of women. Polyamory can help men and women break out of dysfunctional sex roles and achieve more equal, sexually gratifying, and respectful relationships simply because of its novelty. Most of us have unconsciously absorbed our culture's messages about proper demeanor for husbands and wives. We may think our modern society has left this legacy behind, but remember that women in the United States have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. Polyamory leads us to confront the sex role conditioning of our ancestors and demands that we transcend it. It requires that men and women alike overcome our competitive programming and that we invent new ways of relating since we can no longer fall back on simply doing it the way Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa did it.

Deep ecologists suggest that the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples may offer some important clues to our survival as a species. Deep-ecology advocate Dolores LaChapelle was one of the first twentieth-century writers to discuss sex and intimate relationships in an ecological context. She views the breakdowns in so many modern relationships as a direct result of placing too much emphasis on the romance between two people and losing sight of the larger whole in which we are all embedded. In her encyclopedic Sacred Land, Sacred Sex, she draws on indigenous wisdom the world over to paint a vivid picture of how multi-partner sex has traditionally served to bond the group, diffuse potential conflict, and strengthen the connection to the land. She cites many examples of both ancient and modern native peoples whose customs and rituals incorporate sex as "natural, inevitable, and sacred because it's part of the whole inter-relationship of humans and nature in that place."

One account is from a woman anthropologist who was traveling through the jungle with a woman friend from the tribe and the woman's husband. When they stopped to camp for the night, her friend was making love with her husband and asked if she wanted to join in. She describes the experience as natural, playful, tender, and bonding for the two women.

In many of these cultures, as in the love style now called polyamory, pair bonding is one option among many, and couples expect to include others in their intimacy or relax their boundaries when the situation arises. Couples as well as other grouping and singles all participate in seasonal festivals involving ritual sex to "increase the energy not only between man and woman but within the group as a whole and between the humans and their land." 

Dr. James Prescott's research revealed that cultures like these are significantly less violent than those that disallow extramarital sex. While modern Western thinking generally regards fertility rites as merely superstitious, if not immoral, LaChapelle describes a biological basis for their positive effects.

LaChapelle explains it this way: "In ritualized sex, which is not confined to the genital area, the entire body and the brain receive repetitive stimuli over a considerable period of time. This leads to ‘central nervous system tuning.' To briefly summarize, if either the parasympathetic nervous system or the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the other system is inhibited. Tuning occurs . . . when there is such strong, prolonged activation of one system that it becomes supersaturated and spills over into the other system so that it, in turn, becomes activated. If stimulated long enough the next stage of tuning is reached where the simultaneous strong discharge of both autonomic systems creates a state of stimulation of the median forebrain bundle, generating not only pleasurable sensations but . . . a sense of union or oneness with all. This stage of tuning permits right hemisphere dominance; thus solving problems deemed insoluble by the rational hemisphere. Furthermore, the strong rhythm of repetitive action as done in sexual rituals produces positive limbic discharge, resulting in increased social cohesion; thus contributing to the success of such rituals as bonding mechanisms."

Of course, polyamory does not necessarily involve such exotic activities, but as a philosophy of love, it provides a context in which erotic ritual is possible without prohibitions based on a belief in entitlement to sexual exclusivity as proof of commitment or fidelity. What polyamory does require is a more altruistic, unconditional type of love than is common in monogamous unions and that naturally arises from a felt sense of oneness. While monogamy, of course, also thrives on unselfish love, monogamy can survive more easily than polyamory in its absence.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

Even with the rising support of feminism and the LGBTQIA+ community, polygamy is often cast aside as the weird, freaky one in the group. Thanks to pop culture and the inescapable narrative of straight, monogamous relationships, alternative romantic and sexual lifestyles like polyamory relationships are often vilified. It’s easy to reciprocate hate and animosity, but the poly community believes in a friendly exchange of ideas. So it’s time to set the record straight and bust some polygamy vs polygyny misconceptions and debunk myths surrounding consensual non-monogamy as a whole.

Why all this hate against polygamy?

It would be foolish to ignore some of the darker histories associated with polygamy, especially polygyny. Polygyny, the marriage of one man to multiple wives, is often compared to society’s patriarchal nature. Men in power enjoying the benefits of multiple women partners has negatively influenced the cultural attitude towards poly lifestyles.

Most notably, religious male leaders or abusive male partners have traditionally coerced young women into non-consensual (or seemingly consensual) relationships—a big source of hate against polygamy. This is a despicable stain on polygamous relationships, but only a small fraction of what it actually is now.

Is polygamy just another form of patriarchal control?

Today, polygamy’s rebirth clearly demonstrates that the former imbalance of power and choice between man and woman is finally leveling out. Moreover, polygamy today has a broader definition. It’s no longer a strict bond between a straight man and multiple wives or a straight woman and multiple husbands. For starters, bisexual men, bisexual women, queer men, or queer women can enter a polygamous relationship if they choose to.

The key is in everyone’s consent and honest communication. No two relationships are exactly the same, after all. Just like a monogamous couple might clearly define their boundaries about what cheating constitutes in their household, a polygamous couple in the dating stage can define what makes them uncomfortable and what the other people in the relationship can do to build trust.

Women—or anybody, for that matter—are no longer forced into a polygamous relationship for fear of violence or evil consequences. The polyamory and polygamy dating world is actually rooted in choice. In a way, modern polygamy flips the table on patriarchal ideals. Women are free to choose what they want, even if they are in a polygamous relationship. They may even enter a relationship with a sister wife should they desire to do so.

Renowned researcher and expert in consensual non-monogamy Dr. Elisabeth Sheff perfectly sums up the anti-patriarchal nature of polyamorous relationships in her article, “Polyamory is Deviant—But Not for the Reasons You May Think.” The three main reasons are that women are now on equal negotiating status with men, women can now pursue multiple partners if they choose to, and that polyamory forces us to ask questions like, “Why is monogamy so pressed into our society that we feel like it’s the only choice?” When it comes to polygamy dating, having a choice is front and center, so the argument that polygamy is just another form of patriarchy is extremely weak.

Is polygamy dating an abnormality only a few people practice?

It might surprise you to know that about 22% of Americans have been in a consensually non-monogamous relationship at least once (Haupert, 2016). Judging by the rising visibility of polygamous relationships in the media, this number has likely increased since the article’s publication. It’s safe to say polygamy dating and the polyamory world isn’t just an anomaly a few hundred people practice in secret.

Chances are, you know people who are in polyamorous or polygamous relationships already. Although recent legislature like Massachusetts’ broadened definition of a relationship to include households with more than two adults is a step in the right direction, polygamy representation still has a long way to go.

Polygamy dating is just an excuse for sexual experimentation

Perhaps the most common misconception of all is the inseparable connotation between polygamy dating and sexual exploration. While sexuality has a place in polyamory or polygamy, it’s usually not the only driving force for individuals seeking these types of relationships. Just like one monogamous relationship can prioritize emotional needs over sexual needs, a polygamous relationship might focus on other aspects of a healthy relationship, as well.

In fact, polyamorous dating requires even more mindful relationship building than a monogamous partnership. Multiple people building a home or relationship requires more mental, emotional, social, and sometimes financial effort. As a result, polygamous ties produce deeper commitments that are often harder to shake than a monogamous partnership.

This isn’t to say that every monogamous relationship is fickle, nor that every polyamorous relationship is a serious, lifelong commitment. It’s to say that critics of polygamous relationships can’t—or refuse—to look beyond the stereotype of a hypersexualized polygamous relationship. In Cathy Young’s Time article about same-sex marriage and polygamy, she argues that “..the private sexual choices of adults should not be criminalized. But they are not automatically entitled to cultural approval or societal support systems.” 

This is a vast simplification of polygamy and polyamorous relationships. Again and again, articles like these reduce polygamy and polyamory to a mere sexual preference instead of a relationship choice, perpetuating the tired stereotype that consensual non-monogamy is rooted in sexual deviance.

The future of polyamory, polygamy, and polygyny

The umbrella term of polyamory and its subcategories polygamy and polygyny deserve a place in mainstream media and culture without the obvious prejudice against alternative lifestyles. Although the polygamy dating world is being acknowledged through accessible T.V. shows and docu-series, the focus is often misplaced.

In the future, we hope to be portrayed in a positive, or at the very least objective lens, instead of a sideshow watched with a discerning eye. For now, we’ll continue to educate and enlighten others without taking offense at deep-seated prejudices or preconceptions. After all, understanding begins with an open conversation.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

It’s that exciting time of year again when lights and festivities are all around and we’re making plans to see friends and family we may not have seen all year. When the Christmas stockings are hung and the tree is trimmed, we sit back with those we love sipping cider or eggnog while reminiscing about days past and days still to come. For people involved in poly relationships, the days to come might mean a difficult time with a disapproving family. 

Poly dating, as well as polygamous relationships, has become more accepted in modern times but approval is often the hardest to gain from family. It can be tough for a mother to accept her daughter is a sister wife when she has no exposure to the many great aspects of a healthy plural relationship. A father embracing that his son is a ‘unicorn’ (bisexual) can be nearly impossible because he simply has no positive exposure to the lifestyle. For some situations, it might be best to start your own family traditions at home and stay away from toxic family members but here are some ideas to consider if you will be facing the family. 

Killing them with kindness is a must. Deciding to go out of your way to be kind will prevent negative emotions and regretful words or actions on your end. Don’t be affected by a disapproving comment as though you give it any value. Unsolicited advice on your poly relationships can safely be ignored. Smile and say you appreciate the input but you’re doing quite well then ask them to pass the green bean casserole. Keep the conversation moving and push it in positive directions. 

Set a time limit based on the difficulty level of your family. In time, if they want to see more of you and your poly family, they’ll know they have to accept you as you are. If you’ve chosen to start your own family tradition at home, you can invite only amiable family members to join you. Don’t be afraid to be honest when the uninvited ask for an explanation. You can assert yourself and be honest in a loving and constructive way and hope your loved ones will eventually come around to respect you. 

The DNA connection to your family does not mean you owe them anything and does not mean they have any right to pressure you into their standards. Walk into the holiday situation knowing you are fully your own person and your sister wives or lovers are your valid chosen family. Acceptance is not guaranteed, but you don’t have to accept the judgment as much as others don’t have to accept your choices. Don’t be afraid to tell family you’d like if they’d embrace you completely but won’t sacrifice your happiness or integrity to gain it. Discussing the beautiful aspects of a polygamous or polyamorous relationship can help them realize it’s a healthy option for many. 

Don’t let toxic or unhappy people ruin your holidays. Your poly dating life shows we can enjoy an enormous amount of love in our lives and we can share that love in many ways. The number one tool needed to deal with difficult people is confidence, so make sure everyone in your poly family is prepared for less than ideal social interactions. Go show your family, and the world, their closed minds only hurt themselves. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

Poly dating is a fated convergence of lives. In some cases, it might result in blended families with children. While most monogamous partnerships celebrate Father’s Day reflexively on the third Sunday of June every year, you might be under additional pressure if you’re in the poly dating world with multiple people. 

In 1922, Dr. Gary Chapman popularized love languages through his book The Five Love Languages. Today, the main points still resonate with most people in poly relationships. So according to your husband or partner’s personality, they might appreciate one token of love more than the other on Father’s Day. 

Let’s explore the main love languages and what gifts are associated with them. We’ll include both material and immaterial gifts that go beyond a greeting card.

If their love language is giving or receiving gifts

Gift-giving and receiving gifts are common love languages in any household, whether it’s a poly relationship or not. Although the central theme of any holiday shouldn’t be about material things, gift-giving is more than just monetary value.

A carefully chosen antique vase or a handmade leather bag tells your partner that this very thing reminded you of them. This concrete token of love is rooted in the thought behind the present, rather than the actual thing, although the gift itself is a great bonus.

To proceed, consider your partner’s interests and find something that shows them you have taken inventory of what they like, and thought about how this gift will impact them. Do they have a pottery hobby? Try giving them a new trimming tool. Are they always complaining about a strained neck in the morning? Research the best pillows online and have one delivered to your home (or theirs).

If you’re eschewing practicality and want to lean into sentimentality, anything handmade or personalized is always a big winner. Think custom photo albums, matching coffee mugs, framed artwork, etc.

If their love language is physical touch

Gifts centered around physical touch might be easier to deliver than other items on this list. Physical touch is also something you can offer all the time when you’re together, not just on a single holiday. 

However, if you want to make it extra special, a scheduled massage or cuddle night can make your partner feel loved. Depending on your relationship, you might also open up the room to more intimate activities—if it’s feasible, of course.

If their love language is acts of service

When it comes to acts of service, magnitude doesn’t matter much. It can be something as small as offering to do the grocery shopping for the month or something as big as sorting out the household’s financial matters, whether it’s calling banks or sorting documents.

One note about acts of service is that daily deeds can make a large impact on your poly relationship. By picking up the slack or recognizing where your partner needs help (before they even ask for it), you’re actively building a healthy, love-filled relationship.

As for Father’s Day, sweet gestures like cooking extra special meals for the week or running errands for them during the weekend are some viable ideas.

If their love language is quality time

Quality time is essential in any relationship, but may even be more crucial when plunging into poly dating. When you’re in a poly relationship, a decline in quality time can stress out your connections. 

Although some polygamists participate in hierarchical relationships, many others strive to maintain a non-hierarchical status between everyone involved. Thus, the challenge is how to allocate resources effectively.

Truthfully, this gets tricky when children are involved. Everyone’s lives are filled with different activities, work schedules, and social obligations, so some poly relationships may preserve quality time better than others do.

For Father’s Day, organize a date with you and your partner alone with no interruptions. Unbroken conversation, full eye contact, and thorough mindfulness help set your connection in stone. Check in with others in the polycule, and ensure your calendars are all synced to make the one-on-one time a success.

If their love language is words of affirmation

Words of affirmation require no money at all, only thought and affection. This love language places importance on verbal presents like declarations of love, thoughtful compliments, words of encouragement, and meaningful discussion.

A video message from everyone in the family expressing their love is a fantastic expression of words of affirmation. Another idea is sitting with everyone for dinner and taking turns vocalizing what you appreciate about the father figure (or figures) in the household.

Keep in mind that daily words of affirmation are an effortless way of ensuring your partner feels loved and understood, so take advantage of this love language whenever you can.

Should I celebrate Father’s Day when trying poly dating?

Not every poly family has children, although many poly households do. If you’re a couple with children and are looking to add a second male figure into the mix, timing is key. Have an adult family meeting and decide when is the appropriate time to introduce a new figure to your children. 

This discussion might also include when to invite them for big events like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Winter Holidays. As always, an open dialogue is key to mutual understanding.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

It is all too easy to take relationships—monogamous or polyamorous—for granted. A holiday like Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to take a pause and celebrate the important people in your life. There are lots of different ways to enjoy quality time with loved ones while poly dating. Some ideas are staying in and enjoying a movie together or enjoying a picnic in an outdoor area.

No matter if you prefer big romantic gestures or you feel less is more, our guide on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day while in polyamorous relationships will help to show your affection to the people you love.

Plan for an intimate meal or other activity at home

You may have a tradition of going to a nice dinner every Valentine’s day with your spouse or partners. Getting dressed up and designating special alone time helps fill up our love meters. Want something more intimate? Grab some groceries (or order them if possible) and cook dinner together. It’ll take more work than just ordering off of the menu, but it may lead to some new traditions.

Go for a vacation

Is there any place you have been wanting to go? Valentine’s Day could be a chance to tick that place off your bucket list. What’s more, you will be on vacation with the people you love. How’s that for a win-win situation? Alternatively, you can have a staycation. If working from home has you suffering from cabin fever, why not rent out an actual cabin nearby? Or, rent out an Airbnb in your city and spend a night or two in new surroundings. You can order in or take advantage of a kitchen if you’re renting out an apartment or home.

Anticipate jealousy and failed plans

Valentine’s day can bring up some overwhelming feelings. One partner might feel jealous of another’s Valentine’s day gift. A secondary partner might feel left out if you and your nesting partner decide to have a special dinner—alone. 

If your plans are suddenly thrown out the window by unexpected events, expect disappointment all around. It’s always good to have something to fall back on in our poly dating opportunities. Polygamy dating requires us to manage expectations around holidays like these. If you are making plans individually with your partners, iron out the details well before Valentine’s Day 2023—and account for any potential disruptions.

It can be hard to dispel the need to go all out lest you risk looking like you don’t care about your relationships. Emotionally healthy and rational adults shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves for a single day. But love makes us act in ways we never thought we would, for better or for worse.

Have a backup plan

If you were counting on a dinner reservation to make your Valentine’s Day, you might want to rethink your strategy. If anything else, COVID-19 has taught us to adapt and always prepare for the unexpected. You can sign up for something online that’s unlikely to be canceled, like an online class or a live music show. Play your favorite board games or video games together. If you’re not much of a gamer, have a movie night complete with movie theater fares like buttered popcorn, candy, and sweet drinks.

Don’t forget about your platonic relationships

Valentine’s Day is known for declarations of romantic love, but modern Valentine’s Day celebrations should include platonic loves, too. The past three years have shown us not to take time for granted, so Valentine’s Day 2023 is an opportunity to show friends and family that they are loved. Send your best gals and pals bouquets, chocolates, or their favorite snacks. Text them meaningful messages listing the qualities you love about them and memories with them you cherish most.

The best gifts aren’t just material things, either. Poly dating on a budget is possible, and the best memories of Valentine’s Day 2023 will be spending time with your loved ones, not with an extravagant gift.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

The life of polygamy, or polyamory, comes with many quirks along with its many benefits. Day to day, as your polyamorous relationships grow in size and strength, you’ll find yourself in little situations you may have never expected. From sleeping arrangements to table settings, the unique approaches each relationship employs as solutions create one-of-a-kind lives to enjoy together. Every day cannot be a cakewalk. Sometimes you just want to relax and be normal. Embracing your weirdness and rejecting the stress it can bring will keep you, and your loved ones, as the individuals you’re meant to be. If you’re new to polyamory, or only considering the option, here are a few things to expect along the way. 

Did I mention sleeping arrangements? Yeah, this one can be very creative for poly groups or families. There may be core relationships involved or fully autonomous situations. Polygamist families with a patriarchal core, in which multiple heterosexual women are committed to one man, have to take turns with their husband. If you plan to become a sister wife, it’s important that a family you’re interested in joining is the right fit for you. Two couples that decide to form a poly relationship may keep separate homes entirely. It’s important to consider what living and sleeping arrangements will work for you before getting too involved in a situation that will leave you feeling cold. If you’re a single person that begins dating a couple you can’t make assumptions about the direction it may go. Ask them! Most people interested in poly or polygamy dating are perfectly comfortable telling potential partners what they’re interested in, or open to. Don’t bend too far toward their expectations and away from your own. Spend more time finding people that fit you. 

Shifting sexual boundaries is also more prominent in polyamorous relationships. The very nature of polygamy or polyamory already requires some thinking outside of the box, so interest in sexual exploration often comes with the territory. It’s possible to remain very conservative but important not to enforce unwanted restraints on any of your partners. Keeping an open mind and open conversation will keep relationships happier and healthier in the long run. If you have personal boundaries that simply cannot be tested, don’t wait until you’re heavily involved with a relationship before expressing your feelings. There are no rules except for the rules you and your partners agree to. Be ready to encounter anything, and be respectful, while asserting what is right, or wrong, for you. Being poly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your standards but it does mean you should be respectful of others’ curiosities. 

Finances are a bit more complicated for polyamorous relationships as well. Five people sharing one bank account sounds confusing, and maybe even dangerous. A lot of people, even monogamous people, prefer to keep their finances separate nowadays. Either way, sharing of finances in various forms might come up, so it’s best to develop your preferences early so you know how much sharing is comfortable for you. Five incomes under one roof can be a beautiful thing, but one bad apple can ruin it for everyone. Keep an eye out for overspenders or people that are misleading about their net worth. Two unemployed grifters under your roof are no way to enjoy a poly life. 

Presenting your polyamorous relationship to the world around you can also be tricky. One general rule to follow is actually a simple fact: your relationship is ultimately nobody’s business but your own. There is no shame in saying you’re just friends to people you know will not be supportive. Don’t feed their ignorance and give them a reason to make your life difficult. Five people checking into one hotel room might cost a little extra, but you owe no explanation to the front desk. Ordering a table for five on Valentine's Day might raise a few eyebrows, but it’s none of your business what other people think of you, just like it’s none of their business that you’re on a date with multiple people. A woman doesn’t become a sister wife, and nobody practices polyamory, for the entertainment of others. Validation can be a very nice thing but learning to let go of the need for it is even better. Otherwise, you find yourself seeking it all the time. Enjoy your poly date and the beautiful world you’ve built for yourself. Let the rest of the world do their own thing.

When you join a polygamist family or find a polyamorous relationship, you make a choice to walk to the beat of your own drum. Shedding the constraints and standards society set up for everyone will lead to a few difficult situations. People that are gatekeepers feel a strong need to enforce what they believe is the correct way to live and love. Gatekeepers do not like change or opposition. They have been fighting against anything but the ‘nuclear family’ for centuries even though there is absolutely nothing to suggest monogamy is even a healthy way to live. Knowing you’ve made the choices that are right for yourself, and that you’re building a life to make yourself happy, will pay off eventually. Don’t get discouraged and give up on the poly life. Even if your table for five needs to only be at home for a while, you will find your flow and the world outside will eventually lose its daunting edge.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

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