Would polygamy help to resolve the issue of infidelity in marriages, being that a man who is wealthy enough to “keep” a number of wives will have the variety that many men crave, thereby allowing him to remain faithful by only engaging in sex with his wives? Polygamy is not to be confused with open marriages or polyamorous relationships (having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved), as it is more widely accepted, morally and justifiably sound, encouraged by the Mormon and Muslim religions, and it is a form of marriage, unlike the latter.
Since lack of variety/boredom is one of the most noted reasons why men say they cheat, and why they are not marrying as much as they once did, or as young, wouldn’t it follow that variety in a marriage would have the opposite effect? The implications of polygamy mistakenly lead folks to believe that it is sacriligious and morally sinful, but it doesn’t seem to be. In biblical times, men were allowed to have as many wives as they could “keep,” and such an arrangement was not considered immoral or sinful because polygamy IS still a form of marriage. For the record, I am in no position to state whether the Bible speaks to the issue of whether polygamy is right or wrong, but to me, whether it is or isn’t, is not clear.
The idea of a woman being kept, for some reason, is now looked upon unfavorably. However, keeping wives requires major responsibility and culpability, and polygamy is still a commitment of sorts. The only difference is that it affords those willing to take on such a massive obligation the right to love several women within the confines of marriage. Furthermore, polygamy is not only a luxury that men can enjoy. In some societies, women may also marry multiple men, although I’m sure it is more prevalent with men.
Despite the positive ramifications of America becoming a polygamous society, I don’t think the idea would fare well for one reason, and one reason only. Jealousy. If a man solicited me to be a part of his harem of wives, I’d be quite offended. I personally don’t like to share, but who does? Americans are so devoted to monogamy in theory, but epically failing when it comes to practice, so maybe it’s time for a change.
Shows like HBO’s “Big Love” have introduced the idea of polygamy to American society, but will the notion ever really be accepted? I seriously doubt it. Being one of many wives, I would imagine, requires extreme humility, tolerance and a willingness to wholeheartedly submit to someone who is not totally and completely commited to you. The haughtiness and egotistical nature of the average American male and female would not allow either to participate in a situation where they are not the center of their partner’s attention, and the main object of their affection. What if the husband has a favorite, and you’re not it? Could this lead to extended absence in one household as opposed to another, resulting in some children having less opportunity to bond with their fathers than their siblings?
I can’t even bring myself to watch “Big Love” for fear that I might be sold on the idea of polygamy. I don’t even want to put that in my spirit because, although it doesn’t appear morally wrong on its face, I just can’t. Could polygamy also cause further confusion in a society that holds such conservative views on marriage, and the nuclear family? Do the positive effects of polygamy outweigh the negative? Probably not. But, it does seem that our society could be headed in this direction with more and more couples openly admitting that they are or have been involved in polyamorous relationships. I was floored when I heard that legends, Ruby Dee and Ozzie Davis had an open marriage. It’s like finding out YOUR grandparents were swingers. #Idontwannaknow