The Problem with Polygamy

I was flipping through the channels one night last week, and happened upon the latest in reality television programming -- Sister Wives.

This show is all about the life inherent drama associated with three (or is it four) women, all living with one man. According to the man, it was not his idea to enter into this lifestyle but his wives's.

On the surface, this might seem like a great gig for the man. But, upon further investigation, I've found some issues with this lifestyle.

First off, I noticed that this family was not swimming in money. They live a rather impoverished life, make their own clothes. I don't think any of the women worked but said they were happy taking care of their multiple children. I can tell you right now, that would never fly in my household!

And then there is the thought of the man's, and women's, marital relations. From the man's point of view I can tell you this. Fantasizing about multiple partners, even if not at the same time, is one thing. But, actually performing these duties over and over with multiple wives makes me believe that quality might give way to quantity. I don't know, maybe it's just me. But I would rather give quality over quantity.

It also seems to me that this situation is skewed toward men. I can understand, from a evolutionary standpoint, why men desire this type of lifestyle. Back when we struggled to populate the world and mortality rates were high, it was advantageous to cultivate far and wide. Plus, this goes a long way in explaining how men became hunter/gatherers. I can imagine maintaining a relationship with a whole harem of women when relatives visited. You know, relatives like Aunt Flo.

It's no wonder men in this situation would leave for weeks at a time in search of "food." yeah, right. I imagine those hunting parties just leaving the family domicile and hanging out on the other side of the mountain with all the other men in commiseration.

And lastly, the one thing I don't understand is that no one ever really talks about a polygamist relationship with one woman and many men. This is proof-positive that women are somehow further along on the evolutionary path then men. Women have developed the intelligence to weigh the good and the bad with this type of relationship and have decided to forgo this for the standard monogamous model. Men, on the other hand, still fantasize about gathering their own little harem to meet their immediate and ongoing sexual (and other) needs. Unfortunately men have not reached that point in their evolutionary process that enables them to think ahead to that time when they must support their harem both emotionally and financially.


  1. You're dead-on accurate with your assessment! Yes, we do fantasize. However, in practice - not a chance! I keep one woman happy - that's already as much as I can handle.

  2. I could never do this lifestyle. I couldn't be around that many hormonal women at one time and stay sane... never mind that many kids. It's an interesting look at the issue.


  3. Love it James! I wouldn't like all the other women getting the attention and sharing my husband.... But how can they ALL be so dang happy?

  4. The newest craze is the Open-Marriage concept. Like your living/dining/kitchen floorplan this involves no closed doors. The partners are free to have encounters outside of the marriage.

    It's ridiculous, but a way society is having harems without the tv cameras and gossip. And those couples say they are happy too.

    I could never do either of these relationship models. I am happily married, raising two healthy kids. Having studied love and marriage and sex and the Bible on my own, I've learned that harems back in King Solomon's time were binding marriages. Once the young virgin was his, he was forever in charge of paying for her. The harem ladies lived at the palace, but there were only a few he raised in status to 'regulars' and a Queen was the one he liked best. I guess being Queen and having all other ladies around would have been like having an open marriage.

    The question remains though, are they really happy?

  5. Thanks for the wonderful comments. I know this reality show has been on television for awhile but what I can't understand is why it is doing so well in the ratings. I mean, it must be doing good, it's still on.

    I agree that I could never actually take part in a relationship or lifestyle like this. The thought of living like this for one night, or just a couple hours, while great to fantasize about, does not even seem that appealing when I think about it.

  6. Personally, I don't think humans were meant to mate forever. Its just to much work. Deal with one for a time limit, then feel free to move on.

    But one at a time - dang. I have boy children, and am looking forward to them all moving out someday. I can't imagine more than one man's ego in the house to have to cater to.

    And living with another woman in my house, sharing my man, nah that wouldn't set right with me. Wait till I'm done with him, then you can have your share :)



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