The Polygamy Era Is Upon Us
Photo by Deon Black / Unsplash

The Polygamy Era Is Upon Us

The percentage of young people who find polygamy morally acceptable has risen from 9% to 34% from 2003–2006 to 2018–2020, significantly more than the increase among older Americans

We’re officially in an age in which monogamous relationships are becoming less popular.

Perhaps this is partially because so many of us have failed at loved and cheated or been cheated on that we’ve finally decided to throw away old ideals.

Indeed, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should already realize that although popular in America, monogamy is not the default in many other cultures and countries.

Alternatively, this cultural shift also seems to be fueled by the fact that our country has begun embracing alternative lifestyles, which has prompted many people to think more deeply about who and what they want to form a romantic relationship.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by, the percentage of young people who find polygamy morally acceptable has risen from 9% to 34% from 2003–2006 to 2018–2020, significantly more than the increase among older Americans.

But that only applies to those who are willing to enter into those agreements. Let’s discuss the concept of coerced polygamy and why I think many women need to be more honest with themselves moving forward.

What is coerced polygamy?

As a sociologist, I pay close attention to societal trends and how they come to pass. When it comes to romantic relationships, society tells women that they must have self-control while also asserting that women will only get a man who can “keep it in his pants” if they’re lucky.

Indeed, for many years, women and girls have been targeted with biased propaganda that tells them men are naturally sexual beings while women are natural nurturers who should only crave sex from one man indefinitely.

Generally speaking, women are told that men cheat because they are being nagged, because they no longer find them attractive, because they have kinks their wives/girlfriends aren’t fulfilling, etc.

Typically, the onus for men cheating is placed on women. Rarely do we actually hear the truth about why men or any person cheats: they choose to.

So, when a man is caught cheating, the woman often goes inward to figure out what she is or isn’t doing that drove him to cheat.

In the case of serial cheaters, which seems to be most cheaters in general, women who choose to remain in those situations generally have one of three outcomes:

  • 1) They internalize their partner’s indiscretions until the point they have little to no self-esteem left. So, although they pray for the day their man stops cheating, they also wish they could only live up to their expectations so they no longer have to.
  • 2) On the other hand, they can become apathetic to the relationship as a whole, stop having sex with him, and continue silently agreeing to allow them to cheat as long as they continue to take care of them. These women often start affairs of their own.
  • 3) Kick and scream about every little thing the man does: break up his belongings, go through his phone, fight the women he’s involved with, etc.

No matter which one of these outcomes a woman chooses, none of them are conducive to polygamy. In each of these cases, the women desperately want to keep their men to themselves.

Related: Did You Actually Think that Polyamorous Relationship Would Work?

However, they begin to feel powerless with every indiscretion and eventually grow to accept that some level of infidelity will always be present in the relationship.

Nevertheless, at some point, some women resolve to allow an “open relationship” even though it’s often only open on one side, which is essentially polygamy.

Some women start to believe that all men cheat anyway, and it’s better to know what’s going on than to be left in the dark. This gives the women the illusion of having some control over the relationship, which is a sizable consolation prize to women who were made to feel powerless for months or years at a time.

In-house saboteurs

At any rate, of course, such women don’t want to see their men happy with other women. So, although they agree to participate in polygamy, they secretly try to sabotage the relationships at every turn.

For instance, they may agree to allow the man to date, but only if they approve of the woman. They will then pick apart every last woman who tries to enter the relationship to run the women off, hoping that one day their man will simply get tired of looking for new mates.

Unfortunately, the truth is often true, and the men continue to look until the woman becomes tired of fighting or just leaves the relationship altogether.

Be realistic

I know that I spent considerable time exposing how women are coerced into these relationships, but the bottom line is that all men and women need to be more honest and realistic about what they want from relationships.

On the one hand, if you enter into a relationship under the guise of monogamy, understand that your partner will probably expect things to stay that way forever.

Sure, some women are actually OK with polygamy, and some even suggest it, but these women are often polyamorous themselves or women who grew up in polygamist households.

So, if you’re thinking of “living the dream” and turning your relationship into a polygamist one, you’re better off exiting your present relationship by finding someone who is polyamorous or grew up in a culture or household that embraced polygamy.

Related: I'm a Polyamorous Black Man Dating Eight Women. I See How That's a Massive Mistake

Otherwise, you will also be relatively miserable as you are forced to referee and run damage control to prevent your mate from chasing away all your potential partners.

Also, it is partially up to you to decide when it’s time to part ways. If your partner is miserably complying with your demands for polygamy, it may be time to stop dating others or set her free so you can both have your needs met. It’s not good enough to ask her why she stayed because why did you?

On the other hand, for women, if you are jealous when your man pays other women attention, polygamy is likely not for you. What will happen is that you will compromise everything about yourself to accommodate a man who doesn’t care about your feelings anyhow.

Once this all dawns on you, you are likely to become bitter or ashamed that you allowed yourself to be treated in such a manner and put your foot down or exit the relationship.

However, you will already have wasted months or years of your life living in a way that made you feel physically nauseous, all because you were afraid of losing your man (the man who clearly doesn’t want a monogamous relationship anyhow) to someone else.

Remember: It’s not cheating if you know about it. So throwing tantrums when your man expresses interest in other women is about as senseless as agreeing to polygamy, knowing that you are starkly against it from the very beginning.

Given this growing trend, I wanted to introduce this topic in hopes of sparking candid conversations about relationships, monogamy, and how to move forward in the healthiest way.

The purpose of polygamy is to build an interdependent community where the wives and children are well taken care of and abundantly supported. In the absence of these elements, it is merely an agreement allowing the man to have sexual experiences with women who are not his main partner.

Either is fine. However, it’s important to call it what it is and be open and honest with yourself about why you’re agreeing to it. Otherwise, you may grow to resent your mate and yourself for what you’ve gone through while struggling to accommodate your man’s requests.

This can be especially damaging when children are involved and allowed to meet and bond with the new partners.

Indeed, it’s fine to create any type of relationship you want as long as you aren’t hurting others. However, you should also make sure you aren’t hurting yourself in the process.

This post originally appeared on Medium and is edited and republished with author's permission. 

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