Polygamy is a Splendid Idea!

th-7We’ve had this theory for a while now, my friend Jo and I. It’s come up in discussion sporadically over the last few years, and again today after the Dominion Post delivered yet another article about a supposed ‘man drought’ in New Zealand, particularly where I live on the Kapiti Coast.

First of all I’d like to establish that I don’t ‘need’ a man: I own my home and car, have a profession, have already reproduced, and am quite happy on my own or spending time with good friends. However, I do ‘want’ a man – someone to love and who loves me – someone to push away the loneliness of being solo. Very simple really. But according to the Dom Post this morning, I’m unlikely to find him here.

The stats say that where I live there are only 82 men for every 100 women. Two friends sent the link to the article directly to me (one of them was Jo) and it was also shared on dreaded/addictive Facebook, where  someone  joked that polygamy may be the solution.

Which brings me back to our sporadic discussion: Jo and I already think polygamy is a splendid idea. Neither of us have ever done anything about it in practice; it’s only a theoretical discussion at the moment. She’s in a monogamous relationship and I’m celibately single, but we can’t help but think polygamy is the natural order of things if you look at it with a clear mind.

I’m NOT talking about sex here. I’m not getting into porno threesome territory, as that’s not what it’s about. When we talk about polygamy as a real lifestyle choice, we’re talking about the ideal domestic set-up. We’re talking about natural human behaviour. th-6

From my own experience, I can say that bringing up my kids alone has been hard. Even when I was with their dad, I did a bulk of the child rearing and gave up my career and much of my social life to do so. That was my decision, and I’m not complaining, but there could have been an alternative: polygamy. For me and Jo, it would simply mean another woman in the house. Shared housework, shared cooking, shared child-rearing. Mr Man can go to work or help out at home if he wants to – I’m not assigning gender specific roles here. My argument is that we would all have more options and better choices in how we contribute usefully to a household, and life would be a lot easier and happier as a result. Think about it: less stress, less work, less financial pressure as more adults could be earning a wage, while all the kids are being nurtured in the ideal setting, which is home. More hands, more sharing of responsibility, more joy in parenting rather than the hard slog it often seems.

I am rubbish at housework – I just don’t see it and hate doing it. However, I am great with kids, and I love interacting in a place of work. Jo is very practical and is fantastic around the home, and is also great with kids. She would love to stay at home rather than work. Brilliant! Add a man into the mix with his support and his … er …. his …. whatever it is a man has to offer, or wants to offer to the household, and it gets even better. (Still not talking about sex).

Again, I’m being flippant, a bad habit. A husband would have loads to offer me of course, but so would a wife. I’d get my freedom back. I could do a job of work. I could not be so goddam tired all the time.

This is a quote from Psychology Today’s blog from 2011 written by Michael Price PhD: ‘When polygamous marriages occur in premodern societies, they are overwhelmingly likely to involve polygyny (one husband, multiple wives) as opposed to polyandry (one wife, multiple husbands). Overall, of the 1,231 cultures in the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, 84.6 percent are classified as polygynous, 15.1 percent as monogamous, and 0.3 percent as polyandrous.’

If polygamy wasn’t a ‘natural’ state for both men and women, it simply wouldn’t be happening on this scale, would it? There’s obvious psychological and sociological reasons for this given in the source and in plenty of other sites on the subject. I won’t go into them (boring), but it’s all there: Google it.

Okay, okay – now it’s time to talk about sex. In my humble opinion, the male sex instinct is arguably the most obviously polygamous. This isn’t the case for all men I’m sure, but even after twenty-plus years of being involved with men, I find the lengths some of them go to just to have sex simply astonishing. I remember one time, many years ago now, when three married men in as many weeks made sexual advances toward me. I knocked all of them back, but I felt that marriage was a joke for a long time afterwards. Wouldn’t polygamy provide an outlet for this aspect of the male sex drive? One that has boundaries and kindness, even serves the greater good of his family rather than destroys it? th-5

In the society in which I live, the idea of a polygamous relationship in whatever form it wishes to take is scandalous and unacceptable. Why? Who says? Not the Bible – it’s full of it. Not the Koran either I’m led to believe. So who messed up the ‘natural order’? I don’t care enough to find out – but the rebel in me resents being dictated to by it. So what’s the reason I’m not in a polygamous relationship right now?

Why am I holding out for one good man to realise that I’m the one for him, rather than a couple? (And having some fun in the process of course).

I guess it must be plain, old-fashioned sexual jealousy.

I just don’t think I could sit and watch a man I loved, and was intimate with, love and be intimate with another woman – even a best mate like Jo. It would drive me mad with jealousy. You see, I’m fundamentally a one-man woman, and I expect the same respect from a man.

Oh, sorry, I’m the one messing up the natural order of things then. Maybe sexual jealousy is just social-conditioning, or maybe it’s human nature too? I don’t know. But, whatever the crux of my own annoying instinct to be monogamous is, it doesn’t change the fact that polygamy is certainly a splendid idea.

20 thoughts on “Polygamy is a Splendid Idea!

  1. This is interesting, it reads like what you really want is a ‘1950s wife’ , you hate housework and you want someone else to do it.

    This is, of course, what everyone wants, and why as soon as they can afford it, even people who don’t mind dusting get a cleaner.

    I’m being flip, too, obviously.

    I’m a very involved Dad, though estranged. Though not in a relationship, when my daughter was born, her mum moved into my (two bedroom) flat. The cot was in my room, and, as soon as milk was expressable, I did every night feed, I was at work all day and at school in the evening, those night feed/change sessions were my bonding time.

    All that to say that despite me being involved and active, her mum still felt alone and stressed (she was at home alone with baby all day). Another body, in the house would have alleviated that, even if there were more kids around, two heads, and all that.

    I don’t know about polygamy, if there are three adults who like each other enough to live together and have children, there will be set and jealousy, maybe that is always the price, and it was a factor in the relationships long ago too, they just weren’t brought up to think they should always be happy like we are. Even two generations ago people stayed together for the kids, and built lives around the notion of family, rather than personal happiness, you’d made a commitment, and you stuck to it, (I’m not talking about women staying in abusive relationships, of course, just those where they drift apart), you weren’t happy in every aspect of your life so you concentrated on the parts you were, kids/the house, kids/work.

    As ever the solution can be found in TV sitcoms… Do you remember Kate & Allie? Two single moms who lived together platonically, a sort of 90s Brady Bunch. I have a few single mother friends, and I can’t think of one who’s life wouldn’t be easier if they didn’t co-habit in this way, bringing up kids is easier with two, it just is. There would be compromises, of course (some, if Kate & Allie are to be believed, with hilarious consequences…) but with the right living space and people it could work really well.

    Maybe you and Jo shouldn’t go man-hunting, you should go house hunting?

  2. Vern – I’m such a people-pleaser, I usually end up being the 1950’s housewife! The nano-second that I’m earning good money again, I’m getting a cleaner, that’s for sure.

    So many couples struggle with raising a family, it doesn’t seem right does it? And you’re right about commitment – I would love to be able to give my younger self a good talking to about that. We’re so spoilt and selfish nowadays; we want it all and we want it now. It increasingly feels like people and families are becoming more and more disposable as I watch friends hook-up, have kids, and move on. It’s not good. I wonder what the fall out will be when these kids are raising their own children in 10-20 years time. My own included.

    I love the idea that life’s solutions can be found in TV sitcoms. The way I bimble through life with my head in the clouds, I feel like my life is one long episode of ‘Some Mothers do have ‘Em’ most days. So, really I don’t need a 1950’s wife, but I could do with a Betty.

  3. I completely agree that in theory, polygamy is a great idea. But envy seems to be such an innate part of our make-up that I’ve often thought it exists because evolution might favour monogamous relationships for whatever reason (which doesn’t really make sense, but there has to be a reason for our jealous predispositions). Possessiveness is an animalistic instinct and I am certainly (in a non-psychotic way) possessive over my boyfriend. There is no way I could let another woman into the house and I think many women world feel the same.
    Thanks for finding me so that I could read this, it’s very interesting!

    • Me too – I’d be way too possessive. Or would I? Maybe I could share? Either way, for me it is just a ‘good idea’. I’m not sure I could work it in reality. And what would it teach my daughters about healthy relationships? Nah – best left to theory.
      I’m really enjoying catching up with your blog, by the way. You’ve a strong voice and there’s an intelligence to your writing that is really compelling. It’s a very good blog.

      • Thanks for that lovely comment! I could be a lot more dedicated to my blog so I often feel like my writing is disorganised and lacks coherence but that was a lovely comment.
        This post was brilliant and exactly the type of thing I’m interested in so I’m going to have a nice perusal of your blog when I return from work 🙂

  4. I was thinking about the same, recently, but not necessarily about having a single person of one gender or multiple of other – it could be 2 and 2, for example (with, say, monogamous relationship within each couple). But then I realized that people used to do that all the time in the past, when a married son/daughter lived with his/her parents. 🙂

  5. I should think an attractive lady such as yourself would not have to resort to polygamy…not that I am ruling that out, it has it benefits of course. My advice would be to move. Love your text!

  6. I cannot agree with you enough on the difficulty of raising children alone. One of my children once created an ad for “A second adult,” so that I could play freely with her in the ocean, instead of keeping the younger from drowning. The jealousy factor has also been a subject I’ve been ruminating about for years. Maybe if you just turn a blind eye, and not watch him in the act, or see her…I can make a good argument for how I can love more than one man at the same time (though not in the same room at the same moment), so it clearly is not just a guy thing. However, besides the jealousy, there is an integrity factor as well. Love is so much larger than sex. It’s good to know others are considering and thinking about this, even if you don’t have “the answer.” Great post! I look forward to checking out your others.

    • Hey – thanks for the comment and your thoughts. I definitely don’t have the answers when it comes to relationships! Who knows? -Maybe I could make it work – people do. Maybe with the right man at the right time? He would have to be very considerate.

  7. Loved your thoughts here. I think any time you complicate a relationship by bringing more people into it, it takes another step up in emotional and mental maturity, not to mention time management and adapting to another factor in everything from holidays to dinner times. I do think a lot of homes would run smoother if we could get away from the idea that home life should include a man, woman and their direct off spring. I know after university I went back to my parents’ house and helped out for half a year, to give my mother a break. She didn’t want me to leave when the time came!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment on it. Maturity would be key, wouldn’t it. As I’ve said in answers above, I think any man who took on two women or more would have to be very considerate. Well done you for helping your mum out – I know I shall be there for my daughters when they have kids. It’s too hard to do it alone; even too hard with two of you.

  8. Very interesting and enjoyable post! I often wonder how polygamists can endure. I think that the initial focus is on the positive – the housework, the yard work, the child rearing and all of the help that would be available. Then I think of the bad times and wonder how having two wives, or husbands, may make bumps in the road more like earthquakes. Monogamy has its challenges, but I’d hazard a guess and say that managing one personality at a time has its rewards.

    Rob

    • That’s a good point – I guess people in polygamous relationships do have to work harder to keep the peace in a home. That’s challenging just with two. I think that monogamy is the way forward for me too. My best solution would probably be a good nanny. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on my blog. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far. I’m fairly new to blogging and didn’t expect anyone to read my silly ramblings. I’m looking forward to have a good look around your blog later. Have a great day, Rob 🙂

  9. Hi,

    What a great post! Polygamy actually is extremely beneficial for women. Large-scale of Men in monogamous relations today are polygamous temporarily at various stages of their lives until they are caught. By being in an open polygamous relationship they are bound to provide and hence they can’t easily abuse women emotionally or otherwise. Women get protection, legal status and don’t need to destroy the other existing family to sustain the relation. If a man is forced to break one family in order to establish another, it has great repercussions for children, women and society. He might have to do it a few times in life thereby leaving several kids and women to fend for themselves. Women can move on and get into relations with other men but men find it hard to accept and rear others kids. So wasn’t it more mature decision to keep the family in first place? And accept another woman? Why does it have to take men to break several women and homes to achieve this natural order? To avoid jealousy, women can be in separate homes, yet have their work shared and get flexibility. Just like we work with many subordinates under same manager so can we work as team for greater goals under one man. Checking at the divorce rates of today, how many so called monogamous marriages last? And they mostly break when men are caught! So why not live in peace knowing he has someone else and the relations are open but controlled rather than continuous suspicion.
    Will add more later…. Thanks J.

    • Hey J – thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this. It really has got people talking. Most seem to think it’s a good idea too. At the moment I’d just like to find one nice man to settle down with. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on keeping on.

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