Many people believe that you are meant to be with one person for the rest of your life, That’s the commitment you make when you marry someone, or at least that’s what it’s supposed to mean. Some people believe that you have the right or the obligation to marry more than one person, such as Mormons, Muslims, and Hindus. This lifestyle practice is called polygamy. Although there are some benefits to polygamy, the consequences and negative effects outweigh them.
There are three different types of polygamy: polygyny, polyandry, and group marriage. Polygyny is when a man marries more than one woman, and polyandry is when a woman marries more than one man. Group marriage is when there are multiple wives and husbands. Polygyny is the most common type of polygamy. This belief and lifestyle has been around for centuries. In fact, it is seen throughout the bible with King Solomon, King David, and others. Despite its history, it is now illegal in the United States.
Arguably, a benefit to polygamy is that if you love more than one person, you don’t have to choose because you can have them all. This is true, but there could be a consequence to that. In some cases, everyone within a polygamous relationship is happy, but there are also cases of some of the people within that relationship who are not happy. Some people do not like to share their spouse with other people. Not only do these people feel it’s unfair, they also feel emotional turmoil such as depression, jealousy, and insecurity. A woman named Marion Munn left a polygamous marriage and said, “It is like living with adultery on a daily basis and having the woman come home.” Cheating is considered morally wrong, so how could a polygamous marriage be considered morally right?
It is often said that the more parental guidance a child receives, the more righteous and kind the child becomes. One could argue that this is a good reason for a child to be raised by multiple women or men as parents; however, this could cause family conflicts dealing with internal power and familial relationships. For example, if a child gets in trouble, the biological mother could have a different idea of how to handle the situation than one of the other mothers which results in a conflict between the two. Another example could be if a child grew a stronger bond with another mother and not their biological mother. The biological mother could take offense and get into a conflict with that other mother.
In some cases, one or more of the wives or husbands could have to live somewhere else and not with the one wife or husband that has the main role in the polygamous relationship. Their children are then split up and don’t feel as loved as they should because they don’t see that one mother or father as often as they feel they should. They grow insecure because they grew up learning they weren’t always enough for that one parent. It’s important for children to grow up with their parents. Divorce and single parenting cause hate, depression, and other negative emotions in children.
Statistics have shown that most children within a polygamous lifestyle have emotional issues. For example, guys grow up with problems with authority from having one main parent in the marriage, and the girls have problems with self-esteem, especially if the polygamous relationship is polygyny. The girls grow up seeing that one girl cannot provide everything a man wants and that they themselves will not be enough for a man. Both the boy and girl children have to grow up with bullying because polygamy is not socially accepted, and well, children and adolescents can make fun of everyone about anything.
Mostly, polygamous relationships are not accepted in society because it’s programmed into people that everyone is meant to be with one person. Being with one person has more beneficial effects than being with multiple people. For example, everyone within the relationship feels more wanted and loved and their needs are met more. It’s seen as immoral to a majority of people to be unfaithful in a relationship, let alone a marriage, so most people do not socially accept polygamous relationships.
From a religious stand point, Christians and Catholics are taught and raised that you are meant to be with one person. Christianity and Catholicism contain the beliefs that you find one person that you love and that you spend the rest of your life with them. Mormons, Muslims, and Hindus all practice polygamous lifestyles because they are forced to. It is a part of their beliefs to be in polygamous relationships, therefore they are pushed into them. Many polygamous marriages are arranged so that the parents know that their child will be in good hands and will be financially stable, but that’s not always the case. Also, these parents don’t really take into account whether their child will be happy in that relationship.
In conclusion, polygamous lifestyles negatively affect the people involved. It might not affect the people within the polygamous relationship that way, but it can affect the children. Emotional turmoil and power struggles can become an issue for the spouses and children. People involved in polygamous lifestyles are usually social outcasts. They aren’t socially accepted because of their beliefs, and with the statistics and negative effects behind that lifestyle gives me a reason to not accept it either.