The subjects of what is a sister wife and polygamy arenít really diner table topics for most people. But that usually is because most people shy away from subjects like these on account that they do not have a very clear image of what they refer to. Being involved in a nonconventional lifestyle, and in a polyamorous relationship, isnít anything new. It might be strange for some, but it surely isnít a new concept. Understanding what those people might be like and why they choose to live the way they do isnít hard, especially if you have a curious mind and want to broaden your horizon.†
What Is Polygamy?
Most people are afraid of what they do not know. They are comfortable in their own way of life and like things to be done in a certain way. When they are confronted with different opinions then theirs they tend to act nervous and their first instinct is to reject any new possibility other than what they know already. This is also the case with alternative lifestyles. For decades, polyamory, swinging and other ways of conducting intimate relations other than traditional monogamy, have been looked upon with suspicion, disapproval and even fear. But that doesnít have to be like that.†
Polygamy, for instance, is an alternative lifestyle that hinges on the concept that men and women can have multiple partners with which they enter into marital relations. There are even different words for when a woman has multiple husbands and vice versa. If a woman is wife to several men that is called polyandry. If a man has several wives than it is called polygyny. Thereís even a term for when several couples enter into a relationship with each other. It is called a group marriage.†
The subject is still taboo to most people outside of the polyamorous community, with few mainstream outlets such as various TV shows and reality shows. The best example of somewhat widely accepted form of this lifestyle is the Mormon way. Using a religious argument, both men and women in the Mormon faith can take several spouses, in order to ensure a happy afterlife and the growth of the Mormon population. Although the practice itself has long been revoked by the Mormon Church, several fundamentalist groups still practice multiple marriages, or ďsealingĒ as it is known among church members.†
Examples of Polygamy from Around the World
The Church of Latter-Day Saints isnít the only example of multiple marriages taking place in a certain religious or ethnic group. The idea of a man, usually, having more than one wife is a very old one and stretches back to the Old World. For instance, in the Muslim culture, men are encouraged to take as many wives as they can provide for. The more wives a man has, the higher his status among his community. Although multiple marriages arenít quite as frequent in fundamental Muslim countries as it used to be, there are still very powerful and rich businessmen that take more than one wife.†
In Japanese culture a form of multiple marriage existed as well. Although there the arguments were more of a royal bloodline nature than of religious one, the emperor would be allowed to take more than one wife in order to ensure the continuation of the dynasty. Granted that, just as in Muslim culture the first wife had a very strong say it who the next one could be, multiple marriages were very popular and even other forms of polyamory.†
Although it was more of a physiological necessity than a matter of belief, prisoners deported to Australia, back when it was a penal colony, were sometimes allowed to take wives although they were already married back in Britain. The idea was that being sent to Australia was equal to being sent to life in prison. As the Anglican Church didnít allow divorces unless both spouses were present, the inmates sent to the new continent were still legally married back home. But the Anglican church did allow for remarriage, if one of the spouses died. So, using this logic, and being considered as good as dead for everyone back home, inmates could take new wives from their ranks.†
What Is a Sister Wife?
When the term sister wife gets brought up, a lot of people imagine endless debates about blood relatives and incest. There is nothing further from the truth than that. The term merely refers to a person that is both a wife to a man that is already married and a sister to the woman he is married already. There is nothing sordid about the entire affair. They are just three consenting adults that choose to live in a manner that might be difficult to accept by others, but which makes perfect sense to them.†
The importance of such a relationship is the open mindedness of the people involved and the communication between them. Although most people outside the relationship might see it as difficult and somewhat troublesome to make work, for the people involved there is nothing more normal. All of the people involved understand that this is what they want and choose to do the best out of this situation.†
Basically, any woman can be a sister wife. All she has to do is be open to the idea and understand what it entails. In some cases, when the people involved choose to take things even further, they will have a baby. The baby thus born will usually be raised by all the partners, regardless who gave birth to it.†
The Benefits of Being a Sister Wife
Although some people might argue that sharing your husband and even marital bed at some times can be unnatural or even weird, there are those that have experienced the feeling of being part of a polyamorous relationship and understand what the benefits are in such a situation. First of all, there is the chance of engaging in sexual relations with multiple partners, without having to be afraid of cheating or violating the otherís partner trust. Granted, a sister wife might get jealous at times, but in all due fairness every family has some disputes from time to time.†
Another great advantage of being a sister wife is the fact that you can count on more people in your time of need. The basis of any relationship is communication, and having more people around you to help you out or even just listen to you when you are feeling down, counts as a big plus. Also, this type of relationship is ideal for people that want a bigger family. Some adjustments might have to be made along the way, but the important thing is to keep an open mind and to be able to talk, about any problems that might come along, with your partners.† †