I’m sure you have watched TLC, checked out Sister Wives, or at least heard of it. You know Cody and his four wives that try to make polygamy sound like it’s this wholesome lifestyle that is normal and all that jazz? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. They have roughly 3474923 kids and four houses on one cul-de-sac, but they seem to make it work, even though they only have one husband to share. Yeah, they have their…different…ways about them, but deep down their lives really aren’t all that different than ours—other than their love lives.
If you had the opportunity to sit down with a polygamist, what questions would you ask them? Come on, you know you’ve thought about this before. Would you ask them about their kids, about jealousy issues, or about their dating lives? What do you think the answers would be? Believe it or not, these people might be more normal than you would expect them to be, since truth be told, they are just trying to get through their day just like you are. Here are some of the questions we would ask a polygamist if we had the opportunity to sit down with them.
15 Did you grow up as a polygamist?
Many times, polygamists grew up around polygamy. Makes sense, right? How else would they get exposed to this lifestyle other than seeing it up close and personal. How else would a person become a part of this lifestyle? Well, believe it or not, it’s more of a religious choice more than anything. Many people are afraid to dive into this lifestyle due to the social stigmas it brings so they shy away. If people do become involved it’s usually through a religious outlet.
Sure there maybe some outliers that don’t follow this mantra and they simply believe in the lifestyle too. Think about it though, this lifestyle isn’t wildly accepted in the United States, so although you might love the way of it there are struggles you are taking on along with it. Therefore growing up around it makes more sense.
14 How does dating work?
I’d imagine this whole situation would be kind of awkward. Think about it, not only do you have to clear this through all of your already existing lovers, but you actually have to find someone that is into this lifestyle to begin with. What an ordeal! How do you even begin to find someone that is cool with being a third or fourth wife? Is there a preference for being a first wife versus a fourth wife? Do your other partners have to approve them? Now I’m just running down a rabbit hole of questions.
I’d imagine you’d have to cover off on all of your partners and clear up all the questions this new person might have. Plus, what if they have anyone they are dating? You need to know about that too, right? Oh, the issues here.
13 Do you love one man/woman more than the others?
This has got to be a tricky one because I’m sure you have love for all of them, but you’ve got to be lying when you say there isn’t a clear cut winner for your affection. It’s human nature to put a single person on a pedestal and be endlessly in love with them…for a while anyway. But to be in lust with other people adds up, this whole situation goes against everything we know as human beings.
Think about it, are you wanting to spend more time with one of your significants than the others? It probably means that you are into him or her more than the rest. You might even treat this person differently than everyone else. Maybe you treat one of your significants like a business partner, another like you both make the household work, and one you are more romantic with. Makes sense.
12 Are all the members dating each other too, technically?
I’m not sure if this is a love fest like something straight out of the 1960s or not, but I think the whole point of polygamy is that they are all dating one person, but not each other. Everyone else becomes a sister wife so to speak. Believe it or not, the people in these relationships are usually pretty conservative people because their religion is. Are there deviations from that? Probably. I’m sure there are people that go against the religious creed.
I think the main thing about these relationships are that they just like to live their own lives without judgment just like everyone else. Even if they are all dating each other, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone what does it matter? Let them live their lives and do their thing.
11 How do you break up with one of your significants?
Does there have to be a major meeting involved between all of the signficants in order for this decision to happen? What if no one else agrees with your decision? This is probably another one of those tricky things that depends on the dynamics of the relationship. If you want to break it off with someone, I’d imagine it would work similarly to a monogamous relationship—you just break it off.
This issue here is, does everyone else break it off with them too? It would be pretty awkward if you broke it off with someone but the rest of your significants were still hanging around them. Regardless, this has to be one of those case by case scenarios because I’m sure this situation isn’t a one size fits all kind of deal.
10 How do you spend your time equally with everyone?
Okay, you aren’t a magician so it is physically impossible to spend the exact same amount of time with everyone unless you are really keeping some serious notes, and how unromantic is that? Yeah, you can do the whole Monday, Wednesday thing with one person and Tuesday, Thursday with someone else but it would just feel so forced to do the “this is our day” thing.
I think this is also how a lot of jealousy would come to be as well. Imagine if someone gets more holidays than someone else. Do you switch the days around to keep the holidays equal too? It just seems like a ton of work to keep everybody happy, and the more people involved the more work there is to combat. It’s a major battle to combat.
9 Are there jealousy issues?
Come on now, there have to be issues when you throw more than two members of the same gender together in a romantic situation when they are fighting over the same person. It’s natural that there are going to be some problems here. Would you want to share your partner with someone else…or even multiple people? This is their norm, sure, but it has to get old when you just want to spend time with your guy or girl and someone else is with them. What if you’re having a bad day and you have to handle it sans partner? That sucks.
The answer is likely that there are issues here, there has to be. Every relationship has their drama, but this has to be magnified because there are more people involved, am I right?
8 Does everyone look at you weirdly?
You’d be a liar if you said they didn’t. Come on now, this isn’t a lifestyle that the people of North America take to kindly. There is a lot of judgment that goes along with this lifestyle mostly because people don’t understand how these people live or what their morals are. Yeah, it’s a different lifestyle, but you have to understand that they are people too and they are just trying to get through their day just like you are. Although you might not agree with them doesn’t make them horrid people.
This brings up another point, yes, there are some cult activities behind some polygamists. However, these people mostly keep to themselves and don’t go out of there way to involve themselves with people outside of their “social circle.” It’s not a good situation, but we can only hope the authorities get a handle on these poly lovers.
7 How do the kids know who their mother or father is?
If there are multiple men or women around, how do the kids know who their actual birth parents are? I imagine in some relationships you would tell the kids up front who their parents are, but what about the relationships that want everyone to be equal and consider everyone their parent? Seems like an odd situation, but hey, who am I to judge anyone? Perhaps someone takes on the role of a caregiver and takes care of the kids while everyone else is out working, that could also make sense when you think about it.
All and all that situation would be kind of sad that if you don’t know who your parent is. You just hope that these relationships are at the very least telling these kids who their birth parents are even if they still consider the other people involved “parents.”
6 Do you look at people with one spouse oddly?
Well, in all reality it is a very different lifestyle than your own, but I doubt that you’re looking at people with one spouse with a raised eyebrow because you don’t want to receive that sort of judgment to begin with. In all reality, these relationships are trying to keep themselves out of the limelight (for the most part...TLC) and they don’t want to draw any negative attention to themselves. They know they are already fighting an uphill battle and they don’t want to make it any more difficult than it already is.
Judging others in a monogamous relationship would only bring them ridicule from many other sources, and that is the last thing they want to be dealing with. I imagine they are just living their lives and letting others live theirs too.
5 How do you know if you want to have kids with someone but not with others?
This is a natural feeling, you know if you want to have kids with someone, but the issue is if you don’t want to have kids with the others…how do you explain it? It boils down to being in love with someone more than someone else. If you love someone, you want to have kids with them, if you are in lust with them you don’t. It’s hard to keep everyone happy in all reality, but you don’t want to have kids with people when you don’t want to.
Also, this goes back to the religion thing, some religions believe that you should have as many kids as possible with as many people as possible, and that’s part of the reason why they marry as many people as they do.
4 Who do you live with?
Yeah sure you can trade off nights, but you have to have a home base, and how do you determine where that home base is? Maybe you have your own place that you live in where you stay when you aren’t staying with someone else. It kind of sounds lonely to have your own home, but that might be the only fair plan to have if you are balancing so many people. Maybe you stay with your first wife or husband’s place because they were the first ones to step into your life. Maybe you live out of a suitcase.
What is the most fair way to go about this? There might not be a super fair or great way to determine this. Again, it is one of those case by case situations because one solution might not work for another relationship.
3 How many significants is too many?
Many would say that one is just fine when it comes to partners, but some obviously do not agree, but how many is too many? If you have seven partners that is one partner for every day of the week. Could you imagine switching off every single day of the week just to see every single one of them? That is a full time job in itself! There are some relationships that have three, four, or even thirty plus people in their relationship. How the heck do they make it work?
I guess everyone has their own method to their madness and although some of these relationships aren’t always the best examples to choose from, some of these people are just normal people trying to live a (somewhat) normal life.
2 What if your significants don’t like each other?
I would think that this would be a pretty major problem since you all spend so much time together. Even if they aren’t dating each other, it really helps if everyone is getting along all hunky dory. However, I would think that this is not always the case. There have to be times when all of the significants aren’t seeing eye to eye and that has to be tough because with two people you are just fighting among each other, but with more people you have more hurdles to climb over.
When all of these people are fighting, it maybe seem like unnecessary drama in your love life, but it is something that needs to be combatted because these are two people you are in love with. This extra drama is now your life.
1 Is this all about the time between the sheets?
This is probably the question that everyone in a monogamous relationship has—is it all about the time behind closed doors? People probably thing that you all are just up on each other at all times, but I’m sure that isn’t the case. Just like any respecting relationship there are probably rules and regulations in the bedroom and it’s not just a free for all like many people assume it is. It wouldn’t make sense because what if all of your lovers don’t even like each other?
There are a lot of factors involved here and everyone needs to be taken into account. Every relationship is different and maybe some relationships are like this—who knows. However, I am willing to bank on the fact that most aren’t. It just seems to add up.