The Value of One Partner
Author: Christine McLean
Have you ever feared being with one person for the rest of your life? The apprehension of living a life of monotony and being concerned with the other possibilities that may have come your way, often leave us wondering if marriage and relationships really are worth the effort. Wouldn’t it be better to have many spouses…people who will allow us to have different experiences that wouldn’t be possible with only one person?
While the idea may sound appealing, it brings with it several consequences.
For a man, having one girlfriend can prove to be expensive…imagine having that times two or three or even ten! Some women depend heavily on their partners to provide for their financial needs which may include, but are not limited to, their weekly beauty needs (hair, nails and makeup), food, and transportation. Furthermore, when a man has so many women, he is bound to have a lot of children and he would be expected to take up the responsibility of providing for the financial needs of those children. For example, I have a friend whose father has eleven children all by different women and he has only provided for three of them. His salary can only do so much and no more. Why take on this additional financial pressure when it would be much easier to remain faithful to one woman?
Higher Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
No one can ever have a 100% guarantee that his or her spouse is not cheating. So, even though a woman in a polygamous relationship would know that her husband has multiple wives, her husband may not know that she is out getting her fulfillment from someone else while she is still his spouse. The more sexual partners you have is the greater the risk of contracting an STI.
Higher Level of Conflict
The number of people is directly proportional to the level of conflict in a common situation. Consequently, since polygamous relationships involve numerous people being involved with one partner, there is bound to be high levels of conflict. According to the University of British Colombia (2012) “In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage”.
Redefines a Relationship
A relationship should be about building love, trust and a partnership with an individual. When someone has more than one partner simultaneously, it reduces his or her ability to invest in strengthening each relationship since his or her time and energy would be spread over many people. Think about someone who is having an affair. The person begins to invest more of his or her thoughts and physical intimacy with his or her lover. This causes distance between him/her and his/her spouse and leaves the spouse to wonder what has caused the sudden change. Although in a polygamous relationship all of the partners know each other and agree to the relationship, it doesn’t negate the fact that all of the things that an ideal relationship should bring are not present. It would therefore be no surprise that one partner will receive more from the spouse either financially or emotionally than the other. Think about Rachael, Leah and Jacob from the Bible. Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah first and after ten years, he was able to marry Rachael, the true love of his life. Although Leah bore many children for Jacob, he always loved Rachael more and showed favoritism to her.
Although the idea of a polygamous relationship may initially sound appealing, it becomes a fleeting thought when all of the consequences are considered. Learn to value the monogamous relationship you now have and do what you can to strengthen it.
 Monogamy reduces major social problems in polygamist cultures. (2012). Retrieved on September 25, 2013 from http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2012/01/23/monogamy-reduces-major-social-problems-of-polygamist-cultures/.