Last week I finally succumbed to the seasonal ick that had been plaguing me since mid-October and I found myself with some downtime during which to watch TV. Except I don’t have TV, I have Netflicks, which doesn’t always offer the best options. I am also fascinated with habits and lifestyles that are underground or just not mainstream. So I watched several TLC reality shows and a few documentaries, one being “Sister Wives” which got me thinking about polygamy.
The first thing I think about is how I could absolutely not share my husband with anyone else. Sorry Frank, no harem for you. Of course, I’ve never worried about infidelity since he wants multiple cars, not women. If anything, he looks for less estrogen in his life, especially since we found out the kitten is female.
But, after the first two hours (I was that sick), I got to thinking that there are definitely perks of having more than one wife in a house, or maybe more than one husband (that was another TLC show). For one thing, more money, then there is the built-in babysitting, help with the chores, never having to feel bad about being under the weather or having a headache, not having to worry about if you want kids or not and your spouse wants the opposite. With multiple spouses all your bases can be covered. Sounds pretty good. So why is monogamous marriage pretty much the standard throughout the world, even in countries where polygamy was accepted in some form at a previous time?
Is it because we’re greedy and selfish? Have we not evolved from the elemental, prehistoric emotions of jealousy? Probably not. Otherwise cheating wouldn’t bother anyone.
Or is it too confusing? It’s hard enough for two people to figure it out. Adding more is probably just too complicated.
Are there legal reasons to keep things paired off? I would think sharing assets among several spouses isn’t any different than siblings. But changing all the laws around inheritance or ownership might be too daunting of a task.
Or, mathematically speaking, if one guy, takes several wives, that means somewhere there are several guys who don’t get a wife, which is sort of sad if they want one. There is roughly, more or less, an even amount of women and men, over 18, in the US (2011 census data) so someone’s coming up short if someone marries multiple spouses.
In any case, fascinating but not an issue I really need to worry about figuring out. I’ll stick with one husband, one kid, and keep the multiples to the furry family members.