I’ll have to admit I had severe reservations as I sat down and watched Lisa Ling’s Our America episode on plural marriage. I mean what kind of crazy person would purposely allow their spouse to engage in relations with another woman. And how selfish those men must be to try and have their cake and eat it too. But as I watched the episode I realized something. The people, at least in the community Ling was interviewing, are really truly committed to each and every person in the relationship. The wives seem to form emotional bonds and friendships with each other and often spend more time together than with their husband.

And here’s something that really took me by surprise, it’s the women that actually control the relationship, they get to decide what man they are going to marry and it’s up to the elders to make it happen. As I watched the interviews I discovered that plural marriage isn’t necessarily something that should be shunned, it could possibly be a way to balance and possibly decrease the rate of divorce in America.

I know you are probably thinking I’m crazy right now, but hear me out for just a second.

It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in some form of infidelity at some point throughout their marriage and that 2-3% of all children are the product of infidelity (source: Buss and Shackelford).

The U.S. Census Bureau in November 2009, estimates that there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (that’s about 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).

U.S. News and World Report magazine reports that one-third of children born today are illegitimate and half of those children live in poverty.

In a plural marriage no one is left alone to raise their children as a single parent because if the husband isn’t around, the wives still have each other to help raise and support their children, both financially and emotionally. You have a support system at ALL times, not just on a court ordered schedule.

Legalizing plural marriage can potentially reduce the divorce rate and decrease the amount of single-parent households and most important, may even reduce the amount of illegitimate children born in the United States.

What would you do if plural marriage became legal in the United States? Keep in mind that for every 100 single women of marriageable age in the United States there are fewer than 70 single men, and as we get older the numbers spread further apart. That means statistically if marriage is still considered only a monogamous relationship, there will always be more women than men which probably means there will always be infidelity in what we are calling monogamous relationships.

Do you think the government should reconsider their stance on plural marriage? Could this be a way to save the American family?

Stephanie Elie
Lifetime Moms
December 12, 2011