Could you be a ‘sister wife’?

For the past eight years, Paul has had two wives, two families, two households and for the most part things have been going well. The issues are minor and of the everyday garden variety, so Paul is pretty much a happy man. One with lots of bills, but a happy man nonetheless. The arrangement that exists between Paul’s two lady loves is what in modern lingo is called ‘sister wives’.

Reality show star Uthando Ne Sthembu, who is happily involved in a polygamous marriage shares a photo moment with his wives. (Source – HuffPost)

The concept of a ‘sister wife’ stems from the existence of a polygamist family where several women join the original family unit over a period, though only the first is considered a legal wife.

All others are considered faith-based or spiritual unions. While legally polygamy is prohibited in most Western societies, the law does not peep into people’s bedrooms and therefore consenting adults choosing to cohabit or live together is generally left to the discretion of the parties involved.

Polygamous unions are growing in numbers. There are even a number of reality TV series about this communal living arrangement and the varying dramatic interactions. To some, it seems like fun to be a part of a big family, especially to those who may not have had a family in their formative years but is it a wise decision? Could you see yourself becoming a sister wife?

The first thing that would have to be addressed is the sleeping arrangement. Would you all live in one big house or have several houses in close proximity. This can be a source of contention just for the fact that if one bedroom is bigger than the other or one house is bigger or nicer, one wife may feel less than the other because of size or structure.

Then there is the whole issue of intercourse. Who gets what night? Do you rotate? What happens when you are on your period and it is your scheduled time? It may seem like just ‘playing house’ but the situation is very real. They procreate and have children. In fact, large families units are not only supported but encouraged.

How about when jealousy flares up? What if one wife feels the husband shows more attention or showers one partner with more gifts than the others? How about simply lying in bed alone, knowing that the man you love is currently lying with another woman and there is nothing you can do about it?

Wife number one is the legal wife. Everyone else is pretty much a hanger-on.

Then there is the whole matter of the law which recognises the first relationship as the only legal union. Wife number one is the legal wife. Everyone else is pretty much a hanger-on as they do not even qualify as a common-law spouse. The rest will not have a pot to pee in if he dies because the first wife can collect all of the assets. Why then would you stay if you are wifey number two, three or four? Always investigate before you get involved.

Story written by C.W.