Why I Want a Four-Way Marriage


Sometimes I get to watching shows about polygamy and find myself imagining for a moment what that would be like. If I don't feel like cooking, no problem! A sister wife could do it. If I'm not up for sex? It's not my turn anyway! I want to see a movie with friends? My sister wife could take my kids! Sounds like a massive win all around, no?

Of course, as we all know, like Communism, it never quite works out as well as it does in practice as it does on paper. Add in real feelings, inadequacy issues, lack of time, sexism, and pedophilia and you have yourself a royal mess. Of course, Bill Paxton and the religious sects in Utah and the Middle East who practice such marriages aren't the first to think of it. In fact, 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had a totally different idea for marriage way back when -- a marriage between four people, called tetragamy.

Could it work?

According to his biographer, it would work something like this:

Two young men should marry a young woman, and when she outgrew her reproductive ability, and thereby lost her attractiveness to her husbands, the two men should marry another young woman who would "last until the two young men were old."

Hmmm ... that isn't how I envisioned it at all. But it sounds interesting. Hear me out:

Economically, it might make sense. The men have one family while they're young and poor and don't support the second until they have more money. Both women get the opportunity to have two men as partners and "providers," which cuts out the whole who is going to take care of the babies while two people work question. Plus, there is extra help at home for taking care of the children, cooking, companionship. I like it.

Of course, my modern interpretation would allow for more variability. Maybe the men stay home and the women work? Or one woman works and one man stays home? Either way, it cuts out that whole "third wheel" aspect of a threesome, allows maximum hands on deck both in the bedroom and in the home, and also provides a sizable income.

Where can I sign up? I am so down with this idea.

What do you think? Would you every marry three people?


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Jancis Andrews

So you don't feel like cooking or washing the dishes or having sex, and will let your "sister wife" do it? What if she doesn't feel like doing it either? Are you going to fight about it? By the way, only the first and legal wife will be entitled to share in the husband's health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, pensions, etc. The other "wives" (in reality, concubines in a harem) will be on their own. Lady, you haven't thought this out properly at all!

JesssM JesssM

Jancis, I think she is speaking theoretically, in a situation wherein everyone would be covered by insurance, etc.  I don't think she is talking about joining a fundamentalist LDS sect. She's talking about the potential positive aspects of going beyond the usual two-adult household with children, which--in this day and age of isolated nuclear families--can be economically and otherwise stressful for all involved.

nonmember avatar Mary

I dunno, it's hard enough to find one person you want to spend the rest of your life with, let alone four.

nonmember avatar Cynthia

If the foursome consisted of two men and two women, I might think about it. Not one man and three women. Why should he have all the fun?

hayde... haydensmommy009

I love the idea of it!! I just am way too jealous of a person to share but I really love the idea of sister wives and everything and I fully support polygamy as long as there are no minors involved its just not something I would be able to do

Andy Blankenship

Well, it's a funny subject. I live with my wife our two kids and her sister. So, I feel I can speak with some authority. It does help some but not as much as you may think. I'm the only one with a full-time job and it seems that I'm always working for others' benefit and rarely have much time to relax while at home and not have to work harder when I'm at home than when I'm at work. However, I do think that with the right personalities and under the right situation that a multifaceted marriage could and I'm sure has for a long time. But, not this guy. In truth... I may be a bit strict or even controlling at times and I like my privacy and freedom too much to be married to three other people.

Erin Malone

You all have serious, deep seated issues. What the f@%$ is wrong with people today? I married not for convenience but because I love my husband and I wanted to only be with him and he felt the same way. I'd rather be dirt poor and struggling than "add on" another person. It's because of people like you all, including the author of this article, that this world is turning to complete shit as far as values go.

Shayla Esarey

Erin - Marrying for romance wasn't really prevalent until after the 1960's and the age of free love. Up until that point, it was primarily an economic choice. Sure, there were plenty of marriages based in love and plenty of couples that grew to love one another, but the bottom line was whether or not the man could provide a secure income for a family. Heck, in the Great Depression, marriage statistics fell dramatically because men didn't see the point in marrying if he couldn't even feed himself - let alone a wife and kids. If you want to go even further back, women were hardly more than chattel to be traded to the man who posed the best political and economic gain for her family (usually her father). Most of the time, these 'women' were barely mid-teens (if that) and the men were 30 or 40 years older (or more). So, this romantic notion of marriage for loves sake is a very new, very post-industrial concept.

nonmember avatar B-girl

This could actually work. Especially when humans tend to have more than one love. If the household accepted sex to be simply a stress reliever and a way of sharing connections with one of your spouses, jealously wouldn't be a problem. Think how beautiful pregnancy and child rearing would be like: two creators and two adopters who all take care of both mama and her unborn baby. While two dudes can work, a sister wife can stay home and tend to the slightly handicapped mom. Bills would be paid, without dad taking off of work to take of his pregnant wife. When the child gets there, it will be welcomed into four families; eight grandparents! It will be constantly attended to, always have a parent—always have the attention it needs/wants. Think about breastfeeding, the duty would be split between two women, and the kids would grow up half brothers and sisters to one another sharing a mom or a dad. I think it's a great idea. Very ideal for family living.

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