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Multiple Partners In A Marriage

By Aaron Miller

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one sexual partner within the context of a committed loving relationship. It is a unique kind of open relationship where everybody involved knows about the other and has a long-term relationship with at least one other. For example, a polygamous relationship might include a man with two women, a man with four women, a woman and five men, or just five women.

In order to help prevent feelings of jealousy developing too strongly, ground rules are generally set to ensure that everybody knows how to behave. Typical ground rules include the establishment of a “primary” and “secondary” and in some cases even a “tertiary,” roles assigned to make it clear to whom is owed the greater allegiance when all else is equal. Many polygamous relationships do not have such rules and roles, however.

It takes a special outlook to engage in the polygamous lifestyle. Many dabble in it but find that the uncertainty involved is too great. Such uncertainty arises from suspicions of abandonment or feeling shortchanged in affection. It would appear that really few polygamous relationships last a lifetime, though a surprisingly large number do.

Polygamy is different than swinging or wife-swapping, though many classify the two latter forms as being subsets of Polygamy. In situations of swinging and swapping, participants may never see one another again, or if they do, relationships tend to remain more on the physical level than not.

Even if genuine affection and depth of intimacy occurs within a group of regular swingers, it almost by no means involves living together every day, which is what tends to happen with “true” polygamous relationships, as these are not centered on sex. To be sure, however, Polygamy could be defined quite differently by its adherents and practitioners, such that many who do not live together but have otherwise fully shared lives consider themselves to be polygamous.

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categories: polygamy, polygomy, plygamous lifestyle, marriage, relationships, blogs, articles

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Miller, Aaron "Multiple Partners In A Marriage." Multiple Partners In A Marriage. 12 Jul. 2010. 4 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Miller, A (2010, July 12). Multiple Partners In A Marriage. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Miller, Aaron "Multiple Partners In A Marriage"

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