Today’s topic is Polygamy, a customary family dynamic in West Africa and across the world.
The dynamics of families have expanded over the past century from the standard patriarchal system to modern variations. Polygamy was rampant in centuries that required population growth at a time women were subordinately dependent and the ratio of women outweighed men. Today we have same sex families and families that avoid marriage completely. The word marriage was derived from the Latin word mas that means masculine. Marriages were established exogenously by men, to maintain patriarchal leadership, to expand wealth through in-laws and to raise children into a labor force. Polygyny with multiple wives was thereby seen as a wealth or power symbol whereas polyandry with multiple husbands was heavily despised. Recently in Somalia, an attractive 30 years old Polyandrous mother of 8 children was stoned to death for having 11 husbands. In nearby Kenya, a polygynous man named “danger” lived to almost 100 years with over 100 wives and over 200 children.
Government and laws are extremely impactful on societal mentality and family dynamics. Polygamy in Nigeria is most common in states where gross domestic product is minimal, young, uneducated wives are rampant, half-siblings compete for very limited resources, and conflicts occur very often. Many people make marital commitments based on money and intimacy but the most successful marriages prioritize the 5 Cs of Compatibility, Courtship, Companionship, Care and Children. Successful polygamous relationships ensure courtship between allll spouses, thorough plans for every child’s future and meticulous equality and fairness to avoid jealousy, financial battles and domestic violence.
Concluding Message on Marriage And Polygamy:
Your level of intrinsic wealth, happiness, education and comfort before marriage is a strong determinant of your standard of living after marriage. The acquisition of more will not always equate a positive result. More money will not always equate less problems and more spouses may equate more heartache. The dynamics of polygamy are complex and marriage is not for everyone. Push Your Dreams on what works best for you and your community. The key to healthy marriages today is prioritizing the 5 Cs of Compatibility, Courtship, Companionship, Care and Children.