The destigmatization and legalization of polyamory in today’s age might provide Americans with an alternative to the more traditional monogamy. Research studies show that there are two leading causes of divorce in America today: infidelity and financial stress. Infidelity can create a stressful home environment without trust or communication and financial strain does not make for a happy household.
“When a husband and wife can eliminate debt, a shift happens in their marriage. There’s a peace of mind they haven’t experienced before,” said Rachel Cruze, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and personal finance expert. In a research study performed by Ramsey Solutions in 2017, 50% of couples reported a combined total debt of over $50,000 and named it as their primary issue for arguments.
Additional working spouses in the home that provide their income towards mortgages, food, car payments and other livelihoods would ease the financial burdens of a household. In Jeff Spross’ “What Polyamory Can Teach Us About the Economics of Family” he states, “The collapse of marriage for the poor and working class over the last few decades and the rise of divorce, single-parent homes, and general chaos in family structure — is well documented.” 40% of monogamous marriages end because of money-related issues while polyamorous marriages are intentionally designed to ease the financial burden of raising a family.
Millions of American men and women have become the victims of infidelity, but this is unnecessary if trust, communication and open-mindedness are present in the relationship. Married couples do not and should not break up when polyamory is a completely healthy and viable option. With 40-50% of married women and 50-60% of married men cheating, polyamory can save thousands of marriages.
Critics of polyamory focus on the institutional basis of monogamy. They argue that it has existed for so long that it must be intrinsic to human nature. This is a false equivalency, as any historical precedent can take on that narrative. 19th century conservatives argued for maintaining the monarchy because of its historical prevalence, for example. As history does not reflect our modern values, this argument does not hold water.
Millions of people across America are engaged in polyamorous relationships. It is estimated that of the people living in the United States, 5% of couples are participating in polyamorous or open relationships. With a population of 327.2 million, that means that there are 16.3 million non-monogamous couples in America today. Further estimates show that 20% of Americans have at some point in their lives attempted some form of ethical non-monogamy in their relationships. This is no small percentage of the population. With nearly one in every 20 Americans engaging in polyamory, this minority group deserves its legally recognized civil rights. Just as the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 with Obergefell v. Hodges in all 50 states, giving gay couples all the legal privileges of marital status including family adoption, family hospital visits, family public housing, family discounts and family tax incentives, polyamorous people deserve the same equal rights.
In the United States, polyamorous marriages benefit from the fact that a single household, which would traditionally only have two incomes, now has six or seven income streams. Additionally, with so many marriages ending in divorce due to infidelity, sexual activity outside of marriage needs to be destigmatized. The destigmatization and legalization of polyamory would benefit couples across America as it may very well be a superior alternative to monogamy in the modern age.